Author Topic: papermill on backdrop  (Read 1827 times)

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basementcalling

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papermill on backdrop
« on: April 06, 2013, 01:13:08 AM »
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I'm thinking of using a couple of these shots behind a 7-8 foot long paper mill scene on my N scale layout.

No idea if they will scale out right or not, as they were shot quickly from a 7-11 across the river. I might have to go back and paddle my kayak into better position to get the proper proportions.

Problem is I am thinking of modeling an overcast day on the layout and that bluebird sky doesn't exactly say stormy weather.

Anyone have any tips to offer on stitching together industrial scenes into a long file that can be printed out? I know it's pretty easy to do with distant mountains and other natural scenes.





Those two might make a good combo, though I plan to use the pulp building from the Walther's paper mill kit on the layout. Hoping to get a background that creates a nice industrial menace impact scene when people walk around the peninsula.



Not sure that one above will work. Doggone tree branches might be very hard to edit out.



This one ought to work, though the angle of the shot is not 90 degrees which could cause more perspective problems than I want to correct.



The marsh grasses are pretty high here, but they could be cropped away.

BTW, the mill is right on the water in West Point, VA. Rail service is provided by NS. A pair of jib cranes now handle chip wood by the truck load of full sized trees.
Might have to make those rail cars on my layout for some variety. Most of the train tracks are on the other side of the mill. but that is hidden behind a 12 foot high wooden fence the length of the mill as you cruise main street.

Peter
Peter Pfotenhauer

mark.hinds

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 01:46:06 AM »
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Those are cool-looking images!!   :) 

Based on my personal experience, if you are good with photo editing software (like Photoshop), you can stich together something like this.  Sky color can be changed too.  Depends on whether you want to put in the effort. 

MH

railnerd

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2013, 11:46:23 PM »
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Peter,

I'd recommend a photo app like Photoshop Elements. The sky can easily be "re-tinted" to whatever you want.

-Dave

mark.hinds

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 10:33:38 AM »
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Looking at it further, you would also need reduce/remove the shadows and tone down the highlights, so it's not just the sky.  All this could be done in Photoshop, but probably not with a simple script/app. 

MH

BCRail_FSJ

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 11:20:22 AM »
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Hi Peter

I did something very similar for my Fort Nelson backdrop.  I used Photoshop elements and was able to switch out the sky with a new texture I preferred.   I had the whole thing printed on a 16ft roll at London Drugs (a Canadian chain)

Check out the following posts on how I did the composition..

http://bcrailfortnelson.com/2012/11/24/photo-backdrop-composition-for-fort-nelson/

and the installation

http://bcrailfortnelson.com/2012/12/08/backdrop-installation-procedure-for-fort-nelson/
Attempting Canadian prototype modelling in New Zealand.

British Columbia Fort St John Subdivision
https://nscalefortstjohnsub.wordpress.com

mark.hinds

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 03:25:06 PM »
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Thanks to BCRail for this Photoshop idea; I didn't even know it was there.   :oops:

To use the Photomerge feature of Photoshop (I'm using my old XP version, which is CS2), you apparently need to have taken all your photos from an equivalent distance.  Also, apparently you need compatible exposure values.  I had to do some resizing of 2 of your images, and upped the brightness in "levels" by 15% in 2 more of them, to get them to merge properly.  Note some cleanup is needed.  This may be because I am new at using Phototmerge, or maybe it's inherent.  Either way, the result is definately something one could work with further in Photoshop.  You could take the shadows out manually, and use masks (something else I haven't used much yet) to isolate the sky and water portions. 



MH
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 03:44:29 PM by mark.hinds »

JMaurer1

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 04:43:54 PM »
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Most digital cameras now have a 'panorama' feature which allows you to take multiple pictures and create one long (backdrop) image. My camera even gives you the edge of the previous picture to make it easier to take the next picture in the series...or you can just do it all in the computer like Mark already did for you.
Sacramento Valley NTrak

BCR751

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 06:38:53 PM »
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I will need to model this pulp mill.  A service road runs parallel to the mill for its entire length, perfect for a series of photos.  Too bad the rail cars, and soon the tree leaves, are in the way.


basementcalling

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 09:19:55 PM »
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Hi Peter

I did something very similar for my Fort Nelson backdrop.  I used Photoshop elements and was able to switch out the sky with a new texture I preferred.   I had the whole thing printed on a 16ft roll at London Drugs (a Canadian chain)

Check out the following posts on how I did the composition..

http://bcrailfortnelson.com/2012/11/24/photo-backdrop-composition-for-fort-nelson/

and the installation

http://bcrailfortnelson.com/2012/12/08/backdrop-installation-procedure-for-fort-nelson/

One of the websites that inspired me to stop and get some photos. Love your focus on the industry and how you pulled off the backdrop. Hoping I can do it half as well.

