I have recently watched Michael Bay’s latest blockbuster, Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth instalment of the popular robotic franchise. I was amazed to find in this movie that there were so many Chinese elements and what computer graphics could achieve. One of the Transformers scene shot in Chongqing scenic spot, China gave me the inspiration. The transformers were in a beautiful environment. One giant transformer was breathing fire. This is a real cool scene in the movie. For this movie theme image, I instantly thought that I could make one fake scene for a Transformers movie. I will substitute the environment and the transformers. The intended communication objective is to construct an image that will represent a scene that people will instantly know it is a scene from a Transformers movie. It doesn’t need to be an image from a particular Transformers movie as long as it looks like a scene from a Transformer movie – maybe a future instalment shot in Auckland.
I took some photos on Mt Wellington and purchased a pack of small transformer model at the Toys World and took some shots of them on the top of my green car. Firstly I played with the environment shots and tried to compose the location image using different photo combination and manipulation. I settled down with one main photo that the sky is substituted with two photos. I cut out of the city skyline and made it a little bigger. Once the location scene was done, it was easy to place the transformers in the location. In case I had to manipulate the image later on I used layer mask for the non-destructive manipulation. Then I took a few real fire photos and chose one fire photo under one of the transformer. I manipulated it and made it look like that the transformer was breathing fire. To create the effect of depth of field, the location images were duplicated and blurred using Gaussian Blur filter and masked out to make the foreground in focus and the background out of focus.
To make it look real, a layer for the fire effect was created. A colour adjustment layer and a curve adjustment only affecting the fire effect layer were added. For a similar tone for the image, a colour adjustment layer was created and applied to the overall image. The result is a photo-real image that represents a scene, that people instantly realise that it is a scene from a Transformers movie.