I found some free time in my calendar, Halloween was just around the corner, I had a spooky mindset, the ketchup was going outdated in the fridge and I really don’t like to throw food away. So here’s the butchered guts of this quick and dirty image project.

Recipes & spells:

Poor wizards make-up:

  • 50 spoons of ketchup
  • 2 bloody red eyes
  • 20 curses

Stick your hands into the ketchup and make a bloody mess, don’t forget the eyes. Curse when the salt starts to burn them, they’ll stay red the whole day.


Hmm… I really don’t want to throw away this much expired ketchup…


  • One demonic Quadra spell pack with two evil heads for kickers
  • Two pale moon gels
  • One grid to torture the light
  • One enchanted monoblock to light the main candle
  • One paranormal softbox for the main candle

Glue the gels into the light heads with bat’s spit. Place ‘em up and behind, put the main candle into the camera obscura right and start to blast your soul away. Shoot two images, the body and the head separately. Pose for the head roughly under the same spot you held your hand while shooting the body, that’s important for the perspective.

I shot mine with 35mm lens. I like 35mm because it’s allows you to exaggerate the foreground without been too over the top.

The background black magic:

The whole background was modelled and rendered in Blender. The stylized and gritty, illustrative look allowed me to work quickly, I could mainly focus on the siluette. I guess I spend a little too much time on the texturing, since you cannot really see much in the final image, but It’s a lot of fun, so why not ?

This is the scene:


I also modelled some pieces of the spine for the head and the torso. The torso spine was not used in the final image.

Now, what I really like about doing the backgrounds in 3D is the Z-buffer pass. It’s basically a greyscale image, that represents the distance between the camera to the objects in the scene. You can later use the image as a layer mask in Photoshop to make athmospherical hazing effects. (Or maybe do some shallow depth of field effects by masking blurred layer with the Z-pass image). Granted that I went haywire with the smokey mist/haze here, so you cannot really tell the difference what the Z-pass made, but the Z-Pass is way too cool not to mention :)

This is what the Z-Pass looks like:


I guess you can see how this can/could be used to blend in some realistic hazing.



The decapitation was made in Photoshop. After masking the shot of the body and the head, I gesturally painted in some new hair to give the impression of the hand holding the head tightly. The more stylized output – the more liberate you can be in the post prosessing. Rest of the layer slayering included adding the misty smoke, sky, the moon, some red eyed bats and the lighting bolts. Finally I ended up butchering the image with over the top grain – sorry, I guess I’M JUST EVIL! ;)

… Ok, now I’m off to cut some more heads clean off, spell you later!