Rainier Great Western Const Update

RGW Feb 19, 2007

  1. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    Just some quick thoughts on last Tuesday. Wain and I spent much of the evening going over our strategies for megapoints installation. He's on the verge of being ready for full go on the system install, so we discussed wiring options, locations and just about anything else you can think of.

    [​IMG]

    Doug continued placing trees and in this case building them.

    [​IMG]

    Scott painted the Renton Yard in preparation for ballasting. We then made a walk-through of the layout to estimate how much more ballast to purchase from Arizona Rock Products.

    [​IMG]

    Wain and I also reviewed pictures he took on a recent swing through the State. We selected a few for creation of a photo backdrop to be placed on the backdrop in Maple Valley.

    In all, a productive evening.
     
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  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    You guys sure do quality work.
     
  3. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    I'm very fortunate to have such good friends that double as great modelers, thanks.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
  4. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Mike,

    When you get time, please post some information on the photo backdrops you will be doing.

    Thanks,
    Dale
     
  5. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    Will do.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
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  6. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    In response to Dale's request, here are some of my thoughts and processes in creating photo backdrops. The single most important thing is to have good clear photos. If you need to blow anything up and it's blurry, it's no good. You can shrink a blurry shot down, but you can't blow it up and make it look good. Ever. So good photography is a must. The shot doesn't need to be huge, or wide angle or even a panorama; although all of those are really an advantage. With modern photo editing programs, like photoshop, you can stitch photos together to make larger shots and then alter the parts you do not want, or multiply features you do. I'll explain that later.

    Here is a recent project where I used four shots to create a golf course. I did not stand in the same place, in fact moved to two different holes to get the shots I was looking for. I wanted a shot from behind a tee box, a shot from a green looking back at the fairway and a shot of trees to create a buffer between the two "hole" shots. Here is what I ended up with:

    1golfcomposite12x36.jpg

    The first shot, on the left is the shot from behind the green and as you can see the shot to the right is the one from behind the tee. The composite shot is 12" high by 36" wide. The trees repeat if you look closely, and I copied a few and relocated their duplicates. I added much of the cart path and I modified trees to delete pesky powerlines that wove through the course. I used a duplication tool to add grasses and coloration where it best suited the shot. It was important when stitching the shots together to keep the perspective correct. The bottom (yes bottom) of the tree line needed to be as flat as possible to keep your eye from catching that this wasn't one scene. Most programs now give you the tools to do that. Here is how that looks in place:

    golfbackdrop.jpg [​IMG]

    You can see how we blended in the cart path, the tee box and the green using built up landforms. We also used real HO scale trees to mask the cove in the backdrop and then used the middle of the three original photos to continue the illusion that the tree line continued. The cove was necessary to give your eye the illusion that the trees were coming toward you down the fairway.

    In the next post I'll walk through the current project on photo backdrop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  7. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    To start with, I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 15, it is not a Cadillac program, but it has every tool I need to make quality backdrops. Our goal in this next stage is to create a distant horizon look over low relief landforms. We want mountains and other items to be very small to give the illusion of significant distance away from the tracks. Wain recently took his bride on a trip through the Blue Mountains in Eastern WA and OR. Along the way he took all manner of shots and several were panorama. I chose these to work from:

    Blue2b.jpg

    Vineyard1b.jpg

    Blue3g.jpg

    Each has very cool perspective, low relief hills and very distant mountains. Each also has a lot of things that I don't want in the shot. I set each to be about 5.5 inches high (no particular reason for that number, other than I only need the landforms, not the clouds) using the Image Resize tool which then determines how long they are as the program keeps the shot in correct perspective. I need 16 feet, so you can do the math how much backdrop is needed.

    The first thing to do is decide how much of the shot you can use and/or want to use. In the first shot, I can pretty much use the entire shot. Blown up most of it is clear and usable. The parts furthest away are a tad blurry, but they won't be blown up so that doesn't eliminate the shot. I don't want the roads on either side, so they have to go. I then used the crop tool to eliminate the road on the right and most of the road on the left. I then used the Cloning tool, which essentially copies another part of the shot wherever you place the cursor. I used it to extend the grasses on the left and get rid of the stop sign. Here's the finished product:

    MOD Blue2b.jpg

    The final width is 54 inches. Much will be trimmed off in final installation, but having more now is a good thing, it gives us more flexibility.

    In the second shot I like the entire thing, but there are two obvious items that have to go, the car on the right and the patio furniture. Again it was set to 5.5 inches high, cropped to keep only what is truly usable and then I used the cloning tool to get rid of the car. Here is the finished product at 30 inches long.

    MOD Vineyard1b.jpg

    The third shot has only one feature that is of no use, the giant mobile sprinkler. Here again the cloning tool allows easy removal by "masking" the actual picture by cloning the grass, the landforms and the sky. At 5.5 inches high, this shot ended up being 40 inches long.

