Replicating alu skins in graphic programmes

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Leif Oh, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Leif et al...,

    See above repost.

  2. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member


    Seeing is beleiveing... so this is done using your other tools (gradients, noise, and blur). In one layer.

    OK. So what I'll be doing (when we get back from a two-day vacation trip visiting friends, starting tomorrow) is to try to combine that approach with my initial approach of bringing in tones of blue and tan. Shouldn't be any large difference, just (!) adding noise and blur to the gradients, if I've got it right. (Which I'm sure I haven't, but that will soon be evident.)

    I'll probably separate out the joint lines between the panels, and the markings (with the help of the magic wand), and place these at the top, over the work on gradients, probably in separate layers, in order to be able to reduce opacity of the joint lines at will. The original layer will be kept for reference, out of sight, at the bottom. I'll probably retain some semblance of 3D effects on hatches and rivets, just to keep that technique alive.

    Many thanks for the excellent tutorial and showing how it works, and - not least - that it works.

    Boris, wouldn't you like to have a go, adding your preferences - please?

  3. rickstef

    rickstef Guest


    Keep on going, this is awesome work

  4. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Now that you mention it I did use a separate layer for the lines. The subject supplied happens to work very well with the magic wand although you still have to be careful and pay close attention to what you are doing. The nose numbers are a special case and were done last. To make the panel lines select all of the inside of the panels and fill with a background white. Using the magic wand and high magnification select all the lines till all of the lines are enclosed. Use Edit>Fill to fill the lines with a new color. Use Selec>Modify> (commands) to modify individual panels etc. The Select>Feather command is also nice. Make sure that you set the resolution to 300 dpi before you start (sometimes I forget and wonder why everything is so jagged). A second way is to just magic wand all the panel interiors and add the borders via the Select>Border command followed by the Selec>Smooth command although some of the interior details under the nose numbers may be lost with this method.

    One caveat is how much precision is lost using these methods. Only a build will tell...,

    Have fun on your mini vacation! See you when you get back.

    Best regards, Gil
  5. Boris

    Boris Member

    Leif , Gil.

    That's a nice looking work , but to tell you all the truth, usually after print all these effects look different. So I think I will tweak a bit with two options - working with path and working with selection

    It's good that Gil mentioned something about precision - it's usually a problem with me. Somehow I manage to miss the outlines of a part and then it's a sanding paper time (in best case, in worst the complete model goes to garbage :) )

    I'll be a little busy in coming couple of days but as soon I'll get free, I'll try to add some stuff. To tell the truth, I think that Gil got the closest aluminium look so far

    Then comes a question about weathering and oil and fuel stains, it's going to be the next challenge for me.
  6. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  7. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 Member

    Hmmm. That's just what I was wondering about. I can get that effect with GIMP, but how will it looked printed?

    Yes definately, it looks GREAT!

    I can't believe the timing on this, it's just what I've been thinking on as I work on the P-51 redraw. It's great! I've actually postponed some stuff until I see the results of this thread. Guess I'll work some more on some other modifications I had in mind...

  8. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Pseudo Aluminum Serindipitous Combination & Success

    Hello All,

    Never throw the important stuff away...,

    I've been pondering a way to get aluminum looking panels cheaply and easily. This has been an elusive item. Tacking aluminum foil to paper can be accomplished but the foil has to be extremely thin and in the "dead soft" state. Even then the paper isn't hard enough to withstand blemishes from construction and the normal types of hangar rash associated with the normal life of a model.. The other area that presented major problems was the innability to print on many of the most desirable surfaces. Inkjet ink doesn't like sticking to enamel or oil based paints which eliminates them as candidates. The upside of enamels is that they don't affect the papers structure the way acrylics do because of their water content. The upside of acrylics is that inkjet ink is nearly compatible with them. So on one hand you have wrinkled paper that you might be able to print on and flat paper that the ink smears on....,

    I experimented using lacquer, shellac, and nitrate dope before applying the acrylic paint. This reduced the wrinkling when acrylic paints were applied but were not a totally satisfactory solution. The paper still tended to wrinkle even though it was sealed. I then tried a sheet of paper that I'd obtained from the local paper merchant and had tried running it through the inkjet printer to test to see if there was any chance that it might work. It didn't and that's why it was sitting around. It occurred to me that this sheet was coated to make the surface very shiney for that use in commercial printing and that it might waterproof the backside protecting the paper from the moisture in the acrylic paint. The hunch proved to be right...,

    The surface of the legal size coated index stock was painted with "Anniversary Silver", an acrylic paint produced by Folk Art and available at Michael's art stores here in North America. This paint gives a very credible aluminum look when dry. I used a small, high gloss roller to apply the paint to the paper's surface. The paper was then allowed to dry before using Leif's modified jpeg file as a test pattern. The printer media type was set to transparency to reduce the amount of ink used and the image type kept to graphic (could have used a little more ink though). The two images below are of the Folk Art paint and the output of the test print. The test print was then coated with Krylon Krystal Clear to preserve surface detail. It's difficult to photograph a highly reflective surface and the image below is only a highly processed facsimile of the effect. It appears much better in person than in the photograph, so please squint and pretend you see what I'm getting at...., better yet, try it yourself.

