Backdrops

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Backdrops

Keith Hayes
Much to the chagrin of Darel, my model of Leadville faces uphill and places the operator looking east. Commercial backdrops are available looking towards Mounts Massive and Elbert to the west, but no-one seems to care about the mineral-rich Mosquito Range.

Well I do.

A few years back,  Pop and I packed the office camera and a tripod and made an excursion to Leadville to make some high-resolution images for backdrops ala Dale Kruetzer. Except now I cannot find the giant RAW files from that trip.

But,  I have a series of images from another adventure. Hearing of the Wal-Mart poster, I figured it was worth a  $30 experiment.



I stitched these together from about five images. They started at 150dpi, and when I enlarged the image to the 2' x 8' crop, I believe that the resolution dropped below 100dpi. I dithered about applying a filter to make the image less crisp, but did nothing in the end.

At the store, I sneaked a peak, and the image looked really fuzzy. But in the layout room, it seems about right: the forms are there to make the place, but not so crisp as to distract the eye. And it cost less than $30, plus I got it in less than 24 hours.

Now that I know what I am doing,  I will stitch the whole panorama together and delete the power lines and other late 20th C clues and make enough for the whole wall.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: Backdrops

Bill Uffelman
Very cool.

Bill Uffelman 



On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 5:26 PM, Keith Hayes [via C&Sng Discussion Forum]
Much to the chagrin of Darel, my model of Leadville faces uphill and places the operator looking east. Commercial backdrops are available looking towards Mounts Massive and Elbert to the west, but no-one seems to care about the mineral-rich Mosquito Range.

Well I do.

A few years back,  Pop and I packed the office camera and a tripod and made an excursion to Leadville to make some high-resolution images for backdrops ala Dale Kruetzer. Except now I cannot find the giant RAW files from that trip.

But,  I have a series of images from another adventure. Hearing of the Wal-Mart poster, I figured it was worth a  $30 experiment.



I stitched these together from about five images. They started at 150dpi, and when I enlarged the image to the 2' x 8' crop, I believe that the resolution dropped below 100dpi. I dithered about applying a filter to make the image less crisp, but did nothing in the end.

At the store, I sneaked a peak, and the image looked really fuzzy. But in the layout room, it seems about right: the forms are there to make the place, but not so crisp as to distract the eye. And it cost less than $30, plus I got it in less than 24 hours.

Now that I know what I am doing,  I will stitch the whole panorama together and delete the power lines and other late 20th C clues and make enough for the whole wall.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3



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Re: Backdrops

Keith Hayes
Finally got some help from the family to get the banner in place. It is about 6" too high, but will be just fine once lowered.
It rated a "WOW" from my wife.

I confess I am still getting used to it,  but the effect is good. Especially for $30!

I think the base of the trees will move down to the ground plane at the rear of the layout. Carbonate Hill will be to the right where the mines are.

Thoughts?
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: Backdrops

John Greenly
Keith,

WOW is right, that looks fantastic!!!  From the point of view of these photos the height looks fine to me, except maybe I see what you mean in the far left part of the first photo.  Maybe somehow lighting it in such a way as to avoid the nearby buildings casting shadows on the backdrop would help the illusion?  Anyway, WOW again!  If I ever have a layout, I wish it could look like that.

John  
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Re: Backdrops

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Looks fantastic, Keith!

I think the base of the trees will move down to the ground plane at the rear of the layout.


I like it like it is . . . as I recall, the landscape moves upward in elevation to the east of the yard, the main part of town lower in elevation than the C&S yard.

Perhaps you should live with it for a while.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Backdrops

Jeff Young
Yep, I think it looks bloody fantastic the way it is.
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Re: Backdrops

Don Gustavson II
Very nice. Having pictures of the actual location really sells the scene.
HOn3 is the path I have chosen.
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Re: Backdrops

Mike Trent
Administrator
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Really looking good, Keith.

Is that a reflection of lighting that we are seeing up there?

It's an amazing thing, isn't it? I'm about 9 months with my backdrop and it still catches my breath.

Speaking of my backdrop, I had to have some touchup work done last year to bring back life to beetle killed pines at Dickey. When I heard about the fire at Breckenridge this week, I got hold of my brother who was up there last week, and asked him about the beetle kill near Breckenridge. He said in some areas it may have been as high as 50%. Yikes!

Keep us posted, this looks fantastic.
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Re: Backdrops

Keith Hayes
Thank you all.

The kiddo helped me take the poster down, and I trimmed it to length and cut the sky off.

There is still a hot spot, but it is effectuve!
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: Backdrops

Robert McFarland
Why cut the sky off? On all the backdrops with sky on them posted on this and other sites I think the results including the sky have really improved the overall good look of the scene.The only thing that looks weird is a 90 degree corner in the sky.There have been several good posts showing how the modelers have used curvable material like linoleum to disguise the corner."Well,the clouds don't move!"Neither do the little men in the yard.There are computerized message boards that show moving,billowing clouds-even storms,but that would probably not feasable for a model railroad
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Re: Backdrops

Jim Courtney
The main reason my friend Dale Kreutzer cuts the sky from his backdrops, is that he finds in stitching 5 or more photographs together, it his hard to make the sky match from one photo to the next. The value of "sky blue" changes as the camera pans from one direction to the next, right to left.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Grade crossings

Keith Hayes

Installing plank grade crossings in Leadville.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3