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Photographer
27255
Posts: 689
San Diego, California, US


This was my first frustrating attempt to make a vintage calendar from a photo.

Please help me understand the process for making a photo look like a drawing. This was a struggle for me and it took WAY too much time.

Tell me where I went wrong and what I have to do to improve.

Thanks

(For purposes of this thread I don't mind if anyone wants to alter this photo to explain their point.)

http://www.pbase.com/schutze/image/150058915.jpg
May 06 13 09:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Click Hamilton
Posts: 34,389
San Diego, California, US


Drop shadows on the calendar to make it more 3D? Shadows on the wall behind her?

Less fog, more contrast?
May 06 13 09:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,828
Los Angeles, California, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
http://shuffle.genkosha.com/picture/img_tech_lightingstory15_08.jpg

First you should shoot in what William Mortensen described in his book Pictorial Lighting something called Basic Light
http://shuffle.genkosha.com/picture/img_tech_lightingstory15_09.jpg

Which is essentially front lighting such that the bright area of the figure has a similar value to that of the background, and the edges fall away to a darker value all around.

http://www.eroticartcollection.com/Media/Alberto_Vargas/Alberto_Vargas_09.jpg

Then it doesn't hurt to warm up the shadows around the contour - make them redder.

After that you could try something like Topaz Simplify once you have a firm pinup-y foundation to the photo. Or maybe Alien Skin Snap Art 3

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st16533384

May 06 13 09:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,828
Los Angeles, California, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
http://shuffle.genkosha.com/picture/img_tech_lightingstory15_10.jpg

In addition to what he calls 'Basic Light,' William Mortensen also discusses what he calls 'Contour Light.'

http://shuffle.genkosha.com/picture/img_tech_lightingstory15_11.jpg

Contour Light is similar to basic light except that the light is closer to the figure than the camera is. This means the camera sees further around the horizon edges of the figure than the light reaches, which darkens up the outlines.

http://shuffle.genkosha.com/technique/l … /7563.html

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st16546962

NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
http://shuffle.genkosha.com/picture/img_tech_lightingstory15_03.jpg

Basic Light:

Camera and light close to figure. Light as on-axis as possible with getting in way of shot.

http://shuffle.genkosha.com/picture/img_tech_lightingstory15_04.jpg

Contour Light:

Same as Basic Light but camera further away, so it sees further around edges than light can reach. This darkens edges.

Light sources are fairly hard.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=809903

May 06 13 09:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
27255
Posts: 689
San Diego, California, US


I thought the fog/fade would disguise the photo, but maybe not.

I hit multiply to get rid of some of the fog and increased contrast.

Still frustrated. That top leg is weird, too.


http://www.pbase.com/image/150059018.jpg
May 06 13 09:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
27255
Posts: 689
San Diego, California, US


Thanks Joseph. Of course you are right.

Pinup drawings had a basic art school characteristic light of that era. Definitely needs more 3D.
May 06 13 09:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,828
Los Angeles, California, US


Also I think the silhouette should be a 'quick read'
May 06 13 09:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,828
Los Angeles, California, US


Stan Schutze wrote:
Thanks Joseph. Of course you are right.

Pinup drawings had a basic art school characteristic light of that era. Definitely needs more 3D.

http://www.orble.com/images/1324999572d505a597881.jpg

Olivia does the same thing - front lit with sepia falloff at edges of form. The light always seems to be basically on axis.

May 06 13 09:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
27255
Posts: 689
San Diego, California, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
Also I think the silhouette should be a 'quick read'

What do you mean by that?

May 06 13 09:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,828
Los Angeles, California, US


http://shuffle.genkosha.com/picture/img_tech_lightingstory15_08.jpg

I think it's interesting that Mortensen draws a distinction between this light "Basic Light"

http://shuffle.genkosha.com/picture/img_tech_lightingstory15_10.jpg

...and this light - "Contour Light"

Since they look so similar. But the second one is made with the light closer to the figure, while the first is made with the light closer to camera position.
May 06 13 10:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,828
Los Angeles, California, US


Stan Schutze wrote:
What do you mean by that?

