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Build up of a virtual rig shot

March 21, 2017

I was recently tasked with shooting a brand new Aston Martin DB11 in association with Continental Tyres. In this post, I wanted to show the steps taken in building up a virtual rig image. This is not strictly a 'how-to' you can follow, but a glimpse into the workflow that creates something like this. As ever, it is much easier to get an image like this in-camera, though does require specialist equipment.


It's important to work logically when doing something like this, so it's easiest to set the camera up and position the car first. Then shoot all the frames you will need to composite the image together. These would typically include spinning the wheels in-camera, though unfortunately that opportunity was not available here.


With the frames shot, it's time to get the car out of the way and shoot the backplate. For consistency, don't change any settings or your focus point.

 Into Photoshop now, it's time to merge the layers together to create the car image you want and leave the background as a separate layer. You can then blur this accordingly.

 The biggest issue with the car will then be that the reflections will remain static. Ultimately, getting these reflections right will take up the majority of the editing time for this image.

 With a little more brushwork/refinement:

 With something now resembling a 'base' image to work from, you can edit the whole thing as one shot now:


 With some colour grading and digital darkroom techniques:

 Final image:



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