These panels, shot by Jeremy Cowart, are for the athletics department at the University of Southern California. To say they are large would be an understatement. They are 23 feet long and they are HUGE! We have gotten to work on them for two years in a row now, and we are still so blown away by how big they are in person. Almost actual size of each individual. They are so long that it’s hard to even show you the whole thing at once. Twenty-one athletes in one place is a lot of people. Scroll down to see the full panels from both years.
USC | The Twenty-One
About Building LandscapesThese larger then life panels hang in the USC Athletes Department and flank either side of the entrance doors. Since they hang at eye level and are meant for the viewer to see them close up, they also had to be very detailed. Maybe you know something that we don't, but we have yet to invent a camera capable of a crystal clear file that is also 23 feet wide. We had to find another solution. Our decision, to turn Jeremy's camera into about 30 cameras.
We built the landscapes from multiple image captures. Somewhere around 20 captures per piece. Basically multiplying the raw pixels by 20 times. In the case of the Hollywood sign panels, we built the landscape by creating a grass piece from 8 images, 8 Hollywood hill images, 3 sky pieces, and 4 city images. We then combined those for a very large and detailed landscape. Once that was tackled, time for the athletes.
All the players were shot individually on set. This way, we could control the lighting and the detail so we didn't loose skin texture and crispness in the eyes. The are 21 individual athletes, and we didn't want to loose any detail by having to combine more then one person per shot. Finally, we cleaned, styled, and clipped those athletes out and placed them into our built landscapes. Once we figured out where to place them in the landscape, we set to making them look like they were supposed to be there.
To incorporate them into the scene, we added shadows, adjusted light sources (to match the sunlight), and even created grass to overlap shoes to make them feel like they were really there. We can't wait to tackle the panel for next year!