Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Impossible Reality


To start this assignment, I knew immediately that I wanted to have a "banana gun" as my impossible reality so I started by having a digital photo of myself taken; I chose to do a similar pose to that of Agent Smith in the Matrix where he fires his pistol at Neo in the subway station (a classic!). I then uploaded the image of myself onto the computer and soon began my work on Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0.

First 10 Minutes

Over the course of the next 10 minutes, I started to morph my banana into a "banana revolver". To do this I first uploaded an image of a revolver from google images, diminished the size (I clicked Image, Resize, Resample Image, Constrain Proportions and then changed the width and length pixels) and rotated the image left; done by clicking image, rotate, custom, left and choosing the desired number of degrees in that direction. The image needed to be rotated since the banana is circular as opposed to the revolver, which is straight; the extremely annoying part of doing this was to get the revolver image to the desired angle, this took roughly 6 tries before getting it right. I then used the clone/stamp tool to photoshop various parts of the gun onto my banana to make it look more like an actual revolver (the cylinder, trigger and hammer of the gun). Lastly, I made the image of Agent Smith smaller and clone/stamped the gunfire blasts onto the end of my revolver to make the scene much more dramatic and action-packed.

A difficult part of the assignment was determining what kind of scene I wanted to place myself into and who I wanted to be firing my banana at; at first I thought about simply cropping Agent Smith out of the picture and placing myself into the scene but I thought to myself that it would be way too easy and I needed an actual challenge. After about 20-30 minutes of thinking and surfing Google Images endlessly, I decided I would place myself into the scene of a destroyed/desolated street in the middle of nowhere fighting off a unit of marines single handedly with a banana with the army cowaring behind a destroyed car.

Next 20 Minutes

During the next 20 minutes, I resized/made smaller the destroyed car and used the clone/stamp tool to place it into the scene of the desolate street to the right at the front of the picture. Placing the wrecked car into the background was a simple task due to the fact that it fit in so well because the road and car are virtually the same colour and both images display the same feeling of destruction; almost as though it were the scene of an urban warfare. The next thing I did was resize the image of the soldiers so they could fit at the front of the picture right behind the destroyed car once again, using the the clone/stamp tool. The only issue was making sure that I didn't merge any of the wooden wall (background in the picture of the soldiers) with the destroyed car. To avoid this problem, I used a smaller brush size for the clone/stamp tool when I got to areas such as the helmets, shoulders and guns, and also paid a great amount of attention to the detail. In my opinion, the one main criticism I had with the picture was the fact that I could not fit more soldiers into the scene. Another problem I had was thinking where I would fit myself and my banana into the image; the only probable area was at the far left side of the scene because that is where the soldier was pointing his gun at (but then why are they hiding behind a destroyed car?). 

Next 7 Minutes

It soon also came to my attention that the photo I took of myself cut my legs out, that being said I would not be able to place myself anywhere in the picture and would either have to take another photo of myself with a digital camera or work with an entire new medium (meaning all this work would be for nothing!). The only possible solution to this problem that I could currently think of would be to upload a picture of a random guy's legs from Google Images and attach them onto the bottom half of my body; I would have to match the colour of the legs with the upper half of me to create continuation and make the picture look like it wasn't photoshopped. I found and uploaded an image from the Internet of a robocop-ish character and cropped it using the crop tool so that only his legs and feet were present in the photo. I then dragged the image, placed it onto my picture and resized the legs and waist so it could fit onto my body (as seen above on the left side). I was personally disgusted that I had to lower myself to this level, as I knew no matter what I did, the picture would never look genuine enough as I wanted it to look (anyone would be able to tell that below the waist is a different image).

Next 10 Minutes

To me, it just looked plain weird the way I had attached "Robocop's" legs bellow my waist; even though I got the legs to fit perfectly, they differentiated too much in the colour and in the style of apparel I was wearing. In an attempt to make the styles and colours of my pants and shirt to match, I merely selected the image that I placed of the man's legs, selected enhance, then adjust lighting and then brightness/contrast and made the area darker in order to match the top half of myself. Next, I merged both images (lower half of body with the main image) so that I could use the clone/stamp tool to crop out any white areas outlining my figure in the picture; again, to do this properly, I used a very small brush size for the clone/stamp tool to properly blend myself with the background. Somehow I still felt the image was lacking in its dignity so I uploaded a picture from Google Images of what happens to the second Terminator once he gets shot (bullets turn into spiral tin foil plates or something) and resized/make smaller the image so I could use the clone/stamp tool to duplicate the bullets onto myself (to make me indestructable). I also edited the image to show the soldier at the front shooting at me. All in all, I was only somewhat pleased with the result of my "Impossible Reality" project but disliked the fact that my banana doesn't seem to be pointing at anyone in particular and the fact that the car was really just placed into the image for no particular reason.

aNdReS mElEnDeZ

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