    Have to get the exact details of the paper but I wrote something in my PDA to the effect that it was Mohawk 50/10 Ultra 80# Cover but will have to confirm that's the actual fact.

  9. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 Member

    Looks interesting Gil. One other thought has been troubling me lately... What about sections (such as on the P-51) where you want that aluminum look, but also want some of the white of the paper to show throught say for the US insignia?

  10. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Insignia areas containing highly saturated color fields will require the use of white background waterslide decals applied after sealing the surface with Krystal Clear.

    The important results of all this is that coated cover stock can be painted with acrylic paints with little or no adverse inkjet print side effects.

    Best regards Gil
  11. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    ... or print out the decal images on top quality thin paper, cut them out and stick them onto the aluminium paper. Just like the real thing, if you look closely on modern aircraft!

    Anyone tried using white acrylic painted over the metal paper in the appropriate places, then printing the insignia onto the white patches? I don't know how accurately, or repeatably, our desktop printers will print subsequent images onto the same bit of paper. Sounds like a trial is called for. I'll get back on this, if Gil don't beat me to it!

    Tim P
  12. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    The thought occured to me also but haven't got around to trying it. Problem with thin paper is it's transparency tends to bleed the foreground print with the background. A light coat of titanium white on the backside (frontside?) might just do the trick though..., it's essentially the same as applying a white background waterslide decal.

    Best regards, Gil
  13. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Quick Update:

    Pulled out the aluminum print ink coated pape stock that I have a store of and coated it with Acrylic Gloss Medium and Varnish. Took a very light touch on the fine grain roller to obtain a good finish. It'll have to dry before a test print...,

  14. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    silver leaf

    here is another approach that might be worthwhile. Buy "silver" leaf at an art supply store. It's actually aluminum. Then use the glue that comes with it to spread where you want the leaf. Where ever the glue goes the leaf will stick.Where it doesn't the leaf comes off. basically you paint what you want with the glue and then apply the leaf over it. It's a fun process to do. I've done it over ceramics but it should work on paper.
    You can also get copper and gold which I believe are the real metals instead of "silver" which is aluminum.
  15. SteveM

    SteveM Member

    Re: silver leaf

    I've tried it on paper and it does not work very well at all. It seems the strength of the paper itself was not strong enough to reliably pull the foil off of the backing, instead the foil would pull off the surface of the paper. Just like when you stick a piece of tape on paper and try to pull the tape off.

  16. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    What Lizzie is referring to is the "gold leaf" style of metal foils. They usually come in 5.25 inch square pads containing 25 leafs. Aluminum leaf is sold as "imitation silver". The intended surface is prepped and then covred with "size", a type of glue that remains tacky for an extended period and is special to leafing. The art is to apply the leaf to the size and then pad it down onto the tacky surface. Leaf is available in a variety of metals and formats and works well on paper. Kitchen foil can be smoothed and applied in lieu of the leaf variety. It has it's own assortment of drawbacks but will work. The following site will give you an idea of what's available (pricing is realatively high).

    There's an "iron on" variety available that does exactly what you said, pulls the paper apart after its' been ironed on and the backing is peeled off. The "stain" left will not come out.

    The following article from Large Scale Planes discusses the problem:

  17. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    The following document is just right for this discussion:

    I am back to covering paper with aluminum foil that's been annealed before flattening in preparation for leafing onto the paper. The PVA based leafing cement seams to be very similar to Aleene's Tack It Over & Over glue. The Tack It works like a contact cement when used on both surfaces and it is permanent.

  18. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    In Between Reality & The Synthetic

    Hi All,

    Experiments with Aluminum Foil Paper led to a hybrid approach to gaining printable aluminum "fills". An aluminum foil paper panel was made then engraved with panel lines and rivet detail. Photographed (lighting was far from ideal) the image was then processed in Photoshop (a lot) with a sample being saved back as a "fill". A 640 x 480 was then filled with this aluminum "fill" and the results are shown below. A little more photo work and process might just make this method work..., It does require a fair amount of artistic process control...,

  19. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Original test art filled with pattern.

  20. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    This study is taking on a life of it's own. Completed some further ideas in Photoshop using some of the other tools to create subtle shadowing effects. A vector mask background fill color now gives the entire panel a color "cast" and is controlled by the transparency control. Found the use of Smart Blur on Noise produces the kind of metal "balooning" that's difficutlt to obtain. The panel lines are filled single column and row marquees with the ouside stroke filled with a 2 pixel outside stroke. The image below may seem a little to bright but this level of luminance is necessary to obtain good print results.

    Have to investigate a simple way of laying down rivet lines...,


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