There is a principle in animation that says the poses should not look "flyswatted," and yet I think a little more flyswatting might be called for in pinup. I'm trying to find a mention of the term to refresh my memory as to what exactly "flayswatting" is and why it's considered bad.

But in your example the arms don't really take part in forming the silhouette, which makes the figure's pose harder to understand at a quick read.

May 06 13 10:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
27255
Posts: 689
San Diego, California, US


I was watching a Howard Pinsky video and grabbed a random photo to work with as I went through the tutorial. That was probably my first problem. Wrong photo.
http://youtu.be/iKzxR-eIG6E


This was my starting point:

http://www.pbase.com/image/150059537.jpg
May 06 13 10:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,828
Los Angeles, California, US


Stan Schutze wrote:
I was watching a Howard Pinsky video and grabbed a random photo to work with as I went through the tutorial. That was probably my first problem. Wrong photo.
http://youtu.be/iKzxR-eIG6E

http://i2.ytimg.com/vi/iKzxR-eIG6E/mqdefault.jpg

I think he could have chosen better for his demo.

The lighting is basically on the right track (frontal) but the leg silhouette is not graceful imho. No S-curves.

http://media-cache-is0.pinimg.com/192x/80/06/22/800622979996c68e271274aeb0aba2cd.jpg

^ It's good to check out Gil Elvgren's poses

May 06 13 10:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
27255
Posts: 689
San Diego, California, US


This next guy is addressing the way you are describing the highlights and shadows and how to exaggerate them. I think. Different approach, more emphasis on lighting. Everything is on lighting.
http://youtu.be/QyB4AtVLMNg
May 06 13 10:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
mophotoart
Posts: 624
Wichita, Kansas, US


do pinups your way...look at the style..then..do your thing....always beautiful girl, posed, with art/theme....mo
May 06 13 10:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bryan Dockett
Posts: 9
Chicago, Illinois, US


Stan for what its wroth this tutorial is one of the best out there. It does cost but worth every penny
http://phlearn.com/pro/pinup-cola
May 07 13 03:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eastfist
Posts: 3,534
Green Bay, Wisconsin, US


"Flatten it out" while retaining healthy contrast between highlights and shadows. You want to remove the details by mixing everything in the midtones together so it looks like a drawing.
May 07 13 03:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,797
El Segundo, California, US


I think it would help if you clarified *which* kind of pinup you were aiming for. Joseph's examples and tips are dead-on for the Petty/Vargas/Olivia style, but not as we'll suited for, say, Elvgren, Boris, or many others.

Another issue is perspective; it was common to either have a very flat perspective (like a 300mm lens) to avoid the size distortions of oversized feet or heads from being to 'close' to the artist's perspective; or to strongly use that distortion to the benefit of the shot(Frazetta used that often).

The example you used runs afoul of that perspective issuet; the oversized head vs undersized far leg are incompatible with the perspective of the chest.
May 07 13 07:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
Christopher Willingham
Posts: 21,859
Long Beach, California, US


OK Click...  First let's take a look at the things you'be done right.

1.  You've got good source material.
2.  You've developed a fun concept.
3.  You've learned how to composite multiple images in a digital package.
4.  Your strength is in visual storytelling
Now let's take a look at some of the things that are giving you problems.

1.  You are not playing to your strengths as a visual story teller
2.  You are ignoring the rules of lighting.
3.  You are ignoring the rules of perspective.
4.  You are ignoring the rules of compostion. 


But fear not Click - this is your first time out of the gate and we all have to start somewhere - and you've got a good start.

Click, I know you know how to come up with a great story, take a good picture of it, and also how to light it.  So why not play to your strengths as a visual story teller? So before you go into Photoshop and start compositing, why not shoot  all of the elements of your composition right?  If you have a lovely model you've shot - then be sure that the elements that are going to be composited in are compatible in terms of proper perspective and lighting.  If you shoot a sitting model and you are standing approx. 10 ft away and a light source is 10 ft off the ground and 10 ft away from you at 2 o'clock - then the lighting and shadows on the props need to show that as well. 

