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Backdrop and prop help needed, please!

backdrops mod request props scenery set dressing

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#1 Ingeborg S. Nordén

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 07:21 AM

As I mentioned in my intro post, a friend of mine is collaborating with me on a romantic comedy mini-series called "Heaven Sent": the two main characters are angels who fall in love after meeting each other on unrelated missions. Some of the action takes place "up there", so I'm trying to put appropriate scenery together; Fraas and some other modders have done decent jobs with Hell, but the only Heavenly sets I could find are two featureless cloudbanks.

To solve the problem, I searched for some appropriate pictures online; several looked as if they'd make good backdrops, but I can't make them fit the "power of 2" size guidelines without distorting the pictures badly. (Since my friend thought of using some with the blue/green screens, resizing for them looks even harder...) If anyone out there is able and willing to help here, we'd both appreciate that a lot! :helpsmilie: You can download the backdrops-to-be on Sendspace, since the whole collection is too large to attach here.

In addition, I thought of including the Golden Stairs and the Pearly Gates as set-dressing props; we'd be very grateful to anyone who could create them for us. (Animating the stars and clouds on the Pearly Gates prop would be a nice touch, but not strictly necessary...) Many, many thanks to any of you who decide to help; you'll get mentioned in the credit crawl when "Heaven Sent" hits YouTube.

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:wheelchair: Ingeborg S. Nordén
Studio names:  Second Take Studios (comedy/action), New Look Cinemas (horror/sci-fi), Rose Pictures (romance/unofficial genres)


#2 Uber

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:16 AM

why not used chroma keying and have the people walk up/down those steps?
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#3 thebiz

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 01:04 PM

Uber is correct in that chromakeying would be a great solution (especially if you could find some free stock cloud videos..theres a lot of options out there). I also think theres some gate props from Fraas that might work nicely with fog as a pearly gate...and maybe an escalator prop could lend some humor...

To answer your question directly, generally what I do when an image doesnt fit the backdrop is to duplicate the image across the backdrop as best I can and then use care in selecting you camera shot (ie. closeups) so you only show it once. The reason I duplicate it across the backdrop instead of just placing it once in the middle is it gives you options of how to shoot depending on where your actors are located. Thats just my general method. Attached the example. Others use more exacting ways.

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#4 Ingeborg S. Nordén

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 08:47 PM

I just finished retexturing some bits of Fraas' escalator prop to use as a golden stairway; the parts that I changed are attached here. (I don't know how to make props use specific textures, though--and have zero mesh-editing experience. Could someone here please explain what I should do? Thanks so much for being patient with me so far...)

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:wheelchair: Ingeborg S. Nordén
Studio names:  Second Take Studios (comedy/action), New Look Cinemas (horror/sci-fi), Rose Pictures (romance/unofficial genres)


#5 Ingeborg S. Nordén

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:04 PM

why not used chroma keying and have the people walk up/down those steps?


The staircase picture I attached before was only a flat backdrop; if I had a similar prop in three dimensions, then chromakeying would work. (See my remarks on retexturing the escalator prop....)

:wheelchair: Ingeborg S. Nordén
Studio names:  Second Take Studios (comedy/action), New Look Cinemas (horror/sci-fi), Rose Pictures (romance/unofficial genres)


#6 Ingeborg S. Nordén

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:11 PM

Uber is correct in that chromakeying would be a great solution (especially if you could find some free stock cloud videos..theres a lot of options out there). I also think theres some gate props from Fraas that might work nicely with fog as a pearly gate...and maybe an escalator prop could lend some humor...

To answer your question directly, generally what I do when an image doesnt fit the backdrop is to duplicate the image across the backdrop as best I can and then use care in selecting you camera shot (ie. closeups) so you only show it once. The reason I duplicate it across the backdrop instead of just placing it once in the middle is it gives you options of how to shoot depending on where your actors are located. Thats just my general method. Attached the example. Others use more exacting ways.


Thank you for the backdrop advice; I'm already working on a retexture of Fraas' escalator prop, but his gate looks a bit austere for an entrance to heaven. I'd also need help getting a pearly effect--soft glow and a touch of reflectivity--as opposed to flat white. Can that be done in a 2-D graphics editor like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro? If that's possible, please let me know how; I'd be very grateful for your technical advice. Take care!

:wheelchair: Ingeborg S. Nordén
Studio names:  Second Take Studios (comedy/action), New Look Cinemas (horror/sci-fi), Rose Pictures (romance/unofficial genres)


#7 Rysto

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:39 PM

I just finished retexturing some bits of Fraas' escalator prop to use as a golden stairway; the parts that I changed are attached here. (I don't know how to make props use specific textures, though--and have zero mesh-editing experience. Could someone here please explain what I should do? Thanks so much for being patient with me so far...)


You can use Reacher's Mesh Manipulator to change the textures you want to use. Just go into Images and highlight the one you want to change and then select modify.

#8 Ingeborg S. Nordén

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 10:17 PM

You can use Reacher's Mesh Manipulator to change the textures you want to use. Just go into Images and highlight the one you want to change and then select modify.




With my graphics card, MshManip won't actually display the meshes and textures--just the technical data about them. Is there a good alternative for someone with lower-grade graphic capability? (I can run most 2D picture-editing programs, and play The Movies at medium resolution without crashing anything.)

:wheelchair: Ingeborg S. Nordén
Studio names:  Second Take Studios (comedy/action), New Look Cinemas (horror/sci-fi), Rose Pictures (romance/unofficial genres)


#9 Killian

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 10:40 PM

Or, alternatively, you can use MEd (if your machine is capable of running it) to load up the mesh (with attendant textures) and change the requisite textures that way.

I've never been able to get Mesh Manip to work in the display department, either (but, if you know what texture you want to replace and with what, you can just use the modify option to do that without needing to display the model anyway), but have had no trouble with MEd to do selective reskinning before.

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#10 Ingeborg S. Nordén

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 10:44 PM

Or, alternatively, you can use MEd (if your machine is capable of running it) to load up the mesh (with attendant textures) and change the requisite textures that way.

I've never been able to get Mesh Manip to work in the display department, either (but, if you know what texture you want to replace and with what, you can just use the modify option to do that without needing to display the model anyway), but have had no trouble with MEd to do selective reskinning before.


I assume you mean version 1.022 (which I used to create my costume mods), so using it to retexture a prop shouldn't cause any trouble...

:wheelchair: Ingeborg S. Nordén
Studio names:  Second Take Studios (comedy/action), New Look Cinemas (horror/sci-fi), Rose Pictures (romance/unofficial genres)


#11 Rysto

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 10:49 PM

The viewer in Mesh Manipulator does not work for me either.

I do re-texturing in Paint or Gimp then change the name of the texture for the mesh using Mesh Manipulator. Mesh Manipulator is the easiest way to accomplish this.

When I need to view the results I just use viewer in MED or the game itself.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: backdrops, mod request, props, scenery, set dressing

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