Project 2 – Compositing Reflection, Refraction, and Translucency

Day 1 and 2

Shooting the background plates

The weekend I set out to shoot the background proved to be a challenging one. Friday and Saturday ended up being overcast making it difficult to capture shadows and daylight information. Photos were washed out and otherwise not interesting.  Sunday proved to be a better day because the sun was out intermittently. It was difficult chasing breaks in the clouds. I would set the white balance and then the sun would hide behind a cloud. The second obstacle was the wind. The trees were moving causing any shadows and close up branches to move making bracketing the HDR a challenge. It was a waiting game between sun and the wind, all the while hoping that none of the equipment and props didn’t move.

I had three possible background plates but some of the exposures were off because the sun kept ducking behind the trees. Just before sunset I decided to head out to the Old Dairy Farm and out to the marsh to catch the last of the light and was able to capture the below background.

Another challenge was shooting the background so close to the ground. I used a small flexible tripod that was light compared to my others. keeping it still was not easy when taking multiple exposures. The small tripod really came back to haunt me letter when I started setting up the plates inside of Maya. Below was my last attempt to capture a background. This last batch of photos was going to be my background only in my rush I forgot to shoot a clean plate...lesson learned! I decided to go with the marsh photos above, but at the last moment changed my mind.

Once I realized that the clean plate was missing I decided to take to rush back to the location and re-shoot the angel plate. I changed my direction due to the location of the sun and gathered the final photos below. Again the the small lightweight tripod caused me issues that I discovered while compositing the HDR,s. I ended up alligning the photos in Photoshop helping to keep all the backgrounds consistenent. This is important when stting up cameras and verifying perspective. It also helps to dial in shadows and specular information.