Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making the Ghost Rider

Here is  the behind the scene breakdown of the image 'The Ghost Rider". 

I shot the image of the toy (which btw is an in-house product I bought from the Hershey's store at Changi Airport.) with a 50mm Prime mounted on a Canon 5D Mark II. I tried framing the composition in a way to get the shallowest Depth Of Field (DOF)  possible. 

This is what I got.

Took the image to Photoshop CS5. I wanted to darken the bright Cyan tint on the surface before desaturating the whole image, So I  used the hue/saturation window to single out and bring down the lightness on the Cyan channel.

Bring down the lightness of the Cyans.

Then I applied a Black & White preset to the whole image. And chose Yellow Filter from the Drop-down menu.

Black and White with Yellow Filter applied.

It was time to bring in the fire! I did my research and took a screenshot of some decent looking fire from a video. Played with the brightness and contrast of the image to make everything except the fire, black.

Bring up the contrast to make the fire standout.

I added the fire layer over our hershey's truck.Scaled it down, reduced the opacity and used the distort modifier to align the fire to the truck's surface.

Align the fire to the hood using Distort Modifier.

When I settled on a position, I brought back the fire layer's opacity and changed the blending mode to Screen.

Change the layer blending mode to Screen.

Things were already starting to look good but I was not finished. The fire looked so light and thus a little unreal on the surface. I added a new layer in between the background and the fire layer. Picked up a brush, dipped it in some black and painted under the fire.

Painting under the fire layer with black.

Finally, I did use the eraser tool to take out the fire where there is no surface. 

Erasing and Fine-tuning the fire.

And that was it! Wish I had known this technique back in the 90s- I wouldn't have lost 30 of my G.I.Joe action figures! :(