Taking action shots of inanimate objects

I’ve spent more hours than I’d care to guess trying to prop up my figures for motion shots. For my fashion dolls – all four of the My Doll Adventure¬† figures – I rely on some kind of stand. For my ball-joint dolls – all of the characters in the Underfoot and Up Above stories, I’d try to keep them balanced while carefully getting them into the position I need.

I still do this if I’m going to use my own background – either a dollhouse room, a diorama, or the great outdoors. But, I no longer try to pose my dolls upright for the majority of my photoshopped action shots.

Instead, I realize that I get far more realistic shots by laying the dolls down and photographing them from above.

Here are a few examples from the episode of Underfoot that I’m working on.

Here’s the finished shot of the “The chase”

and here’s the setup I photographed:

and then I Photoshopped it onto a copyright free image from Pexel. It’s so much easier to pose them this way. Not only can i get the details of their posture right, I can also arrange their hair so that it seems to be streaming out behind them.

In another scene, I have the girls climbing into a mail slot.

Here’s the original scene:

and here they are, again photoshopped onto a Pexel image:

 

Some shots require that I photograph them with the dolls standing up, like this shot of them trudging through the city:

Once I have objects in different planes, like Jinjur’s suitcase or Buu’s bag, it’s just too much work to photograph them all separately and then put them together. So, I set up both dolls on the carpet, each on a sheet of plexiglass, to give them an even surface, and then spent forever getting everything in right position without toppling them all over like dominoes.

Jinjur and Buu are about to get into lots of adventures, navigating the big city, which will give me a lot of time to perfect my non-action action shots.

 

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