Author Topic: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains  (Read 2495 times)

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bdeuster

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You know when you are walking on a trail in the rolling mountains of the Skyline Drive or Western MD? And you come to the edge where all the rocks are and there is this wonderful vista that reaches out in front of you - usually 1000ft up or more? Anyway (imagine a thick forest immediately behind these trees where the grey is), here is my attempt to do this impressionistically on my 2x6ft photo diorama as a transition to a backdrop of some kind. I am reasonably pleased with this attempt but am not really liking how it photographs. It looks so much better in person, though I must admit I dont feel like it is done by a long shot.

So please help me with your comments, but realize I am very sensitive -  ;D - Just ask the Ed K guy who seems to be everyone's hero    ;D

At least he is my modeling (as in MRR) superstar!!


Here goes -








Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2007, 02:21:42 AM »
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I think it needs somre more trees, and some more greenery spilling over the rocks.

But I'm not 100% sure. Have any photos of the look you're trying to achieve? They often tell all.

wm3798

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007, 07:14:05 AM »
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Oh, thanks, Bill.... Now my layout looks like CRAP!! ;D

That's the area I'm trying to emulate, and you've done a stunning job.  I better make some more trees...

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

asciibaron

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007, 08:36:41 AM »
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needs weeds/grass around the rocks.  it looks good, just needs a little bit more grass and weeds in the rocks

-steve
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 08:46:00 AM by asciibaron »
Quote from: Chris333
How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

gunner

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2007, 08:37:57 AM »
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I'm heading up to the Parkway in about an hour to go over to ride the GSMRR  8)   I'll see if I can get some shots of this.  From memory, the scene sure looks familiar though.  I like it!

Bob

ljudice

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2007, 09:01:35 AM »
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Wow looks nice!!!  How did you do the rocks?

Lou


Pomperaugrr

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2007, 09:01:50 AM »
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The deadfall really adds to the realism of the scene.  Add more weeds and grasses around the rocks, as suggested, and the scene will really pop.

Eric

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2007, 09:36:21 AM »
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You know when you are walking on a trail in the rolling mountains of the Skyline Drive or Western MD? And you come to the edge where all the rocks are and there is this wonderful vista that reaches out in front of you - usually 1000ft up or more? Anyway (imagine a thick forest immediately behind these trees where the grey is), here is my attempt to do this impressionistically on my 2x6ft photo diorama as a transition to a backdrop of some kind. I am reasonably pleased with this attempt but am not really liking how it photographs. It looks so much better in person, though I must admit I dont feel like it is done by a long shot.

So please help me with your comments, but realize I am very sensitive -  ;D - Just ask the Ed K guy who seems to be everyone's hero    ;D

At least he is my modeling (as in MRR) superstar!!


Here goes -




Looks good Bill.  The thick forest on the backdrop would be off in the hazey distance, as if the modeled trees are on a ridge and the land drops off behind them.  Am I looking at it correctly?  This would be a wind swept ridge?

I like the photo I've copied best.  The super trees in the others spoil the effect, for me anyway. 

What is meant by "impressionistically".  Either you're modeling trees (which you are, and well done at that) in a realistic setting, or you're not. 

As for or hero Ed:  I was never able to goad him into using anything other than super tree armatures.  Maybe you'll have more success.   ;D  ;D  ;D

Steve

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2007, 12:02:29 PM »
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That is a great start Bill! Heres a couple of observations:

- The rocks look fantastic. Good mottled coloring with plenty of shadow washes. I really like it and my hat is off to you.

- Basic groundcover has too much of a definitive edge and should be blended a little more.

- Remember, the Smokeys have been around forever. There is going to be more small growth in between rocks and different layers until the final precipice. Even then, there will be some vegatation growth.

- Trees on the edge should stand out, quality and brightness/light coloring. Directly behind them should be less quality tress a little darker in color. Finally, use Lee's trees  :-X  to fill out the background of dark shapeless mass of the forest.

