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@  Robowang : (23 March 2017 - 08:45 AM)

Yikes. Sounds more like GTA.

@  Dracula : (23 March 2017 - 08:42 AM)

Someone drove a car through a crowd of people and then into the front gates of parliament, I think, and stabbed a police officer before being killed by other officers

@  Robowang : (23 March 2017 - 08:10 AM)

I coincidentally watched London Has Fallen yesterday afternoon, heard an offhand remark about a terrorist attack in London on the radio yesterday afternoon, and somehow put the two together in my sleepy haze. I need to read what actually happened.

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (22 March 2017 - 11:21 PM)

That's relieving to hear.

@  Jalaguy : (22 March 2017 - 05:33 PM)

All good here, I don't work that far into the city.

@  Bass X0 : (22 March 2017 - 05:00 PM)

I'm way up north, so yeah.

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (22 March 2017 - 02:34 PM)

I just saw the news. Are all of you Britons on this board alright?

@  Telly : (22 March 2017 - 01:20 PM)

spoilers dude!

@  Paladin : (22 March 2017 - 12:26 PM)

I'm pretty sure Kong doesn't fight Fox Studios...

@  NotVeryKnightly : (22 March 2017 - 12:25 PM)

I didn't know he was meeting the Fantastic Four's enemies.

@  Bass X0 : (22 March 2017 - 12:18 PM)

I might watch Kong: Skrull Island this weekend.

@  ▲ndrusi : (22 March 2017 - 10:48 AM)

(At least I'm assuming it was "instead." I guess I don't know for sure that Eddie Murphy's character wouldn't have been Kirk's love interest.)

@  ▲ndrusi : (22 March 2017 - 10:47 AM)

I dunno about that. Star Trek IV was pretty great but I'm haunted by the knowledge that at one point instead of a love interest it was going to have Eddie Murphy.

@  Paladin : (22 March 2017 - 07:28 AM)

you know a remake/movie's in trouble when adding Eddie Murphy to it might make things BETTER...

@  unluckiness : (22 March 2017 - 06:45 AM)

Is Eddie Murphy still Mushu?

@  Waspinator : (21 March 2017 - 11:56 PM)

The captain Mulan falls in love with is also getting replaced by a new character

@  MEDdMI : (21 March 2017 - 08:32 PM)

As long as we get the men throwing their manliness around, then crossdressing, I'll be happy.

@  MEDdMI : (21 March 2017 - 08:30 PM)

what....? b-but that song's so awesome! *lookd up info* oh, it's just "for now", but could change since it's not planned for release until 2018.

@  Waspinator : (21 March 2017 - 08:22 PM)

Oh wow, you're not kidding: they're actually planning to remake Mulan without the songs. Idiots.

@  MEDdMI : (21 March 2017 - 08:16 PM)

I'LL... MAKE A MAN... OUT OF YOU!!!

@  BlackMax : (21 March 2017 - 06:50 PM)

Much love to NightViper for that.

@  Paladin : (21 March 2017 - 06:49 PM)

can't; they cut that from the new movie.

@  Evac : (21 March 2017 - 06:48 PM)

LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS! TO DEFEAT *smashes some pots* THE HUNS!

@  NightViper : (21 March 2017 - 01:54 PM)

If they had a sword they would not get bored. They would not get bored, that horrible Horde. They would find a lord - a lord and his ward - and use their sword to slice the lord. Yes slice the lord just like a gourd! Then the ward they turn themselves toward that horrible Horde. That horrible terrible deplorable Mongol Horde. And they would not be bored if they had a sword.

@  Telly : (21 March 2017 - 01:23 PM)

3

@  Paladin : (21 March 2017 - 01:07 PM)

how many boars would the Mongols hoard if the Mongol Horde got bored?

@  TheMightyMol... : (21 March 2017 - 11:28 AM)

Well, you won't find it if you don't look! (Neither TMM nor The Allspark are in any way responsible for what you find.)