    MOD Blue3g.jpg

    I'm very happy with these and look forward to having them printed and mounted. We will cut off all of the sky and make our own clouds for consistency along the entire backdrop. We will also break them up with foam landforms to keep your eye from telling you these are not from the same locale. For those of you math whiz's, I needed 192 inches and I have 124, so somewhere I need another 68 inches. So I am clearly not done.

    Well I hope you get something from this, feel free to ask questions because I know I glossed over just about everything relating to the use of Photoshop. It's a pretty effective program. The hidden features, like stitching shots together are incredible, because it will find the common areas and align them perfectly. That's not needed quite as much anymore with cell phone cameras that take panoramas. But its a nice tool in reserve should you need it. Anyway, thanks for checking in. M
     
  8. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for posting this up. After reading, I clearly see I need to start learning some new tricks! Those are incredible photos, the backdrops should be very impressive!

    Thank you again,
    Dale
     
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  9. Yannis

    Yannis TrainBoard Member

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    Another piece of great work! I really like these backdrops, thanks for posting!
     
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  10. Michael Good

    Michael Good TrainBoard Member

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    Very nice work on your backdrops!
     
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  11. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    I agree great info and photos. I really need to learn more about photo editing.
     
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  12. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    Some quick updates from our last two sessions. Two weeks ago Wain brought in his concept for the drawers that will house our two main yard panels.

    [​IMG]

    This week he brought them both in ready for install.

    [​IMG]

    He and I spent the evening installing the structure under the benchwork that will eventually be home to the drawers.

    Last week Scott put down sand as a gap filler before we ballast the yard.

    [​IMG]

    This week I had him move some of the yard lights to positions that are more prototypical. I was contacted by a real railroader who showed me a picture showing that yard lights follow the ladder, so that's what we've done here.

    [​IMG]

    Rey continued work on more new cars, two Boeing cars and a woodchip hopper.

    [​IMG]

    That's it for now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
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  13. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    Here is the shot I spoke of in the preceding post, it comes from Tom and his Splitrock Mining Co. Many thanks for the heads up. M

    Yard lights.jpg
     
  14. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Michael,

    I checked that paint you asked about. It’s Krylon Color Max Primer Gray, not the Valspar, I used to use that. This is cheaper.:)
     
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  15. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Dale.
     
  16. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    Well, tonight Wain and I installed the Seattle/Pasco and So Seattle yard panel drawer assemblies. We used "braced" 1x4 under the benchwork. By braced, I mean a structure patterned after an L-girder. This gives it lateral strength so it won't sag. We then affixed the runners to the cross braces using 2-1/4 pocket screws. We used 2x6's in Seattle/Pasco and 2x4's in South Seattle.

    [​IMG]

    We used full extension drawer slides to give us positioning flexibility. We may add drawer stops later.

    [​IMG]

    Couldn't be more pleased. A little touch up paint on the runners and we're good to go.

    Thanks for checking in. M
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  17. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    Tonight was a short crew night, so yours truly took the opportunity to work on the mechanism to motorize the Black Diamond Town Hall revolving door. I set this project aside for quite a while after breaking the building and the revolving door in my first attempt to install it in place. I fixed all the parts, but still hesitated to dive back in, not wanting to make the same mistake and potentially ruin the entire structure. Fortunately during the hiatus I thought about the means and methods a lot, and made some changes under the table that really panned out. Last time I used the building to hold the door in place while I adjusted the mechanism from below the table. DUMB. This time I took the door out of the building, made the adjustments and then placed the building back down on top after making sure the adjustments made for quality operation. Here is how it looks now:



    I'm very pleased with the result. I'll try and figure out a camera angle that will show the underside, but everything I took tonight is blurred.

    Meanwhile, Scott and Doug worked on Renton. Scott created a retaining wall for our commercial site which will have a Dairy Queen and a UPS Store.

    [​IMG]

    Both Scott and Doug put down our Arizona Rock Products "Yard Mix" ballast. We are experimenting with several different methods of putting down ballast in order to minimize the volume we use and still achieve good coverage. This stuff is great quality, but it isn't cheap. So we are trying to think outside the box on quantity. I'll go over those methods after we see the results next week. But know that these shots are not in any way complete.

    [​IMG]

    Another successful night on the RGW. Thanks for checking in.
     
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  18. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Michael,

    Great job on the door! I still think you need to put a kid in there pushing it round and round! Have some old geezer standing there looking astonished!

    The ballast is going good! I could use some help with that down here if you’re interested!

    Take care,
    Dale
     
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  19. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't forgotten that request...
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I keep thinking back to days of my youth. Remembering the animated accessories which we had with our tinplate trains. Especially those buzzing, clicking and clanking versions by Lionel. :)
     
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