Skip to main content

Shoot: Levitating Objects

Lesson 10 from: How to Shoot and Composite Levitating Objects

Bret Malley

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

10. Shoot: Levitating Objects

Lesson Info

Shoot: Levitating Objects

So we need yet another subject to remain putting on the far left of the image itself, jumping out of the way, that sort of thing. So it's gonna be part improv, Part photo shoot here. Okay, So who wants to do that? Volunteers. But you got okay. Perfect. Yep. You were the reason for the moms anger it just okay. And just as part of this heroin time with eight minutes, 10 minutes. Okay, here we go. So these are gonna be two things that are flying out, so we'll do that afterwards. And that way I can show you how to kind of hold things in general for the composite. So But for now, let's get you in the middle, and we'll make this the very edge. And so let's have you do one of those Sort of jump back a little bit. Yeah. Good. Let's see. Yeah, let's get food actually falling out. Um uh, yeah. No, actually, we could have a spilling out. That might be nice. Yeah. Let the foil right. Uh, let's see. Can you hold it like a sort of cradle cradle version told in your arm like that? There we go. And Le...

t's have it tilted up a little bit. And I think just the motion of jumping back and then what we'll do is composite. Something's over there, above her head in, apparently nine minutes. Okay, so let's, uh, move this around these air now. Props don't eat these with that. Oh, yes, please. Yeah. Thank you. Just in case, because we have not looked at all the angles here. Okay, so I'm looking at the composite trying can hit play on that where? Looks like it. Did you go to sleep here? Okay. Perfect. So and where you're gonna be You are gonna b'more over here, right on the edge, and we can actually see the distortion of this lens. So first, let me check my focus here, okay? And then we will make sure that you were just going to sort of jumping out, and that's also looks like the Okay, the image is going to be I know have to refocus. But here we go. All right, because we don't want her to be on the same plane, right? We wanted to be out of the way, but just barely out of the way. Okay, let me focus this first. Okay. Okay. So right about there. What? You guys think I'm gonna work? Okay. All right. Here we go. Yeah, the unruly child. This mother just cannot control her child. However you want to do that is moving out of the way, like, wow, maybe get one of those anchors, like, slow down. Yeah. Good brilliance. Yes. Okay, yeah. No sound effects are great. Right now. It's just images, right? So yeah, even. Just say Whoa. Try that. Yeah. Good. Excellent. Uh, all right, Good. So next, perfect on. Stay right there. Let's have some other hands if you want to do this. So, in general, when you're compositing other objects and we'll just use that for placement so you can relax, but just keep holding the bag there. So what we're gonna do now in general, you wanna look at how the how the camera's looking? I know it's ridiculous. Uh, how the camera sees. So you want to make sure from whatever perspective it has that your fingers are not right in its line of sight, So if you can hold it from slightly behind, it's much easier to take out. Then when you're holding it from front. Still, you might have to do some clone stamping other things like that. Um, so, yeah, or if it's a bagel, you just stab it from behind. That's perfect. Yeah. Eso The main thing is, you don't want to cast shadows, and you don't want your fingers to be in there if you can help it. So that's idea. So let's have it flying out this way. So can we Can we get it? May be on the other side. We're gonna stab into it. You're good right there. Yep. You're good. So we're gonna composite you out. This is literally just for these, okay? And how is that? Are we seeing those at all? Yes, we are. OK, except I'm in the way here. Okay. All right. 3 to 1. Actually, John, if we could do one at a time, So let's just do that guy. Uh, and can you rotate it? So that way, we get more of the edge of the background. So even if you just do the very tips like this, and that way I can make my selection with this great and all the gray around it. So even if you just do Pull the pole and then try to get your fingers. Yes. Okay. And let's rotate your hand that way. That's OK. Ok, there we go. That makes sense is to why. Okay. Cool. Oh, yeah. Perfect from here. Okay. Okay. Here we go. Uh, let's do the bagel now. And so, typically, what I might do is all Shoot that lemon and maybe about 15 different places that way. Just have again variety, uh, bagels easier. Okay. 321 Beautiful bagel. Beautiful. Yes. Yes. No. Okay, wait, go. Thank you, guys. That should be it for the shooting. So thank you, guys. So So that's a so far is the shooting. I'm sure we missed a lot of things, But any any questions in general that you guys have? Yeah, Question here, Michael. So when you shoot the composite elements, are you manually focusing on the elements to make sure that their razor sharp I notice that you kept on saying Let me focus and you actually focus the camera? Yeah. Ah, it depends with this newer camera. I want to be sure is when I'm focusing on. I've had it for less than a month now, so I'm still making sure. So I'm I'm just doing it. Where? This camera. If I do the zoom, I can I can eyeball it. Has Emanuel and it. It looks good, but I need to make sure it's focused just on where I wanted to be. I mean, it's f 13. The death will be pretty good. So I don't have to be, you know, the exact spot. But I wanted to be in the sharpest that I can. So, yes, I