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Shoot: Fantasy Composite

Lesson 5 from: Adobe Photoshop Compositing: Essential Techniques

Aaron Nace

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Lesson Info

5. Shoot: Fantasy Composite

Lesson Info

Shoot: Fantasy Composite

rachel if you want to kind of get into character yes your range of movement at all you do yeah if you want to kind of like a good questions range of movement like probably stay about on that about on that point but if you're you know kind of here like this you can totally like you can go like this you can go like that you could go if you want to face your back to the cameron kind of look out like this you khun you can do that so your range is going to be like you know from their toe like they're on dh then you can use different hands we just want to make sure that you're you're not like blocking your face but you're going to be out here so I don't think we have to worry about that so much and yeah generally I think I'd like to see the inside of your hand is possible too so like we don't want the back of your hand facing the camera so much like more the front door hank facing the camera and then we want generally not to close your fingers keep those open I think that'll be a little bit ...

more interesting then lust like this and more like that all right cool go for it on dh usually during this time because this is like the awkward time I find like usually like in my studio I'll pump up the music like we have always music playing during the eruption photo shoot but when it's like go time usually will pump up the music and like we'd be paint like bjork or something like that I'll try to match the music with the mood of the photo shoot so I'm sitting there really weird tip yeah we're at a little disadvantage so they can pump you work but other than that I think we're we're doing great all right perfect all right there we go if you want to raise the I'm gonna call that the orange hand okay all right yep oh very awesome if you want to raise that hand up a little bit more even the orange hand yeah very cool yep and I'm probably gonna have you look at the orb in pretty much all these all these shots yeah all right let's try a few with your other hand down the non orange yeah all right and raise your hands a little bit higher so they get a little more of that orange yeah there we go beautiful and hands a little bit higher for me and let's bring your fingers up yeah there we go very cool these air cool let's take a look at these in the meantime what I'm gonna do is we're changing kind of angles a little bit and I'm I'm still using the finger method but we're going to switch to a flag because it's a little bit less of a pain than using the finger method so we've got some flags around those you guys who haven't used flags before just back a black piece of fabric on a metal frame you just use them to make sure that you want to block the line of sight for your cameras so you don't wind up getting let's play and things like that all right so kind of strolling through these usually this is a great idea during a photo shoot so well usually shoot around and whether I'm you know shooting tethered to a laptop or whatever usually we'll have the models of the subject's kind of come around and take a look at the images and then usually it's pretty apparent to everyone like what's working and what's not working and it's it's really helpful for the models as well to know like so that you know look in the camera we might do a few more of those that wasn't originally I thought she'd look at the colour but that's that's not so bad too so we have a couple different options using her hands things like that generally we want to make sure that hands don't get in the way of faces so that's just one thing to think about there is well yeah and that's that's cool but it is a lot more it's like static it it's a lot less like action things like that then what's going on here in the lights um another thing is too because we are using strobes and you know here in the studio weaken love sometimes we can actually like have the subject move around and record you know photograph from during movement so we might do that in the next segment segment like if you wanted to like you know kind of like do this and kind of like get in there and I don't know play like you're at a rave or something like that but um I don't know um that would be cool too because you can you can continue to kind of like move around and interact and then all will capture them and a lot of time that movement is a lot more natural like if people are just like this for like twenty minutes it's gonna look like really static but if people are kind of like moving around and interacting a lot of time it looks a lot more like natural like things are actually things were actually uh you know happening uh oh yeah that's also um let's just make sure that the light's still hits our subject should should be if we want to bring the flag closer to me um yeah should be good let's bring the flag a little bit actually should be hitting our subject let's see what do we want to raise the power of the light back there a little bit yeah we do all right let's try that again oh that's cool yeah so then we get this stuff which I didn't even I didn't even think this was gonna happen but it's good so good keep going yeah if you want to do yet kind of facing me here we go let's keep you more on that yeah no worries oh yeah how do we do that um good question waken maybe use your other hand so if you want to kind of face me yep here we go oh that's cool all right can you put your head a little bit more this way for me yeah just that way a little more there we go yep so with these two like way do have this flag that's in our image can we pull the flag out a little bit more and it's gotta be a little bit more in yeah here we go all right and does this soft box go up any higher it does awesome all right like another two inches will be perfect okay cool because we're seeing like it's kind of hitting the soft box and stuff like that in the actual frame all right let's up the power of the rim light just a little bit if we can you're doing great rachel all right let's scroll through these image images and kind of see what we've got yeah he's a really really cool so we can see and ideally um once we get a little bit