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the hills are alive...blog updated!


bcnPete

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Good evening,

 

Further to the backscene crisis I have been undertaking some experiments. My tinkering with GIMP and Paint was getting me nowhere. Enter, Glen, a good friend from School for over 34 years now (an ex rail enthusiast who still has a light flickering for the hobby I think) who offered his photoshopping skills, as that's one of his skills from his profession, who kindly offered to tweak the backscene.

 

Glen was briefed (from the comments made last entry) to try and keep the clouds strong but to play down the hills and below. Within a couple of hours, 6 subtle options were winging the way back to BCN for trial purposes. Today, I did an A3 test print of each (my A3 colour printed has started to include some evenly spaced lines which is annoying :angry:)

 

I have folded them and attached briefly in place and took a few comparison shots. I have placed the old station building on merely as it has a little more presence then the newer one, but once the backscene is fixed in place I can get back on to the new station building. Obviously at A3 the hills are larger then should be, but I think it gives the feel for them and you can just see the previous backscene in place at the edge by the ramp. What is interesting is that the on screen images looked a lot darker then when printed out. So here goes, a few shots of each modified by Glen and below placed in context. I would be grateful for any comments received and whilst opinions may vary, I will take a decision quite soon as I do not wish the completion of the layout to become a saga...as is often the case... ;)

 

blogentry-3290-0-46637400-1327686871_thumb.jpg

 

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Option 1

 

blogentry-3290-0-95372600-1327686929_thumb.jpg

 

blogentry-3290-0-21951500-1327686951_thumb.jpg

 

Option 2

 

blogentry-3290-0-25989600-1327686969_thumb.jpg

 

blogentry-3290-0-14493200-1327686990_thumb.jpg

 

Option 3

 

blogentry-3290-0-56310300-1327687005_thumb.jpg

 

blogentry-3290-0-13775200-1327687028_thumb.jpg

 

Option 4

 

blogentry-3290-0-86115500-1327687138_thumb.jpg

 

blogentry-3290-0-57917700-1327687161_thumb.jpg

 

Option 5

 

blogentry-3290-0-35408700-1327687202_thumb.jpg

 

blogentry-3290-0-07601600-1327687267_thumb.jpg

 

Option 6

 

 

In other news, the water has been repainted and I have now applied about 6 separate layers of Humbrol gloss varnish. I think I am happier with the effect and will keep adding the layers and then return back to the wall to dry brush some further detail and tidy up loose edges.

 

blogentry-3290-0-81774400-1327687291_thumb.jpg

 

That's all folks...

 

EDIT:

 

Further to all the comments below, this morning I test printed option 1 again, but this time on A4 paper. Despite the quality of the print, this gives more sky available and I have placed on the layout after cropping the bottom 50mm off the bottom to give more sky/clouds which results in the loss of the water. This was inevitable as keeping the water compromises the sky etc...

 

I attach the test print in place and I think I will get it reprinted tomorrow actual size (700mm long) at the copyshop, which will result in better quality.

 

blogentry-3290-0-99672600-1327845035_thumb.jpg

 

I also slid it along the length and tucked in behind the ramp...I think this goes to demonstrate that once the low level shots with rolling stock are undertaken, the backscene may disappear even further...

 

blogentry-3290-0-60832300-1327845123_thumb.jpg

  • Like 3

29 Comments


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In my opinion, the more faded, the better, but in all cases the hills seem too high and overpower the station. (Not knowing the area,this could be accurate).

 

Stu

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  • RMweb Gold

Option 4 is working nicely for me Pete!

 

The water is looking good too :)

 

Tom.

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Stu, take a look at this picture on Wikipedia, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/57/Tivedshambo_2006-03-22_Kyle_of_Lochalsh.jpg

 

I'd go with no.1 Pete, the station building is white so it constrasts with the dark hills, because of this my eye is also drawn to the building rather than the backscene, so I think you have no worries with the backscene distracting from the forground.

 

I can't wait to see the next installment!

 

Kindest Regards,

 

Jack

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Difficult Pete, esp as some of the shot of the layout have different lighting. I like option 2 (option 1 too dark/moody/oppressive)... but option 2 seems to lift this a little, and it looks like it blends nicely.

Then again, option 6 is far less imposing and does as it should... forms a nice backdrop to the scene. You're gonna have to decide yourself I suspect... but IMHO of the 6: 2 or 6.

I think Glen did ok by the way.

Glad the water surface is behaving... yes it does look much better.

I owe you a pm.... sorry, will get around to that...

Jon

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Don't forget there is no guarantee that the people you use for the final print will come up with exactly the same colour reproduction and brightness as you do on your own printer. Subtle changes to your own results could give you a false idea of what you will eventually get.

