Why I do what I do...
(This was a statement I made for judges at a June 2012 showing at 40West Art Studios in Lakewood, CO for these two works: "Forgotten Memories" [link]
and "Oh, Her Look" [link]
All of my works represent a relatively new media, but reflect some traditional techniques in photography and painting. I start my compositions with a background photograph as inspiration. Next, I create the subjects of the work utilizing a customized commercial 3D model base. (I use a base human model and set custom parameters for height, weight, shape, facial features, ethnicity, etc.) Additionally, some features are digitally sculpted, for example details on the nose and eyes to give character to the model. In creating the 3D figure, I also account for the subtle asymmetrically of the human form. For example, my female model has one eyebrow set slightly higher than the other, again to achieve character and personality. I add 3D modeled clothing and hair to the figures. The 3D models are posed over the photo backdrop and given expressions, utilizing the 3D software, DAZ Studio.
Then, the models are lighted with multiple simulated "lights" using commercial rendering software. Using this rendering software, I experiment with different light placements and settings to achieve the desired lighting effect, matching the light direction, and atmosphere of the original photo backdrop. Once the scene is properly lighted, the image is rendered and finalized as a new digital image. This image is then edited using Adobe Photoshop and other image editing software. Reflections, shading, and other details are added to give realism to the composition. For example, I add reflections in glass windows that were not present in the original photograph to blend the CG models and real photograph.
To achieve the look of analogue photography, I apply many effects with image editing software to modify the colors, graininess, and focus of the image. I consider the mood I wish to convey as well as the time-period and setting of the piece in finalizing the images.