more light kind of coming through here in the background will be able to actually like see maur like through the dress and things like that all right um yeah looks right let's keep going all right and at this point I'm gonna just pop my camera in the manual focus you can keep going rachel so we don't have to actually like I worry about these you want to maybe like open your mouth and a couple of years like you're kind of like maybe this thing is hot all right yep there we go that looks great bring the hand maybe like down your side and then yeah there we go and then if you tilt your head so I can see all the rooster feathers yep there we go really nice and let's put that hand down on the other hand up so the other thing remember the background image is like really it's like rocky and it's got a lot of terrain and stuff like that and I find when it comes to like posing and helping the subject actually like you know look like they're on to rain and not just in the studio oftentimes like flatfooted is one of the big things because if your feet are flat your waist tends to be flat and then your shoulders tend to be flat but with posing and with models I find like dynamic poses work a lot better like if one if one foot is higher it's going toe throw off the way you know of your of your waist and then that's going to you know do your shoulders so one children's will be higher than the other one so oftentimes we could just do this here we'll throw like an apple box in there and then rachel can put like one foot on the apple box and the other so you can see already like just me standing here I look like a lot more like you know like the captain morgan it's just more like a dynamic pose and it's going to look better than just like you know kind of standing kind of standing there so if you wanna you want to give that a shot that's cool and sometimes like well build terrain in this type of compositing we're not we're not seeing her feet and we don't have to worry about how that integrates with the ground but sometimes if we do want the subject's feet to integrate with the ground usually I'll try to recreate the ground of the original image here on the studio so if you guys remember the dark force image that I showed in the power point that early one with this star wars inspired one we actually brought in a mound of sand into the studio and photograph for subject on amount of sand and that sand just blended right into the background because that was kind of what was there in the background in the beginning so we're back up and running yeah right let's do it that looks great yeah and if you need to move let's move this I'm gonna move the box a little bit more this way there we go so you can yep so you can get a little bit closer perfect oh there yeah I kind of look back at me like that was awesome look backing me in a in an evil way yes more evil that's awesome that's actually really awesome you look really scary right now yeah uh can you pull your hand out so I can see more of your chest yep either either that hand or if you're doing this hand just like pull it out in this way so yeah here we go maybe down with your yep this hand here we go all right and chain out this way a little more to go keep your face where it is and put your eyes up to the glowing orb very nice pose eyes back towards me just a little bit that's really nice you're nailing the smiles really really cool so you can see kind of all these elements air coming into play now and we've got our rim light coming in which is shining on the feathers as well as on her arm we've got this orange light coming in here with the orb and then this fabric we also choose chose the dress specifically for the shoot as well like we've got a nice flowing fabric which gives us a really cool chap plunge again in photo shop because you can see green through her dress which I'm imagining a lot of people like how you two take care of the green through address um you're going to see it's really not that difficult which is it's gonna be a cool teaching point in segment three so we've got yeah everything is really actually great just kind of analyzing the shot a little bit more you guys saw earlier how we kind of changed the intensity of this light a little bit as well has changed our we put more gels on it and that's that's helping the more jealousy put on light by the way the less light actually goes through the gels so just by stocking more gels on the lights and they sell neutral density jealous as well sometimes I've had to do that like if your light it is his low power as possible and you needed to be even less like coming out of one of these strobes just stick a neutral density gel on those and it's goingto less light is actually gonna come out of it um yeah pose looks great and I think this is really cool just kind of like looking at this image if we had like another four hours to do this photo shoot which usually all schedule whole day like will block the whole day out if I had another like four hours I would probably replicate the makeup that's going on in her face and like bring some really cool like stripes or like painting and stuff like that down her arm we don't have the time to do that here during the photo shoot but if I have extra time in photo shop I'll just do it in photoshopped it would always look better to do it for real I always always always like I love photo shop but I always prefer to do things for real but if we do have time I might think about think about doing that as well just to make it a little bit more dynamic yeah other than that I think this is shots a great let's maybe take a couple questions we've got thirty more minutes in the segment and we're pretty close to having nailed the shot already which is I'm really happy about awesome great doing fantastic so what dictates the size of the lens you using the twenty four two one o five do you ever use the eighty five good question a lot of the time with compositing I'm like you can see right now we're shooting in f ten and so those those lenses those really nice prime lenses that air really great for shooting it like one for two point oh things like that they're gonna be great when you guys were shooting you know concerts or you know things indoors or just like natural light portrait's shooting people in tow you know like making the backgrounds nice and out of focus in these cases