The making of “The Iron Giant”

This image was the first in a series for a personal project of mine. The idea was to depict a small girl who discovers and befriends  an old, broken, discarded robot in her back garden. I must admit the storyline is nothing new… more like a mashup of several story lines from “The Wizard of Oz” and even most recently ” Real Steel”. I like the underlying message in each and decided I would  to give it my spin.  The location was perfect. An unkept back garden with an old knackered shed would serve well as the backdrop for the story. I had been saving this location for a while as I knew there was a photo to be made here. I cast a young girl, Ruby, as our robot savior. Her red hair and angelic face would work serve the narrative well. Since the robot would be rendered in cg I needed a robot  that looked  friendly, a gentle giant of sorts. He is actually modeled from the robot in the animated series “The Iron Giant”. Now that the elements were set I began by photographing the back garden at various angles on a rather drab day here in London. The idea being it was late afternoon, early evening when the story takes place. I often use overcast days to shoot backgrounds as it allows me to re-light or execute a “day for night” look easily in post. The girl was photographed on location in her own back garden in North London. A simple shoot,  just my assistant Yotam and a portable strobe with soft box to provide a soft and subtle directional light. The robot was texture mapped with a photo of rusty metal. I rigged the robot so I could easily pose him in the various positions needed for series. The robots perspective was matched to the background and he was rendered with the global illumination renderer with ambient occlusion in Cinema 4d. The compositing and color grading were performed inAdobe Photoshop. Check out my website:  and look in the “Series” gallery for the other images in the series.

3 responses to “The making of “The Iron Giant”

  1. I think your work is fantastic , I am very impressed with the images you have produced. Ruby is my granddaughter so I am very pleased and proud of what you have done.

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