This is a lengthy post (for me) so you may need 5 minutes to get through it all. More if you click the links.
Photograph models on white then create a LARGE Twister mat under them.
First of all, thank you to Shane Van Boxtel for providing excellent photographs to work with. Thinking ahead to the post production work needing to be done, Shane drew evenly spaced marks on the floor for the models to place their hands and feet. The result of this forethought, when it came time to place the Twister mat under the models, their hands and feet lined up perfectly with the spots on the mat. Please take the time to click on Shane’s link above to see more of his awesome work.
Follow this link to Twister in Wikipedia. It provides a little history and culture of the game. Well, I found it interesting anyway.
To begin the project I needed a photo of the models. Note, you can see the marks on the floor.
I then needed to separate the models from the rest of the photo so The Twister mat could be inserted.
That was easy. Next came the hard part. I needed to make the mat and have it look real. It required proper color, and creases to simulate being folded. After all, the game mat spends the better part of its life scrunched up in a box, shoved to the back of the top shelf in a cramped closet. The color was easy, red, blue, yellow and green spots against a white background.
Creating the folded texture was more challenging. To do this I folded and generally mauled an innocent piece of 8.5×11 copier paper. I taped said paper to a light booth so the light would strike it at a steep angle accentuating the newly created topography. See my exciting paper photo.
Still reading? Good! Lets move on. I married the Twister spots and the innocent paper using a technique called Displacement Mapping. This is waaaay too lengthy to cover here. Trust me, it works, see the next photo for proof.
Click the photo for a larger view, to see the texture better.
Now to place the mat under our models. A single mat just wasn’t enough, this needed to be Super Twister! How about three across and three deep, that’s nine mats. This GIANT Twister mat required a significant amount of distortion and perspective adjustment to attain the receding perspective necessary to create the illusion of a large space.
Not done yet. The models are still floating over the mat. Using the real shadows from the original photo I created new shadows and applied them to this file. With shadows, the models appear to be “grounded” on the Twister mat.
Click the photo for a REALLY BIG impressive version.
That’s about it. I told you it was long. If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
Oh, almost forgot. I had to do this for five photos. Once the mat was created I reused it, all that other stuff I did, multiply it by five.