My final piece for the Hyper project was based on war. My initial idea was to have the man centered in the picture. But after discussing and remembering the “rule of thirds”, that was quickly discarded. I ended up changing a lot from my initial thumbnails.
I positioned the soldier towards the bottom right section of the picture. I found that to be an effective focal point. So I stuck with it, and based my background to the left of that area, leaving the soldier in the foreground.
At first my soldier was going to be an adult, but it was pointed out to me that my piece as a whole would look to realistic, and to be more aware of the assignment. So I switched out the man’s face for a baby’s, after hearing the idea, and thinking about how many people as young as 18 are going off to fight in wars. And the fact that in a mother’s mind, they will always be their babies, made me want to pursue the idea. I had a few choices of babies to choose from, and I wanted to see how each would come out, so I dabbled a bit, before choosing my winner. (This was my runner up.)
It was really difficult to fit the baby’s face into that of the soldier’s, but using the helmet straps from underneath, and having them come through, made the process a little easier. The baby I chose, I feel fit the shape of the man’s face and body much better than the one above because of the perspective and the fact that I didn’t have to reconstruct the neck. But considering I knew nothing about Photoshop at the beginning of the project, I feel that I did the best I could.
When merging the faces and making the background, the “brush” tool’s clear option, and it’s various options for transparency was my best friend. That, and the “multiply” mode in the layers, to blend the backgrounds together into one scene. I found, out of all the tools during this project, those to be the most helpful. The next would be the gradation tool to make the lighting on the man’s body and baby’s face more similar. My idea for the background was to have a sort of battle scene, with soldiers approaching the mid-ground. The cracking glass throughout the background was to symbolize what war does to a society and to a community. It does damage mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally to the point where the nation itself threatens to fall apart.
After reviewing my work, it came to my attention that the marching soldiers in the background were far too small to be significant in the piece. So I went back and enlarged them, having them come somewhat off the page. Also, the cracking glass seemed a little flat, so I played around with the gradation tool, and got them to give a little reflective shine.