The Complete Guide to Professional Compositing
The powerful process of understanding how real world photographs are blended with digital art is unrealised by many digital artists.
The number of smart phones in the world (easy to use cameras) is estimated to be 4.88 billion. Everyone is a photographer and can take pictures at any time.
However, there are just a small amount of digital artists compared to the figure above. There are even fewer 3D digital artists.
With just a tiny fraction of composite artists who have learned to integrate 3D assets really well with real world photos, this creates an opportunity, since compositing is a sought after a skill.
This masterclass coaching course is designed to open up a brand new category for your artwork, add a potential new revenue stream to your business and provide stunning and eye-catching results for your portfolio.
Artists often struggle with mastering compositing since:-
- Some of the basic principles are overlooked.
- Managing the perspective of the elements is tricky
- There’s a sense you need to be a “professional” photographer to do this.
- Dealing with shadows of photographed subjects looks like a lot of work!
- Colour temperature of elements are often neglected
- Paying attention to the details feels overwhelming
- Render times and working with multiple layers can be off-putting
However there is a pathway through these challenges that can bring consistent and faster results than you would realise. We’ll show you how to get started just using a camera phone and you don’t need a photography studio either.
What will I learn?
The course focuses on how to use 3d applications, photoshop (or GIMP) and photos to create stunning illustrations for web, books, and posters.
During this course, we will be working on three projects. All assets will be provided, however, you are more than welcome to use your own.
- How to blend real-life models into 3D environments. Think of placing real people into digital environments, such as Stonemason sets”.
- How to create your own digital environments; render terrains and terrain assets.
- How to utilise the enormous choice of inexpensive 3D assets with your models (such as clothing and held props).
- How to create commercial-level compositing that you can sell.
- Improve your photoshop skills and techniques to a professional level.
- Learn how to optimize your workflow and produce mastery-level work in the shortest time possible.
- Basic and advanced principles of digital compositing for commercial production.
This coaching group is designed to be hands-on with guidance throughout. Lessons will include default project materials, but you can always choose to use your own.
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : Saturday 11th of September at 21:00 BST (London) and for each following Saturday at the same time.
1. . Introduction to Applications
- Overview of the applications we are going to use in this course. Suggested, required and recommended applications.
- A refresh module on Photoshop, DAZ Studio. Optional: VUE, Terragen, Gimp and plugins.
- How to setup an organised library of assets in Photoshop and why.
- Key advantages of using multiple applications in your workflow rather than just one.
- Overview of this class’s resource package. The best sources for your resources both free and paid.
- Additional tools to extend your asset base with using a Digital or cell phone camera .
- Intelligent management of your digital assets.
2. Creating your first assets (Sci-Fi project)
- From Idea to execution. How to plan and choose the tool set for your project.
- Best way to take photos (considering the model, backgrounds and textures) and how to process them in Photoshop.
- Creating your theme pallet with free Adobe mobile tools.
- Rendering components in DAZ Studio (overview and based on the availability of the 3d model). Rendered assets will be provided in package.
- Rendering your background, or import from photo.
- How to process model in Photoshop, with the first step of masking. Essential tips for the masking action.
3. Characters for compositing (Photoshop, Daz, optional VUE)
- How to retouch the model for use in compositing. Essential tips on lighting.
- When to use smart objects.
- Retouching process in Photoshop. Creating painterly look.
- Creating HDR render and why use HDR.
4. First steps in compositing and digital matte painting (Photoshop)
- Different types of compositing.
- Understanding the matching of perspectives, lighting, contrast, focus, color temperature.
- How to make different assets work together.
- Creating the first layout of our compositing illustration
- Model + Background + elements
5. Creating the environment (Photoshop)
- Positioning the elements in compositing.
- Use previous knowledge about perspective to create realistic look in placement of the objects
- Understanding basic layers interaction in Photoshop
- Adding rough haze layers.
6. Compositing essential skills (Photoshop)
- Blending elements together using essentials techniques in Photoshop
- Learn a suite of techniques that are used for blending components.
- Understand shadows, lighting and perspective in depth to produce photorealistic compositing.
7. Details, details and more details
- What makes the difference between good and excellent compositing.
- Adding and focusing on the details.
- How to setup, modify and use brushes in Photoshop
- Creative look on dirt and noise
8. Postprocessing : vital steps for compositing
- Color correction, color overlay and color toning.
- Adding light flares and combining elements.
- Luminosity correction
- Highly recommended third party filters
- Basic principles in creating movie posters or book covers.
- How to add stylized text into composite renders for books, posters and illustrations.
9. Advanced composting techniques
- Matching colors of different assets.
- Making soft edges on isolated selection for better blending.
- And more!
10. Creating a “doll look” from model. (Photoshop project)
- Learning liquify and Transform techniques in Photoshop
- Creating fun compositing! Making a “doll look” from a model and using blending techniques for compositing.
