Daredevil - Walkthrough


A few days ago I posted an image I created of cosplayer Kevin Marsden's Daredevil costume based on the Netflix series (Season 2). If you haven't watched the series yet, you're missing out! Social Media showed a lot of love for the image so I decided to write a walkthrough. How did I create this image?

Before we dive into the photography and photoshop part I'd like to tell you a bit more about the cosplayer. How did he make the costume? Why this costume? ...

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The man behind the cosplay

Kevin is an amazing cosplayer. He's part of a cosplay group called the North Avengers Assemble, a group of high quality costumers available for Charity Events, Parties, Conventions ...

Kevin purchased the base suit from Asia which is basically cotton/cordura type material and nothing like the texture from the screen suit. So he set about covering the upper section in a sports mesh (training bib) that he templated to fit into the sections of the suit. He had to PVA glue the mesh and paint them before he could add them to the suit.

The chest section was a little different. He made that out of foam, covered with the mesh, glued, sprayed then attached to the suit chest. All the black smaller panel sections again are foam and heat formed/cut to fit into the sections. The gauntlets and shin/boot covers are completely made from foam..all free hand, no files or templates from accurate sizing here haha...

The helmet is an Xcoser helmet that he heavily modified, from giving it a total re-spray, adding cheek sections, adding red lenses and padding the inside for a snug fit.

The Billy clubs/batons are made from wooden brooms cut to size with spray painted foam added to the ends to look like silver metal..

Kevin had to do various other things such as adding Velcro to certain areas, just to tighten and bring it all in a little and to stop it pulling out when moving etc.. The boots he bought and they work perfect as they are. 

How it's done.

The light setup I used here is pretty simple. In the first image you can see  a glimpse of the gridded strip box in the background. These 2 strip boxes where placed slightly behind him to create rim light that would later match the background. The main light is a large octa placed overhead. 

I shoot with a Canon 6D and I use the 24-105 f4 for most of my studio work.

Camera settings: Iso 100 - 1/125s - f11

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Fig. 1This is the out of camera image. 90% of my work is shot on a dark grey background. Next step will explain why I shot on a grey background.

As you can see in the original image we have some parts of the lights showing. Of course we have to clean that up before adding a background. I simply created a new empty layer and used the clone stamp tool (Sample set to Current & Below)  to get rid of the unwanted objects in the raw image.

Fig. 2: We now added our background made out of 3 parts. The floor is a simple concrete texture. I used the transform options to change the perspective and made it match the floor of the grey paper background. To add in the floor I changed the blend mode of the floor texture to Soft Light. All that was left to do was to add a mask and brush away the texture of our superhero. I did the same for the sky. You can see a tutorial on this technique HERE.

The city scape I used here is a stock image as haven't had a chance to shoot a city scape like that myself. I cut out the building and placed brought them into the image. I used the masks we created from the sky and floor (Combined they form a mask of our superhero) to add to the City Scape layer. Using the Soft Light trick with the City Scape here wouldn't give us a good result.

Fig. 3: There's a few steps I did here to give the image the look I was after. It's not the final look yet but it's a direction to where I want the image to be in the final result. We can see that the overall image is a lot darker, contrasty then Fig. 2 . To darken the floor I added an empty new layer set to overlay. I then used a black brush on 20% opacity and darkened the floor till I was satisfied.To bring the focus to our superhero I added a vignette. There are many ways of creating a vignette.The easiest one is too use the Camera Raw Filter and add the Vignette in Camera Raw. Last step here was to work on colour. I wanted to create the feel from the Netflix series, a desaturated look with a slight green tint to it. For this I used the Selective Colour Adjustment Layer, selected the neutrals and messed around with the various sliders.

Fig. 4: In the next step I did some dodging and burning. This has to be my favourite part of my editing workflow. If you compare Fig.3 and Fig. 4 you can tell that there's a lot more shaping going on in Fig. 4. I created a new layer and filled it with 50% grey. I then set the blend mode to Overlay. I used the dodge tool with an exposure of 20% to enhance highlights and by pressing ALT I changed to the burn tool without having to change the settings for the burn tool. With the burn tool I enhanced the shadows.

Fig. 5: Before I continued with this next step I wasn't sure what to do next. I liked the image as it was and adding rain was not part of the plan. I decided to walk away from my Imac and give the image a break. When I returned after a few hours and had a play with adding rain and as you can guess... The rain stayed ;)

Theres many different ways of adding rain. You can use the noise filter in combination with the motion blur filter or you can use rain brushes. There are several free rain brushes to download.

Fig. 6: Nearly there. To finish off the image I opened a curve adjustment layer and played around with the different channels. In this image I added blue to the shadows and yellow to the highlights (Blue channel).

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And that is a walkthrough of the Daredevil image I posted earlier this week. If you would like to see more walkthroughs, leave a comment below and make sure you share! If you have any questions, feel free to ask below and I'm happy to answer those!

Bye for now...

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