Digital Backgrounds

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Bryant01, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. Bryant01

    Bryant01 New Member

    I am new here. (just registered today).:wave:
    I started HO with a small diorama in the Spring and have since been building a 16x16ft layout. Meanwhile, I discovered digital photography and am trying out digital photographic materials as an alternate to painted backgrounds. I am attempting to model the wide-open spaces of West texas around Alpine, Marfa and the Davis Mountains. Anyone have any pros-cons of using digital backgrounds?
  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    :wave: :wave: :wave: Welcome to the-gauge Bryant :wave: :wave: :wave:

    Are you adding a background digitally to you photo's, or are you printing a digital image to use as a background on your diaramma?

    How about a pic of you work :D

    Ever use The GIMP? It's free powerful photo/graphical program: I have a basic howto in the academy (bottom of the front page).
  3. Bryant01

    Bryant01 New Member

    I am going to try and post a pic. If I fail, then you can see my work at the address in my initial post (above). The Sky in the pic was added using a photo editor. It came from an actual picture of a Texas sky.
  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Nice. Looks like you got it pat. So what was your question? :D You need to be teaching us this rather than asking. LOL Fred
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Nice work!
  6. Bryant01

    Bryant01 New Member

    Well, I guess I am looking for some feedback. Being new to the hobby I am unsure whether this is an acceptable approach in the eyes of the "purists" (if there is such a thing), or whether this might be an improvement to conventional approaches. It might be a goofy question, but is this too fakey?

  7. Most of this is fine by us!

    Just let us know when the background is digitally added (though if you know what to look for, you can often tell)
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Sure it's acceptable and the results are very nice indeed! You can also get some decent results if you take the diaramma outside and shoot the pic with the real background behind it. I don't have quite the scenery you have at your fingertips, but here are some results from the take it outside method:

    HO/HOn30 mini
  9. Bryant01

    Bryant01 New Member

    Well, thanks for the positive response. Being relatively new, I had been unsure if the practice is acceptable. My layout is advancing down the wall at rate of about one foot per month. Here is a pic of the partially finished section I am currently working on. The background is a shot from the Davis mountains in West Texas.


  10. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Looks Great :thumb: :thumb:
  11. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    I think it adds greatly to the "Realism" of the subject.
    I always tell "realists" or "rivet counters" this:
    Don't like it... Give me the money for it and you can make it RIGHT... No... Than its RIGHT to me!
  12. Gavin171

    Gavin171 New Member

    the way you have blended the forground with the background Bryant is truly artistic : welldone, Gavin
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Don't concern yourself with "purists." Build the railroad the way you want to to maximize your fun. I don't see how an actual photograph of prototype scenery could ever e considered "fake." Finally, I think your backdrops are as good as or better than any I've seen anywhere!
  14. petey

    petey Member

    Fabulous. I can't detect where the layout edge is; it's a seamless look. Give with some of the details. What size are the background photos? How do you print them?
  15. Bryant01

    Bryant01 New Member

    For those of you who have asked about digital backgrounds, I don't print anything out. I simply cut the blue-wall train room background from my primary picture and add a second background picture from my files. I then send the background picture to the back of the stack. I am using Microsoft 'Picture It' software (@ $50.00) for photo editing. It is sort of fun to do and I think it improves the image over the plain blue skys I would otherwise have. I would like to see others try this approach and it would be fun to see your pictures posted on this thread. Bryant
    Here is one I did today:
  16. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    :wave: Hi Bryant, I knew exactly what you meant, but I also use my prints as my actual backdrop, I size them to fit the area and make them look the way I want, print them and glue with rubber cement to a blue backdrop and you got your own custom made backdrop. Here is one picture from my micro-layout I am working on, the backdrop is photos and a few are 3d.
    Makes it really your railroad. What do you think. :thumb: Later, Jim
  17. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Bryant, you surely have lots of talent for putting up these pictures. Wether you add a background on the PC or in a darkroom - it's the result that counts!

    And your pictures are among the best I've seen so far! Often differing perspectives of layout and background are a give-away for such pictures, but you have mastered this problem in a great way! Your pictures ARE 100% consistent - period. Great job, congratulations! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    And by the way - your landscaping of the layout is top notch, too!

  18. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    I do composite pictures too by using .gif files with transparent backgrounds.

    The whole thing is done in the computer.

    I should explain...the background is one picture done on a jpg. I dropped it into microsoft "Powerpoint."

    The Packard is a 1/24th scale Danbury mint model that was turned to a .gif file and the surrounding background was erased to white and then the transparancy was set to 255, which is pure white.

    Then Selma and Brittany are two different pictures which were done the same way as the Packard.

    After that, it was a simple matter of dropping the three .gif pictures in and layering put everything in order.

    Not train related unless you count the n-scale GP-7 under the front seat.

    Attached Files:

  19. ak-milw

    ak-milw New Member

    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  20. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    Here's another one. A 1/24th MG for "G" Scale.

    This is Emma Peel from the "Avengers" and "Elvira" posed with a Franklin Mint MG TC.

    Attached Files:

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