Your perspective doesn't need to be dead on perfect - but your lighting and shadows does.  Also keep in mind color intensities as well - color intensity should never be consistent - color falls off in intensity the same way light does so keep that in mind.    What is closest to the viewer or camera will always have the most intense light and color, as the parts of an object recede into space away from the viewer - the color and light intensity also falls off and the shadow increases.  You can hide A LOT OF FLAWS with dramatic lighting and shadow.
May 07 13 11:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
Christopher Willingham
Posts: 21,859
Long Beach, California, US


Also, take a look at this guy's work:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/15033
May 07 13 11:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photo By Raina Rivera
Posts: 20
Fairfield, California, US


Here are a couple I have done. I bump the clarity after making all my other adjustments. As well as the vibrance a tad. Then I almost over sharpen; after which I throw up the luminosity and pull down the detail. Makes for the soft painted look.
Here are some examples(and you can exaggerate more than this. If you wanted it to be glowy you could pull down clarity to the negative):
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130412/07/5168186fc9e54.jpg
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130401/13/5159f0d009798.jpg

As for the other post work...first off at least shoot the gal on white to make it easy on yourself. I agree with adding the drop shadow and the other suggestions. For those kind of creations I just kind of make it up as I go until I see what I wanted come to life. LOL
May 07 13 11:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Scarlett de la Calle
Posts: 414
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


I think you will find that the leg is weird due to the fact that the box is at the wrong angle for her position in sitting. Also the hair is too chopped out you can tell that she was chopped out of another picture sad
May 07 13 11:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
27255
Posts: 689
San Diego, California, US


I haven't dropped out of this thread. I'm studying all the links and exploring the suggestions, which I appreciate. This is leading me to lots of other things to explore. I'm working on this in slow motion, as time permits.
May 08 13 07:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 32,828
Los Angeles, California, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:
Also I think the silhouette should be a 'quick read'

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3365/3450573765_376a80caa4_z.jpg?zz=1

I like her caption: "Now, this shape is easy to recognize."

big_smile

May 08 13 08:13 am  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
Vincent Wolff
Posts: 2,851
Chicago, Illinois, US


NothingIsRealButTheGirl wrote:

http://www.orble.com/images/1324999572d505a597881.jpg

Olivia does the same thing - front lit with sepia falloff at edges of form. The light always seems to be basically on axis.

agreed...Olivia, and as mentioned, Gil Elvgren. 
It just looks too flat to me.  The girl has to be the focus, and classic pinup is more flirty.  Not a bad pose, but more highlighting.  Would help.  I'd love to see the new version when finished

May 08 13 08:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NelsonStills
Posts: 2
Seattle, Washington, US


This is literally my first post in here, but here are my thoughts...

In the last year I have shot mostly pin-up for my paid gigs. Not that I am an expert for that, but I have figures out some stuff that works and some that doesn't.

First, if you are trying to make the drawing style pinup (which it looks like you are) I would want brighter, but soft light. You can add a bit of fake light by adding an overlay of the light (alt ctr 2) and setting it to screen, hard or soft light. Each situation is just a little different.

I would also puppet warp the back leg to make it bent more. Sticking out in that way only works mentally (to me) if you can see the background. I might even enlarge it to appear on plane with the rest of the body.

Cheers
May 11 13 09:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NelsonStills
Posts: 2
Seattle, Washington, US


And add a shadow on the box she is sitting on. That alone will make a big difference!
May 11 13 09:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Doctor Haze Chavenstein
Posts: 62
San Diego, California, US


Hi, I was just wondering because I did not see it in the post, but what software are you using? Forgive me if there is an industry standard software that people use here that I am unaware of, cuz I'm new to the site. I can teach you what I know if using photoshop one on one at a library if thats cool. We can brainstorm it out.
May 12 13 07:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
27255
Posts: 689
San Diego, California, US


Doctor Haze Chavenstein wrote:
Hi, I was just wondering because I did not see it in the post, but what software are you using? Forgive me if there is an industry standard software that people use here that I am unaware of, cuz I'm new to the site. I can teach you what I know if using photoshop one on one at a library if thats cool. We can brainstorm it out.

For the most part, I use Photoshop CS6. Sometimes I poke at Nik Color Efex Pro. I have Lightroom, but prefer Photoshop.

May 18 13 06:15 pm  Link  Quote 
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