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (21 March 2017 - 02:47 AM)

I haven't seen grilled cheese and Super Ted cross over yet on the internet. Nor do I intend to search!

@  TheMightyMol... : (21 March 2017 - 01:56 AM)

This is the internet. Everything crosses over with everything if you look long enough. And if you're lucky, some of it isn't even porn!

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (21 March 2017 - 01:40 AM)

I read that as San Adross and was wondering when there was a GTA and Star Fox Crossover... x.x;

@  Verity Carlo : (20 March 2017 - 09:02 PM)

gta san andreas bass boosted

@  Telly : (20 March 2017 - 06:56 PM)

starting monstrosity now... the arts making my eyes hurt and im hungry. ill start it later

@  Telly : (20 March 2017 - 06:55 PM)

trying to decide if autocracy was an attempt at an original story or just an excuse to quote the '86 movie for the gajillionth time. time to move on fom it (even if you did have a hand in writing it)!

@  Telly : (20 March 2017 - 04:38 PM)

certainly not! reminds me too much of those tests they made me take when i was a kid. the trauma. the trauma...

@  TheMightyMol... : (20 March 2017 - 04:07 PM)

What, you don't like inkblots?

@  Telly : (20 March 2017 - 03:46 PM)

plus the -acies have my all time favorite artist on it (thats to be read with the most sarcastic tone possible btw)

@  TheMightyMol... : (20 March 2017 - 03:40 PM)

You're not missing anything. Either in the "quality of the stories themselves" way OR in the "adds to the greater universe" way.

@  Dracula : (20 March 2017 - 03:30 PM)

I still haven't read the -acies despite owning most of them in print...

@  Dracula : (20 March 2017 - 03:29 PM)

I like Origins, I feel like the later stories add to it and make it better than what it was when written.

@  Telly : (20 March 2017 - 02:57 PM)

@jalaguy-well if i get bored with the stories i can always skip them lol

@  TheMightyMol... : (20 March 2017 - 02:53 PM)

Origins felt like it was Megatron telling his own story and leaving out the parts he didn't like.

@  Jalaguy : (20 March 2017 - 02:49 PM)

Origins-and-acies-first reading orders are A Bad Idea.

@  Telly : (20 March 2017 - 02:32 PM)

origin felt like its writer was just waiting for someone to come along and fill in the gaps for him

@  Telly : (20 March 2017 - 02:32 PM)

im currently making my way through autocracy. im trying to read them all in the order on the wiki page; http://tfwiki.net/wi...ontinuity#Media

@  Rycochet : (20 March 2017 - 02:04 PM)

The 'acys have no excuse for their terribleness.

@  Rycochet : (20 March 2017 - 02:04 PM)

Megatron Origin gave us Megatron's lovely locks, so that's something. It wasn't horrible, but being condensed down to four issues really hurt it

@  Jalaguy : (20 March 2017 - 03:20 AM)

March Mayhem begins! Go vote now!

 

https://www.allspark...olutionary-war/

@  Whirl Maximus : (20 March 2017 - 12:18 AM)

I'd sooner have that, Autocracy, Monstrosity and Primacy as a alt universe story arc.

@  Noideaforaname : (19 March 2017 - 10:44 PM)

Megatron Origin is super disappointing if you go in right after reading Chaos Theory/MtMtE...

@  Telly : (19 March 2017 - 09:34 PM)

just read the megatron origin series. that really shouldve been 6 issues. it was very choppy and some things couldve used some further explaining


Photo
- - - - -

Toy photo setup on the cheapish


32 replies to this topic

#1 M Sipher

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 05:59 PM

setup.jpg

 

A bad photo of my current setup. I've got a bigger one in the works, but soooooooooooooooo much crap going on.

 

But here's stuff you can do to make a cheapish but decent toy-photo studio.

