Almost time to polish this thing off. I think i've already hit the diminishing returns point. Just need to make sure that i'm happy with the overall composition, and that any details added from now on will actually be seen.
To that end, it's time to specifically plan out the tracks/shots for this thing. I had it roughly planned out to begin with; now it's time to make a very specific plan. So that I can work on the composition of detail areas rather than the whole thing.
Had to learn a bag of new hotkeys to make this process more efficient. I knew they were there, I just never bothered. I'm shooting the little dudes in batches; i'll shoot about twenty at a time, on a bluescreen. Then I HDR them (they don't really need it, but I can make the lighting more directional with it), and HDR them again with exposure fusion to produce the most key-able shot I can. Then I drop a harsh matte in After Effects, and save the matte (in 'matte' mode) as a photoshop layer. Then bring it in to Photoshop, and apply it to the dude shot in question. Then 'replace footage' in AE with the next exposure-fushion shot. And repeat. It's goddamn tedious.