Making of “Bring on the Night”.

Wiztoonz Amd

Wiztoonz Academy of Media & Design’s Film making and Photography Head, Mahesh Ravi shares his workflow for creating the conceptual image, Bring on the Night using Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1

I usually get inspired imagery from dreams. When an image from a dream stays in my head for longer periods, I do tend to push it out for creative closure. Sometimes via photography, short films, stories or a digital image manipulation (like this one). I saw life instances of a couple staying on the top floor a very shady yet urban apartment building somewhere in Bangalore. There was something unsettling about the whole dream and wanted to bring that mood to the composition.
This time I worked with stock images. I use alamy, if its a business project and unsplash for personal projects. I do have an envato membership that I use once in a while for royalty free images.

Step 2

I started with cleaning up the elements. Removing backgrounds, cleaning textures, de-noising, basic color management etc.
Started with adding a blur to the background image as I wanted the focus to be sharp on the main building element. Also being a wide shot, I shouldn’t go crazy with the blur thus making it look fake. 0.2 radius on Gaussian Blur worked for me.

Step 3

Also wanted to reduce the light. Faked a fog/dust overlay by creating a solid grey layer on top of the image and reducing it’s opacity.

Step 4

Brought in the main building image. As it was pretty much a basic geometry, I used the polygonal lasso tool to select and remove the background. Replaced some windows and added a dirty concrete texture on the walls (using layer blending mode- multiply). Added a Brightness Contrast Adjustment to match with the contrast of the background image.

Step 5

The next element I brought it was the neon sign. Changed the Hue of the light to red.

Step 6

Similarly brought the Spiral Stairs and added it’s shadow on the wall using the brush.

Step 7

The female character was added. I traced a silhouette out from an image and placed it on our composition.

Step 8

Added a very loud, surreal light coming from behind her, again using the brush tool.

Step 9

Changed the hue of the lights to match with the overall image. Also did play with the overall composition’s contrast to make the elements work better with each-other.

Step 10

Finally to bring a retro-photographic quality, I used scans of an old scratchy negative to overlay over the composite.

Watch the layer breakdown speed edit here:

YouTube video