Creating Scenic Backgrounds for Your PicturesArticle ID:
Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:34 pmArticle Description:
Using a scenic background to enhance the display of your miniatures.
Many professional companies and pro painters alike have used the classic white background to showcase their models. A more interesting background can be achieved with some simple steps using a Paint Program. So if you don't have a giant, fancy game board to take pictures against, you can still create a lively, scenic setting for your pictures. I will to show you how to achieve a realistic background effect using the paint program 'Adobe Photoshop'.Preparation and ApplicationStep 01
Open Photoshop. Once the program has loaded, open the picture of the miniature you wish to edit the background on. Step 02
As soon as the file is open, press 'Shift+Ctrl+L' or go to 'image>adjustments>auto levels'. This will fix most of the problems on the image. It will correct the colour, the contrast between the dark and light shadows, and levels of light in different places, so it falls more naturally.Step 03
Next, press 'Ctrl+M' or use 'images>adjustments>curves...â€™ and click the 'eyedropper' on the far right of the 'pop-up' screen that appears.
Use the eyedropper and click on any part of the images background (note: we are trying to get as much of the background as white as possible), if you don't like the effect you can always press cancel (Ctrl & Z) and do it over again. This eyedropper will turn any background colour you touch to pure white. We need to do this so we have a very clear, easy background to work around.Step 04
Use the "Magic Wand" button and click on the background of your picture. This will outline the edges around the model, so when we invert the lines we have a perfect edge around the miniature.Step 05
Press 'Ctrl+Shift+I'. This will invert the lines created by the magic wand, making it so it is perfectly wrapped around the miniature.Step 06
Press 'Ctrl+alt+D' or go to 'Select>Feather'. I normally set the feather to around 2 pixels although this changes depending on the size of the image.
This step is really important. It will create a very smooth and realistic edge so it doesn't look fake. Look at the difference between a feathered edge and an un-feathered edge. See how much smoother the feathered edge looks?Jenova Project â€œTristan 2005- All Rights Reserved Step 07
Contract the image using [Select>Modify>Contract]. This will get rid of the deep shadow that usually apears around the edge of the model. I'll set this at two pixels also but the key to making this look right is to have it be the same amount of pixels as the feather.
If there is other little parts like holes or gaps follow the same steps with them after using the "Magic Eraser" on them. After you follow the same steps with them, follow the first two steps with the whole model.Step 08
Press [Ctrl+C] or go to [Edit>Copy]. Open a new Photoshop document and then click [Ctrl+V] or go to [Edit+Paste]. I don't think these steps require any explanation.Step 09
Now we need to find an image you would like to use as your background. I suggest using www.images.google.com/
and search for "Landscape". If you have a specific type of Landscape or a specific Place you can use that for the search.
I fiddled through the pictures and chose this one to be my background.
Now open the picture you chose to be your background in Photoshop.
Take the drag tool and drag the background image on to the document with the image on it. Make sure the background image is on a layer behind the model image. You can move the model around to fit the pose.
Now go to [Layers>Flatten Image] to compress all the layers together and create an image.Step 10
If you would like a life sized image of your miniature to be placed onto your background, get the original image that you were enhancing and resize it to be about 2.25 in. at a resolution of 72 pixels. So around this size:
Then follow steps 1 and 2 of the main guide for the little image and then paste the life-sized image on to the image with the background.Conclusion
I hope this guide was of help to all that read it and it inspires you to have a go at Photoshop.
I quite like it and I hope you do to.
Thank you for reading my article,