I'm not so concerned about that most of the time I'm shooting anywhere from f ate two f sixteen that's usually where lenses they're going to be their sharpest as well depending on the quality of the glens if this was like eighty five millimeter one point to I would still be shooting it up ten so I wouldn't be using that one point to where that one point four capability those prime lenses are still going to be a little bit sharper than zoom lenses but I find that for most of the stuff that I do I don't know like for me like sharpness and noise I know it's a huge huge topic within photography but like some of my favorite images are not sharp and grainy attack you know like images from world war two like you know this stuff that tends to mean something in a photo usually has nothing to do with sharpness or green in my opinion and I know I'm going to get a lot of people who would you say that but I tend to focus on totally different things with my images you wanted is good as possible but I mean technology nowadays is so good I mean shooting with a five d mark three and twenty four two one o five out of ten and honestly like this is the amount of sharpness that I'm getting out of this is just incredible even if I even if I miss my focus slightly which I don't think that I did but it would it would still be really good the funny thing is is I'll probably wind up blowing this any way to fit into my background because my backgrounds probably not nearly as sharp as this is so I hope that answers your question but usually like this funds is it's a kit lens it's not an expensive lens and for composite worked like this generally it's it's totally okay in my opinion use that stuff cool I know one of the things that were going to be talking about a little bit more later as well is a problem that I personally have is the height of my camera okay tend to not get my height correct and then I put it into my background I'm like oh gosh that looks awkward yeah that one's really tricky okay so the three things we've talked about this before your lighting your perspective and your come position so lighting we've focused on quite a bit today perspective we really don't have to worry about that much in this case because we're just for photographing her in front of the background and that's why I wanted to start with this image in this workshop is because the perspective we really don't have to worry about that much it's gonna look great even if you know our camera was like you know it should have been slightly higher or lower things like that so if you are getting started with compositing this is the type of compositing that I would suggest shoot your subject like waist up and so you don't have to worry so much about that perspective but if you do have to worry about perspective there are all kinds of really cool formulas that you can actually use to calculate perspective in a photo shoot I find it generally you just it's tough to explain that like right now without like a diagram but if you're looking at an image your focal plane it should be like relatively obvious whether you're like you know looking down on something or looking up on something and generally want to match that as much as possible but it's if you guys are just kind of beginning in compositing and things like that choose images where you are generally going to be shooting straight on even if like the dark force image that we that we should show you guys earlier generally straight on and any thing to keep in mind most people who are photographing backgrounds like your compositing someone into a background that was taken most of the time the camera is going to be anywhere from like five five to six foot right like most people are taking images right about here anyway so if you're taking images here on your background do the same thing in the studio and you should be good to go with matching perspective great okay along those same lines this is from film bus I direction seems to be an important aspect in composite believability do you have any tricks for models looking in any tricks for models looking in the correct spot in the correct spot that's a really good question okay it really depends on what you're trying to composite I've composited people in with animals before and line of sight is going to be a really big one I use and it's also popular in you know when they're making movies and things like that I usually use props like a sometimes they'll use tennis balls and movies so like you know something to look at like you know and then they'll just add what like a floating object in there after the fact so get something in there for the model actually look at like in this case we don't really have much for rachel but she knows that there's gonna be orb right here so she's not she's not going to doing this right she's going to get pretty close andi in like the image the island of morel image I showed earlier with the four witches gathering around the soul there actually was a glowing blue light physically there in the photo shoot so they all knew where to look a cz well so having a little bit of something in there I find helps out and sometimes I'll just get like a light stand and I'll just say look at the top of this light stand and you know have everyone look at the top of the light stand no matter where they gar light sand saves the same place and then I put my object at the top the light standing and it's going to make sure they're all looking in the same place thank you all right so a couple more questions and I think we'll break for you wanted you were ready to break yeah we're going to photograph the orb that won't take too long okay on but then yes all right let's do it I'm going to do a couple more will photograph the orb and then we'll head on out so I earn one of our most popular questions right now has to do with techniques of masking hair on masking feathers we will be we're gonna be doing a lot of that today yeah yeah that's sections three and four that's that's what we're going to be going just while that folks no and do you use a light meter that's a great question I back and forth on that like if you ask me like four years ago I'd be like no and then three years ago I didn't look yes and then nowadays I'm back to noah again the reason being like light meters are there in the really really hell double back when you know shooting with