  • A large cardboard box
  • white posterboard (or whatever color backdrop you like)
  • tissue paper (again preferably white)
  • desk lamps, ideally 3
  • 5000K(elvin) white-light bulbs
  • Some kind of clear stand-thing
  • Some kind of clear support

Check with any localish stores about their shipping boxes. You want something at least a foot in every dimension, preferably more. Trust me, these places won't care it you take some of the garbage. They got loads. Just be polite and patient. Working retail sucks, don't add to their pain.

 

Carve up yon cardboard box, removing the "lid" bits for an open side. Cut large windows in three sides, leaving enough cardboard left to still be structurally stable. Tape white tissue paper over the holes... probably on the inside of the box to cover the cardboard frame. I shoulda done that. This is not strictly necessary, but if you'e taking pictures of bigger things (Mega/Voyager/Ultra/whatever) the frame might show up and need editing out of your image.

 

Cut the posterboard to the box width and slide it in, matte (non-glossy) side up. This will diffuse the light and bounce it back softly. DO NOT FOLD IT. Do a soft curve in the back corner, pushing it up to the top of the back wall of the box. While a later step minimizes the need for this, it's still best just in case.

 

Desk lamps with replaceable normal buIbs can be had fairly cheap. Position two in front, one on each side of the target zone, and one up top, which is more there to illuminate the backdrop. I use 5000K light bulbs that give off a blue-white light, rather than the standard yellow. And I don't just mean for this setup, I mean "in my living space in general". I do not like yellow light. These kind of bulbs are not expensive, but they ARE trickier to find. Look SPECIFICALLY for 5000K bulbs, check the back of the box for a little scale. You might have to go to Home Depot or similar. I've had no luck at Targets some nights.

 

Now, ideally, all of your lamps would be behind the tissue paper pointed at the item, which would diffuse the light more and prevent harsher reflection on the shiny plastic/metal toy. Notice mine are not. They should be. But I am currently operating with limited space. Next rig will.

 

To eliminate as much harsh shadow as possible, I use a clear-plastic riser to stand the toys on. While this does produce a minor reflection in the final photo, that is a LOT easier to cleanly eliminate than a shadow on a solid opaque surface, especially when it comes to vehicle-mode images where the subject is wider and lower on the ground. I'm using the cases from the old Micron Legend DVDs that came with toys, but I realize that's not likely viable for most. But there's lots of alternatives out there.

 

Since some stuff doesn't like to stand up on its own (or needs to be laid on a narrow side for a good image), I have a variety of clear-plastic stands/props to prop the toys up if needed. These too are generally easy to edit out and offer no/minimal shadows.

 

And that's about it for the physical studio parts. There's camera arglebargle depending on what you got with settings and stuff, but I'm not gonna cover that here (and some stuff is unavoidable... you are NEVER gonna get certain shades of aqua to look right, bright red will ALWAYS "bleed" out details, flaws and dirt your eye won't normally catch WILL be magnified, white toys on white backdrops are a huge pain, etc). There's also a load of Photoshop chicanery I use to make things look wiki-fresh, but a setup like this means a lot LESS work in editing the images to make them look good.

 

 

M "Thanks, And Enjoy" Sipher


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#2 crockalley

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 06:30 PM

Desk laps are a great idea. I bought clip lamps, and it's a pain. When I do photos, I have to lug in some wooden chairs to clip the lamps to.



#3 ExVee

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 06:38 PM

Another way to approach lighting is softboxes. You enclose your lights in some manner of frame or box, and the front side is a diffusion material. That allows you to kill the harshness of direct light the same way the tent concept does, but it keeps your lights movable and doesn't necessarily restrict you to a particular volume of space to work within. And they're also cheap to set up.

The building material is styrofoam coolers. That's the "box". Utility clamp lights which you can get anywhere with a hardware selection are the power, and as for diffusion, there's a couple approaches. My preference is polyester pillow protectors. I find these good in particular because the material does not affect the color of the light much at all, where I've seen cotton pillowcases or sheets cause a yellowish tint that defeats the purpose of using those "natural daylight" color CFLs. The last thing you need is some bungee cord straps. I've found well suited ones at Walmart for under $2 each.

