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* * * * * 2 votes

back...to the backscene....

Posted by bcnPete , 23 January 2012 · 1,322 views

Good afternoon,

Further to the last update, and I guess Mike's observations, it got me wondering about the backscene.

I think it does look better with it, than the plain blue sky but I wondered whether in fact it might benefit from being toned down a tad?

I have had a little tinker in 'Paint' (as I don't have Photoshop) and basically have played around with the contrast to see whether it might look better if it is 'less in your face' (can't think of a better turn of phrase for that at present) with it slightly softer.

The original photo, kindly set by Gary is as this...

Attached Image

And after fiddling, I have produced this...

Attached Image

Not sure what peeps think of this.

At €11 a print, I may need a vote of confidence whether its worth reprinting...or sticking with what I had.

It may be it needs further work to have it more as a ghost in the background... :blink:

as this...

Attached Image

Mike's other comments regarding the building being set into the backscene is I think, a problem common to half relief modelling...and not something I will repeat on my next boxfile adventure.

Any comments you may have will as ever be appreciated...

many thanks,

Pete
  • Like x 2





I definately prefer the re-worked versions, IMO a backscene should be exactly that - something to back up the 3d model, not over power it as some photo backscenes appear to do....
Eeek! Apologies for setting the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons.

FWIW I definitely prefer the second version and agree with Mickey's comment.

Cheers, Mike
PS for true to life Kyle it should be very grey and raining ;-)

I definately prefer the re-worked versions, IMO a backscene should be exactly that - something to back up the 3d model, not over power it as some photo backscenes appear to do....


Fair comment Mickey...I think I am with you on that...

Eeek! Apologies for setting the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons.FWIW I definitely prefer the second version and agree with Mickey's comment.Cheers, Mike


Mike - No apology needed. I always say its good to question continually what we are doing. Whilst we will never probably please everyone on the forum, its good to have differing view points and your comments lodged in the back of my mind...and I think need addressing.

Perhaps I will bite the bullet and get another another one printed this week (the second version) and see how that looks...I can always practise my spray mounting skills with the first one... ;)

PS for true to life Kyle it should be very grey and raining ;-)


It is... :lol:
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eastwestdivide
Jan 23 2012 15:01
Print a small section (A4) of each version on a normal printer as a cheap proof? Then look at them in position through a small opening (e.g. through a gap in your hands).
Should be close to the desired result, although output will differ from one printer to another, as printing companies are fond of telling us.
Those with "l33t photoshop skillz" might be able to fade the far background more than the middle ground, which would be closer to the real-life drizzle effect.

Print a small section (A4) of each version on a normal printer as a cheap proof? Then look at them in position through a small opening (e.g. through a gap in your hands).Should be close to the desired result, although output will differ from one printer to another, as printing companies are fond of telling us.Those with "l33t photoshop skillz" might be able to fade the far background more than the middle ground, which would be closer to the real-life drizzle effect.


Thanks Chris - good idea. My A3 colour printer is printing some strange horizontal banding lines at present, but it should be good enough for a test print...and keep those euros for another project in my pocket a little while longer...
Yep the toned down one is the way to go. I didn't say on the other blog but I felt the backscene you used was "in your face" so toning it down will help / solve this.

Yep the toned down one is the way to go. I didn't say on the other blog but I felt the backscene you used was "in your face" so toning it down will help / solve this.


Thanks Kris - Looks like Number two is the favourite to replace the first one...
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Tequila Sunrise
Jan 23 2012 16:17
If you plan to use lighting, you may find this washes out the darkness in the backscene a lot, so beware or you may find all the detail in the backscene disappears in exhibition conditions.

Also, the more you brighten the picture as a whole, the more unnatural the sky will look, as you lose much of the cloud detail. If your software will do it, split the sky from the land and give it far less adjustment.

If you plan to use lighting, you may find this washes out the darkness in the backscene a lot, so beware or you may find all the detail in the backscene disappears in exhibition conditions.Also, the more you brighten the picture as a whole, the more unnatural the sky will look, as you lose much of the cloud detail. If your software will do it, split the sky from the land and give it far less adjustment.


Thanks TS - No, this project will be a SAHL and most probably will be used for small operating sessions and photo shoots for any rolling stock appropriate to the era etc, so will probably be photograhed outside in natural light.

