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Unread 04-22-2012, 10:28 PM   #1
fotaku
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How's my composite?

This is the first time I did something like this. It was harder than I thought... especially around the wigs. Maybe next time I'll bring a small green screen to put behind hair so it's easier to separate from the background.

click for full size

What do you think? Anyone have tips on composites like this they want to share?
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Unread 04-23-2012, 02:05 AM   #2
brucer007
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I think you did a fine job compositing images, but this type shot would not require cutting around the hair if it done with reasonably consistent lighting. The background can be the seam for each element.

I have found that green screen around hair is not the best idea. The green can get into the hair, especially lighter hair. Maybe blue would be better, or neutral shade like like white, grey or black.

There is software that can help cut around hair. I use Topaz Remask 3. Hair is the only part I have had success in using that software, but there might be better products. Solid edges, not as successful for me, so I cut them manually. All this could be due to my own user errors rather than any fault of the product.

It seems like the Naruto in the front is too bright, and the Naruto frame left is a bit too dark.

Nice over-all effect!

Last edited by brucer007 : 04-23-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
TykeJack
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I use Topaz Remask and it works fine for me in all respects. I'm not sure of how you approached shooting this image. Did you use a tripod and light stand that stayed put, and just had the cosplayer move to different locations? If this is the case, then you don't need to cut around the hair at all. You can just apply a layer mask and loosely mask around the cosplayer since tha background will be the same as your base background. Get what I mean?

If that's not the case, and all of these were taken at a different location and you edited them all in to this background, then you did a superb job with the shadows and lighting details. In this case, I agree with Bruce and you should shoot behind a white background or a black background, because then you can just change the layer with a cosplayer on it to Multiply or Lighter Color to get a stark contrast around the hair, then just duplicate the layer and change the blend mode back to normal and then mask in the parts that are identical to background color that wouldn't show up on multiply or lighter color blend mode.

EDIT: I will say that I've had this idea with Naruto for a long time but just never found a naruto cosplayer that I've been particularly fond of. Maybe this year at AX I will. This piece is a job well done.

Last edited by TykeJack : 04-23-2012 at 11:43 AM.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 09:31 PM   #4
fotaku
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Thank you, both of you for your comments. I shot it from a tripod and I believe the lights were stationary. I can't remember. The area that I had a hard time is where the foreground Naruto's hair overlaps the Naruto in the background.

My lights were being tempermental so that's probably why some of the Naruto's are lighter or darker. I could probably go back and fix them in photoshop.

I do have onOne perfect Mask but I'm not familiar with it enough yet. Maybe I'll check out Topaz Remask since you both recommend it.

TykeJack... you should definitely do something like this and when you do let me know. Would like to see what you can come up with.

Thanks again!
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Unread 04-23-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
TykeJack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotaku View Post
Thank you, both of you for your comments. I shot it from a tripod and I believe the lights were stationary. I can't remember. The area that I had a hard time is where the foreground Naruto's hair overlaps the Naruto in the background.

My lights were being tempermental so that's probably why some of the Naruto's are lighter or darker. I could probably go back and fix them in photoshop.

I do have onOne perfect Mask but I'm not familiar with it enough yet. Maybe I'll check out Topaz Remask since you both recommend it.

TykeJack... you should definitely do something like this and when you do let me know. Would like to see what you can come up with.

Thanks again!
Yeah, i noticed that you had the hair overlapping the leg after i made my post, but at least with the other ones you don't have to be so particular and it will save you a bunch of time. I think the lighting looks fine. The light source appears consistent which is very important and I think you nailed it. The cool thing about Topaz is that they have video tutorials on their website. After I stumbled across a tutorial for Topaz Remask I knew I had to have it and it's been great ever since.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 07:13 AM   #6
jamiewong
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thats an awesome composite. really good job.

i think with synthetic hair it doesn't really absorb as much light as natural hair would so i would've thought a black bg would be ok, unless your software can do individual key separation then green and blue would be good. the only thing that stood out for me was the far right hand side leg of naruto. when i look at it, it feel cut out. (area around the base of the foot and shin). trying to think of a better way of explaining, but the 2 end narutos on the right hand side. the one standing, if you look at his shin edge, its lighter so it blends with the bg a little more, but the crouching naruto his shin is dark edged all over. so the edge looks a bit darker over the bg. whereas if you look where the lighting is coming from, the light should wrap round the crouching narutos leg, kinda like what its doing with the standing naruto. but overall. cool image.
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