The Betwixt characters seem to spend more time out and about then any of my other dolls, so I’m forever figuring out ways to make them part of the scene.
Marta and Marcelo joined the crowd in the subway in their first episode.
and later we caught up with them crossing the street:
The tricks in both of these photoshops are to match their general coloring to that of the background image, and not to make them overwhelm the scene they’re in. That is, don’t use the scene as a backdrop to a portrait, but rather make your dolls look as if they’re part of a larger scene.
For the episode I’m working on, I’m working the Maskcat Ester doll (Faye) into some animal conversations. For this, I’m going for a slightly different strategy – although I want her to be part of the scene, I also want to draw attention to her (often necessary because she’s so darn tiny).
To do this, I started playing around with hue and lighting within Photoshop. Here’s a sample of the kind of shot I want her in:
So, I’d like to add her so that she looks like she’s having a conversation with the butterfly, but I also want to draw the attention to her in the shot.
I started by grabbing an image from a previous episode where she’s sitting and facing left and paste her into the image with the butterfly in a semi-realistic pose. Here’s what that looks like:
So, cute, as she always is. But the profusion of color in the shot draws you eye to everything but her. I tried just making everything other than her B&W (actually, tinted yellow B&W, but now the photo looks too drab, and she’s still disappearing in the shot since her full color matches the background tint:
To make her pop a little, I copied the blue sky in the original shot and made it it’s own layer, and then I tinted the butterfly and flower separate from the blue sky. Here’s what the finished shot looks like:
Now your eye is drawn to her, but the blue of the sky makes the overall image seem bright and happy. I realize the focus isn’t right – if she’s sitting on the flower and *she’s* in focus, then the flower should be in focus too. But, you can’t have everything 🙂
With this basic strategy, I made a bunch of shots of her visiting with things-that-fly:
and that’s how you make your doll part of the crowd, while still making her stand out.