Monday, March 18, 2013

"Staging" miniature photography

I've been envying certain bloggers' terrain collections for a while.  Not because I want it for gaming, but because with the right set-up,  it can produce some really impressive photos of miniatures that "bring them to life" as it were.  Some good examples from some of my favorite painters:



Yeaaaaaah, pretty nice.  I don't have nearly the time to make this kind of thing, or the space to display it, but some kind of thematic backgrounds might be an improvement over the blue-white gradient or simple coloured paper I use now.

The other day I found a page with a pretty amazing collection of  free Star Wars-themed downloadable paper terrain, that I thought might do the trick and be simple to use. I printed some off, and quickly whipped up this super-basic backdrop:


Your typical Death Star corridor, nothing to write home about.  But even this produces some fun photos:

"Only a master of evil, Darth!"

Trying something a little more elaborate:

"Hey, what's HE doing here?"


Wow, right out of the movies!  OK, maybe not exactly, but I like it.  And it gives the figures a bit more "story" or context, which any even halfway-decent sculpt should already be trying to evoke.  Also, while it's not very creative on my part, I could print these at different scales to display 15 or 28mm minis.

10 comments:

  1. I'm blushing! ;) Really nice backdrops Allison! I especially like how you create perspective using the floor panel lines.

    A nice ground piece and a photo backdrop put far enough in the back that it blurs out, creating depth of field would work well in this manner too. I have been meaning to print up a section of runed city to put in the way-back area myself.

    Thanks for the very kind shout-out, you are one of my favorite painters too!

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  2. Good point about the floor lines. Hadn't thought of that, and it's very true. I wish the printing of these had been a bit higher-quality, frankly, and the "viewport into space" thing didn't work as well as I'd hoped. But they *are* just the first ones I made :)

    The distant backdrop would might be a nice alternative for outdoor settings. An extra illusion of distance could be made by atmospheric perspective - fading and desaturating the image a bit in software. Learned about that in painting class once upon a time...

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  3. I actually really like the viewport. If you wanted more "window-like"ness to it, you could always use an inkjet transparency and print up a frame and put it in front!

    And, also, thanks for the shout out :) I tend to take my photos from the angle shown in the photo simply because I haven't come up with a large backdrop I like yet. Usually I just use those N scale Kato Buildings or the apartment blocks.

    As for DoF, I don't know what kind of camera you use, but if you have just a point n' shoot, generally if you set to Macro settings, and put your mini really close, and the background far away that can get some nice results. Otherwise I use low F-Stop settings in my DSLR. LMK if you want any of the settings I use!

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  4. Beautiful and most enjoyable to view.

    Even though SpaceJacker's and Mr. H.'s comments are too complicated for me to understand, I concur exactly!

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  5. BTW...Catwoman on Buildings. Just use her model I reckon and when she is in play take her off that ledge. :)

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  6. Wow they are really effective, I need to do something similar myself

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  7. Hi Allison, As said by your distinguished followers, an excellent solution for backdrop photography!

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  8. What an excellent sense of perspective and fotography you have!

    Being it on purpose or not, it works and recreates nicely the "point de fuite" perspective thing.

    Really effective for a so simple method.

    PS. I secretly hate/envy one of the above commenters for his awesome looking terrain and retro tatoos :D

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  9. Not so secret now, apparently ;) Is it... Spacejacker? With his awesome "Silence in the Library"-esque ink? Yes, of course it is!

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Thanks for commenting!