Assembly is super easy. Take the reflector bowls off the clamp lights. Get the light sockets as near as you can to the center of the outside bottom of the cooler, and trace around it with a marker. Once you have the spot clearly marked, carefully carve an opening. It's better to keep it a little smaller than your outline, than to have it end up bigger. The styrofoam will give a bit, and being tighter will make it work better. Put the socket through the hole and screw in the CFL. Over the open top with the pillow protector, and making sure to keep it smooth and a bit tight, stretch the bungee strap around the outer edge and hook the ends together.

Two of these are good for lighting most situations where you're not going for the infinite white background. The clamp lights are typically the most expensive part at $7 or $8 each, but a pair of this kind of softbox can be built for under $35. Sipher's studio box is cheaper for sure, and better at its cost for doing white background photography, but if you need to be able to work in a larger space or otherwise have more flexibility, cooler lights are great to have.

#4 M Sipher

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 07:08 PM

Yeah, my setup is predominantly for the purposes of smaller-scale "product photography" against a shock-white backdrop, set up in a limited space. It's pretty much perfect for anything Deluxe-scale or smaller, and solid for most "Mega" scale items.

 

(Also, you can't really see it, but there's a window directly right of the setup so daytime light filters in nicely.)

 

You certainly want adjustable necks on your lights either way to adjust for toy sizes.

 

 

M "Hopefully Someday I'll Have More Space To Spread This Out, Use A Cooler-Box Light" Sipher


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#5 Dracula

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 07:21 PM

I recently started using this setup which is able to accommodate figures of Titan size and larger:
 

20161211_130900.jpg

 

Got the PVC pipes from Home Depot and the fabric from Jo-Ann's. I usually have the fabric rotated lengthwise and clamped to the left and right pipes. 

 

Lighting might be kind of a problem for a setup like this, but I use an external flash with good results:

 

tumblr_oj69vlZTJx1r7gehbo1_1280.jpg

 

(The fabric in the photo above is basically t-shirt material, as it is less likely to wrinkle)


5140629382_7d653c135f.jpg

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#6 lastmaximal

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 07:31 PM

After getting tired of having to find a glare/reflection-free way of photographing stuff (the last ones I did were RiD Windblade and a few TR wave 2 guys), much Googling led me to a setup like Sipher describes. I only have two lamps at the moment, and each only minimally adjustable, but having a lightbox (even an on-the-cheap one) makes a huge difference. And for this I only spent on the parchment paper to line the box and the cartolina/posterboard; the box and lamps had been lying around.


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#7 Nutjob R/T

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 07:51 PM

Gotta say it again. A decent digital camera should have a way to manually lock in an F-stop and should automatically adjust the shutter speed.

A big aperture (small f-stop number, like f2.8) and a fast shutter (big fraction number like 1/3600) will make only a thin layer of the picture be in focus.

Set a tiny aperture (f10-f20) and a slow shutter (1/300, i'm guessing at shutter speeds) and you'll get more of the depth details in focus, but you'll need a tripod and maybe set a time delay on your shutter release.
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#8 Zamuel

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 08:06 PM

I recently started using this setup which is able to accommodate figures of Titan size and larger:
 
20161211_130900.jpg

So that's why you have purple backgrounds. I've attempted the box method Sipher displayed but I have seen the PVC pipe method before.
card-strongarm.jpg

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#9 Marduk

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 08:18 PM

Please be advised that I have no idea what I'm talking about, so any advice should be taken with a grain of salt (read: I am a terrible photographer).

 

Most important: set your white balance to match your light source!

