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Set the Scene

Lesson 3 from: How to Shoot and Composite Levitating Objects

Bret Malley

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Lesson Info

3. Set the Scene

Lesson Info

Set the Scene

when you're prepping for seen, whether it's the scene that we were just looking at, or one of those other ones that was inside the house or outside, it's really important to remove all the objects. Much can you want to really clean slate to work with because it's compositing, right? We're adding images to whatever we're going to be looking at. So in general you want to set up lighting for the optimal effects of that way. All your shots work, so if you can shoot everything in one frame, that's optimal, right? All the lighting should match. Not always. Uh, it's interesting, even when you have on one frame and you have light sources the same. Let's say one of your light sources of window clouds go by. Your lighting will change, so there's always gonna be post processing you have to do if you're running laundry. The lights will change if using continuous, so it's just you can't predict it, but that's what photo shops for, right? That's this kind of ah, practice of it, but in general set it...

up. So least the direction and quality of the light isas matched as possible for all the shots. Let's see, set up leading out things to consider for lighting. So quality of light. Do you want a hard versus soft? What's the direction? Uh, you know how much feel like to have? What's the contrast, you know in general, make it look good, but don't make it impossible for you, right? Try to keep it as simple as possible. The more you complicated, the more complicated against, right. It gets really compounds very quickly. Especially when you have to reproduce other parts. We have to reshoot, right? That's not always what you want to do. Question. So you had said that you got up on the really high on the high chair to get the shadow. So do you always pre plan the shadows, or do you photoshopped them in? Uh, we will be photo shopping men today, Um, but with some things planned, Right. So I want to make sure you know the light source is coming from over here. I don't want the shadows right to go on that side. So at least the direction and general quality, if you're having to paint something in, it's really nice to have a reference of what the shadow actually looks like they're so we'll talk about that in the life shoot where they saved a layer where I was actually walking around or standing in that area so I could see what the shadow looks like. But in general, ah, if I could shoot everything where it's just in that frame with the the natural shadows, that's optimal because that that is going to be literally shadow perfect. So the more you can work with the rial lighting of that situation, the better, and always keep it in mind when you're working on it. So, yeah, question any of the questions. I'm wondering if you have any big disasters about lighting setting up in the in the, you know, in advance of the scenes mistakes that you've made or seem all your students make that are things people could consider we might experience one live s Oh, yeah, I have no idea. How is it gonna turn out? I have not pre shot to this on and composited this dog. I didn't I just met this dog a few moments before so we might find out. But no, see, big, big mistakes. Yeah, I tried one in a very cramped bathroom. Uh, and I was trying to do some strange lighting and working with water. Uh, it was just a no go. Right. Don't try to force something toe work. If it's just not, don't keep forcing it until it magically does. It doesn't always work that way. Sometimes you can get something that's OK thing. You'll never really look it again or share it right if it's that quality. So feel free to come up with more ideas, right? You're not hopefully, uh, you have. Ah, always something else you can play with and try something or learn from it. Then try something in a different way. So but yeah, tried to in the bathroom that just did not work at all. Bad time levitating water now, but yeah, things, expression, bird all the time, or I find out after reshoot. That's more often not if something wasn't working with lighting. Come back and have to reshoot for that. So Yeah, Good. Okay. So back to this one. Are we back to this one? Um, I see. Okay, So here is the set up before. So when talking about setting the scene and planning for the lighting. So again, I noticed that the light would come through in the morning. Um, you know it. You'll notice if I go back here, the DVDs. You know, there's some things that were still on that table, but I was ableto take a couple of the shots that were just a clean composite. There we go, but all chairs removed ahead of time. Uh, let's see that that vase was not there. So planning these things ahead of times That way you can piece them in, and we'll also talk about how to minimize where your hand placement is, right? Just get it on the very edge on and some new technology things where advancements in technology, where my camera can shoot the image to my phone, I can look at it live or someone's holding for you. Awesome for compositing. So helpful. So, uh, anyways, we'll talk a little bit about that, Aziz. Well, do you always shoot with a tripod or to get the exact spot that you want? So if you're if you are capturing something that you need to move slightly, right. So, yeah, great questions. So especially for compositing. And I should have talked about this earlier with gear to, uh, yes. Always shoot with a tripod, especially if you're doing the same scene, every little movement. It's not that you can't composited. You're just making your life expletive. Expletive. Really, really hard, very difficult. So you remember my foreign half year olds watching. So the self censor, Let's see. So yeah, she with a tripe on real important, lock it down as much as you can. If you are shooting something with crazy small creatures, they love toe thump and move and do all sorts of things. You'll see some shoots that you got it lined up, but it still moves a little bit, and so it will take some moving. But the more you can get things locked down, match the camera angle for every shot as much as possible. It's really easy to paste in place. We can make a selection as long as you have it framed up in everything the same. Uh, let's say, just with a big rectangular marquis, you can do command, see, and then command shift V for paste in place. It'll stick it bam, right in the exact same spot, which is great for compositing if you have it locked down otherwise yet that's all over. Regarding that last one, I'm still intrigued. Or like, Why were you so worried? How is the shadow going up? Uh, we're why is it going up? Yes. So the light see if I can go over to the TV. So the light sources here. I mean, these things were just sort of blasting, uh, and so the light was here, but really, this little piece came from I was on the table right here. I was just able to shift it over a little bit, but the angle was the same. But when I was that close to it because the lighting is also because this is the light source. The lighting's not just coming from here, but it's also coming from here basically giant diffusers. We have all this light that's also coming up this way as well. Then we also have bounce lights. It was just basically reflecting all over the place, coming from all over. So but yeah, when I was there, and that's the other thing, you know, it's composite, like all that doesn't look right. That's what the shadow was there. So it's sort of, ah, function of it. Um, we have that with my students. Michael. I see where you messed up, and they showed me like, Oh, just kidding. You were right. That's how it actually was.