- Great techniques for creating popup illustrations.
11. Angel composting project (Photoshop)
- Learning light base blending techniques in Photoshop in this project
12. Q & A, Course summary and Class Achievements
- Overview of what we’ve learn in this course
- What’s next with the techniques you’ve learned?
Who is this group for?
- Digital artists who need to add a new category of artwork to their portfolio
- Photoshop artists who want to expand their skills in working with mixed media.
- Those who want to create compositing work that sells
- Illustrators that want to increase their customer base by attracting with professional composite work
- Hobbyists or professionals looking for their next creative challenge and personal growth
- PC or Mac with Adobe Photoshop installed.
- Software used for the 3D section : DAZ studio or VUE. Optional software : Terragen and GIMP.
- Basic knowledge of Photoshop
Vladimir Chopine : VUE Trainer and Coach
The founder of Geekatplay and with a background in film production and computer sciences, 3D graphic has long provided a passionate pursuit for Vladimir, with a particular specialism in VUE. Serving 3D digital artists across the world, he has created over 3000 tutorials on VUE, Photoshop, Terragen, and many other applications.
Originally from Moscow, he lives with his wife Ami Chopin, who is a professional writer in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Paul Bussey : Group Facilitator
I have been inspiring, promoting, educating and connecting digital artists since 2010. I’ve published over 125 issues of our magazines 3D Art Direct, Digital Art Live and VISNews, with in-depth interviews of fantastic artists that inspire others with their work.
I’ve hosted and organised over 250 live events to educate digital artists. Our webinars provide an interactive, informative and fun experience for our community.
Recently we’ve created a dynamic, informative and connective forum for 3D digital artists.
During the course what will you experience?
- Weekly live training and coaching to learn compositing comprehensively.
- Clarity from a photography and digital artist expert : Vladimir Chopine
- Shared active learning during sessions working on provided scenes
- Belong to a close-knit group of artists
- A private chat group and forum to keep the class connected every day
- Recognition of your progress and improvements
- Weekly challenges to help your strive and grow throughout the course
What other coaching group members are saying
Working with Paul and Digital Art Live has given me such a fresh approach upon my art. From a friendly and welcoming environment, to a supporting and cohesive set of tutors and support. Going on the Studio Mastery Course was the biggest leap of faith I have taken with regards to artistic endeavours, and I do not regret a single moment of it. Paul is a wonderful host and lead for the courses and demonstrates the ability to nurture people of all skill levels and help them blossom into the creative delights that they wish to be. I would pick up another course like this in a heartbeat to continue my journey and growth through the creative landscape of my mind.
My experience with Esha and your program for learning rigging is beyond phenomenal. I came in with the impression that this was going to be a quick tutorial on how to setup basic technical settings on how to do a basic rig in DAZ Studio. Boy was I wrong! In a good way! Every time we set up a session, I am blown away by how much detail and problem solving Esha’s sessions go into! I would not have imagined the advanced techniques and attention to detail she brings into each session! I’ve heard a few students call this information priceless, and I agree 100%.
The chat rooms are so full of information! Just reading people’s questions and people’s responses, it’s an invaluable time saver! When I read the questions and their solutions it reminds me, “I would have had to go thru those hiccups myself, and there’s the solution!”. The chat room creates a great sense that you’re not alone, and it gives you a freedom to test things out and get into “trouble”. I am more than satisfied with this course. It has surpassed my expectations and more! I highly, highly recommend this type of session to anyone!
Here’s How it Works
A Carefully Selected Coaching Group
I review applications before artists are given an offer to join the group so you can rest assured that this will be a dedicated and creative set of people for you to grow with.
12 weeks of Support and Training
The group will run from August, running on Saturday evenings (London BST time)
Each week we’ll have a Zoom webinar meeting (up to 1.5 hours) composed of training , coaching and follow up.
The topics of these training sessions will be based on the above, but we’ll pay special attention to coaching you on your sticking points.
We’ll provide you with project based work so that everyone is on the same page as we learn compositing.
In our live meetings everyone will share wins, goals, and challenges to get support, accountability, and feedback from the group and guidance from Vladimir.
Private online group area to interact between Zoom calls
Any time you need some input or encouragement, you can turn to the private forum on a daily basis to connect with other group members.
We’ve found that the private group forum area is a powerful connecting tool to keep the conversation going between the weekly meetings.
This extends the benefits of the coaching group beyond the weekly webinar meetings.
If you would like additional resources, there’s a VIP add-on option that gives you the following in addition to everything above:-
- An additional one to one meeting with Vladimir
- 12 months of unlimited email support and advice from Vladimir. Just ask when you need it.
- Searchable library of all video tutorials Vladimir has done on the past related with Compositing.
- Huge 3D asset library for you to use for your personal or commercial work, royalty-free.