Introductory: G1 Cartoon Backgrounds for Backdrops - Introduction and Methodology

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by Superquad7, Aug 29, 2014.

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  1. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    TFW2005.COM's OptimusTimelord has done some tremendous work with creating some backgrounds to use with figures. He's taken several key scenes from the Generation One show and extrapolated the backgrounds (often with having to do some heavy editing and such) to create the images that you'll see following this introduction and his methodology below. Basically, in the following links, you'll simply need to read through and choose the desired background(s) and then print them off either at home or at a print shop of some sort.



    Thanks again to OptimusTimelord for sharing all of his hard work with us here!

    Special thanks to the following members for their added contributions to this resource:

    Arkvander
    destrongerlupus
    Gingerchris
    grimlockgravez
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  2. OptimusTimelord

    OptimusTimelord Masterpiece Reanimator

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    [​IMG]

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    **make this a separate post:

    These panoramic shots I've been doing are fairly easy. I just screen grab stills from a shot, like this:

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    And using layers in Photoshop, line them up into a wide image. Then it's just a matter of hiding the joins (with plenty of overlap it doesn't have to be a hard edge: I usually use a large feathered eraser tool). Sometimes individual frames might need color or brightness adjustment to match the others, and occasionally even a tiny bit of rotation, due to the often erratic nature of animation.

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    For zooming in shots, like this one of the Ark, each step forward gives a clearer look at the detail. So I keep the first frame as the base layer (for the extremities) and add the closer up frames on top, resized to match the picture.

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    Then when everything is lined up and balanced, erase the black borders around the inset layers to reveal a new version of the original wide shot but with much clearer Ark...

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    The actual poster prints I used for my customs are a slightly more elaborate version of this process. For example, I used this Ark background:

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    With this close up of the entrance pasted in on Photoshop:

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    Because I specifically wanted to make the iconic entrance a feature of the poster (also of course, being a close-up it had more detail to work with).

    I also wanted lots of 'floor space' so cleaned up the foreground into a basic dirt track. The mountains in the distance were also blurred a bit to give some perspective. The most labour intensive part was zooming in and smoothing out jagged pixel edges/compression artifacts so that none would show up on the large scale poster print. For that I just had to spend time adding colour and shading in new Photoshop layers, constantly trying to match the original art. You can probably tell I gave it some more vibrant colours too :) 

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    I ordered a 40" print online and that's about it. It's too big to fit in any shelving, but for me it needed to be big because my customs are usually Masterpiece scale. All I have to do is fix it to the wall when I need to do a photoshoot, the rest of the time it's kept rolled up in a tube with my other background print.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2014
  3. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    There are a lot of vector tools out the, but the one I find most useful (both for fan stuff like this, as well as a lot of stuff at my day job) is Vectormagic. Available at Precision Bitmap To Vector Conversion Online - Vector Magic

    I have a subscription and get a lot of use out of it.

    There are a TON of settings and options you can play with, I intend to eventually purchase the desktop version which won't be limited in some of the ways the online version is (it shrunk both your images because they were larger thna the max allowed for the online edition)

    But the best part is, just by nature of the .svg format, if you use the native .svg (or .eps, or .pdf) file, the image will scale almost perfectly in both directions, unlike raster graphics.
     

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  4. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    I also like little Transformer character cut-outs. These could stick to the backgrounds a'la the old 'Stick and Lift' and transfer packs (ignore the tracing set):

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