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August 22, 2005

Making Multiples


The Scalzis are multiplying!

For the folks who ask how I did this sort of picture, it's actually pretty simple. First you set your camera on a flat surface, so it doesn't move. You snap multiple pictures of your subject without moving your camera one bit. Try to make sure your subject doesn't occupy the same space in any two frames. Then you open the pictures in photo-editing software that allows for layers, and paste the pictures in separate layers. Then you simply edit down the topmost pictures to contain only your subject. Since your camera didn't move, your backgrounds are consistent, so even if you edit them out of one picture, they still join up with the backgrounds in the other pictures.

And then you're done. The only fiddling you may need to do is with color correction, although if you avoid the flash and use only natural light, you'll have less of a problem with this. in the end you may have a few artifacts, but a lot of those will be "fixed" when you shrink the photo down to display it on the Web (i.e., you lose the tiny details that prove the picture's a fake).

And that's how that gets done.

Posted by john at August 22, 2005 07:37 PM

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Bill Peschel | August 22, 2005 10:00 PM

Fascinating. That gives me a good excuse to learn how layering works in my software.

Justine Larbalestier | August 23, 2005 01:12 AM

Novel not going well, eh, Mr Scalzi? My sympathies.

John Scalzi | August 23, 2005 07:55 AM

The novel is going fine! Damn you! Damn you all!

Nicholas | August 23, 2005 08:24 AM

Very crafty. I should try that sometime.

Lisa | August 23, 2005 03:20 PM

Huh. And I had to go through that whole giving birth thing to get my multiples. This looks much easier, and much more practical in terms of parental supervision.

wendell | August 23, 2005 07:40 PM

Of course, you could say that those quadruplets are seperated only by the fouth dimension of time. Which would also mean that the man who started writing OMW was not the same man who finished it. And I am not myself today, but I will be.

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