November 10, 2013
So with the candy corns laid in, it’s time to start doing housekeeping on the rest of the image. Of course, as usual I could go on forever with myriad little details, but with a print deadline approaching, it was necessary to prioritize a list and stick to it. So the last few drafts got the following touch ups:
1. Shadows for the candy corn crop. Each series of shadows were put on their own layer for resizing and getting a gaussian blur treatment, as well as a layer mask to remove the shadows from unwanted areas.
2. Re-pasting the donut holes onto the dark side of the far mountain and using the burn, inner shadow and blur tools to integrate them on “the dark side”
3. Burn tool and drop shadow for the gummy bears
4. Clean up of the Golden tickets on the bridge span, including inner shadow, dodge and blur tools.
5. Drop shadow from the Wonka Bar onto the donut holes.
Still not satisfied with the right foreground shoreline where the green frosted cupcakes were living, I had added the rainbow lollipops back in to anchor the land edge. But I needed something a little more, so I also added the Everlasting Gobstoppers. I also duplicated each Gobstobber and used the distort and perspective transform tool to create a reflected image in the river….I then cranked down the transparency and fill opacity to give a water reflection feel. Here are the results of all the tweaks:
November 3, 2013
Just a quick update. I’ve found a solution to the foreground trees in the lower left part of the image: keep ’em and just grow some chocolate covered pears in there. I also went with a different treatment of the candy corns…I lined up real candy corns in a row with the same lighting direction as the main image and duplicated the row to make a “crop” on the sunny side of the far mountain:
I also tweaked the cupcakes so they hopefully sit a bit “flatter” on the right side mountain, and added lollipops back into the right foreground shoreline to anchor it a bit better.
October 22nd, 2013
So I spent about 5 hrs just working on my hyperrealism project – so I’ll be keeping this as brief as possible. I encountered quite a bit of trial and error today trying to figure out how to best achieve a cohesive look to my existing Willy Wonka elements in my Bear Mountain backdrop, and the short version is…there is no simple solution to this one! I tried a method of “displacing some my candy corn elements into the far distance mountain….unfortunately for me it wasn’t the effect I was looking for. I also knew I had to deal with the chocolate river in a better way….the striations in the chocolate I had hoped would create perspective and help lay it flat on the water surface plane did nothing to keep it from popping way forward from the rest of the composition. Back to the drawing board…
I first realized I was going to have to blanket in some candy shapes and/or texture. I first tried this with some green frosting cupcakes I found, where I separated the tops and duplicated them in:
The .jpg file makes the color look much worse than it is, but it still didn’t feel like an optimal solution. In the meantime, I’d been racking my head on how to fill in all those speckled blue spaces among the fall foliage in a subtle way…already a painstaking (and time-hogging) task.
So for now I removed the frosting and went to work on the river. I ended up taking a narrow slice from my original liquid chocolate photo:
and compressing the striations using the scale tool so I could use the lines to my advantage to force the perspective of the river from foreground to background. It was pretty janky looking (sorry I didn’t save that jpg to show you – but trust me!) and after a couple of false starts with various tools, I miraculously found the liquify tool! I feel like that helped a lot with giving the river some movement, though I still had to tackle the problem of getting it to lay down further in relation to the rest of the landscape. On another note, I split the background photo (the whole “real” Bear Mountain vista) into three separate “plates”, so I could treat different parts of the vista with different effects if need be. I used the top third plate to push the levels of the sky more intense and then used a gradient mask to restrict it just to the sky portion of the photo.
Next I realized I really would need to lay in some serious candy/sweets to get everything to tie in; even though I laid some shadows down in the river to sort of anchor it and get it to “lay down”, it was still too intense for the surrounding natural fall foliage. Desaturating and playing with opacity wasn’t really working, so the only other answer was to add more stuff!
Here, I laid in the full cupcakes instead of just their frosting in hopes of creating a more perspectived look. They don’t sit exactly as I’d like but I added the frosting underneath as a “ground cover” and have laid in drop and inner shadows to help lose the ground area. I also made the big change of adding donut holes to dark side of the far mountain and mallowpops to the foreground. Not sure I’m happy with the mallowpops as they are proving difficult to bring down in value and focus in a believable way…I may have to swap them out with something a bit less contrasty and busy. The donut holes obviously need to be dealt with too, but I think they’ll be less problematic. They already just look right back there even though they are only roughed in.
Here are the mallowpops with a foreground gradient…pretty meh, they’re just too contrasty and don’t belong so close to camera. Will have to choose another element. I also heartbreakingly decided to get rid of the foreground bridge with the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket pathway…it was hanging over my head knowing that trying to keep all those tiny suspension wires without letting the original blue river show through was going to be a deal breaker for our deadline. So instead I placed a row of the tickets along the background bridge span, I’ll treat that will an inner shadow probably to create a lip of shadow coming from the deck of the bridge.
A few more things to deal with: adding more candy corns to fill the light side of the mountain, knocking down the brightness of the far left licorice suspension, anchoring all the licorice to the wonka bars a bit better, and dealing with the foreground of the cupcake hill where it meets the river. I’d like to deal with the clouds and get those looking more solid and/or cotton candy like if possible. Phew! Long list, but I’ll keep plugging away. All this and still working on the Digital Design illustration project, basics assignment, and need to do sketches for the Cubist assignment. Now just need to sleep….
October 16th, 2013
Ok, so now I’m a few tutorials and a whole bunch of experimenting later, and I feel I’ve made some progress. I’m still not sure on how I’m going to get the chocolate river to sit behind some of the trees that overlap it, but perhaps I may have to pull them as separate elements from a background copy and maybe use channels to get rid of all the myriad little pockets of blue water behind them.
I also made headway on creating shadows for the candy corns, but I’m going through and creating each one individually. Time consuming! I’ve got the Golden ticket bridge dialed in quite a bit better using perspective and skew transformations, and soon I’ll go to work on the lollipops and candy canes on the right foreground bank.
Finally, I’ve gotten the licorice suspension cables in a decent place, although I still need to play with the drop shadows a bit more to try to anchor them better to the wonka bars, but at least I was able to separate them with some inner shadows. I’ll also want to treat the wonka bars a bit too, throw some shadows across or darken the lower sections below the bridge span.
October 10th, 2013
Here’s a total direction change…just not feeling the “winter look”. So switching over to Fall colors which will work better with the candy colors:
Here with work done to some of the candy corns and an alternate look to the river…
October 1, 2013
Here I added a few more elements….green frosting for the hills. Do I add this to take away from the fact that the candy is such a jarring addition…or do I pare down my elements and work on getting a few elements to fit in realistically rather than mask the entire background? Time is a big factor here…
And without the green frosting…but with some adjustments to try to bring the candy elements and the background closer together….not enough time to get to everything – ack!
Not really a draft, more the progress I’ve achieved so far in getting elements composited into the main frame. Before I load up too many more I have to make a plan as to where everything is going. Also, I need to figure out why my Hudson River/Bear Mountain Bridge background shows up as 13 x19 in the Image Size pulldown menu, yet is about 30% smaller than my 13×19 Background. Hmmm.