film there were a little bit more helpful I felt like because you didn't want to mess up on exposure if you find that if you find you're bringing in your images into photo shop or in the light room and a lot of the time they're overexposed or under exposed especially if you're shooting shooting in the studio yes a light meter is going to be a huge help for you because you know like you're you're already kind of let's say like you know sixty percent of your images you're always getting that for a while there for like six months when I was shooting all my images seem to be underexposed and I couldn't figure out why and it was because of the brightness on the back of my lcd was bright and I was shooting generally like when it was a little bit darker outside so would actually look totally fine in the back of my camera but I bring it in on the computer and it would be a lot darker so I started using a light meter outside and then I realized ok I'm actually I'm shooting these under exposed a little bit so once I got the hang of like knowing that I needed to change my exposure with time shooting outside at night I didn't need the light meter so much anymore so it's it's really great I find that if you need to get your lighting like dialed in like absolutely perfectly I would I would definitely go with the light meter but those cases seem to be more and more rare in what I shoot and especially because you know in shooting raw you can change your color temperature pretty easy and usually I mean especially now with like a five mark three or knife on the eight hundred you've got like three stops to push and pull in photo chopper light room without it like really degrading the image and if your three stops off to begin with the light meter is not gonna help you out anyway well let's give our model or a round of applause I think rachel so much and let's how about we shoot the orb yep let's shoot the orb so this is just this is I don't know what the name of this it's like calcite or something like that whatever it's a candleholder right so we're going to basically put this the same place and john I'm gonna have you hold this if that's okay just hold it yeah probably just with your hand just flat hand like that and I want to probably capture lesson john's hand then possible where we might put this on something if we could do that I have a coffee cup here put it in the coffee cup too just coffee in it ok what time is that way you getting treated so basically what I'm gonna do I'm not going to really worry about adjusting my light or anything right now I'm just gonna do this all in camera so I'm gonna go from f ten done like f sixteen and that way I should be able to still see yeah I mean even if we did something like this that would totally work too john you want just hold it like this this'll work photoshopped out your hand if you feel comfortable hold it like that and then I'm just going to zoom in so I can capture all the details and we'll shoot this closer like f sixteen all right and it should show up there in a second and I want this to be completely round in the in the final version here just him in here make sure I want to be able to capture the detail right because that's that's going to make it like really cool let's get in a little bit closer to the light if possible and I'm going to close down my aperture a little bit more um go down to like f twenty two or so there we go oh yeah that's really cool so I can I can pop this in where her hands are and here we go so we've captured all this detail and just made it a little bit easier we don't have to adjust any of our light settings and things like that and this like now looks like it's gonna be glowing so I do want to you know this detail here on the top I do want around that out and I want to round out the bottom but I could do that in photo shop really pretty quickly and this just generally this is kind of it was just a cool detail that I had around my house and it's something that it doesn't look manufactured right it looks like it would kind of fit in this world like a fantasy looking at that you don't really know what that is right and that's kind of what you want when you create these fantasies and in photo shop we're gonna add all kinds of really cool like lights and glowing effects around it so it's going to look like it is you know that light source that's actually lighting lighting the image and that's getting me in section for so yeah that's pretty much it so again that's a different type of compositing I wouldn't say different type compositing but that's another thing we are going to close it so the background we're going completely make from scratch then we're going to put our subject on the background that we're going to put this floating above her hands and then we're going to bring all kinds of really cool effects around that object and that will make our final image and again all it took for all that was just a little bit of imagination and you know thinking what you wanted to see in the final image and then breaking apart piece by piece and we're gonna build it all back up again

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Fantasy Composite
Soccer Composite
Adobe® Photoshop® Keyboard Shortcuts
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


This was the Best Creative Live course I have had the pleasure to watch. Aaron was so informative and explained each technique very well. He was so pleasant to watch because he was so humble and was so happy and excited about what he was creating. What an excellent teacher. I hope he does more seminars.

Curtis Roberts

Fantastic Course! I've watched (and purchased) many courses from Creative Live, and there are many good instructors; excellent instructors, in fact. Aaron's course on compositing essentials is one of the best. In addition to being a technical expert, he is a great teacher; a real talent. Great information and good illustrations/explanations. He does go a little fast when using Photoshop, and while I was trying to find the short-cuts keys, I would find he was three more points down the trail ahead of me. (That's part of why I bought the course ;-) )

Juli Miranda

I love the class he is generous, clear an super fun!! i highly recomend it. A lot of trics and cool information. He is Great teacher and super high level photoshoper... So greatfull. thanks!

Student Work