I know I'll pay for that last jab, but I could not contain myself.
Regards
Bob Knight

TrainCat Model Sales

wm3798

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2007, 12:58:57 PM »
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No offense taken here... I think "my" trees would be just the ticket (thicket?) to fill in the blanks...
http://wmrywesternlines.net/scen_trees.php

Lee

PS:  If you feel you must pay, I'll take one of them snappy bridges you just announced!
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

bdeuster

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2007, 01:54:06 PM »
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WOW,

Thanks for all the helpful responses. I am working from my memories growing up and some not so recent hikes in the mountains near Catoctin, MD and down in the Blue Ridge. Every suggestion has real merit here and I need to fine tune my vision to get the correct balance and degree of adding undergrowth and "vineage" on the rocks and in the transition areas.... Maybe a trip to Catoctin or Sugaloaf is in order soon.

As for the supertrees, I am not in disagreement, but all my memories are of mostly mixed needle and leaf trees - the mixture between the two often varying quite a bit in relatively small areas (hundreds of feet in real life) so I feel a need to give the leaf trees their due.

SAH, I also feel the string of pines is the most finished of the two areas. But I will put in some more work on the grassier area to try to get a better feel. Remember, this is very much the edge of the treeline where many types of transitions occur - from grassy areas to rocks to thick, sometimes thorny, thickets of impenetrable undergrowth.

As for the rocks. Well if anyone had seen me do it they would burst out laughing. I literally glued a bunch of leftover waste 1 inch foam - unformed - and came in the next day and sliced and scraped my way to this in less than five minutes - totally by feel, almost with my eyes closed. Even I was surprised by how well it came out in terms of elevation and randomness. Painting/staining several layers, starting with gesso, and then many washes is how I finished the rock faces.

And thanks to everyone for the support and kind comments. I do feel like I am making some progress in my modeling. And I owe it to forums - and the people/experts who post - for both the ideas and inspiration. Thanks!!!!


B

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2007, 03:04:08 PM »
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Those rocks are styrofoam???????

WHOA!

That IS amazing.

And I'm starting to realize that my "view" of mountain scenery is probably quite off.

wm3798

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2007, 03:22:08 PM »
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The closest thing I have to that on my layout, which is set in the area you are simulating, is this...


I have a handicap in that the "sky" here slopes at 45 degrees (ceiling in the attic) so I can't do tall trees.  I did the rocks with plaster castings, and the brush is a combination of green poly fibre with a sprinkling of ground foam, combined with foam clumps.


In the area where I have room for trees, I pushed actual shale from McCoy's Ferry into the sculptamold.  The rock out there is more tan than around Catoctin.  I have since added more trees to fill in around the rocks.

You've got the Catoctin limestone color about dead on.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2007, 03:26:39 PM »
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Those rocks are styrofoam???????

WHOA!

That IS amazing.

And I'm starting to realize that my "view" of mountain scenery is probably quite off.
One of my sons brought home a styrofoam rock from a novelty shop.  Paint job was quite good.  Now I gotta find the darn thing and maybe use it.
Bob

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Re: Modeling the edge of the forest while hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2007, 06:19:06 PM »
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I really like what you've done here, especially with some left-over, hacked up styrofoam! 

The deadfalls are huge!  By huge, I mean they really add to the scene. 

I just can't place why it doesn't look right, though.

I'm thinking it's the height of the greenery.  If this is supposed to be a windswept outcrop, I would expect to see only short, hardy grasses and the occassional strong-rooted shrub clinging to cracks in a rock.  My opinions, however, are based on western scenery.  I grew up in the Rocky Mountains, their offspring, and the desert southwest.  My only other experience to speak of would be several (6-7) trips to Asheville, NC, for helicopter mountain training.  I don't have a very clear memory of that area....  we were pounding Guiness like it was Kool-Aid.

I'm not trying to knock your work at all.  It's a great scene, and far beyond what I am capable of right now.  I just think some pictures might help.  As Ed said, "Have any photos of the look you're trying to achieve? They often tell all."
-Robert

Uintah Railway, Utah Railway.