What’s hard about this

I’ve never seen Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, but it is on my watchlist. And seeing that it is a spiritual kin to Godzilla, it fits perfectly with our Bob Ross theme.

I had the idea to populate a Ross landscape with a shark and octopus, because I though it might be amusing to add monsters to one of his serene mountain lakes and streams. I searched for a fin, some tentacles, and Bob Ross paintings, and grabbed ones that I thought would be easy to put together. As it turns out, I should have thought this through more.

I used the polygon select tool in GIMP to grab the fin and copied and pasted it into its own layer in the Ross picture. For the tentacle, I used the magic wand tool to select the entire background, then inverted the selection to grab the tentacle. I did some scaling and rotating and moved them to where I wanted them. I went into the painting layer with the polygon select tool to copy the bushes and that little outcropping and paste them on a new layer, which I then moved on top of the tentacle layer. And voila! It doesn’t look right. And it’s not just the illogic of the scale of creatures to setting.

Bob often reminds us to pay attention to the light source, especially when he’s making mountains. That’s really the problem here. The mountains are lit from the right, the fin is lit from the left, and the tentacle is sort of lit all over. I could’ve flipped the fin so the shark was heading into the light. That might have helped. But I really should have looked for a different tentacle. Maybe I could have adjusted the contrast to make the shadows darker, and applied one of the artsy filters to make it look more illustrative and less photographic. It’s one thing to slap one image on top of another. It’s a bit more difficult to make it look like it belongs there.

[update] I recreated it, and I think it’s a little better. I used a watercolor filter on the tentacle, which doesn’t quite fit, but the other filters were either too much or not enough.

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