Combining Multiple Images to Create a Strong Composition

Today’s essential question: How might you strengthen your image by replacing a part of your photo?

Reid has a great start on his project. He is starting to draw attention to Giacomo by drawing in details. Notice how he emphasized the hipster glasses with some detailed sketch work:

Compare how different backgrounds can further emphasize the intended focal point:
Montreal, rue sheerbrooke

Today we will:

  • continue working on our rotoscope-inspired projects
  • post today’s progress to our blogs

Emphasis & Focal Point

Today’s EQ: What is emphasis, and how does it apply to your proposed rotoscope project?

Check out the start of Betty’s project. How is she beginning to create a focal point? How is she tying her project together?

This project works best with Photoshop. If you have a specific idea and feel that you need to use Illustrator to accomplish it, see Ms. Lawson to verify that Illustrator is in fact the best software program for your idea.

Today we will:

  • refine our concepts for our rotoscoping project
  • create a new blog post with the following:
    • our project progress so far
    • a few sentences describing the planned focal point, how we will draw attention to that focal point, and how we will create unity throughout the project.

Beginning our rotoscope-inspired illustrations

Still stuck for ideas? Here are some examples that fulfill the project requirements:


final-result chalk4_mini



To create your project in Photoshop:

  1. Make a new file with the following dimensions: 11×14 inches or 14×11 inches at 300 pixels per inch
  2. Open the photo or photos you would like to start with, and drag them into your project file. (Do not use the “place” feature!) If you plan to combine multiple photos (such as using a subject from one photo and a background from another), do this now. Make sure you are happy with the composition and how the subject interacts with the background before you begin drawing over anything.
  3. When you are ready to start drawing, make a new layer by clicking on the new layer button new_path_icon at the bottom of the layers palette on the right side of the screen.
  4. Select the brush tool brush_tool from the tools bar on the left side of the screen.
  5. Begin drawing over your image. Make sure you are on the new layer you have just created and are not drawing on your source photo!
  6. Repeat steps for each color. Make sure you create a new layer for each color and object.

You may want to use a tablet and stylus to draw.

Today we will:

  • begin creating our rotoscope-inspired illustration
  • create a new blog post with the following:
    • your project progress so far
    • a few sentences describing your vision for the project, as well as any skills you would like me to teach you

Project Intro: Rotoscope Effect over a Photo


Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over video footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films.

We won’t be creating an animation, but we will create an artwork with a rotoscope-inspired effect by tracing over one of our photos.

Some examples of rotoscoping

(All featured examples were created by the design studio Smith + Lee design)

Juno Title Sequence
Journey 2

View the title sequence (and learn how it was created) here.

Girl Rising (Short Film)

View the entire film here.

Cover Art for A Working Theory of Love

Project Requirements

  • Draw over a photograph your have taken yourself. Variations:
    • Use a photograph taken by a classmate who has given you permission
    • Combine multiple photos (the final product must look like one scene)
  • Draw over at least 50% of the photo
  • Can use either Photoshop or Illustrator
  • 11×14″ or 14×11″ at 300 DPI

Today we will:

  • Discuss rotoscoping and how it is used in motion graphics and design
  • View examples of rotoscoping
  • Brainstorm ideas for our rotoscope-inspired artwork
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • The photo or photos we might use in our artwork
    • A paragraph describing our plan for our artwork
      • What parts of the photo will you draw over?
      • What parts will you keep as a photo?
      • Will you use any filters on the photo? If so, which ones?
      • What colors will you use? (For best results, limit your palette to tints and shades of two colors. If you need ideas, the Design Seeds website is a great place to start.)
      • What software do you plan to use?

Last Day for Room Design

Today’s essential question: What are some details you can add, or changes you can make, that will take your room design from good to great?

Today is our last day for our room design projects (or your last day to work on your chosen opt out project).
The changes most rooms would benefit from include adding a light fixture to the ceiling and opening up the room by adding windows or doors. Notice the effect that the doors have on the room below:

Serena - Grade 12

Serena – Grade 12


Damare – Grade 11

Today we will

  • Finish our room projects. If you posted your progress to your blog lat class,
    I have created a slip of paper with feedback on suggested changes to work on today.
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • a jpg or png of our final room design
    • a 150 word artist statement describing the room. Explain why you choose each object and material,
      and how your choices unify the room and tie into your unique artistic style.
  • View our classmates’ rooms and leave comments. Example of a weak comment: “Nice room. I like it.” Example of a strong comment: “I love how Tahmir combined different styles that normally wouldn’t go together, such as the graffiti wall and the expensive looking glass railings and furniture.”

Interior Design – Finishing Touches

Today we will continue working on our room designs. After today, I will look at each of your rooms and provide you with feedback and suggestions. You will then have one last class to make any suggested changes, as well as to critique one another’s rooms via comments. If you do not post your progress today, I will not provide you with any feedback, and both your grade and the quality of your final project will suffer.

Here are some rooms that are looking great so far:

Bayleigh - 11th grade

Bayleigh – 10th grade

Ler - 10th grade

Ler – 10th grade

Tahmir - 12th grade

Tahmir – 12th grade


Giacomo – 11th grade

Breanna - 12th grade

Breanna – 12th grade


Michele – 11th grade

Review & Open Work Day

2015 New Year celebration

What are some Photoshop tricks you would like to review before continuing to work on your room design?

Today we will:

  • Review any Photoshop tricks that may have gotten rusty over break.
  • Continue working on our rooms. Next class, we will peer critique our nearly finished rooms, so by the end of this class, you should get your room to a point that you feel comfortable showing it to your classmates and asking for feedback.