It's been a while since I wrote a blog. To start off I acquired several figures from Diamond Select Toys and one of them is a Classic Iron Man figure from the Marvel Gallery line. As soon as I got them, I was set on doing a concept for the Classic Iron Man. With proper lighting and a bit of Photoshop this image was simple to achieve. You can read the step by step process on creating this image.
Materials & Post Process
I purchased 2x foam boards at the local Dollar Store (cost $2). For the bottom piece I used 2x used boxes from a soda pack. This created a base for the boards.
I taped the 2x boards together and attached the 2x empty boxes of soda at the bottom to have a gap.
Originally the Classic Iron Man came with a base attached at the bottom. This base mimics Tony's secret place where he stores the suits. It looks mechanical and this doesn't really fit the concept I had in mind. I cut a small circle on the board that perfectly matches the size of the bottom piece of the flame. My goal is to hide the base of the figure and just use the flames. The flames is transparent so when you hold a light though it leaks out. Will explain a little further why this is awesome.
I used a blade to cut the circle. Since the top piece and the bottom piece of the figure was much bigger than the hole. I cut a straight line from the side so I can slide the figure through.
I know I wanted Iron Man at desert. The inspiration came from that scene from Iron Man where he was showcasing Jericho the missiles.
Creating a base was a challenge, thinking of using real dirt for sand but hesitated cause I didn't want the figure to be dirty. Plus dirt can create small dust and particles which will ultimately cause the figure to keep on getting dusty. I also thought of using brown sugar, but brown sugar was a bit larger in size. I wanted something super fine to mimic desert sand. I spotted a Nestle Ice Tea drink in the cupboard, I checked the expiration date and wala expired 2015 (Nestle Ice Tea free). Honestly I don't know why we still have that.
I wanted to create a flight mark on the powder, I got a straw and blew around the flight mark point to show the take off area. I was really careful cause the ice tea was very sensitive to moist, it starts to harden and change color. So it took me a while to create that effect.
After the layers of effect added, I really wanted real smoke and fire. At first I wanted to recreate the fire I did for the Wonder Woman figure. But thinking about the ice tea it might not work well. So I got a smoke machine and connected a few straws and created a hole underneath. This is a perfect moment to mention the flame part of the figure. It's perfect how it's transparent cause I can make the flames light up instead of adding it on post production. I placed a Speedlight right underneath. Here are some photos for reference.
The lighting piece was simple, I used a 3 light set up. 1 light set at the bottom as you can see, other 2 was off to each side of the figure. The one on the right was slightly higher facing down and the one on the left was directly facing the left side of the figure. You can check out the diagram for light placement.
Canon 5D Mark III
2 Pocket Wizards
Bottom Light set to 1/4
Left Light set to 1/16
Top Right Light set to 1/8
After the image was shot, I then took it to post production using Photoshop. I then combined a few different images and meshed them together creating a composite image. The background I used was one of my scenic shots and the mountains I got from google search (stock image).
Overall I spent $3.50 (2x boards and tape). It was awesome to find something expired that I could use for the sand. Digging through the recycling bin for the 2 boxes was priceless, also the disposable tupperware to the rescue on providing me with a transparent surface stand for the figure. The rest of the gear I owned. In closing I love sharing projects like this and hoping I can inspire you to create a low budget project as well. These kinds of projects can help feed your creativity and ultimately better your craft. It's the process (success and failures) that can ultimately make us an artist.