photoshop creative

How I Made: Mouse Traps Above

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How I Made, by Mark White
November 14, 2016

Discover how James Gardner-Pickett created this playful composition, with a little help from CGI and his father


1. Working with CGI


Each and every asset in the foreground and the background was created digitally, modelled and textured, then lit to create the desired atmosphere and story that I wanted to tell. Even down to the fur and the rope; it was all created with 3D software to begin with.

2. Photographing the mouse


After the CGI work had been completed, Photoshop was used heavily to bring the mood alive, and place the mouse into the image. To accomplish the image, I collaborated with my father and photographer, Andrew Pickett, and we set about capturing a real mouse in action.

3. Building the image in Photoshop


I took the render passes from the 3D work, such as Lighting Pass, Reflection Pass and so on, and combined them to rebuild the image. I refined the level of reflection on the floor, and created a warm highlight. In Photoshop, you can accentuate edges and highlights from your 3D work.

4. Perfecting the picture


A colleague of mine, Clive Biley, helped redraw the fur over the CGI rope and all the outer edges of the mouse’s fur were redrawn to sit against the CGI backdrop better. We used the hair brushes carefully, and the particular shade of fur we used let us capture the look of light passing through the hair from the light behind.