Breakdown: Float

DSC08693 (00000)_2

Here is ‘Float’. The image was made of a combination between location scouting, stress and sleep deprivation…
The programs used in this piece were a combination of Photoshop and my favourite After Effects.

The final image is composed of three pictures, one from location scouting with the fantastic Richard Gravett for his upcoming film ‘Salt Water’; and the latter were taken under a dim kitchen light in the midst of pre-production for my own upcoming film.

The three original images were the following:

The first program used was Photoshop to cut myself out from the background which is my kitchen and to correct and grade the images from RAW to fixed settings.

Float - Mask

I’d only recently learnt the basics of Photoshop, before this point I’d purely work in After Effects, however I wanted to practice the new set of skills I’d learnt by using the “Quick Selection Tool” along with “Refine Edges” which proved mostly successful, especially for separating hair from the background.

Float - Legs

The image of me jumping under the same light was also graded and using the same technique I only cut out the legs, as the rest would not be used.

Taking these cuts into After Effects, both pictures could be layered on top of one another.

Once overlayed on top of one another their was a slight difference in colour despite matching the settings throughout each step. Therefore a slight grading fix had to be made using After Effects’ “Levels”.

Float - Pre gradeFloat - Post grade

There is still a little difference in the shadows. but nothing noticeable at the size it will be scaled to.

The figure was then warped to make the legs look more bent and the feeling of floating to be enhanced.

The background layer was graded in After Effects and the pre-comp was added to the scene.

Float - BG Grade w Body

Next, the reflection was placed onto the water, “Levels” and “Radial Blur” were applied to it to match the other water reflections and the background layer was duplicated and used as a “Luma Matte”.

Finally an “Adjustment Layer” was added to the image to help pull out the key element of the photo to an audience.

Float - Almost FinishedDSC08693 (00000)_2

Voilà, it’s done!

I hope you found this break down interesting/useful. I might do breakdowns of future work if I find the time!

For more of my photo work, visit my Photography Page.


Seb Cox


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