The Predator Composite

This year I decided to focus a lot more on compositing in Photoshop.   What is compositing?  It's like adding special effects to a film.  Only, in this case, you're adding those effects to a still image.  Why would anyone do this?  That's an easy answer.  Because it's freakin' cool.  The only rule in compositing you have to abide by is making it look real.  And that's often times easier said then done.  Fortunately, I have had the privilege of being trained by some of the best names in this business like, Corey Barker, Glyn Dewis, Joel Grimes and Matt Kloskowski.

"El Diablo cazador de hombres"  2014

"El Diablo cazador de hombres"  2014

It starts with an idea.  Wouldn't it be cool if _____?  Go ahead, ask yourself.  I'll wait.  Now, finish the sentence with something you're interested in.  Like I said, it starts with an idea.  And ideas can come from the strangest places sometimes.  In truth, this idea of doing a Predator themed composite came from a conversation on Facebook I had with someone.  In the conversation, the witty one-liners from the movie kept popping up in comments.  "Get to the choppah!"  "I ain't got time to bleed."  That kind of thing.  Then, my thoughts arrived at "Wouldn't it be cool if I did a Predator composite themed around the soldiers getting to the choppah?"  Um...yeah!  The hunt began.     

Because I'm a geek, I already own an actual statue of the Predator himself.  All I needed was a photo of him, some soldiers, and a choppah or two.  As the search began from stock images online, more ideas started to surface.  I wanted to put the soldiers and the Predator in a very dramatic environment complete with explosions, debris, and even lightning.  I wanted it to appear as though it was a truly dire moment and the soldiers needed to make it to the choppah to survive.  After I had the Predator and the attacking helicopter in the composite, I decided it would add even more drama to include a pair of F14 Tomcats doing an air strike.  I've been in love with F14's since I was a kid.  I blame Top Gun.  I still miss Goose.  No, really.

I shattered earlier personal records of mine with this work in Photoshop too.  I've done some big projects in my time as a designer, but this tops them all, so far.  


-Built in Photoshop CC
-Project Time 35 hours
-96 Layers
-File Size:  745mb
-3D Elements

I had a great time creating this.  My wife was very patient with me as I asked her frequently about details.  I'm glad it's done and it stands alone as one of the first projects I've completed having turned out exactly as I planned.  Those are rare.  Trust me!  It was also nice to focus on something that was very much 'me-driven.'  Most of the time I'm working on something for someone else.  Which, is great...I love it!  But every now and again, it's great to step away and do something just for myself.  I'm already contemplating my next BIG composite now.  Maybe another movie theme...who knows?  

I'll be bock.