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by KA

Making Retro G1 Boxart Photoart

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Old 09-26-2006, 05:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,024
Location: KL, MY
Collection Count: 600+
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Making Retro G1 Boxart Photoart

(You can view all of the entries here: TFW2005 BBTS Transformers Battlescene Contest - Other Transformers Images - TFW2005.COM)

I don't usually do non-humor pieces, but I thought the battle scene competition would be fun to work on . . . . with the motivation of getting free stuff.

Making Retro G1 Boxart Photoart-ka1.jpg

The premise is [since] G1 [toys] are fricking bricks, the challenge is making 'em look alive. The G1 boxart homage is not a coincidence. I even took time to study 'em to get a feel for 'em. Note that the objective is not realism, but its gotta look like there's a lot of [things] going on.

Onward to the tutorial!

Vital stats:
- 18 cons, 22 bots, 40 total (as usual, 'bots had numbers)
- composed at 3000 x 1500 + pixels, over 50 layers and around 100 megs
  1. Take pics of figures. Lots of em. I took 4-5 shots of each bot with slightly varied angles [with a] pretty simple cam setup. I just use a 3.2 mp, non-SLR, (you don't need a fancy shmacy camera to get things done) and a directional lamp with overhead general fluorescent lighting (from the room light). Use a white background.
  2. Crop out the figures from photo background. I like to use the marquee select tool to get crisp edges.
  3. Set up the background/compositing file. When arranging the figure in the composition, draft sketches help to visualize overall composition.
  4. Once I get a few [figures] (the main ones) in the composition, look [for] suitable background material for the backdrop. Additional manipulation may be required (e.g., I had to spherize the landscape to suit the perspective).
  5. Once all figures are composited, make sure your layers are organized and start working on effects. Almost all the motion - white streaks - are on individual layers. Don't be afraid to vary the technique, [and the] opacity in accordance with foreground/background position.

    The explosions and weapon blasts were also created from scratch, using paint and blur tools. The explosion effects were done in a separate file, and [then] copy/pasted into the final composite, varied by the sizes only.
  6. [Finally], I added a diffuse glow layer to create light effect and contrast to the figures. [It] makes 'em look less flat, [and] creates visual depth.
    The diffuse glow layer was done in a separate file, [and] all the figures were merged [onto] one layer, rendered in grayscale, and [the] diffuse glow effect [added]. which was then pasted into the composite layer as an overlay mask layer. That's how the [shine] of the parts look like they're glowing without . . . . using lighting effects.

A word on composition: when working with lots of elements, group the elements in [a] hierarchy (foreground, background, etc.). Notice how certain bots are grouped together by size and viewing distance. It helps [with the] clarity of composition.

Also, once you're done, take your time to review the work and look at it with fresh eyes. I took 2-3 days just to make minor tweaks; I added the 3 changers during this time, [and] even adjusted the composition a bit of the figures in the center area to 'get it right').

Originally Posted by shibamura_prime
Nice, and congrats again!

And how do you go about doing your explosion [type] effects? I usually just make a shape and play with outer glows and blurs until they 'look' like an explosion, but you seem to have it nailed down.
- Use soft brush, and create red blotches outer circle;

- Repeat [the previous step], but [using] yellow for inner circle;

- [Use] white for the center

- Use the radial blur [tool]. Add in white or black specks prior [to this step] to create [a] debris effect.

[You] can also [out]line the outer circle with black, [to] give it harder edge.

Making Retro G1 Boxart Photoart-ka2.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Making Retro G1 Boxart Photoart-ka1.jpg   Making Retro G1 Boxart Photoart-ka2.jpg  

Me!: Toys: Lego:
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Last edited by Superquad7; 10-09-2009 at 02:05 AM.. Reason: Cleaning for tutorial resourcing.
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