DPP Home Business Red On The Set

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Red On The Set

When Epson wanted to photograph one of the world's rarest automobiles to test a new printer, they went to Stage 3 Productions in Detroit, where the staff knows how to generate maximum resolution

Step 3. We opened the Background Plate. In this case, we chose two blues layered on top of each other and named the layers “Dark Blue 5 4 23” and “Light Blue 15 13 76.” The numbers relate back to the exact channel values of each blue so that if we have to match it on another layer later in the process, we have this quick reference right in the layer title.

Step 4. We placed the image with the path outline and dragged it onto the new background layers. After placing the outlined file into the new .psb background, we highlighted the background layer and then moved down to the bottom of the layer palette and selected Make Mask to paint on the mask layer, allowing us to hold back parts of the layer image. We used the Brush tool (large and soft-edged) to paint a pleasing graduated background. We could use the actual background capture versus a created background, but the gradation we shot in studio was designed to give blue light on the car, in the shadows and midtones, for sculpting only.

Step 5. We opened the car reflection file from our edit. From the Image Menu, we flipped the image vertically to simulate a harder edge reflection of the automobile. We then built a mask to shift Hue and Saturation. While the reflection of the automobile is altered, the technique helps convey that this as an exotic automobile. This reflection technique can work on virtually any car in a studio from a low angle, but if the car doesn't possess a personality like the Enzo, it might seem out of context.

Step 6. All cars need a certain amount of visual weight, and as such, we created a drop shadow under the car layer and over both the background and foreground layers. There are several methods that can be used to create this. In this case, we made a mask layer, again using the large soft-edged paintbrush. After we made the desired shape, we double-clicked on that layer image box to reveal a Layer Style window. In this window, we controlled the opacity to blend with the layers below.

Step 7. With the overall image in place, we proceeded to the fit and finish of the car. We chose underexposed captures specifically for the correct densities on the headlights and the car's marker lights. With the Pen tool, we made outlines of the additional details to copy and paste to the master file.

Step 8. At this point, we began retouching the body of the car to remove bits of dust on the car itself that the Sinarback had captured. Logos also were outlined, rotated into their proper positions and balanced in both exposure and color.

Step 9. With a clean car, we made a duplicate of the car body and again used the Layer Style window to reduce this new body's layer opacity. This gave us the ability to mix reds more easily during prepress via a touch plate. We thought this would be a good idea to have in case there were any issues with color with the Epson Stylus Pro 11880. It turns out there were no issues, so no adjustments were necessary.

Step 10. We made a separate sharpening layer and did a final Save As with all layers intact. Many make the mistake of not doing sharpening on a separate layer or flatten the image at this stage. Larger-size prints often require less sharpening than smaller prints. If the image was flattened or if the sharpening wasn't on a separate layer, one may be stuck with an over-sharpened file.


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