"Making of Jalaniel"

Post processing

postwork 1 postwork 2

Now for the fun part.

You finished rendering every piece of your sliced scene, saved every image at the same size and resolution and loaded them into Photoshop, Paint Shop, GIMP or whatever software you use to process images. It should be able to support muliple layers in pictures, but most graphic applications are able to do that.

Open your first render - or that with the main figure in it.
I often start with the main figure because that's what the whole scene is about, it's the center and the subject.

I worked a little on the main figure, adding some strips of black cloth on the head, drawing hair over and around them. But the biggest part was to rework the wings. Make them fluffier with assorted smudge tools, blur them a little, and so on. I added a plain white background behind the layer with the main figure for more contrast to see what I'm actually doing.

When I'm done with the figure, I copy the first slice of the background into the picture - below the layer with the main figure (well, the other way around does not make much sense, does it? :-) ).
Sometimes a little bit of colour adjustment is neccessary. I always work from the figure to the backdrop, so, a slight tinge of yellow would to just fine here, if you don't want to do this you can leave things as they are.

postwork 3 postwork 4


The next slice to add would be the one with the tress and the grass for the foreground. But now it gets a little tricky, since the tree roots in the picture extend into the background behind our main figure. A part of the root has to be erased in order to put this part of the tree behind our Engel.
There are several ways to do this.
You can simply work manually with an eraser tool on the magnified spot, or you can be real lazy and select the foreground figure to erase its silhouette from the tree root. Well, I did the latter *g*.

After this I added some blur to the tree, are better on those parts which come very close to the camera - and those which are far away from it. With a simple selection tool and a big feather area, I drew big and clumsy circles around branches, stem and root on the corresponding part and applied a simple blur on them. Yes, that's all about it, nothing more!
You can deselect the whole thing after the first blur step, select other parts and blur again, moving farther away from the camera or closer up to it. There is only one simple rule that says, that the closer an object stands to your point of view (in this case the main camera), the blurrier it gets. Same applies to far away object when you focus the center of the picture - in the case the Engel which will stay relatively sharp and unaltered.

I used the same blurring technique on the vines in the foreground and in the backgropund, making them nearly translucent so they would not become too obtrusive for the picture. It would not do to divert attention from the Engel to some random plant in the foreground...

The last few steps are not that much to do. I didn't add much more, but simply worked on the depth of field effect, fine tuned it a little, so to speak. The skirt of the Engel, her hair and wings were another part I straightened a little before I added a background which fit in colour and mood to the picture.
The only problem I ran across in the end was that the floor around the Engel's feet looked a bit too empty. So I added a fog, built from a transformed layer of clouds and distorted it a little to look more interesting.

Well, that's it. The picture is finished!
You can spend some more time and work on some tiny details. There might be a few white or light rims around the main figure or in the joints of some slice layers. You can carefully erase them or blur them with a tool. Up to you how you want to handle this.

I did not apply any spectacular post processing filters here because this would go beyond the scope of this tutorial.
You can of course, apply your favorite filter while working on your own image :-) .