Digital Imaging

Final Project

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • use any of the skills gained or honed in this course to create something new
  • expand upon techniques used in exercises
  • prepare a highly polished final result


The final project in this course is fairly open. I will give you some ideas to get started thinking about what direction you might want to go in but these are meant to be ideas – you are free to choose what area you want to explore further. One caveat, it should be something that you want to become better at, not something you are already excellent with.

You will research tutorials online for the process you choose. Follow the tutorial and then share it out along with your finished work.

Here are ideas for some projects to get you thinking about what you might want to do – these are just ideas. More ideas for photo manipulation can be found on sites like Pinterest. Don’t copy someone though, make it your own somehow.   If you want to just create your own digital painting from your imagination, that’s ok too.   Or maybe you want to keep working on your rotoscoping animation to tell a longer story…

Whatever you choose, this final project should be one that you spend some time on and think about in advance. You will submit your plan and then have a couple weeks to work towards completing the project.

Montage Still - Star in a movie

Photoshop yourself into a movie article

To put yourself in a movie, successfully, it takes a lot of careful work with selecting, masking, color adjustment, lighting adjustment, noise, etc.   You will choose a movie still (watch in HD if possible and take a screenshot to use as your main background image) or you can find a movie poster and use that (make sure the resolution is at least 1200px on each side at 72ppi). Find or take a new image of yourself that fits the right angle of the shot and put yourself in the picture.

Read this example and look carefully at how the author focused on the details to make it look realistic. Realism is the focus of this project idea.


Create a fun collage using many pieces digital images. Find lots of inspiration on Pinterest.   Also, Johanna Goodman   is doing some amazing contemporary collage work.

Johanna Goodman – queen of modern collage

Painting - Masters Study

When was the last time you did a careful master’s study of a painting? This technique will help you perfect your painting skill immensely. Choose an old master’s painting (at least >100 years old) and re-create it digitally. Choose one you really love.

Here’s a great (but long) how-to on master’s studies by Noah Bradley, who is an amazing artist and teacher (Art Camp). Skip to 1:04 on this video to see his demo of how to do a full master’s study. In the first hour of this video, he talks about how to do value and color studies, also both valuable exercises. If you go that route, do at least six of them. If you do a full master’s study, just one.


Here is another quick overview and link to the basic process by CGCookie:

Painting - Montage Portrait

Artist Steve Payne (click on image for more information)

Artist Steve Payne took a series of paintings by George Dawes of Russian generals and replaced their heads with celebrities and other well known people.   Payne’s work is great inspiration for an exercise to hone in on ‘surface’ painting techniques where you’re also trying to match the style of the underpainting. For this idea, don’t copy the idea directly   –   don’t use these images, find a different painting and incorporate a completely different person or an animal or, if you create 3D characters one of those potentially.

Try to get the new parts to match the look and feel of the main painted background. Or maybe switch it around and use the original painted head, George Washington?, and put it on someone else…or…

Bunny with a Pearl Earring by Alwong

Resources for finding Public Domain paintings:

Stylized Illustration - Propaganda Poster

propaganda examples

This idea is more about the style of poster that you will create, less than the subject matter. Old propaganda posters give us inspiration for a style and feeling. They often employ primary and bold colors to foster an emotion and inspire a call to action. They are typically created by the government to inspire patriotism around war, racism, and social issues.

These images have inspired contemporary artists to create propaganda-style posters for not such serious issues. This is the focus of this option. Create a propaganda inspired poster. Here are some examples:

Social media propaganda posters by Aaron Wood (click to see more)
Star Wars propaganda posters by Russell Walks (click image to see more)

Photo Manipulation - Double Exposure

Double exposure by Davies Babies

Double exposures have always been a popular technique for alternative images. Using digital images and Photoshop, you can get very specific with the look and feel to create a carefully constructed work that can be pretty interesting.


Project Proposal  

Please outline your ideas for your project and turn them in via a Google Doc in your Drive Folder titled ‘Final Project Proposal’ by the proposal due date.

Final Project Submission

Turn in your final project by creating a new post on this site titled ‘Final Project – your name’ and including the final images or video from your project and:

  • Turn in by the due date.
  • Upload your PSD file into the Google Folder.
  • Include a couple screenshots from your process along the way.
  • If you used a tutorial, include a link to the tutorial you used.
  • Answer these questions:
    • Why did you choose this project?
    • How did the final process deviate from your proposal?
    • What is your favorite part of your completed project?
    • What do you feel like you could work on more?