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Might seem like being contrary Pete, but I prefer the original photo unmolested. The others - to my perception - look like duff printouts.

(probably the wrong answer, sorry!)

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Hi Pete

 

It's option 6 for me. The grassy knoll in the foreground is much brighter and helps make the mountains across the estuary look further away. To be honest, and it's probably because of the resolution of my screen, but I can't see much difference in the other options.

 

That station building looks cracking by the way.

 

Regards

 

Mike

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  • RMweb Gold

Hehe, with all these replies going in different directions Pete won't get any sleep tonight :-)

 

I'm in the no. 1 camp - definetely. The powerful backscene is what gives the whole layout that extra bit of character, I think. I can see the theoretical point that the backscene shouldn't grab attention from the layout itself, but if it really integrates with the layout and adds something to it (as no 1 does, and as the original photo maybe did it even better), then why not exploit it? Just a thought...

  • Like 1
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Evening Pete,

 

Going to throw my two pennies worth in to this debate just to confuse the issue even more!!

 

I'd go with Jamie and Mikkel on this one.

 

The other options appear to overpower the layout itself and look like a bad day in Princetown!

 

Hope that's of some help if you haven't hit the G&T's already? Plymouth Gin of course!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Ok, I'm in the minority. Good luck with choosing Pete. Well done for calling on Glen though. I often call on a Glen for help... quite often this results in everything looking better - if I have enough of them and without too much ice ;) Goodluck Pete

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Photo 5 - it has a warmth to it, though it is only very subtly different to the others - on my computer screen anyway.

But to be honest, they will all work so it's you choice in the end - only you can see it as it really is!

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On screen the original looks best but I suspect its because we are seeing a photo of a photo. I am generally of the 'muted backscene' school of thought but without seeing it in the flesh I hesitate to be more positive.

Don

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Thanks all for your comments...in more detail...

 

In my opinion, the more faded, the better, but in all cases the hills seem too high and overpower the station. (Not knowing the area,this could be accurate).Stu

 

Thanks Stu...it is pretty high in the background...but perhaps I can see if there is any scope to lower it...

 

Option 4 is working nicely for me Pete! The water is looking good too

 

Thanks Tom - The water is only a slither but I think it is more reminiscent of water now then with the PVA method. My oldest son preferred the original one, undertaken with resin as he said it was see through...can't please everyone I guess.

 

I'd go with no.1 Pete, the station building is white so it constrasts with the dark hills, because of this my eye is also drawn to the building rather than the backscene, so I think you have no worries with the backscene distracting from the forground.I can't wait to see the next installment!

 

Thanks Jack - Perhaps if I make a good job of the station building then the background will become less obvious...no pressure then!

 

Difficult Pete, esp as some of the shot of the layout have different lighting. I like option 2 (option 1 too dark/moody/oppressive)... but option 2 seems to lift this a little, and it looks like it blends nicely.Then again, option 6 is far less imposing and does as it should... forms a nice backdrop to the scene. You're gonna have to decide yourself I suspect... but IMHO of the 6: 2 or 6.I think Glen did ok by the way.Glad the water surface is behaving... yes it does look much better.

 

Thanks Jon - Yes, I guess I will have the casting vote...although I am as confused as anyone at present! PM received thanks ;)

 

Don't forget there is no guarantee that the people you use for the final print will come up with exactly the same colour reproduction and brightness as you do on your own printer. Subtle changes to your own results could give you a false idea of what you will eventually get.

 

Thanks €1.38 (sorry but I have a spanish keyboard and I haven't had enough espressos yet to find the Sterling typeface!) Good point of course about the printers and at €11 a shot I think what will be will be!

 

Might seem like being contrary Pete, but I prefer the original photo unmolested. The others - to my perception - look like duff printouts.(probably the em wrong em answer, sorry!)

 

Jamie - Thanks for this. They are duff prints outs I give you that! I did say my printer is having a strange turn at present, which is why I also put the original files from Glen above each option...the options are quite subtle I think...still confused at present!

 

It's option 6 for me. The grassy knoll in the foreground is much brighter and helps make the mountains across the estuary look further away. To be honest, and its probably because of the resolution of my screen, but I can't see much difference in the other options.That station building looks cracking by the way.

 

Thanks Mike - I think I will try another few test prints at perhaps A4 size...but don't worry, I won't repost them here...it will start to get tedious for everyone...infact, it might be tedious already! Thanks also for the station building but that's the old one...MK II will be an improvement...

 

Hehe, with all these replies going in different directions Pete won't get any sleep tonight :-)I'm in the no. 1 camp - definetely. The powerful backscene is what gives the whole layout that extra bit of character, I think. I can see the theoretical point that the backscene shouldn't grab attention from the layout itself, but if it really integrates with the layout and adds something to it (as no 1 does, and as the original photo maybe did it even better), then why not exploit it? Just a thought...

