Oloneo Photoengine Tutorial
This tutorial illustrates the use of the Relight facility in Oloneo Photoengine (OP) to create complex lighting setups using a single light source such as a flash. There are a number of advantages to doing it this way. The obvious advantage is cost. The steam engine shown here is over 20 metres long and to light this using a traditional lighting setup would have involved thousands of dollars of lighting equipment and power supplies, all of which would have had to be transported to site, and set up. This image was lit using a handheld flash triggered using the Nikon Creative Lighting System , and an IR remote to fire the camera. In all 32 shots were taken moving slowly down the side of the engine. Each shot is treated in OP Relight as a light source. As OP Relight currently has a limit of 6 light sources, the images were processed 6 at a time, and the output reprocessed. It is important that the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and white balance do not change while shooting or the software will not accept the images. In some of my shots I managed to get the flash in the image. When this occurred I simply painted the flash in black using Photoshop.
Another advantage of using OP Relight is simplicity. In crowded locations it can be difficult and cumbersome to set up multiple lights. A major advantage is also that you can adjust the lighting in Post Production, so you can correct mistakes or improve the result. The ability to change the intensity and color temperature of each light allows for some creative possibilities not previously feasible.
In this next example I will demonstrate some of these creative possibilities. This shoot was carried out in an old disused sawmill. I had previously attempted to shoot in the mill, and while I got some satisfactory results, I found it a difficult environment. There were obstacles everywhere, and setting up multiple flashes on stands was awkward. Moving them for different shots took time. So I went back and shot with the intention of using the OP Relight software. I used a single handheld flash and a Nikon IR remote to fire the camera. Here is the scene.
I took one shot of the wheel and axle in the foreground, another shot of the carriage in the middle of the scene, and multiple shots of the background. The background shots were combined using OP Relight into a single image. The ability to adjust the intensity of each “light” allowed me to even out any hotspots in my light painting of the background.
Here are these intermediate results.
The next step was to process these three images in OP Relight to combine them. I wanted more of a psychedelic result, so I used OP Relight to adjust the lighting intensity AND to alter the colors. This gave an effect similar to that I could have created using colored lighting. This is the result.
Having got this far I wanted an image I could “play” with in Photoshop eg to add some fog, or to add a person or other objects in a realistic way. Ideally I would have told OP Relight to export each layer as a separate layer, but it doesn’t have this capability at the moment. So I manually exported a series of images each with only one light turned on. I then imported them into Photoshop as separate layers. As I wanted to place objects in the scene I needed to be able to place these objects between the foreground and the middle ground, and between the middleground and the background. In order to achieve this I used the Photoshop Select Color Range to select black in the foreground layer, and deleted it. I repeated this for the middle ground layer. These two layers now looked like this. (White is actually transparent).
I now had an image I could add objects to. First I added some fog between the background and middle layers. You can see the fog showing through the “holes” I created. I also found an image of my granddaughter chasing some seagulls. I masked out her image, resized it appropriately and placed it in the image. Here is the result.
I can now move my granddaughter around in the image using the Move tool, and her image is correctly displayed behind the wheel and axles. I can reorder the layers to bring her in front of the wheel and axles. And I can add other objects.
Although the time taken for post processing is considerable, it is nowhere near the time that would have been needed to set up a lighting system in the abandoned sawmill.
Here are some examples of different variations of the scene just by moving objects around, reordering layers, and adding new objects.
I believe the creative possibilities of this software have hardly been touched. I would be interested to see other samples from anyone.