Narrative through Compositing

I used the technique of compositing to construct a narrative on the ecology, infrastructure, and environment around the interstate that traverses the Atchafalaya basin. More specifically, my narrative deals with a proposal introduced to improve the ecology of the region.  I created my narrative by overlaying the model built in 3ds max over site photographs.

First, I adjusted the original photograph in Photoshop to an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 1920:1080 pixels.  Then, I imported this image into 3ds max design to create the backdrop. In 3ds max, under viewports, there is an option to configure viewport background. I used this option and selected the imported image and chose the aspect ratio to match the bitmap. I also changed the grid settings to match with the image and adjusted the perspective view to align with the view in image. I then created a camera from view using Ctrl+C and defined daylight, shadows, and material properties appropriately. To render the model I chose output size as HDTV in render settings. Finally, I chose alpha channels when saving the rendered image as a TIFF image because selecting the model and shadows in Photoshop becomes easier when alpha channels are selected.

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Compositing as a technique was first used by Georges Melies to make trick films. With time, analog techniques evolved into corresponding digital techniques though the overall concept has remained unchanged for the most part. One significant improvement has been the invention of alpha channels in digital images to save transparency and it has made the process of compositing much easier.


One Comment

  1. Jiesi Luo wrote:

    I like this pic with grid on the plane. It gives me the feeling of mixing the real and digital world.

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