Tuesday, February 15, 2011

my box

this is my finished assignment for my digital compositing class.

as a photography assignment, it's pretty lame.  but as you may have noticed, one of those boxes wasn't initially there.  and for a guy who feels pretty lost in photoshop, i'm quite proud of myself that it looks pretty convincing, at least on a first glance.

our first assignment was about matching perspective.  at points, this involved my turkish teacher drawing what looked like humpty-dumpty with a mohawk and antennae on the white board, but i think i got the idea. the most common way to tackle the assignment was to draw a box into a scene with some existing boxes.  not the most amazing cg ever done, but we're babystepping here.

great, i can take pictures pretty well.
from there, determine where the horizon is by drawing lines that diminish into the distance.  this is a main reason why boxes are great to work with: nice clean angles. (obviously, my line went way the heck out there, but i cropped it so it's easier to see)

once you have the horizon line established, you can plot where another box would go.
i'm actually a little fuzzy on the science of it all, but i got it close enough that i think it works (mostly).

with the grid lines in place, color in the box.  i was able to get good color variations according to the lighting conditions without too much work and i was pretty proud of myself.

what i wasn't as proud of was that this took me a couple of hours and pretty much exhausted my photoshop knowledge.  i spent the next few hours of my saturday in frustration trying to use the tools that i had seen better artists teach me this summer and had no luck whatsoever.

as such, this was the embarrassment that i handed in on monday morning, hoping that my teacher wouldn't keep my image up on the board for more than a few seconds.
thankfully, he said that we had until the evening to get out assignments in.  i grabbed a friend and asked for a photoshop crash course per what i had to do right then and there.  the next two hours were actually quite enjoyable as i did what would take a competent person about twenty minutes or less.  but i really like learning photoshop and felt pretty awesome by the end.  (i actually found myself pulling up the image a couple of times later that night, just so i could bask in the glow of my work again.)

here's the scene with some diffused shadow and contact shadow, although i'm still not happy with it.  but if you can't see why, i'm not going to tell you.  i also added some "noise" to my fake box, to make it look more like it belongs in the digital photograph.

like most things, it's the details that make it: some tape on the box, a little bit of dirt and wear (maybe a little too much?), smudge the edges of the box just a bit so it doesn't look too crisp, add a barcode and a label from my favorite company and that's pretty much it.

i really had no idea i was capable of doing that.  i feel pretty cool.
and i want to try more. 


Jaime said...


Becky said...

I am impressed. I know nothing about photoshop, so it's cool to see all (some of) the steps involved. And now, you just have think outside the box :)

Anonymous said...

I love a good breakthrough! Excellent work J.

The Former 786 said...

I felt like I was watching the bonus features on a DVD while reading this. Well done. And it looks pretty darn good to me! I didn't know which box was fake at first.

Next up? Dinosaurs.