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Part III:: Compositing Magic > Fantasy Compositing

Chapter 14. Fantasy Compositing

Have you ever noticed how many horror flicks kick off with a particularly brutal scene very early in the movie? Maybe an alien bursts out of a guy’s chest, or a careless teenage camper’s head is chopped off and rolls around alarmingly, like a bowling ball wobbling towards the gutter? That’s the filmmaker’s way of saying, “Be afraid; something like this or worse may happen at any moment!” You spend the rest of the movie in terror, not of what you’ve just seen, but of what your imagination is saying you might see. The lesson here is that your imagination has a much more powerful hold over you than anything a moviemaker might dream up.

This chapter is designed to spark your imagination. Fantasy compositing is all about creating pictures that might be, even if they seem to be impossible under the currently understood laws of physics. So, I’m going to pull a variation on the filmmaker’s trick and start off this chapter with a patently absurd image that would make even legendary space artist Chesley Bonestell cringe. The point of the science-fiction image in Figure 14.1 is that, if you can imagine it, you can create it with Photoshop. Perhaps a Deathstar-like moon couldn’t possibly zoom down and irradiate a hillside castle on a planet that has magenta-colored skies, but we can make a picture that documents this nonevent.


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