Author Topic: How do you make a photo backdrop?  (Read 4252 times)

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freedj

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How do you make a photo backdrop?
« on: June 25, 2019, 09:21:00 AM »
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I am about to head north for vacation and want to take some photos for a photo backdrop. 

I have both a Iphone 7 and a DSLR that I could use.

My target backdrop is 13' long.

Is the iPhone panorama mode the way to go here, or should I use the DSLR and overlap images?  If I go with the DSLR, what post processing software do you guys recommend for stitching them together? 

Any other tips and tricks from the photo backdrop experts?

MVW

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 09:41:29 AM »
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I haven't tackled the particular task you're considering, but I've been contemplating it a bit. Fortunately, there are several here who can respond from experience.

In the meantime, I'd put in a plug for GIMP as a candidate for image processing software. Very similar to Photoshop, but free.

And did I mention it's free?

Looking forward to the responses regarding photo backdrops.

Jim

diezmon

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 09:50:16 AM »
+1
Use the DSLR.   The iPhone won't have the resolution you'll need.

Dave V

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 09:53:39 AM »
+3
Use the DSLR.   The iPhone won't have the resolution you'll need.

You might be surprised.  Depends on the model.  My iPhone 8 on HDR comes awfully close to my Nikon DSLR.  Maybe use 'em both and see what you get.

nthusiast

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 10:44:24 AM »
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I'd use either the DSLR or iPhone with a tripod and overlap/color correct multiple images using GIMP or Photoshop. My experiences with the iPhone in panaromic mode is that it tends to distort edges. When piecing together multiple images, I like to give myself some overlap so it's easier to blend them together. I use a random pattern in erasing/masking using a soft brush. Attached is a pano I made using four or five photos from an iPhone. It's not color-corrected, nor meant to be used as a backdrop.




diezmon

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 11:01:07 AM »
+1
You might be surprised.  Depends on the model.  My iPhone 8 on HDR comes awfully close to my Nikon DSLR.  Maybe use 'em both and see what you get.

iPhone 8 is 12MP?  Most (newer) DSLR cameras are well beyond that nowadays.  Assuming it's a new one.  ;)     

Dave V

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 11:04:47 AM »
+1
iPhone 8 is 12MP?  Most (newer) DSLR cameras are well beyond that nowadays.  Assuming it's a new one.  ;)   

My DSLR is about 8 years old.  There’s an iPhone 7 part of my backdrop at Lizard Head and it looks good to me.  But then I may have lower standards than most!

MK

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 11:13:17 AM »
+1
Definitely DSLR as you can pano stitch each shot and end up with an effective "gazillion" megapixel shot.  PTGui is a good piece of stitching software but it's not free.  They do have a watermarked trial version.

https://www.ptgui.com/

And when yo do use a DSLR for stitching, try to use a "normal" focal length lens to avoid distortion.  Somewhere aroudn the 50mm in a FX body (if you have a DX, you can do the math conversion).

Using a phone vs. DSLR is dependent on your own quality criteria and whether it's "good enough" for you.  For me, I can always see the difference between the two and I would not use a phone.  I just nit pick too much.  :)

diezmon

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 11:17:37 AM »
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My DSLR is about 8 years old.  There’s an iPhone 7 part of my backdrop at Lizard Head and it looks good to me.  But then I may have lower standards than most!

You'll really see the difference when you blow things up.  A picture can look great digitally, but grainy when printed.  You want the highest pixel amount possible

Jbub

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2019, 11:19:23 AM »
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But then I may have lower standards than most!
Not likely  :D Then again you ripped up a bunch of track because it was too straight
"Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!"

Darth Vader

Maletrain

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2019, 11:25:43 AM »
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.... But then I may have lower standards than most!

 :o If your standards are "low", mine must be subterranean.  :facepalm:

What blow-up factor did you use for the photo to make that backdrop?

C855B

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2019, 11:29:16 AM »
+2
These were DSLR (Canon SL2) with their stitching software:





They are (vastly) reduced for web, but you get the idea. As @diezmon said, the iPhone panos of similar shots simply did not have the pixel density to do the scenes justice when enlarged for backgrounds.

Unfortunately the Canon software is no longer available, but as suggested there are 3rd-party apps for it as well.

(What's ironic about those two shots is that I can't use them for backdrops on my layout. Why? Both scenes are slated for 3D execution in scenery. Figures. :| )

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2019, 11:34:12 AM »
+1
Ok. I'm literally about to start writing an article on just this topic. Stay tuned.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2019, 01:02:36 PM »
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I'll add a vote for a DSLR with a relatively long focal length.  I just shot a bunch of pans last week with a 55 mm lens and I typically took 20-30 shots with ~50% overlap and an overall azimuth range of 180 degrees.  I stitched these together on my MacBook with freeware called hugin, which is very powerful.  Here is a quick & dirty example thumbnail:



The full composite images typically have ~22,000 pixels horizontally, which gives me ~12' of backdrop @ 150 dpi. 

However, just as important as the technical info is the subject matter you'll be shooting.   Do you have a composition in mind for your 13' backdrop?  A continuous single image of that length with a reasonable vertical stretch will likely require a ~180 degree pan.  Will that scene make sense on your layout?  Will you need to blend multiple different pans together?

Dave V

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Re: How do you make a photo backdrop?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2019, 01:56:35 PM »
+2
:o If your standards are "low", mine must be subterranean.  :facepalm:

What blow-up factor did you use for the photo to make that backdrop?

I did the thing where I made it as big as it needed to be.  I’m not as methodical as all that!

You'll really see the difference when you blow things up.  A picture can look great digitally, but grainy when printed.  You want the highest pixel amount possible

Blowing up Lizard Head still produced an image worth using.  Just sayin’.  That said it was meant to match the LARC backdrops which are themselves a bit grainy.  It all looks good in person though.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 02:32:46 PM by Dave V »