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162 photos and 180+ hours of Photoshop – what it took to recreate Schinkel’s lost masterpiece

video-_0004_Schinkel--website

CR: How did you hear about the Lost Masterpieces project? Were you asked to pitch or was it a direct commission?

MC: Goodby Silverstein & Partners approached me with a concept to rebuild lost masterpieces using only Adobe Stock. I was very intrigued by the concept and said I was all in. Little did I know they were going to assign me the most difficult painting in the series!

CR: Can you talk us through the process for making your image?

MC: The requirement was to try and recreate a masterpiece using Adobe Stock and that means ONLY Adobe Stock… no other reference, photos, or even illustrating it in Photoshop. I was given Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s “Cathedral Towering over a Town” that was destroyed in a fire in 1931. In order to get started, I had to search through millions of images on Adobe Stock to find the right parts and pieces. The sky was easy, plenty of clouds and sunsets to choose from, but as I got deeper into the buildings finding the right image was much harder than it appeared. I had to mix up search criteria and do some research on Schinkel’s style and location of architecture. This helped me find buildings and structures similar to this painting. I downloaded and placed over 400 images but ended up only using 162 of them for the final.

Some of the images used by Campau to recreate the Schinkelvideo
Some of the images used by Campau to recreate the Schinkelvideo

CR: Was any particular aspect of your painting particularly difficult to recreate?

MC: The most difficult part of the painting was the complicated foreground scene filled with people and boats on a dock. The poses and wardrobe of the people in the scene were very odd and nearly impossible to find stock images shot in the same point of view. I had to literally build each person piece by piece… head, arms, shirt, hats all from different sources. 

“Generation Gap” - 100% CGI - Virtual Nostalgia, Personal Project
“Generation Gap” – 100% CGI – Virtual Nostalgia,
Personal Project

CR: What were the main benefits of using Adobe stock as opposed to other stock libraries?

MC: It was definitely it’s integration into Photoshop. I could search and drag and drop images into my scene to see if they worked. If the piece fit, I could just purchase the license and it would update my working file with the final high res. That way I didn’t have to redo any of the work I did with the placeholder image. By far the coolest feature of Adobe Stock!

“bai Slices” - Client: bai, CGI + Photography
“bai Slices” – Client: bai, CGI + Photography

CR: What has been the effect on you and your career of being part of this project?

MC: I had a pretty busy year heading into this project and it definitely hasn’t slowed down. Like they say, any exposure is good exposure. Projects like this can only help get my name out there and drive people to my website to see what other work I do. So, was it worth it? Definitely. 

“KEEN UNEEK’” - Photographer: Tim Tadder, Digital Art + CGI: Mike Campau, Creative Direction: Michael Minter
“KEEN UNEEK’” – Photographer: Tim Tadder, Digital Art + CGI: Mike Campau, Creative Direction: Michael Minter

mikecampau.com 

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