Splash Portrait Photography for 3D Animation

Go through the looking glass and behind the scenes on a truly ‘mad’ project.

As he sets out to create a surreal piece of animated digital art, Karl Taylor enlists the help of the whole team in planning, prepping, testing, staging, lighting and executing a range of shots on the theme of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

From fashioning fake gold frames to altering clothes, and from blowtorching wallpaper to sourcing vast quantities of crockery, this fast-flash splash photography class covers a lot of ground!

At its heart is Karl’s 12-light setup, which he walks you through once the shoot is complete. It includes Fresnels, softboxes, snoots, coloured gels, and much more.

You’ll also see Karl weighing up whether or not to use a sound trigger, and deciding which lens will give him the best results.

In this class:

  • Photography techniques for 3D animation
  • Splash photography techniques
  • Fast-flash photography techniques
  • Making your own sets and props
  • High concept narrative photography

To discover how Karl and the team transformed his raw image files into a mesmerising 3D animation, watch 3D Animation in After Effects.

To find out more about this shoot, check out Splash and Smash: Welcome to the Mad Hatter’s NFT Party.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section.


  1. Pedram Photography

    Wow, Karl, I’m speechless. Many heartfelt thanks for your fantastic video and effort. Best regards from Germany

  2. Oh, wow! That was amazing and also absolutely hilarious 😄. I’m wondering, for this kind of photography with flying tea, how fast does the flash need to be please!

    1. Hi, the flash duration speed will depend on how fast the movement is relative to the area you are photographing. For example if you have tea flying across a space 1m wide in your photo, but you had the same speed tea flying across that space but you were photographing an area only 25cm wide then the movement across your picture area would appear faster. In this particular shoot I used the fastest I could but I think I could have got away with 1/2000th t0.1.

  3. Incandescent Photography

    Superb, totally engaging. By far the best video you guys have produced so far. What I personally take away from film is how much prep you do for your shoots, it all starts with a strong concept and the amount of careful consideration and planning involved. From an ex film editor this is worthy of an award for documentary making, the shoot and post production values are as good as any broadcast production. This also reminds me of the Sleepy Robot guys who produce very similar sureal shoot subjects. But congrats Karl and Crew, as usual a masterclass in beautifuly lit and produced digital art piece.

    1. Hi, thank you so much for your comments that is much appreciated and I will relay them to the rest of the team. All the best Karl.

  4. jeahn

    You all have outdone yourselves. This is absolutely the most incredible class so far and production value through the roof. Brilliant all around <3

Leave a Comment