It saddens me to forward the news that our good friend and fellow photographer, Matt Quinn, has passed.
As some of you may know, he had been battling cancer for a while and was on his way to recovery.
Please take a moment to remember him in your prayers.
"Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God." - Leo Buscaglia

― Artistic Expression CritiqueCastle Creation, Help Needed

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minniev
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Re: Castle Creation, Help Needed

Post by minniev » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:57 am

Psjunkie wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:22 pm
Also think about clipping masks with your adjustments of the characters if they are cut out separately......I do see one hard round brush stroke above the owl, an inadvertent click no doubt..think of some of the surrounding color reflecting on to your characters as another way to blend them into the scene in addition to getting the light right.......
I’ve got clipping masks on each element but I don’t think I’ve done the right adjustments. Yikes that is an ugly blob on the owl! See Piet’s idea for the reflecting colored light, I’m gonna try it. But if you have another idea of how, tell me.
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Post by Psjunkie » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:59 am

he knows what he's talking about...there are always plenty of ways in Ps to accomplish the same thing but he's given good advice....

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Post by PietFrancke » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:56 am

Psjunkie wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:59 am
he knows what he's talking about...there are always plenty of ways in Ps to accomplish the same thing but he's given good advice....
I wonder some times... I went to B/W, looked ok.. Then started thinking that the grass is nice and bright, so perhaps she should be too.. So I brightened her up and made the colors stronger and darkened the trees behind her to make her pop a little more. I don't know if this is better, but I'm guessing she was too flat before - compared to the rest of the image.

And also, she was looking too square dead on to me, so I did a box around her and a ctrl-t and the right clicked and made a perspective change to make her similar to the tower behind her (don't know if it helped, but I did it)..

edit - I think my perspective change pulled her into the air a little bit, cut off the legs, but at the end of the day I don't think what I did helped much... Perhaps just a unifying texture/color/filter or something, I don't know...
min-1.jpg

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Post by minniev » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:09 am

PietFrancke wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:56 am
Psjunkie wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:59 am
he knows what he's talking about...there are always plenty of ways in Ps to accomplish the same thing but he's given good advice....
I wonder some times... I went to B/W, looked ok.. Then started thinking that the grass is nice and bright, so perhaps she should be too.. So I brightened her up and made the colors stronger and darkened the trees behind her to make her pop a little more. I don't know if this is better, but I'm guessing she was too flat before - compared to the rest of the image.

And also, she was looking too square dead on to me, so I did a box around her and a ctrl-t and the right clicked and made a perspective change to make her similar to the tower behind her (don't know if it helped, but I did it)..

min-1.jpg
I agree with all you’ve said. The gal on the right is flat as a flitter. She does look better since you fooled with her. I need to puff her out some. This is the problem I’m trying to solve, icorprating one dimensional art elements into 2 dimensional photos. The other is rendered with a little more depth. The rose and owl and hand are pretty flat too. Will shading help? What else?
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by PietFrancke » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:15 am

minniev wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:09 am
PietFrancke wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:56 am
Psjunkie wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:59 am
he knows what he's talking about...there are always plenty of ways in Ps to accomplish the same thing but he's given good advice....
I wonder some times... I went to B/W, looked ok.. Then started thinking that the grass is nice and bright, so perhaps she should be too.. So I brightened her up and made the colors stronger and darkened the trees behind her to make her pop a little more. I don't know if this is better, but I'm guessing she was too flat before - compared to the rest of the image.

And also, she was looking too square dead on to me, so I did a box around her and a ctrl-t and the right clicked and made a perspective change to make her similar to the tower behind her (don't know if it helped, but I did it)..

min-1.jpg
I agree with all you’ve said. The gal on the right is flat as a flitter. She does look better since you fooled with her. I need to puff her out some. This is the problem I’m trying to solve, icorprating one dimensional art elements into 2 dimensional photos. The other is rendered with a little more depth. The rose and owl and hand are pretty flat too. Will shading help? What else?
I'm thinking whatever characteristics her immediate surroundings have... Similar contrast for instance. And her size has to read right... I might be wrong, but moving her lower helped a smidge...
min-1.jpg

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Post by PietFrancke » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:27 am

and running a couple of NIK filters against it unified it a little more... (perhaps)..