I would do all manual control. The worst is on automatic and you think you're shooting it and it's just looking at the tree. And you're like, Oh, this is great. This is great. But it all that seizes this and this leaf hanging out in the middle on that sees that is the main thing. So I always lock it down into manual control for everything. Exposure, shutter, speed, everything. Thank you guys. That's great. That answer question Sort of. OK, yeah. Question here from online first. Okay. Okay. So we've got from the camera. Ossa D camera city. Do you ever use double sided tape to keep fingers out of the photo? I guess. Like holding it up and or from Alum Sanchez. Do you use fishing line fishing? Levitate objects? Ever? So are there any other little tools? Tools? Usually I don't get that involved, since it's especially for small, great questions. By the way. You know, if I was doing something where I had a set and I could just leave things there, I might do something. But with amount of movement that it does, and I usually don't shoot with strove for composite. So I need things not to be sort of dangling or moving. Uh, so for me, it's more of just finger placement. That way I could do more variety in angles, will change up in all the different ways and just pick the best of rather than just getting, you know, getting it, making it look like it's float the, you know, spot healing tool in the allow. The healing tools in the clone stamp are amazing for getting out little things like fingers. So it's not the end of the world if they're in there. Where you want avoid is where it's casting shadow or color, caste or other things where it's really bleeding onto that they have to do a lot more correction. That's harder. So good. There was another question here. Yeah. Are you always shooting for maximum depth of field, or do you ever sort of choose a focal point? Let things fall out of sharpness? Where do you choose to blur them later? Yeah, great. Great question. Um soas faras. What's what. Sharpen what isn't. It's really helpful when everything's and focus. I have so much control in post to blur. If I need, I can't un blur in post right. There's only so much you can do so, but it depends on the composite. Sometimes when I'm shooting an in frame composite where all the elements are there on, I want to make, let's say, my little guy. I did this one the other day where he was flying an airplane but flying with his airplane, right? Sort of flying it to the house. How they kind of do this, only he's levitating. And for that one, I wanted a shallot at the field to really bring the I to that little plane and sort of mimic the idea that he's flying in that case, that it was important that it was shallow depth of field. And so I just had Teoh Composite my photo shop my hands out of it. Um, so it depends for the most part, sharpest possible, the better. Because then you have so much more leeway and post. So yeah, very question. Okay, This one is from a C. M. 83 is the What is your go to lens for most of your compositing and is asking if it's your 24 to 70? Yeah. So, again, new camera on. And I still have yet to get the adapter to work with some of my canon lens. And so I was shooting. Candidates will have my canon, so if I need a backup, um, so this one, it's an awesome ones. But again, there Sony lenses, Um, you know, like a lot of the nicer glass. It's expensive. So right now this is this is the one that I'm starting with and all sort of build from there, So But this is sort of a newer switching directions, and that's ah, switch in investment as well. So but so far, what I've seen has a little bit of distortion, especially on the left side, more so than the right, Which is interesting. Uh, but for most part is it's amazing. As far as the flexibility, the focus, it's It's a nice glass. So, um yeah, the 24 to 70 has been awesome so far for compositing, but it's still new. Still testing it out. So from a nuke. Dubai and Dubai. Okay, I see the great background set up again. Is this your preferred method and or are there other things? Yeah. Great question. Uh, I for first shooting in frame. Then you don't have to deal with any of this, right? Optimally. Short of that, having something that's a simple background you'll see. Especially you could be watching the fantasy landscapes where, you know, I'm bringing in branches and other things where you can't control with the background. And I'm not gonna go out there with a gray something or other behind this whole tree in canvas. You know, behind that. So I'm used to working with what I have the power of the selection tools that have No, it's amazing as far as the technology, So it's not necessary. It does make life a little bit easy, easier. But white is good because you can always make a great buy, you know, feathering off the lights grave. I noticed that this may be a bit tricky with both black and white hair. Sometimes you'll make a selections. And when you do the refined radius brush right when you do your selections, which now I call, you know, selected mask. It does. It does some interesting things where won't always get the lighter hairs, but we'll get the darker hairs. And so having a darker gray background can make things harder. Having a lighter background, I found, is a little bit easier. But again, the technology keeps on changing every six months. Um, so you know, But for most part, something simple. I'm not so concerned about what what it is. If it's straightforward, I can even paint in my selection as long as I can see what it is.

Class Materials

Free Bonus Materials

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!

Student Work