I did note that you used just a backdrop in your scene at Fort Nelson. Did you consider building out the warehouse at all? I have a preliminary trackplan for my scene, which I'll show below. I added in a few of the bashed buildings I plan to use, but when I really looked at all the piping and tanking in a prototype mill, my thoughts turned to spider webs and the risks of damage to the delicate styrene needed in N scale to make it look real. So my thought was to use the pictures of the chemical parts of the mill between my bashed buildings: warehouse, kraft mill, recovery boiler, and power house.

This is an early sketch of the planned paper mill scene. The opposite side of the peninsula is a large bridge crossing a river and coal branch scene.
 


It's been refined to look more like this.



I'm planning on using 2 Walther's paper mill kits similar to how Bernie Kempenski did a few years back as featured in MR and a Kalmbach special issue. I had the pleasure to operate his switching layout and the mill scene was even more impressive in person. Shows just how much can be done in a small space in N scale.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have Photoshop Elements loaded up, but have never tried any manipulation as complicated as this, so the process will be two steps forward, one step back at best.

Peter
Peter Pfotenhauer

basementcalling

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 09:24:36 PM »
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Thanks to BCRail for this Photoshop idea; I didn't even know it was there.   :oops:

To use the Photomerge feature of Photoshop (I'm using my old XP version, which is CS2), you apparently need to have taken all your photos from an equivalent distance.  Also, apparently you need compatible exposure values.  I had to do some resizing of 2 of your images, and upped the brightness in "levels" by 15% in 2 more of them, to get them to merge properly.  Note some cleanup is needed.  This may be because I am new at using Phototmerge, or maybe it's inherent.  Either way, the result is definately something one could work with further in Photoshop.  You could take the shadows out manually, and use masks (something else I haven't used much yet) to isolate the sky and water portions. 



MH

Mark, that looks better than what I could do at this point in all probability. Nice to see it has potential.

JMaurer, my digital is an old Pentax WP20. Not quite new enough to have the panorama setting, but I have a buddy with a newer camera or two with all the bells and whistles. He's a published photographer, and a beer or three plus a challenge will pay for assistance.
Peter Pfotenhauer

BCRail_FSJ

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 11:59:26 PM »
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One of the websites that inspired me to stop and get some photos. Love your focus on the industry and how you pulled off the backdrop. Hoping I can do it half as well.

I did note that you used just a backdrop in your scene at Fort Nelson. Did you consider building out the warehouse at all?


That scene is up quite high (58 inches) so I had to keep the shelf narrow (18 inches) so I can reach the back.   That is the reason for putting the warehouse solely as a backdrop.  I will however be building a 3D woodchip loader coming out from the warehouse.

A tip for correctly scaling the textures (assuming they are directly trackside) is to measure them using the ruler in Google Earth.   I measured the length of the warehouse on google earth in inches and divided by 160 to get the N scale length.   You can then scale your photographic texture correctly based on the dots per inch of the image.

E.g   say your paper plant main building measures 3200 inches end to end in google earth.  If you have a photograph of the side elevation of the building you know that.. in N scale,,,to sit trackside it must be 3200 /160  or   20 inches from end to end.      In photoshop you would simply rescale the length to 20 inches (keeping the dots per inch constant) and the height would automatically scale down too.   I worked with 150 dots per inch on my Fort Nelson file which gives good detail but prevents the final mosaic file size from becoming excessive.

It is a bit more involved if the building is..say a mile back from the track...  You would have to scale the building texture down to simulate its distance perspective.  I am sure there is a mathematical way of doing that but I would just adjust the size in photoshop until it looks right.
Attempting Canadian prototype modelling in New Zealand.

British Columbia Fort St John Subdivision
https://nscalefortstjohnsub.wordpress.com

basementcalling

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Re: papermill on backdrop
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 08:32:07 AM »
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Luckily this mill is immediately trackside, although on the prototype the tracks run on the opposite side from where I took the photo. As long as the river and piling walls are cropped out, it should look just fine.

Good tip on using the ruler.  I read somewhere a forumal for how far away to stand from objects to take pictures that come out in the proper scale for various popular layout sizes, but don't remember where I saw it. With digital imaging software, I think it's  easier to shoot and edit than gather laser range finders and such to be sure the shot is properly sized before taking the photograph.
Peter Pfotenhauer