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The Rhino is Free!

After a lot of trial and error, I finally have something that I am pretty pleased with. If you look back at the very beginning of my personal passion project, I was working with a photo of a rhino. Over the course of an hour, I managed to painstakingly edit out most of the fence in the picture in Corel PhotoPaint. This GIMP image was faster to make, and now the rhino is free, in the Savannah, where he belongs.

I learned a few good tips for changing skies and putting objects in new backgrounds.

  1. How is your image lit? Is it low intensity and diffused or is it high contrast with hard lighting? If your image is one thing and the sky is another you picture is going to look photoshopped. You want your sky to complement your image.
  2. Where is the light coming from? If your sky does not match the light source of your image it looks very weird.
  3. Atmospheric perspective. If you look at the sky on a clear day you will notice that the top of the sky is darker than the sky at the horizon. Our eyes are used to seeing this gradient so you notice it when it is not there. Also, your background won’t blend as nicely to the sky if you do not apply the atmospheric perspective.
  4. The colour of the light in the clouds. It won’t look realistic if you put a sunset in the sky when your original scene is shot at midday because you won’t get the reflection of the colours. If your subject is wearing a wedding dress it will be bright white, but had you shot it at sunset, the dress would have picked up subtle hues of orange and pink.
  5. Depth of field. If your foreground is in sharp focus and your background is fuzzy, you want fuzzy clouds. If you put in a set of clouds that are in sharp focus, it looks fake. You can keep your cloud image but you need to blur them out in order to get a realistic image.

My little rhino is not perfect but I am happy with all of the skills that I was able to put together to make it. I used the colour curve, layers, selection tools, clone tools, and filters. I am already excited about the next challenge.

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