 

Thanks Mikkel - It's like sitting at Wimbledon watching the tennis and having a seat in line with the net! Good arguements again for keeping with the original...

 

Evening Pete,Going to throw my two pennies worth in to this debate just to confuse the issue even more!!I'd go with Jamie and Mikkel on this one. The other options appear to overpower the layout itself and look like a bad day in Princetown!Hope that's of some help if you haven't hit the G&T's already? Plymouth Gin of course!Cheers,Mark

 

Thanks Mark - Is that Princetown in Dartmoor or New York?...No G+T's last night...was actually having a curry and a few beers...followed by red wine...and this morning... :bad:

 

Ok, I'm in the minority. Good luck with choosing Pete. Well done for calling on Glen though. I often call on a Glen for help... quite often this results in everything looking better - if I have enough of them and without too much ice ;) Goodluck Pete

 

Thanks again Jon - I keep telling myself I need to master Photoshop...but for now I just want to try and keep the project moving so Glen's offer to help was good timing...

 

Presumably with the sound of steam trains!

 

Lisa - I was thinking of getting a Black 5 to run on a steam special...any good?...

 

Photo 5 - it has a warmth to it, though it is only very subtly different to the others - on my computer screen anyway.But to be honest, they will all work so it's you choice in the end - only you can see it as it really is!

 

Thanks Chris - Yes, the screen resolution and print outs all complicate it....gonna have to take a punt...and live with it...

 

On screen the original looks best but I suspect its because we are seeing a photo of a photo. I am generally of the muted backscene school of thought but without seeing it in the flesh I hesitate to be more positive.Don

 

Thanks Don - Understood. There does seem to be two distinct camps, muted backscene and strong backscene.

 

I made a little note of the comments and the scores on the doors are:

 

Original - 2 votes

 

Option 1 - 3 votes

Option 2 - 1 vote

Option 3 - 0 votes

Option 4 - 1 vote

Option 5 - 1 vote

Option 6 - 2 votes

 

So it looks like option 1 just has its nose in front...I will have another tinker today with print outs and perhaps get a new version done at the printers on Monday. As I said, probably the next time you will see it, it will be installed on the layout as I don't wish for this to get too tedious for everyone. I realise that we all will have a different viewpoint on it and I wonder if I was to take some lineside photos of the trains in the station, it might actually portray the backscene better rather than the overall shots do.

 

Many thanks indeed for all your help, comments and observations - let's move into implementation phase... :O

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Guest Natalie Graham

Posted

Photo 5 - it has a warmth to it,

Warmth? That doesn't sound right for the West of Scotland. :)

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Warmth? That doesn't sound right for the West of Scotland. :)

 

Warmth is in the eye of the beholder...that said, I have had to put my winter woolies on whilst I work on the backscene part of the layout... :biggrin_mini:

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Option 1 for me Pete! Kyle is clearly a station in a dramatic setting so bleaching out much of the great and atmospheric cloud and mountains that scream Scotland seems a bit pointless. Anyone looking at your work is not going to see the backscene first.

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Hi Pete,

 

Moved having followed this saga to emerge from the darkness and make an observation.

 

All I know about Kyle is from the photos you find on Google, the link above and seeing the TV show with that Python bloke getting the name board. The bit which I remember most is the sea in the back ground. I notice in the photos the sea is just along the bottom but by the time you put it behind the station it seems to be lost. I think the consensus on option 1 is about right, but the lack of obvious sea water makes me feel something is missing. Mind you I am on the other side of the world and everything is upside down...

 

Cheers

Kevin

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Pete

 

Sorry this is a bit late in the day; I've been concentrating on doing some modelling myself!

 

Personally, I don't think the original printout is too dark, however the picture has been overcropped such that there is too much hill and not enough sky. This gives the impression that I'm looking at the layout through a telephoto lens and suppresses the feeling of openness that I would expect in such a location.

 

The crop seems to take a slice of about 50% from the middle of the photo losing all the sea and a big chunk of sky. I don't know if including the sea will work (which is what Kevin suggests above), but the recovery of that sky would help. Perhaps a few test prints reinstating the sea and/or the sky?

 

Sorry! :D

 

Tony

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Option 1 for me Pete! Kyle is clearly a station in a dramatic setting so bleaching out much of the great and atmospheric cloud and mountains that scream Scotland seems a bit pointless. Anyone looking at your work is not going to see the backscene first.

 

Thanks Tom - nice of you to say so...

