Uh... Noobie with a Tree Tutorial?

Discussion in 'The Academy' started by Gary S., Jan 6, 2006.

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  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    17. Continue adding poly-fiber to each individual limb, working your way up the tree. Let the poly-fiber extend out past each limb a ways. The poly-fiber is used to represent the little bitty sticks and twigs and branches that support the leaves of a real tree. Make sure the poly-fiber is glued to each limb so it doesn't fall off when it gets weighted down with hair spray and leaves later.

    Again, these pics may have an odd color or show some reflection off the poly-fiber making it look odd.

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  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    18. Here is a tree trunk with the completed poly-fiber. It really isn't this shiney, the flash did that.

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  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    19. If you want a lot of trees, it is best to mass produce them instead of one at a time. Do a bunch of trunks first, then poly-fiber all of them, then add the leaves. I took some 1x4s and drilled holes in them to hold all the trees while I am working on them.

    It also helps to enlist some help. Fortunately my wife has been giving me a hand with these things, allowing me to produce twice as many in a given time (woohoo!)

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  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    20. Here are some of the products for adding leaves.

    First, cheap hairspray to be used as spray-on glue, this is the extra-hold variety. Buy several cans if you are making a lot of trees.

    For leaves, we use a variety of colors and textures of ground foam and flock. We use coarse ground foam, medium ground foam, fine ground foam, and the really fine grass stuff. Each texture will give a different effect on your trees, which is good for variety. You can even mix the textures, and definitely mix the colors.

    This stuff is made by Woodland Scenics and Scenic Express to name a couple.

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  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    21. Spray a heavy coat of hair spray on the poly-fiber. You will actually see it beading up... but don't drown it.

    Experiment and you will figure out how much to use. Still, it isn't all that critical.

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  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    22. Sprinkle the ground foam onto the wet poly-fiber, trying to get coverage on all surfaces. Use a container to catch whatever falls off so you can re-use it.

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  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    23. Tap on the tree trunk to knock off any excess foam. At this point, if the tree looks too thick, keep tapping, not alot you can do about that, but it really hasn't been a problem except with the fine powdery type grass stuff. If the tree looks too thin, just spray on some more hair spray and add more leaf material.

    The coarse foam generally doesn't stick as well as the finer stuff. I often have to give it another shot of hair spray and more leaves, sometimes even two or three more applications. Also, if there is just a specific spot or two that look thin, just spray that spot and add leaves right there.

    Use the tap technique to get the tree looking how you want it.

    Now, be careful with the really fine leave material, the stuff that is almost a pwder. It sticks really well and can overwhelm the tree if you put too much.

    As for colors, sometimes we pre-mix several colors and textures and then sprinkle it on. Other times, we do a solid color, let that set, then spray the bottom of the tree and add some darker color, let that set, then add something lighter at the top for some depth and a little highlighting.

    The leave material also comes in fall colors and you can throw a pinch in here and there for good measure. I am modeling late summer early fall, down here we have chineese tallow trees that start turning yellow and red pretty early.

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  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    24. When you are satisfied with the leaves, set it aside for 15 or 20 minutes to let the spray set up completely.

    Now you can make some final adjustments of the poly-fiber, for instance, maybe it isn't covering the end of a chopped off limb and it looks odd.... just pull the poly-fiber around until it covers up the end of the limb.

    Then give the whole tree a good overspray of hairspray just to seal everything together.

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  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Let it dry and you're done. Here is a shot of the tree with flash, and one without.

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  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Since my layout is going to be of the around the room shelf type, I am making quite a few trees that don't have limbs on the back. This way, I can plant them right up against the backdrop.

    Here are a couple more trees we did that turned out okay.

    And thanks for letting me do this, it was fun showing off my stuff.:cool:

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  11. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Nice job on the how to Gary.
    Great looking trees. :thumb:
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think we have another candidate for the "Academy." Nice tutorial Gary, and beautiful trees.
  13. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    was it some thing I said Gary, great how to mate, I second that Russ be great in the academy..steve
  14. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    the gold platter will look great in my trophy case!:D

    Thanks for the compliments everyone!
  15. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    This is a fantastic tutorial, one of the best I've seen on trees. As co-mod of the Academy, I can assure you there will be no problem convincing the other mod that this should go there.

    We will leave it here for a couple of weeks before we move it there.

    Congratulations Gary, good work.:thumb: :thumb:
  16. zedob

    zedob Member

    This is great. I was watching as you posted last night and had to pop in every few minutes to view the next posts. I must say that I am impressed. Very well done.:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Hmm, if this is what you do as a newbie, I can't wait to see what you come up with in the future.:D
  17. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Gary, this is really a first class tutorial on tree making, if I ever saw one. Thank you for sharing your technique! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Don, add one more vote for placing this tread into the Academy!

  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    As the other co-moderator, I fully agree! Great job! An instant classic! :D :thumb: :thumb:

  19. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    See Gary, I told you.:D :D :D :D
  20. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    thanks everybody:)
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