Author Topic: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees  (Read 2740 times)

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ljudice

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Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« on: April 15, 2008, 07:56:41 AM »
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I've settled on Supertrees and ground foam for foreground trees - but for those eastern hills that are tree covered would like to use something more like polyfibre for the background. Any ideas, examples of transitioning between them, as well as the groundcover you use under the foreground trees.  How far back do you put your foreground trees??

Thanks!!!

Lou


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 10:05:44 AM »
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Lou
All my trees are foreground trees, so I can't answer your question about transitioning, but as far as forrest floor, there are a couple ways to go.

My favorite is a batch of leaves that have have been pureed in a blender, dried and sifted. Over that I often use some of this stuff: http://www.sceneryexpress.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HK1592 stretched way out, painted gray and misted brown to look like real underbrush. If you're doing summer, than you may want to try it with some leaf material (groundfoam or whatever) to make it look less dead. It's the stuff that you see under the trees here: http://conrail1285.com/news.asp?storyid=41


davefoxx

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 08:27:08 PM »
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I've settled on Supertrees and ground foam for foreground trees - but for those eastern hills that are tree covered would like to use something more like polyfibre for the background. Any ideas, examples of transitioning between them, as well as the groundcover you use under the foreground trees.  How far back do you put your foreground trees??

Thanks!!!

Lou

Lou,

Like Ed, all of my trees are foreground trees, because I only have a door-sized layout.  How deep is your layout?  If only a 24" deep shelf, for instance, I would just use the foreground trees to transition to the backdrop.  If, however, you are trying to transition to a less expensive and more easily mass-produced tree, I would recommend using the same ground foam to blend the transition.  Another trick might be to spray the "distant" trees with an overspray of a gray to represent the haze and force the perspective.

In my opinion, I'm not a big fan of polyfiber trees, because they end up looking like foam-covered balls glued to the hillside.  However, if you are careful to stretch the fiber enough, you can get the lacy look that might prevent that look.  Unfortunately, many people forget just how tall trees are in reality, so the polyfiber trees should only represent the "tops."  That is, to look right, the foreground trees should block the lack of height of the background trees.

Hope this helps,
Dave

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2008, 08:28:03 PM »
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Dave
How did you do your trees? They look really good (for summer stuff...;D)

davefoxx

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2008, 09:40:51 PM »
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Dave
How did you do your trees? They look really good (for summer stuff...;D)

Ed,

I wussed out and purchased trees.  I actually did buy one of those Super Trees starter sets at a Timonium show about a year and a half ago, but I found that I just don't have the time to make the hundreds of trees that I need for my layout.  So, I have been ordering trees in batches as funds allow from Timberline Scenery.  Unfortunately, this is NOT the inexpensive way of doing it, and I still need quite a few more!  About half of my layout still looks like it has been scalped! ;D

Yeah, you caught me.  I wussed out on the choice of season, too.  I have to admit that I am red-green color blind, so there was no way in hell that I could attempt fall.  Those day-glo trees don't do it for me, but I don't think that I have the eyes to be able to figure out the "correct" colors.  So, I went the easy route and ordered the "Summer Grove" trees.



Dave
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 09:44:52 PM by davefoxx »

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2008, 10:20:27 PM »
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Well Dave, from someone who's NOT color blind, I think you made a good call.

ljudice

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2008, 11:00:49 PM »
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I made a couple of supertrees tonight and placed them around - and you guys are right, unless you go really far back, you can't use the "cheating technique"...

Probably just as well, as I was never too happy with the results from the polyfoam thing, though I've seen others do a nice job with it. 

My layout depth - this is around the walls and island - is around 18-24 inches (with two notable exceptions, corners where background trees might work).

Lou

up1950s

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2008, 11:14:51 PM »
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A grassy knoll would work , as well as a fence , road , or anything solid  , but if you're fortunate enough to have a long run to blend , then mix it up . If the foreground trees slope to a ravine at the wall , instead of climbing up as it nears the wall , then there is an implied hollow , gorge , or ravine , and the distant hill would naturally look different that the foreground trees and the look should be good .

Notice on this web grab of a very nice model railroad scene that the area where the foreground meets the background is unviewable . To me thats the best transition , the one that is made up in our minds .

« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 11:31:39 PM by up1950s »

ljudice

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2008, 02:38:46 PM »
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Richie, I've tried to "scuplt" the terrain to make the transitions work better, as you said... 

Testing the supertrees - even on fairly steep terrain - looks so much better than the technique I used before it is worth it to make more trees.

Besides, I have 16 years of "honey, I'll help you make trees" credits to help make them...

A major step forward for me was the discovery of spray on adhesive for the ground foam, as opposed to other techniques of making them.

:)


justTRAINcRaZy

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2008, 03:07:50 PM »
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I have been going thru some of the same problems. Have been wondering if on a 24" deep layout should I try for more depth.  I've noticed that you don't really see for a mile when looking out the window here, just a couple of hundred feet to the first row or 2 of trees and it blurs from there back. So that's what I am pretty much resigned to, not making the background anything more than the dark blur underneath the foreground trees. Right or wrong.

My daughter convinced me to try something new on this layout. Since we had plenty of room to cover, it will have all 4 seasons. I've only ever done summer, and am trying fall now. I also have serious red/green issues (makes for interesting Ops sessions blowing by signals). Have to get my wife to keep checking my progress for too much red or yellow.

I am pretty much stuck with the polyfiber trees with some occasional Supertrees or dried flowers thrown in. With 300 feet of mainline to cover, store bought trees are out.

KB


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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2008, 03:36:25 PM »
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I also have serious red/green issues (makes for interesting Ops sessions blowing by signals). Have to get my wife to keep checking my progress for too much red or yellow.
KB



Really? Ok, then, do you see that you have two different colored trees in that one row along river bank? Forgive me, I don't really truly understand how colorblindness works, so I'm kinda curious.

The reason I say that is because, in that photo, they're really jarring to me and look pretty out of place, but if you can't see them as out of place, well then, you're in luck!

justTRAINcRaZy

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2008, 04:41:23 PM »
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Really? All I see is various shades of green, and some white caspia.

Red/Green LEDs really screw me up. I see no difference in them whatsoever.

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2008, 05:03:41 PM »
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No way! That's wild.

Anyway, yeah, the caspia is all red.

I just ran the image through the color blind filter(http://colorfilter.wickline.org/), and this is what I got:


This is really eye opening!

up1950s

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2008, 05:30:56 PM »
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Is it relish or minced red pepper , cherry cola or mountain dew , is the tomato ripe yet ? Can you get a drivers license being color blind ? Bummer , but beats many other eye problems I guess .

davefoxx

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Re: Ideas Needed: Transition to Background Trees
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2008, 01:26:44 PM »
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I also have serious red/green issues (makes for interesting Ops sessions blowing by signals). Have to get my wife to keep checking my progress for too much red or yellow.
KB



Really? Ok, then, do you see that you have two different colored trees in that one row along river bank? Forgive me, I don't really truly understand how colorblindness works, so I'm kinda curious.

The reason I say that is because, in that photo, they're really jarring to me and look pretty out of place, but if you can't see them as out of place, well then, you're in luck!

KB,

Don't feel too bad.  I can't see the "problem trees" either.  As for Ed running your picture through the filter, I can't see any difference in the before and after photos at all! ???  However, there are advantages to being colorblind.  I'll never lose sleep over whether a certain brand of paint matches a certain color better than another brand! :D

Dave

P.S. I'm not just red-green colorblind.  I'm also a moron.  ;D

« Last Edit: April 19, 2008, 01:28:53 PM by davefoxx »

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