 

Clamp lights are great for tabletop photography.  Pick up a couple at Wallyworld for like $8, pop in some Daylight LEDs and you're (almost) good to go. A lot of people use CFLs, but I don't like the possibility of breakage (and cleanup).  Stay away from Halogens because they get hot. Clamp your clamp lights to the side and go to town.

 

I've had decent-ish results with a sheet of white posterboard stuffed up against a white wall.  Put your clamp lights (100 watt) facing the wall to blow things out, and use your desk lamps (60watt) to illuminate your object. Adjust your camera's exposure up a bit to help blow out the background.  If you've done it right, you'll probably only need to adjust a little bit in your preferred editor to finish blowing the background out all the way. 

 

You can also use some aluminum foil wrapped around cardboard to act as bouncers / reflectors.  It's a good way to make use of the pieces you cut out for your light tent. Crumple the foil first and then carefully unwrap before wrapping around the cardboard (this is supposed to provide better light distribution)(or something like that).

 

If you're looking for reflective bases, Amazon sells acrylic sets designed for tabletop photography, but glass from a cheap picture frame will do in a pinch.  I've seen some tips to paint one side of the glass black for black backdrops, but I haven't tried doing that (my adventures in black backgrounds go poorly).

 

Don't be like me and keep thousands of bad photos.

 

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#10 Strafe

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 07:36 AM

This has been a fascinating read. I'd love to see what others can do with nice light tents and boxes set up like these, I really need to buy lamps to try out at some point.

I have probably the laziest/cheapest set up ever, unfortunately. I shine the mid day sun into an empty styrofoam box, so my toy photography is pretty much limited to weekends. I have a $50 camera and free image editing software for turning up the contrast. That's it. But yeah, you can absolutely take decent photos without spending a lot.

 

14312339915_b543eff29a_o.jpg

 

25895030171_c18f215b39_o.jpg

 

 

24320800730_0f2f1f03a5_o.jpg



#11 Benbot

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 10:57 AM

I prefer a white or very light background.  



#12 LV!

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 11:14 AM

I prefer Turkleton.

#13 Msol

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 11:23 AM

Sipher, any good exams of your work? The wiki has a ton, but anything specifically a favorite of yours?

#14 gargunkle

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 11:27 AM

Lamps, PVC pipe, tissue paper, poster board.

 

IMG_1465.jpg

 

IMG_1463.jpg

 

I think the biggest problem has typically been that I have been too cheap to get a decent camera.


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#15 Dracula

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 11:30 AM

Dig that gorillapod, though. Those things are great.


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#16 Gizmoboy

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 11:31 AM

This is pretty much the exact set-up I'm using, except my lights aren't LED.

 

https://www.amazon.c...photo light box



#17 Mouse_Pad

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:06 PM

https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

This is what I use.  I love it because it's big, it folds flat, and the light is integrated.  It only takes a couple of minutes to get set up.  I did have to add some Velcro to the backdrops because the included clips are inadequate.

 

I'm no photographer, but I've got a new Canon camera that I've been toying around with.  My goal is generally to get photos to support jokes, though, rather than to get photos to showcase the toys themselves.


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#18 DeltaSeeker

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:50 PM

This is pretty much the exact set-up I'm using, except my lights aren't LED.

 

https://www.amazon.c...photo light box

 

I use two of those LED lights and a couple tray inserts from Voyager scale figures to make the backdrop.  

 

Barricade7_zps7swelxk5.jpg

 

I could probably stand to get a couple more lights.



#19 D Buster Prime

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 07:23 AM

Does anybody use green-screen backdrops regularly in toy photography?


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#20 ExVee

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 10:40 AM

To do chromakey with? It's not the easiest thing to do at this scale, as a lot of times a color background lit properly to key it out will tend to cast some tint on to the subject as well. Then when you go to cut out the background color, bits of subject either go with it, or you have conspicuous color highlights on the figure that don't match. Given this also happens sometimes with filming people against a green or blue screen when someone doesn't quite know what they're doing, it's a challenging approach in general. :)



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