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Work in Progress Advice please... something's wrong but I'm not sure what...

#1
Hi guys

I'm putting together a scene and so far it's going ok (thank goodness it's in greyscale) but I've hit a bit of a wall.
I can tell something's wrong (especially with the tap-dancing dude) but I'm not sure what it is, let alone how to fix it.

Any thoughts or advice? I'm a rank amateur at Photoshop (and artwork in general actually) so any help is welcome...

Cheers
Richard
View attachment GirderMen.png
 
#3
There are lots of good things about the composite work done so far, but I will only deal with some improvements that I saw on first viewing.
1.png
1) Cut outs of the suspension work needs improvement.
2) Usually there are at least two shadows to a sitting person - one darker set of shadows close to the body and another set of shadows that go beyond. Here, the first set of shadows are missing, which is why the body appears to be 'floating'.
3) Proportional to the sharp shadow cast, there is no suitable light falling on the body that would illuminate the leg.
4) the wording "Essex House" in the background appears to be a mirror image.
Shadows in realty are gradients that are very intense at places where a body meets ground and the intensity decreases as the shadow travels away from the body. This episode of Phlearn deals with the aspect well. The Left leg of the tap dancing guy needs a good shadow too.

I must appreciate you on the great work done so far. Please post updates.
 

Eggy

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#4
Beside the technical aspect commented by @polarwoc there are composition issues...
- The light is off and/or not pronounced enough
- Add a curves adjustment for each individual and make it lighter. Then use the layer mask that comes with the adjustment layer to 're-darken' the body side in shadow.
Adjust the light for each person. This will make the tapdanser have an exposed side and a dark side and therefor blending in the composite.

Untitled-1.jpg

(quick and dirty job...)
 
Last edited:
#6
Thanks for the advice guys!

The lighting is definitely the part causing me the most trouble, I tried to copy the shadowing from the original (with the men still on it), but it didn't really work. The lighting in the original appears to be quite diffuse and the shadows are (to my eyes anyway) not pronounced at all. But when I tried to copy that, the men looked like they were floating in air, even worse than they are now. I'll have a look at that Phlearn link and see what I can learn from it.

@Eggy I'll also give your composition comment a go, i.e. increasing the strength of the directional lighting, maybe that will anchor them better - or at least make them match the tapdancer body more closely? Might make the image more striking as well I imagine.

I don't suppose there's a website or similar you could recommend as a "scene simulator" for lighting? I mean something where I could add a couple of simple geometric shapes (say - a cuboid / rectangular prism for the beam and a cylinder for a person sitting on it) and a couple of lighting sources, to see what happens to the shadows when I move the lighting around? I'm having trouble visualising this in my head and after googling for suitable images I'm just getting more confused.

I'll try a few things and post an update, I only get a few hours a week in the evenings to work on it so it will be slow...

Cheers
Richard
 

Eggy

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#7
I don't suppose there's a website or similar you could recommend as a "scene simulator" for lighting? I mean something where I could add a couple of simple geometric shapes (say - a cuboid / rectangular prism for the beam and a cylinder for a person sitting on it) and a couple of lighting sources, to see what happens to the shadows when I move the lighting around? I'm having trouble visualising this in my head and after googling for suitable images I'm just getting more confused.
If you are familiar with the 3D feature in PS that would help to see how light and shadows behave.
You can play with the direction and strenght of the light and visualise a 'scene'.
 
#8
Howdy folks

I went back and had another crack at the shadows, it looks a lot better to me now. Those Phlearn tutorials helped a lot, as well as taking a few photos of myself sitting on a bench with a torch shining on me from the correct angle...

I'm interested to hear what you think.

I haven't tried to adjust the light for each person as per Eggy's suggestion yet. I think I'll leave it for a couple of days and try it out with fresh eyes, I've been looking at this image for too long now :)

Cheers
Richard

PS for some reason the rendered png appears quite a bit darker than when I'm viewing it in Photoshop. Any clues why?

180131RvW-GirderMenShadowRestartSmaller.png 180131RvW-GirderMenShadowRestartSmaller.png
 

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