Good point about the clouds...that might stretch my software capabilities though... :O
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Gingerbread
Jan 23 2012 16:31
I would suggest the GIMP as a possible software solution - it has virtually all of the capability of Photoshop, but it's a free download. Not everybody likes it, but probably worth a download to see if it suits you.

I would agree with Tequila's comments above - looks to me like you have faded the sky too much.

David
Pete, the second version is better, but if you're toning it down, the cloud cover effect to the right of the picture would have less of an impact... it's showing that low cloud in the original, but the cloud will fade with distance too... so if you're fading the backscene distance, the cloud will fade out... as you'll be trying to imitate a more general greyness than the localised clouding effect... no easy solution really... some of the nearer elements should be kept more contrasty to bring them closer to the items on the model... and allow a better blending between scenary and backscene... maybe blend out the items across the loch.. but keep the others in fuller contrast???
Sorry to be a pain... but that's my opinion FWIW. Hope the weekend was nice btw.
Jon

I would suggest the GIMP as a possible software solution - it has virtually all of the capability of Photoshop, but it's a free download. Not everybody likes it, but probably worth a download to see if it suits you.I would agree with Tequila's comments above - looks to me like you have faded the sky too much.David


Thanks David - GIMP downloaded...its in Spanish, so that should make it even easier for me... :unsure:

Pete, the second version is better, but if you're toning it down, the cloud cover effect to the right of the picture would have less of an impact... it's showing that low cloud in the original, but the cloud will fade with distance too... so if you're fading the backscene distance, the cloud will fade out... as you'll be trying to imitate a more general greyness than the localised clouding effect... no easy solution really... some of the nearer elements should be kept more contrasty to bring them closer to the items on the model... and allow a better blending between scenary and backscene... maybe blend out the items across the loch.. but keep the others in fuller contrast???Sorry to be a pain... but that's my opinion FWIW. Hope the weekend was nice btw.


Jon, hi - Yes, great weekend thanks - tried to avoid the subject of trains as it was wedding anniversary...but hotel wi-fi allowed me a few sneaky log-ins ;)

Not sure how to tackle the 'nearer' elements as both the sea and sky are, I guess, set back from the station / ramp...however perhaps a gradual fade towards from bottom to top will bring the clouds into play...
I have never had the fortune of visiting KofL but if you make the background too hazy it might not work.
So I agree number two.
The slightly hazy, washed-out No. 2 version works best for me Pete
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Tequila Sunrise
Jan 23 2012 18:10
We should remember that this is a photo, not a painting. Most if not all the natural fading that people talk about for the more distant objects should already be there - unless either the camera or someone after the photo was taken has adjusted everything to make it less natural.

One approach to make the overall scene more amenable would be to brighten up the darker bits, whilst leaving the brighter bits untouched. I did this quickly in Photoshop using the Shadow/Highlight function. I make no claim that this is in any way better than what we have seen already.Posted Image

I have never had the fortune of visiting KofL but if you make the background too hazy it might not work.So I agree number two.


The slightly hazy, washed-out No. 2 version works best for me Pete


Thanks Chris and EHS...

We should remember that this is a photo, not a painting. Most if not all the natural fading that people talk about for the more distant objects should already be there - unless either the camera or someone after the photo was taken has adjusted everything to make it less natural.One approach to make the overall scene more amenable would be to brighten up the darker bits, whilst leaving the brighter bits untouched. I did this quickly in Photoshop using the Shadow/Highlight function. I make no claim that this is in any way better than what we have seen already.


Thanks again TS - that's an interesting tweak when compared to the original...perhaps I will do an A4 tester of this tomorrow to see how it looks against number 2...I can feel one of those 'voting posts' coming in the next Blog entry...
Yes, I like the TS version.., perhaps if the main hill in the background can be thrown back just a little more to set it away from the bit of land coming in from the right, the perspective would be enhanced... and the eye brought to all the seperate levels of perspective as required.
Jon
Glad it was a good weekend - hope the WiFi was quicker than the WiFe in the 5*. [er.... can I write that???]
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sixteen 12by 10s
Jan 23 2012 21:15
Hi Pete

I sort of agree that it needs toning down, but before you do have a look at the geography. These are not distant hills, and in fact only just over a mile away on Skye. As I have said, it was a horrible but typical day, but with little mist. I would have a go with one between, the first and second test photo.

Hope this helps

Gary
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Russ (mines a pint)
Jan 24 2012 00:49
- remember you are scaling down colours as well in regards to 2mm!

