One of the biggest tricks to creating an extremely realistic model is always keeping in mind how the model will interact with the background. For example, I will usually try to avoid having the edge of the diorama being a straight line.
In the latest video this was the biggest challenge and I used a few different methods to blend the edges with the background scene.
There are a number of ways to hide or eliminate a straight edge;
As you’ll notice in the bridge model there is a straight edge along the waters edge that is unavoidable. The only practical way of hiding this edge is to round the corner so the lip caused from the resin raising up the tape is below the main water level of the river. That way you will reduce any harsh reflections from the edge.
Even by rounding the edge of the river it will still be noticeable to the trained eye so this is where photoshop steps in, if the model has been built right you should only need a very minimal amount of photoshop feathering to hide/blur the edge.
If all else fails try to set the camera up at such an angle so the water edge is not visible, depending on the size and shape of the model this may be impractical however the bridge diorama is very narrow with quite a long straight edge but it even with the long dimensions of the diorama the water edge can still be hidden resulting is a pretty awesome shot.
In addition to hiding the edges photographing the model in natural sunlight greatly helps, having shark shadows and natural white light is surprisingly effective at making a scene look much more realistic.
And lastly to really fool the eye you can always add a filter to the image, this will often hide imperfections in color that are often the biggest giveaway on a model. It can be very hard finding a good color pallet that matches your background scene but once you do find colors that match your model will just vanish into the surrounding scenery… which is a good sign 😉