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A reference for what I'm going for. Trying to composite a helmet similar to what is seen below but onto a photo of a dog. ref image

Here is my background plate. background plate

I'm having a difficult time making it look like her head is in the helmet. The approach I've tried is:

  • Render front & back of helmet (full helmet)
  • Render front of helmet only (front)

These are rendered out with alpha (no background plate included in the renders).

I'm compositing in photoshop. If it's relevant:

  • Create mask of dog
  • Subtract mask from full helmet so that dog shows over helmet

enter image description here

Which results in this. enter image description here

How can I change my compositing workflow in Blender to make it look like the dog's head is really inside the helmet?

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  • $\begingroup$ maybe put a Render of the front of the helmet on top? The reflections over the dogs head are missing $\endgroup$ – HenrikD Sep 28 at 6:15
  • $\begingroup$ I guess this is part of the issue. A render of the front helmet is on top, but rendering just the front half of the helmet completely changes the reflections on it. $\endgroup$ – Error 454 Sep 28 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Unless you really want to go nuts with this assignment, why not place a render of the ENTIRE helmet on top and play with the blend modes? To get something realistic, you would have to distort the image behind the helmet according to the surface normal of the helmet. Maybe you can do this with a curvature map. Doing this would warp the image behind the helmet most drammaticaly near the "edge" $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Sep 28 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ @hatinacat2000 I've given various blend modes a go and it looks ok from a distance. I guess I'm looking for how this might be approached by an expert VFX person. For instance, throwing a masked plane of the dogs head in the actual helmet in the 3D scene or mapping it to some rough geometry that approximates the head (IDK, just throwing things out). I've seen a few tutorials on projecting the plate in camera space onto a plane to create the warping behind the helmet so will give that a go. $\endgroup$ – Error 454 Sep 28 at 18:56

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