The joys of miniature photography

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    I think I covered this in a blog post some time back, but just in case I didn’t… one of the fun things about the book cover was that it’s not made of TV screen shots. That’d be really, really illegal, for one thing, unless the book was licensed and I had permission (it isn’t, and I don’t).

    Instead, it’s a nifty composite of miniature photography – in this case, a photoshopped combination of the toys of the late ’80s TARDIS console and the Eccleston/Tennant TARDIS console. Here are the raw photos of the consoles, with various colored lights or lights with colored filters shining on them, over a neutral background:

    And, strange as it may seem, here’s the background image and how it was made:

    All of this can naturally be isolated, cut-and-pasted, tinted, adjusted and so on, until:

    …heavily filtered to give it an “artsy” look, and to hide the few seams left over.

    That being said, I did some more miniature photography today:

    The one on the right may or may not be redone at some point – there’s nothing going on in the background, and I’m not completely pleased with the lighting setup. The one on the right is for WARP!, which will be the Trek reference book similar to VWORP!. The WARP! miniature is, like the various TARDIS consoles, the commercially released toy (the Star Trek: Generations engineering playset to be exact), picked up at a yard sale some years back. The actual warp core that came with it is tiny – it’s a stubby little number whose “top” is barely at eye-level with any figures you care to put in there! So the “warp core” here is a transparent blue plastic baby bottle holder with a couple of “shelves” removed. I may construct something similar to the “TARDIS background” for this, though it may involve my tablet standing in for a “wall” of those backlit displays that were all over the Enterprise. We’ll see.

    The dark backgrounds are there to help ease the compositing part of the process.

    Budget: not a lot. Lighting: flashlights, mainly, and a bunch of color filters that used to fit on an old camcorder I don’t use anymore. A few colored lights (such as those battery-powered LED light strings that Target and Wal-Mart have at Christmas). The most expensive things were the respective TARDIS playsets which, of course, I would’ve gotten anyway. And the best part? They can’t say I didn’t create the images myself. 😆

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