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Learning to paint from the L2PKs


falstius
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Getting better very quickly!  Love the colors on the last one!

 

If i can jump in about the pics, I just took a miniature photography class at Genghis Con and i don't think Doug will mind me saying - don't get a light box! And you don't need a fancy camera.  Don't use macros (take the pics from further away and crop instead). Your pics will be much better if you 1) get a matte grey background to photograph against and 2) get two desk lamps with adjustable necks.  They can be clip on or tabletop.  Put the same bulb in each lamp (doesn't matter what kind, as long as they are the same).  Use the adjustable neck to aim the light very down low (not top-down), very close, and mostly to the front of the mini.  If you put one a bit to either side and put your camera between the lamps to take the pic, you'll have great lighting.

 

I'm maybe not describing this well.  I'll take a pic of my setup when I get home and post it for you.  It's cheap, and it works great.  The pics are not "atmospheric" but they'll allow people to see your paint job accurately and give you better feedback.

 

Keep up the painting!

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Thanks Pixel!  I actually saw your post and picture on your own WIP earlier today and was hoping you'd post more details. I currently do use two desk lamps and bend them into funny shapes to get the lighting from a lower angle, but one is CFL and the other LED, and I do tend to get very close, and no matte background.  I'm going to pick up another light and try your suggestion. I'd love to see your setup.

 

Also, I've made some progress but yours is astounding.  I love your latest paint jobs.

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Pixel pretty much covered it.

 

You want light on the side of the figure toward the camera and you want limited shadows. So two lights, one on either side of the line between the camera lens and the figure is all you really need. And use one color of light to prevent color casts and weird shadows that can't reasonably be fixed in post processing.

 

Photographing miniatures is pretty easy relative to most other subjects.

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Ok here's my setup with clip on lamps using a shelf:

 

post-12622-0-36977600-1392779389_thumb.jpg

 

Here's a mini on the grey paper:

 

post-12622-0-70375000-1392779501_thumb.jpg

 

I braced my cellphone against the edge of the shelf and took this shot:

 

post-12622-0-39633200-1392779548_thumb.jpg

 

Then I cropped it on my phone:

 

post-12622-0-35266400-1392779580_thumb.jpg

 

Not bad, although it totally shows I should have painted that rock instead of leaving it white! Here's a pic I took of her in a light box:

 

post-12622-0-82565000-1392779679_thumb.jpg

 

Not bad but the pic without diffusion has fewer shadows and shows the paint job more accurately. I hope this helps!

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Wow, that is really bright compared to the lighting I use for my pictures.  I'll have to pick up another bendy light (I would have done it on the way home today but there was yet another snowstorm). I love the little shelf studio and it is nice to have pictures of some really good paint jobs here.

 

I tried some of your suggestions (putting the light closer, matte background, and taking the picture from further out) and here's the result with some coarsely painted zombies.  I have some real matte backgrounds and I'll try them with the new lamp once I have it. Do you do any post-processing of your pictures?

post-12645-0-27077100-1392781043_thumb.jpg

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No post processing besides cropping. I'm too lazy.

 

I had dimmer incandescents in but they were literally too hot! So I grabbed the only matching CFLs I have, which are bright although my very dark room and cell phone camera really made them seem brighter than they are. I may go down a notch but what makes me happiest is it took all kinds of fiddling with the lights when using the light box trying to minimize shadows. No fiddling without the light box.

 

I think putting the light closer is helping you, and so is not having your table and other objects in the background. The second lamp will help get rid of the shadows. Looks better!

 

Also I like your zombies. Well as much as I can like zombies. Because I hate zombies. But yours are well done (though it will be easier to see how much of the shading is paint and how much is shadow when you get the second lamp lol). Great eyes. Creepy shrunken zombie eyes. I really shouldn't look at zombies before bed!

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