I used 'faded' real photos on my 4mm Deadwater layout which was about similar to your #2 picture.

Even in 4mm it was slightly overpowering, I think that if I was doing it all again I'd go for something more like your third image, or somewhere between the second and third The thing is you couldnt go wrong with third as it IS often misty.

Above all just go for it, because even if you are only 90% satisfied with the saturation of the pic the overall effect of having the real place in the backscene will be so much more rewarding than using a commercial backscene.
Gotta agree with Russ there about "Scaling Down" colours, and maybe to gently remind some that it is a backscene for a model, not a work of art in its own right....Its there to compliment what goes off in the 3-D world in front of it not steal the limelight (IMO of course)

Yes, I like the TS version.., perhaps if the main hill in the background can be thrown back just a little more to set it away from the bit of land coming in from the right, the perspective would be enhanced... and the eye brought to all the seperate levels of perspective as required.Glad it was a good weekend - hope the WiFi was quicker than the WiFe in the 5*. [er.... can I write that???]


Jon - thanks, am onto it...I will pretend I didn't understand your other comment ;)

I sort of agree that it needs toning down, but before you do have a look at the geography. These are not distant hills, and in fact only just over a mile away on Skye. As I have said, it was a horrible but typical day, but with little mist. I would have a go with one between, the first and second test photo.


Gary, hi - Thanks for this...seeing as how you took the photo and stitched it then I am glad you have entered the discussion...IIRC, on Glenuig you have something very subtle as your backscene...

- remember you are scaling down colours as well in regards to 2mm!I used 'faded' real photos on my 4mm Deadwater layout which was about similar to your #2 picture.Even in 4mm it was slightly overpowering, I think that if I was doing it all again I'd go for something more like your third image, or somewhere between the second and third The thing is you couldnt go wrong with third as it IS often misty.Above all just go for it, because even if you are only 90% satisfied with the saturation of the pic the overall effect of having the real place in the backscene will be so much more rewarding than using a commercial backscene.


Good point Russ...I will definately have another crack at it...

Gotta agree with Russ there about "Scaling Down" colours, and maybe to gently remind some that it is a backscene for a model, not a work of art in its own right....Its there to compliment what goes off in the 3-D world in front of it not steal the limelight (IMO of course)


Agreed Mickey...Spot on...I just need to make the stuff in front of it worthy of the limelight... :)
Hi Pete.

Well, looks like I'm going to be the controversial one here. I like number one! When saw the backscene in place on the previous blog entry, it immediately screamed Scotland at me, and I thought it complemented the colours of the layout perfectly, particularly the dockside.

I think if you wash out the clouds completely, you will loose that atmosphere they create, and that would be a real shame.

Perhaps there is a challenge here, interchangeable backscenes.... :D

Tom.

Well, looks like I'm going to be the controversial one here. I like number one! When saw the backscene in place on the previous blog entry, it immediately screamed Scotland at me, and I thought it complemented the colours of the layout perfectly, particularly the dockside.I think if you wash out the clouds completely, you will loose that atmosphere they create, and that would be a real shame.Perhaps there is a challenge here, interchangeable backscenes...


Hi Tom - Thanks for this. Have done a few test prints on our A3 colour printer. Perhaps a compromise of faded background with strong clouds mike work...I will have a play with a few programmes later...or just old fashioned cut and paste with a scalpel if needs be!..
Pete, I am normally loathe to offer advice or criticism to someone who is millenia ahead of me in modelling skill, but just this once... ;-)

There is always a danger with a photographic background that it detracts from a model which is, by definition, an artistic interpretation. Use of things like 'smart blur' in Photoshop to remove detail but retain sharpness and colour rendering from the backscene image is quite possibly what would help to make the difference. I loved the first backdrop but when it was behind the layout it was the detail rather than the density that drew my eye the most!

That said, I would take some density out; having spent many happy (read wet, draughty, mist-ridden) hours on Kyle station and the surrounding area, my recollections of the place are invariably in conditions where the view to Skye and the south was affected by the mist, which is a further case for taking some density out. Retaining a little bit of tonal variation in the sky should help 'keep the eye in' though, so I would go somewhere between the first pair, but do consider judicious loss of detail from the image to help it to quietly support the layout and your fine modelling!

Perhaps the use of a smoke machine could simulate those days at Kyle where you could cut the floor-to-ceiling clouds with a knife and fork - my wife has been to Skye twice with me now, and still never seen a thing there...

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