But for what it is worth, the science of adding fragments of pictures together and making them read right has long been used in the Movie industry. It is called "Matte Painting". There are a few books on it and tutorials - it is worth spending some time on, but it eludes me!
min2.jpg

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Post by PietFrancke » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:39 am

and a final cut where I increased her contrast, but lowered the saturation and changed her hue a little bit (ctrl-u and a mask)

but again, at the end of the day, not happy... I'm sure a texture blend to unify would help more.. but still, it is hard to tell if progress is being made or not..
min3.jpg

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Post by PietFrancke » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:21 pm

maybe it has to do with warmth/coolness.

I attempted to mold the figure by warming up the places where the sun hits, and cooling down the places in shadow..
min4.jpg

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Post by Duck » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:35 pm

Hey Minnie, I'm stepping in a little late in this thread but I'll toss in just a general comment. Hopefully it may add a little value for people.

Creating a collage of disparate images has a lot of unique problems to solve, specially in this case where you are taking painted elements and trying to combine them with real life elements. Here is a rundown of a workflow that I run through when doing similar work. I know some of this list will have already been done and doesn't really apply at this stage, but I'll mention it here just for posterity sake.

My first step, obviously, is sourcing the various elements I want to include. I usually start off with a loose concept of what I want to achieve, and by loose I mean really, really loose to the point of fringing on experimentation. This allows me some flexibility to let the composition flow in an organic way. With that in mind I'll usually pick more resources than I'll ever use in the image because once I start assembling I may find one item works better than another.

If I only need a subject or item, I'll do a rough cut and paste from the source file to my working file. For example, I will marquee around a figure and clip them out rather than paste the entire source image. This allows me to do a quick paste up for a general overall composition. Since they are small rectangles it also allows me to see the layers below without having to do any masking at this point (that comes later). I can also move elements around with ease in order to play with the various elements and composition. I'll use the hide/unhide layer feature to switch between similar elements to see which fits the scene better. At this stage I don't really care about styling, lighting, color balance or any of those other factors. They are a distraction and come later in my workflow.

My overall main goal at this point is composition. How does the scene flow? How do the elements interact with each other and with the scene? What's the story? Where should the focus be? These considerations determine how I will approach the editing. Main subjects will get the greater emphasis while minor elements will be forced into the background.

Once I have finalized the general selection and placement of my elements it's time to start integrating them together. This is where the real thinking comes into play and relies very heavily on your individual skill set with photoshop. The first part is making the various selections and creating masks for all the elements. Particular care is given to the more predominant elements as I don't want any of their original backgrounds influencing color and tone corrections. Once everything is cut out and looking like individual items in the scene I do an overall survey and make notes of what "looks" off. The first consideration is establishing global lighting as that will guide a lot of the editing going forward. Comparing the luminance of the individual items and the background I can quickly determine the average and push and pull all the layers to that averaged luminance level. This becomes the starting point.

The editing stage is about finding balances between the background the the separate elements. Each element will have it's own challenges to overcome but the key here is to not think so much as to how to force it into the background but how the two (subject and background) can be massaged into a cohesive whole. Some are easier than others, of course, so will need to be addressed from project to project. There's no "one size fits all". As I start working on integrating each element into the background I switch to thinking locally. Meaning I will work on getting the subjects, starting with the main and supporting subjects (the important ones) to fit into the scene as best as possible. This means starting to build up the various local adjustments. One hint; if I start getting into more than three layers of adjustments I will group them together as an organizational tool. If I come across a technique that requires any kind of image flattening I will try my best to save it to the end. The majority of the work is done in this stage.

Once everything looks fairly integrated I will switch back to a global mentality. Exposure, dodge and burn, saturation, noise, color toning, etc... these are all the things that will start pulling the whole image together. It's also where you can place your individual style to the image.

I hope this rundown helps. As usual, it just my two bits. :D
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Post by minniev » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:22 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:27 am
and running a couple of NIK filters against it unified it a little more... (perhaps)..

But for what it is worth, the science of adding fragments of pictures together and making them read right has long been used in the Movie industry. It is called "Matte Painting". There are a few books on it and tutorials - it is worth spending some time on, but it eludes me!

min2.jpg
Never heard of matte painting but it sounds interesting. I’ll get Mr Google on the case. You tamed the light and color differences far better than I had. Which NIK filters?
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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