|Landsknechts show off their mortar in the rolling hills of Italy.|
Light Box and Backdrops: Backstage PassSo I got a new small light box, which so far has been totally worth the $19 I paid for it. It came with black and white "craft foam" back drops, but I wanted to see if I could build out more for my worlds. having made several backdrops for my other shots, I thought I'd give it a shot.
|lightbox exterior. You can see the LED strip and boundary edges|
I took another piece of craft foam and hit it with the paint. The trick to making these types of backdrops is fast and loose. I paint down the sky first then bring the terrain up to match, using the same colors of paint I use for my bases and gaming mats. Then, like basing, I added course pumice gel with paint mixed for some texture on the foreground, and dry brushed it with cadmium yellow after it dried.
Backdrop Materials- what works?This is something I keep experimenting with, and am finding different results based upon the needs and requirements. Here's a few thoughts.
|Support stand not included...|
|All paint here is done like watercolors.|
Paper: Paper, especially a quality paper like Rives BFK comes in large sizes ( 30x 40 inches) and costs under $10 per sheet. It's thick quality rag paper made to be rolled up and painted upon. I use this to make my larger backdrops that can be taken to conventions, and is great as the "hold it up" for any game shots.
Canvas: Only slightly more expensive, canvas is also designed to be painted upon. This is what I use for my game mats, so the idea just translates to canvas very easily. Canvas can be rolled, folded, stuffed, etc and is very travel friendly. It is less stiff than paper, so needs to be supported when taking the shot. The nice part about canvas is that you can let it "roll down to make a smooth transition from sky to ground. Kind of the whole set up instead of just a backdrop.
|Wasteland terrain backdrop that matches my game mat.|
|Canvas impromptu photoshoot.|
Foam: Craft foam is cheap ($1 per sheet) comes in a bajillion colors and is super easy to cut. I've found that it takes paint very well, although check the texture. I've gotten a slightly porous foam which is great for painting, and a smooth foam which is more resistant- or at least can leave brush strokes more readily.
|Foam sheet textured and painted for the light box|
Right- that's all for now. I am actually in the process of making more backdrops, including some "stage sets" to go with them. more soon.
In the mean time, I'd love to know what you do for backdrops, or have any suggestions on what more you'd like to see.