Compositing

The Fandom Nerdlesque: Infinitease Promo Photos - 2019

The time is finally here! For anyone who has been following me on Social Media the last few weeks you have probably heard me teasing these series of images. For you and those who may not have known alike you are all in for a treat.

I was contacted by my friends over at The Fandom Nerdlesque (who if you don’t know are an Atlanta based collective of nerd-themed burlesque performers from all across the country) asking if I wanted to be a part of the marketing push for their upcoming Marvel Themed Show (being performed at the time of this blog post on Friday and Saturday THIS WEEK..HINT HINT…TICKET LINK AT THE END OF THE POST…HINT HINT).

After some very brief talk of concept, we decided that the end goal was to emulate the famous Marvel MCU posters that have been coming out regularly. It wasn’t until we were on set going through photos that I thought about using some various forms of compositing to create artificial backdrops for each character.

Jet Spiegl - Matt “Daredevil” Murdock

50510697_2025192974452351_7340517030656737280_n.jpg

Final poster design by Evin from Apologue Media. He did a FANTASTIC job of throwing everything together into an amazing final product. Be sure to throw him some love as well!

49426953_914525718753144_32256789235892224_o.jpg

Additional poster design by Kali Fornication (You can see her link above under her Thanos photo).

Get your tickets here!


For a peek behind the curtain as to how the sausage was actually made, keep reading below.

I’ve done some experimenting with various forms of compositing over the last few years. For more of an expert’s view I would make sure to check out the work of Renee Robyn or Clinton Lofthouse. Anything I have learned was very much learned by watching both of these amazing artists at work.

The first part of the recipe was making sure that the subject of the photo was lit properly. In the case of these Marvel photos I needed 4 lights. A Key in a 3’ Octabox, a fill in the form of a 12” beauty dish, and two 3x5 softboxes as rear kickers.

lighting-diagram-1548126770.png

That setup lent itself to a photo like the below.

by using content aware fill you get one of the following photos below.
One worked better than another:

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 10.19.28 PM.png
Spoiler alert, it was this one that worked much better.

Spoiler alert, it was this one that worked much better.

Afterwards I roughly followed this tutorial from DIY Photography to mask the image

Click the photo above to read an in depth article that I assure you is WAY less scary that it looks.

Click the photo above to read an in depth article that I assure you is WAY less scary that it looks.

After masking its then just a matter of sourcing an appropriate background, and then adding any needed tweaks to it to fit the image at hand, and then several hours of refinements…the process of which I don’t have photos of because I didn’t think to take them.

If you would like to see a more in-depth step by step, let me know. I’d be happy to work something together!

Estella – Tuxedo Mask – 2016.

Estella is another great individual I have been introduced to over the last year. Firstly while shooting makeup tests from earlier this summer, and then again during the Much Ado About Nerddom performance with Hysteria Machines a few weeks ago. 

She is an accomplished performer, cosplayer, and photographer, and I was more than stoked when she answered my call to arms looking for someone to shoot. Expect to see us working together much more in the future to document various costuming themed sessions. 

Model: Estella Zorn
Costuming: Pinky Shear
Mask: Estella Zorn

At the time of posting this entry, I also am in the process of working on some non-cosplay themed photos taken during the same session. I'll be posting those as a separate entry in the coming days. 

Sig Sawyer – 2016.

I met Sig Sawyer at Dragoncon last year. He was part of the group I shared a room with along with his lady friend (Nikki Nuke'm, who is no stranger to this blog). Sig is a devoted cosplayer and a rather unique part of the Atlanta Burlesque community. We weren't exactly planning this shoot, it was more of a "hey I'm off work early. Want to shoot something?" but I am so excited with how this turned out. 

This also is a debut for a few things. Thing-the-first is his beautiful Red Hood costume for this year's DragonCon. Secondly, he let me know while we were working that this also was his first professional costume shoot EVER. So be on the lookout if you are out and about this summer con season, and also be on the lookout for more work coming from us in the future.

And I have to say, for a guy who for so many years talked trash on photoshop I have to say it's growing on me. I'm still learning what power this program holds, but lets just say if I didn't use photoshop you would have an entire update of photos that look like this:

Which I mean, isn't bad. But I still like the final images much better after some compositing. 

We also warmed up by shooting his Mortal Kombat Scorpion costume (which also appeared on this blog last year during the DragonCon on film update).

© 2006 – 2019 UNEXPhotography and Blake Griffin.

Privacy Policy