Critique the Community

Composites

With Josh Rossi
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3.29 - "Solid" 

This is one of the easier comps I've done but it's a good example of what I think makes a composite work.

1. Not having everything in focus like movie poster designers like to do which drives me nuts. Creating various focus distances keeps the image from feeling flat and feels more cinematic.
2. Adding front elements to add to that depth so your model isn't just slapped onto another image but is inside it.
3. Motion blur instead of gaussian blur to add movement.
4. Lighting. When I shoot for composite, we already have the idea in mind so I just light the model to match the environment they will be in. When people ask if they can just send me a pic to use I tell them I only work on images I've taken and lit to match. I don't like to dodge and burn images to death.
5. Color. Using various images from different shoots that all have their own exposure and color temps can be a mess so the last step is combining them all with an overall tone.

All of this is basically the same as shooting green screen for a movie except we are doing one frame of that movie. There are two ways I look at an image I'm working on, movie scene or movie poster and then work for one of those looks. I spend anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days on each composition. It's a lot of work but also fun because they have built in stories and themes and the cosplayers I work with are just as excited to bring characters to life.

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9 Comments

Corey Weberling's picture

fabulous! Definitely one of the best. For critique, When I look at the image my eye can't immediately distinguish whether the cracked wall on the right side is foreground or background. It ends up reading like foreground to me. Even though you overlapped the girl ever so slightly I keep getting caught on it.....I think maybe something should be done to make it more obvious. Perhaps just expand the canvas and give some space between them so there's not such a hard line right next to the girl? Or overlap the girl more? Not sure the best way to solve it.

But that's getting pretty nit picky.

I love stuff like this. It's so much fun, like it's own art form of image building and painting, etc.

David Love's picture

Are you talking about the left side? The rocks at her feet are between her and the wall. The right side is a Lycan. When I don't have real Lycans, Zombies, etc I usually add silhouettes or shadows to give the feeling the person is surrounded or not alone.

Corey Weberling's picture

oh ya....did I say right? Oops. Definitely meant the left. :D

Mario Olvera's picture

Well done man, Love the scene you composited for the storytelling. The train in motion + the hair adds a little bit of dynamic mood which enhances the story telling, Great choice n the color palette!

David Love's picture

Thanks. The trolls are trying to keep it low rated but I'd expect no less.

Mantis B's picture

5 star david.like always...trolls and haters are everywhere.your composites are the best

Brandon MacKinnon's picture

Nice work. Thanks for the lengthy explanation as well, i enjoyed reading it!