How a couple of gallons of milk and a lot of patience makes you a dress
Creating a milk dress is a combination of multiple shots of milk being poured or thrown at your willing (!) model and a lot of painstaking photoshop work.
The first step is to pose your model. Suzanne needed to find a position that both looked good but that she could hold as still as possible through the ten to twenty minutes it took to shoot. Your model will move, even if she is only breathing.
Then we took a lot of shots of milk being thrown or poured. In general the pouring gives you a thicker coat, but throwing gives you more interesting splashes.
We used milk and warm water in equal quantities - I didn't want Suzanne flinching every time she was hit with cold water. This watered down look is very translucent which is what I wanted. If you want a thicker coat you use full fat milk - or even add a little corn starch to thicken it.
I've used two different photoshop techniques. In the first image I have taken all the useful images that we shot, layered them one above the other and aligned them.
Then I have set the blend mode to lighten. This means only the lighter parts of any layer are shown - in other words the milk.
I have then erased any part of the layer which does not include a milk covered body.
This image took around 50 layers, but using this technique is reasonably quick. However it does lead to a little blurring, if you look closely you can see the knee of the left edge of the image is not terribly well defined.
This is the same image, but with most of the splashes removed. Either version is fine, they are just different presentations. I like the splashes on the shoulder and especially the arc near the head on the first image, but prefer the cleaner look below the waist from the second image.
This third image is a close up version. It is shot as you see it, not cropped afterwards. My photoshop process here was to take around 10 different layered shots and erase portions of any layer I did not want to use. Each layer is completely opaque and this gives a more tightly defined image.
When using unusual substances be ready to clean up afterwards, you don't want a studio that smells of rotten milk!
You can learn how to develop your own lighting, posing and directing skills with our extensive and intensive range of video programs available on DVD or download.
Videos on DVD / Download