Class Materials

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Bret Malley - final image from How to Shoot and Composite Levitating Objects

Ratings and Reviews

Molly B

I agree a bit with Eric Burke's review (which was a thumbs down), however, I feel like this is neither a thumbs up or thumbs down recommendation, more like a 3 to 3.5 star rating. :) That said, I agree that there was so much talking and not doing in the initial portion of the class sections. I feel like when there is a class offered for Compositing, much of the science people want to know is in the editing tips and tricks AND some of the shooting tips and tricks. Photography of the subjects is important to understand, but examples of live shooting should be kept fairly minimal. Aaron Nace still nails the science behind planning and shooting for composites and also rocks in the editing (in my opinion). Brooke Shaden is also a good example on the editing details. I feel like Bret had something different to bring to the table from the class preview with puppet warp and some of the cutting / masking tips... I agree that all the editing portions of this were super rushed and just touched on a lot of last comments of "oh isn't this neat" and no in-depth instruction on how that feature is used. I just felt like he really ran out of time. At the end he talked about re-shooting the dog, perhaps he could have gone in to puppet warp to change the lower legs and tail a bit as an effort to make it look more like his sketch? Bret seems likable, but does continuously talk about side stories and extra noise that seems could be more focused on the topic at hand. :) I still picked up some tips, but this would be more ideal bought on a sale rather than full price. :) I have a lot of photoshop knowledge and own some other composite classes on CL, so I don't feel too lacking, but this would not be for a very beginner of compositing. I wouldn't mind seeing Bret back with a more refined class structure focusing on the magic of puppet warp and other tricks to get the most out of compositing.


Had a good time with this course! Bret is a great instructor, you can really tell he enjoys his work and has a lot of fun engaging the audience. I've done some compositing in the past but with a much older version of PS. This course really helped me take advantage of the new features in PS CC and also helped streamline my workflow. It's a course that both experienced and beginner compositors alike can learn from. A big thanks to Bret Malley and CreativeLive for making this course!

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