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Bigby

(AP) American Football Player

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Another project done. I love transforming these rather bland pictures into something that can please one's eyes (or at least I hope it does ;)).

 

For anyone that's interested in "making of":

First I made a dark-coloured background, put my model on top of it, duplicated the model two times, used motion blur on both of these new layers with blend mode set to Lighten, and then adjusted it with curves to bring some colors, darken the shadows and make the highlights shine more through the blur.

Next step involved masking some unwanted elements like blur around the face. I only wanted the light trails coming from the motion, which I then enhanced with low flow, 0% hardness brush. Also, an HSL adjustment on the second copy of the model.

Smoke was created with simple brush from Brusheezy.com.

After that, I created new layer filled with 50% gray, set to Overlay mode, and then played around with dodge and burn to make the image more "dramatic" ;).

It looked somewhat blurry due to all those effects - fortunately High Pass(created from yet another model copy with Overlay blend mode, 5 px radius) and Clarity filters did the job just well.

From that moment it was a matter of balancing the composition (all layers merged together) with Curves, Vibrance (Normal mode, 100% opacity) and Black&White (Multiply, 50% opacity) adjustment layers. 

For some finishing touches I used two Gradient Maps - first set to Lighten with dark blue and pink colors, second one black to blue, opacity 50%, blend mode Overlay. Tweaked with a bit of masking.

 

All in all, it took me about 2 hours.

 

This is before:

american_football_PNG135.thumb.jpg.59e0814ce4b3d9d34a07d54d881138a0.jpg

 

 

This is after:

 

nfl.png

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It's helpful to read about how someone went about turning an image into something less ordinary.

The trouble I have is that I get so engrossed in what I'm doing - or trying to do, that on completion I actually forget some of the steps which were taken to produce the end result. And as things get more complicated with layers and more layers, it's really hard to keep track and remember at times.

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