 

 

I like the original too - sorry! Great little layout, though

 

Thanks for your comments Alex...No worries...it was never going to be easy to resolve this...where's Mike (Red Death) disappeared to anyway? :lol:

 

 

Moved having followed this saga to emerge from the darkness and make an observation.All I know about Kyle is from the photos you find on Google, the link above and seeing the TV show with that Python bloke getting the name board. The bit which I remember most is the sea in the back ground. I notice in the photos the sea is just along the bottom but by the time you put it behind the station it seems to be lost. I think the consensus on option 1 is about right, but the lack of obvious sea water makes me feel something is missing. Mind you I am on the other side of the world and everything is upside down...

 

Hi Kevin - Thanks for this....and I like the use of the word saga...which describes much of my modelling!

 

Difficult that sea problem, as if I show more sea, I get less sky...(skye?) and the general feel (I think) is to show more sky and clouds...that said, am always happy that you felt compelled to rise from the shadows and write on my blog though...be nice to see more of you and your modelling back on here... :yes:

 

 

Sorry this is a bit late in the day; I've been concentrating on doing some modelling myself!Personally, I don't think the original printout is too dark, however the picture has been overcropped such that there is too much hill and not enough sky. This gives the impression that I'm looking at the layout through a telephoto lens and suppresses the feeling of openness that I would expect in such a location.The crop seems to take a slice of about 50% from the middle of the photo losing all the sea and a big chunk of sky. I don't know if including the sea will work (which is what Kevin suggests above), but the recovery of that sky would help. Perhaps a few test prints reinstating the sea and/or the sky?Sorry!

 

Tony, hi - Thanks...and no need to apologise...I think part of the problem of my A3 test prints is that my printer only selects a part of the image and thus enlarges an extract....resulting in even less sky. I will try a couple of A4 tests this afternoon and perhaps crop the sky at the place where the grey meets white (if you get my drift) I might try and add a new result to above rather than make another blog entry on this...otherwise its getting like Dallas... :no:

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Hello,

I like to comment about the "overpowering hills". This depends very much on your viewing angle. I learned from landscape photography that the horizon is always on the the same level as the eye/lens of camera. I admit the difficulty to establish the line of horizon on your backgroud photograph. But if you can achive this, the hills will not overpower the scene. If you prefer viewing your layout at tracklevel the horizon will not be visible behind the station building. In consequence, the hills (rising, of course, above the horizon) will not seem too tall and you will see more sky.

If you like a higher viewing position the horizon has to be on the same height as your eye. With steep hills nearby you will probably see no sky at all!

I wish you good luck with this inspiring layout!

  • Like 1
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Hi holmes - Thank you for this and your kind comments.

 

I think you have hit the nail on the head regarding what is perceived when viewing. As with most layouts, although they are set at a predetermined height we bend, crouch, stoop, squint whatever to see the detail so our eyeline can be continually changing. As well as being a simple layout to have a bit of fun with, I would like to use it as a backdrop to a raft of wagon kits and rolling stock waiting to be built so most of the shots will probably be taken a track level.

 

On that basis I think I will try and show more sky and clouds, lower the mountains and the water will probably vanish...besides, there is a slither of water at the front of the layout still...!

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Hello,I like to comment about the "overpowering hills". This depends very much on your viewing angle. I learned from landscape photography that the horizon is always on the the same level as the eye/lens of camera. I admit the difficulty to establish the line of horizon on your backgroud photograph. But if you can achive this, the hills will not overpower the scene. If you prefer viewing your layout at tracklevel the horizon will not be visible behind the station building. In consequence, the hills (rising, of course, above the horizon) will not seem too tall and you will see more sky.If you like a higher viewing position the horizon has to be on the same height as your eye. With steep hills nearby you will probably see no sky at all!I wish you good luck with this inspiring layout!

 

You are quite right and it is a major problem even if intended to be viewed standing we are not all the same height. However the setting also matters. Here of the Isle of Wight the hills behind us are about 150m (we are at 60m and about 5 miles away. At Minehead we were sandwiched between hills up 300m high about a mile away. At Minhead you looked up to see the sky whereas on the IOW the sky seems so much bigger. So the question is at Kyle do the hills dominate the sky or the sky dominate the hills?

Don

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You are quite right and it is a major problem even if intended to be viewed standing we are not all the same height. However the setting also matters. Here of the Isle of Wight the hills behind us are about 150m (we are at 60m and about 5 miles away. At Minehead we were sandwiched between hills up 300m high about a mile away. At Minhead you looked up to see the sky whereas on the IOW the sky seems so much bigger. So the question is at Kyle do the hills dominate the sky or the sky dominate the hills?

 

I guess we need a local to answer that one Don...I presume it depends upon our cone of vision (having just checked the mountains here in Barcelona) so perhaps an equal amount of sky and mountains for Kyle may be the best compromise...

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