Photo-composite marketing image

As part of our ongoing image service to Harvey’s Furniture we were asked to help experiment in using manufacturer supplied photography in marketing images. Harvey’s felt that investment in 3D images, at times, may not be needed or justified when detailed product photography was available and to reuse these assets would be more cost beneficial than “reinventing the wheel” with 3D models and sets.

An idea was brought forward to try and create a test image that used one of the product photographs in a creative and artistic way to see if this process could be used for general marketing images as support to the 3D investment.

What we did:

The product that was chosen had a subtle zebra print fabric on the occasional cushions and an advertising message around this was created. We were asked to come up with a creative composite image using this message. A series of prospective stock photo’s were earmarked for use and the image group, shown here, were chosen to create an image featuring the armchair within a jungle type setting sitting before a waterfall.

Step 1: The background waterfall image featured a human figure that had to be removed. This was achieved and the missing part of the image made good.

Step 2: The cool colour cast across the background was removed and the overall feel of the image made warmer and more neutral ready for all of the other elements to be placed.

Step 3: The zebra was cut out of the background of its scene and placed into the composite. It was also trimmed to allow the placement of the chair. The scale of the animal was checked so it did not look too large or small within

Step 4: Colour, tone and contrast of the animal was tweaked to match the background of the scene.

Step 5: The image of the chair was imported and positioned and scaled to fit with the rest of the scene.

Step 6: A grounding shadow was added underneath the chair so it looked as though it was sitting on the beach. The perspective and the angle of the original photograph of the chair did not look quite right so this was changed until the fit was perfect with a little Photoshop trickery.

Step 7: The brightness and colour of the chair was changed so it looked part of the composite scene. This was the final composite.

Issues we overcame:

Compositing different photographic elements together is always tricky and takes a keen eye to make sure all of the separate parts fit together seamlessly. The hardest part of this composite was to make the angle and perspective of the chair match the camera angle of the original background. This was a tricky process but the end result was pleasing.

The overall lighting was a little tricky to balance too. It wasn’t directly sunny but there were different light levels through the photo – the beach and the fill pool at the bottom of the waterfall had contrasting light levels so different treatments to the chair and zebra were called for.

The end result:

The resulting final image with the advertising graphics overlaid really stood out to us as a “different” type of image and proved that with a little creative trickery, even the most ordinary product image could be combined with other photo elements into a very striking advertising tool for a fraction of the cost of a traditional photo shoot.

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