The composition process I followed in post-production can be laid out in four steps:
My first step was to put together all light passes in order to get a nice balance between direct and fill illumination. I used the character light pass to accentuate the old woman, as well as a masked layer with the rifle ID to restore some specularity on the rifle, which had almost disappeared (Fig.06).
The second step was to apply an Ambient Occlusion pass and add some level adjustments that gave the image more contrast. Here I realized the skin tone was becoming very saturated, so I had to render a fast ID mask for her arms and face to decrease the saturation (Fig.07).
On the third step I noticed the image was not framed enough, and that shadows on the stage were getting too dim, particularly on the left corner and stairs. Too much attention was being drawn to the rail road section. Therefore I painted some blurry shadows masked by several IDs. This partially helped me to achieve the dramatic look I was pursuing. I also recovered some small details on her arms that had been lost in the desaturation process and applied a soft color correction, masked by the DOF pass (Fig.08).
I achieved the dramatic look I was after with several color corrections and final Levels and Curves adjustments. Once I was satisfied with the composition I added a soft DOF using the Lens Blur filter, a small amount of noise and sharpened the overall result.
Thank you for reading this Making Of, and thank to the 3DTotal crew for letting me give back to the community part of the knowledge I have gathered through it.
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