For this final project I definitely struggled a bit coming up with a concept/idea and that’s the reason behind having two seperate GIFs, I really wanted to explore and experiment with the concept of double exposure but I was unsure of how to add my own little twist to it. I ended up making the second image of the double exposure, a GIF. This is where my 13 hours comes into play!
For the first double exposure GIF, I began by taking a basic backdrop picture in order to set myself up for in post editing. I needed to do this because as you see in the final product it appears that I am floating in the air. I did this by taking two coolers and laying on top of them. This allowed me to go back through in post and remove the coolers with the pen tool as well as the masking tool that would be used to brush over the image and reveal the first backdrop image making it appear as though these coolers were never there.
This whole process between setting everything up, deciding the best angle, all the redo’s and of course the editing portion took roughly 4 hours. Once the pictures were taken and everything was brought back inside to be put on the computer I needed to first create the GIF. What I decided to do for this set of double exposure GIFs was to add flames into the silhouette of myself floating.
This was done by taking an old pan we had laying around and crumpling up some newspaper and lighting it on fire. I then fired off multiple photos of the paper burning and this gave me what I needed to create the GIF. After the GIF was created I took the now edited photo of myself which required some patching up, the outside doesn’t necessarily cooperate with your needs and the light ended up changing on me so after 1 hour of editing I was able to stabilize the shots and make them match up evenly using the masking tool. Then began my process in creating the overlay, how the GIF would show through my silhouette. By placing the image of myself on top of the created GIF of the fire and lowering the opacity I could then line up exactly where I wanted the flames to come up from.
I ran into a considerable amount of trouble figuring out the sizes and resolutions of each image, I just couldn’t seem to nail or figure out fo that matter how to maintain such a wide view while also enlarging the GIF and that’s why the final product is cropped in so much. This probably ate up roughly 2 hours of my time researching and messing around with settings to get where I got. Obviously I eventually came to a compromise and made it work but this is something I’d still like to refine. After a few tests and putting it into Chrome I decided it was ready to be published. I think the final product came out looking great. If it were perfect it would probably have some more defining features, maybe take away a little opacity or define the figure a bit more but overall, I’m happy with the way it looks.
My second double exposure GIF was roughly the same process, except it was done indoor, this was me trying to change it up a little bit and do something I thought would look interesting. I first decided I’d do something pretty simple, a simple action. So I walked in front of the camera on a timer while it snapped a few shots of me flipping my phone in the air. This took way too many shoots to get right especially with one person.
However I did end up with some pretty decent shots that looked nice and created the GIF using the same process as before. After thinking on it for a while an idea popped into my head. Unlike the first one, what if I used a more close up shot and played the GIF through another lens. Sort of like inception. So I snapped a shot of me holding my phone and began in post editing.
The reflection was fine because I knew that would be edited out once I began. So I started by opening up the non exported version of the GIF, this allowed me to view the GIF in real time to make sure everything was flowing properly. The second step was to drag over the single shot of me holding my phone. This would be placed on the top layer, that way I could have everything beneath show once I cut out/ erased that portion of the top image layer. I used just the brush at first, but it came out a bit messy and I didnt like the way it looked. So I decided to use the pen tool just like before, this provided a much cleaner line and I was able to get the crop just right so that it looked natural enough. Again, I had the same problem as the first one making the image one size and shrinking the GIF down to another size was a problem. I’m sure it’s an easy fix and just something I forgot for the moment. All in all this whole process took, over the span of a couple days, 4 hours of editing and perfecting and another 2 hours setting up the actual GIF portion and the best way to get those shots. The final product isn’t as clean as my first creation but I’m still happy with the way it turned out.
Through the process of this project, it taught me a lot more about photoshop and forced me to do even more research on certain tools and learn how to use them which is always a bonus. If i were to change anything it would be to better perfect the sizing of two images in the same layer library and as for the first double exposure GIF, I would have the subject better lit in order to bring more focus to that area of the image. I’m happy with my results and I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about the process as much as I did making it.