Guest Blog Post by Gordon Lamb
With the advent of the digital darkroom, the ability to create the impossible has become a more accessible reality to many of us who dreamed of creating impossible images. Much of my inspiration comes from the love of comics, wanting to create those action splash pages. Sadly, my drawing skills shamefully lacked to make it in the comic book industry, so photography coupled with the gaining popularity of cosplay, became the natural extension to create the images I wanted.
Some of My Fantasy Composites
When it comes to creating a conceptual image, I take a very collaborative approach. Working with others helps to hone the concept and identify the technical challenges involved in the process, both on location and in post production.
The Making of Cylon Attack
From the first conceptual image, Topaz worked as an integral part of my workflow. The background plate is generally done as an HDR image but seeing as how that is impractical for my models, Topaz Adjust allows me to match the look and feel of the background. My goal is to bring a comic book splash page to life with all the color, detail and drama. Adjust easily gives my models the dramatic look I’m looking for. The image below shows the detail and contrast achieved.
Each model in the image is shot separately, so many times the lights and crew are in the shot. Topaz ReMask is used to cut the models out for compositing into the final image. The speed at which ReMask works significantly reduces my edit time and lets me move on to the more exciting parts of the image. The gallery below shows my concept mock-up shot and each character’s position in their original frames before being cut out and placed into the final composition.
Once I have my models cut out and placed back into the HDR background, I can move on to adding the finishing touches: shadows, lighting, muzzle flashes, laser beams, explosions, fog, smoke, etc…whatever is needed to bring the image to life. I’ll do some final, overall coloring to bring the image together and hopefully when it’s done, I’ve got something that makes people say wow.
Behind the Scenes Video Footage
Gordon Lamb is a media creator specializing in photography and filmmaking in the Kansas City area. He has been an industry professional for almost 20 years and served his country for 23 years in the Army National Guard, including a deployment to Afghanistan.