“Hey Dan, nice sequence on your website last week man. How do you do that?”
“Well, just drop your shoulder, stay relaxed in the air, and don’t…”
“NO! How did you make it in Photoshop?”
1 – PICK YOUR TRICK
What do you want to document? Some tricks make better sequences than others. You want an action that is big and consistent. Quick spins or flips are not going to produce a good sequence, as images will overlap. Do something that shows off good control and style.
|image from: SHRED BC|
2 – GET THE SHOT
The best option is to use a camera with a quick shutter speed. This can create the best quality of sequences. The other option is to use video and capture the stills from it.
Sequence Photography Tips:
|If you just want to follow along with this tutorial, you can download MY SAMPLE IMAGES of Graham, and use them to follow the rest of these instructions.|
3 – EDIT THE IMAGES
Open all of the images in Photoshop. The first thing you can do is eliminate images which will not fit into the sequence. If you are not sure about an image, you might as well leave it in for now. With MY SAMPLE IMAGES, you can see that I only ended up using 5 of the 12 images on the final version.
You will now choose your background image. This image should be clear and centered, as it will be used as the default. Now move that into a larger .PSD file. Then take each of the images and add them as layers on the .PSD file. Try to keep the images in order.
The last image should now be on top of the rest. You now want to get a picture of what the finished sequence will look like. To do this, adjust the opacities of the layers so that all of the images appear at the same time. I recommend dividing 100 by the total number of visible layers, and setting the opacities accordingly. So if you have 5 images like we do with MY SAMPLE IMAGES, your top image will have an opacity of 20%, second from top will have an opacity of 40%, third 60%, fourth 80%, and the last image will remain at 100%.
Your .PSD file should now look something like the above. Lock the background image in place, and adjust the other layers to match up with it. As a guide, try to use something non-moving in the images, like a rock or a tree. With MY SAMPLE IMAGES, I used the islands in the background.
4 – FINISH THE SEQUENCE
On the final image, you want to have as much of the background image, and as little of the other images as possible. That is the easiest way to form consistency. To do this, erase everything around the action focus on all other images. This can be the hardest part! Be patient and take your time.
Now just set the opacities back to 100%, save the image as a JPG, and you are done! I ended up changing mine a little by adding another image to the bottom. This was a bit sloppy, but it showed the end of his rotation, right before hitting water. I then cropped to standard horizontal dimensions and voila: