Retouch: Realistic cork board image

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A recent video project for client needed to have a large-scale (6000 x 4000px) image of a cork board, with various movable and editable items, such as photographs, stickers, and other pin-able items.

The video storyboard pans around the cork board to reveal photographs and video provided by the client. As we could not shoot a cork board and all the elements to the right pixel size, and more importantly within the deadline, I was tasked with creating an photo-realistic version to be used in the video.

To create this Photoshop file within time and budget, I needed to plan the storyboard of the video, decide on and source images (as well as create some from scratch) of all items that needed to be pinned to the board. The first step was to make a collection of often-used items such as photographs, pieces of note paper, and pins.

To make the image photo-realistic, I was extremely careful of the direction of the light source I had created, and where all the shadows fell. This included the shape of the shadows in relation to the distance the object was away from the cork board. For example, the tissue used in the top-right corner has an edge that curls away from the board, which meant that the shadow would also need to increase in size as well as level of blur.

Attention to these subtle but essential details is what will fool the audience in believing the illusion is real.