Slaigar's Figures!

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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby Shinobi2u » August 9th, 2008, 2:41 am

very sexy. Need to get this and pose it w/ Kan'u.
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby Slaigar » August 9th, 2008, 5:17 am

Here's a proper full front and back:
a-chouunshiryu001.jpg
a-chouunshiryu002.jpg


Shinobi2u wrote:very sexy. Need to get this and pose it w/ Kan'u.

She's the perfect addition with Kanu =D. I did try taking a photo of Kanu and Chouun. But I couldn't light it properly. I'm still bouncing my flash and it only looks decent when working with one figure:
theduo.jpg
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby ai-chan » August 9th, 2008, 5:58 am

Wow! Its almost the same size of Kanu. Isn't Chouun supposed to be 1/8 scale? Not that I'm complaining :D

You've even got the Kanu LE black... I'm so jealous... :ase2:
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby Slaigar » August 9th, 2008, 6:34 am

Yeah, they are pretty much the same size. Chouun has two millimeters or so over Kanu- strange huh?

Black Kanu was a nice addition to the collection. I hate missing out of limited editions... I'm such a sucker.
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby shawn » August 9th, 2008, 8:27 am

Nice. The 2 looked pretty good together. :goku:
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby H-Gurl » August 10th, 2008, 6:10 am

^ Ditto

That photo looks pretty sweet!
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I have no idea what you're talking about...
...so here's a bunny with a cellphone on it's head.
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby Slaigar » August 10th, 2008, 8:59 am

Thanks you all, I appreciate it :aka: .

It has come to point where I can finally say I know how to use my camera. With my photos becoming more consistent (though mostly nature and street photography for the last while), so it might as well be time to have an analytical view of my current process and problems with my figure photos:

Recently, I've slightly changed the way I take photographs and have been testing it out on a few figures. Now I turn off all ambient lighting before I take photographs. It prevents from getting a yellowish tinge on the figure. The yellow was always odd and uneven ie. it would hit the arms but not the legs causing different skin tones. Also, less tweaking is required to fix up the images as I'm more conscious of the lighting + camera settings. I only tweak when I'm craving for more contrast.

For the last set of photos, the routine for taking them was:
1. Pose them with the background and then focus the camera which is mounted on the tripod. Freehand works perfectly fine, but the tripod lets you keep your hands free so you can adjust other stuff while knowing your camera stays still.
2. Set up the reflectors around them and take a few shots to test out the lighting.
3. Once the I find a proper position for the reflectors, I put the camera focus on manual and turn off the lights in my room. Setting the focus on manual insures that the camera won't try to focus when you hit the shutter in the darkness.
4. Shoot. And adjust the reflectors while I further play around with the lighting.
It's an extra step added for me, but this means no more yellow from my old fluorescent lights.

Single Light Source :kuruc:
I'm still having problems with lighting though. Eventually, I will get an lighting kit to help me out. For now, I'm bouncing my external flash off white paper (it's taped on cardboard box and I can move it around) to initially diffuse the lighting. Then on the opposite side is a mylar reflector (from an aquarium light that I no longer use, but it's pretty much a mirror) which contains/reflects the light toward the other side of the figure. I did try with the second reflector being just white paper instead of the mylar, but it didn't light the opposite side of the figure enough. The effect is that one side is hard lit and the other is soft lit. I usually use it for vertical portraits, but I manage to get it to work on horizontal portraits as well- however it casts a shadow that I don't know how to get rid of. I still like the results I'm getting though.

Aperture....
The lighting problem is also related to an aperture problem. Because I'm using a flash in the pitch darkness, slowing down my shutter speed pretty much does nothing. So I am limited on the aperture I can use. The lowest I can take the aperture is 8.0, and then it gets really dark and is a pain to edit. 6.3 is what works well with my light settings. Hopefully this will be solved with a lighting kit.

Enough talk! The results with two old figure photos that I was never happy with:
[Alter]Fate Zero again- The method I'm using results in it being front lit. I end up getting shadows, but it still turned out really well.
FateZeroonelasttime.jpg

[Alter] Arcueid again - I still get a shadow on the vertical shots, but I can usually hide them by changing the angle of my camera. The problem with aperture is evident in the photo as well (it's on 6.3). Though I probably could have gotten away with 8.
Arcueidonelasttime.jpg

[Alter] Saber maid - and this one is included because I was practicing with it too. Aperture problem comes up again.
Sabermaidonelasttime.jpg


With all that said and shown, it's a report of what I do now compared to the photos I took with a cheap point&shoot from the beginning. If anyone's in the same position as me (external flash + tripod set up), I do hope that it helps a bit.
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby shawn » August 10th, 2008, 11:36 am

Great post, Slaigar. Hope you have more fun taking more pictures. Keep 'em coming. :ne:

Will this 3-point lighting tip help with your shadows? With a slightly stronger backlight, you can control the shade of your shadows and could even remove it totally if you want. More 3-point tip.... & ....another article.

Your Fate Zero's shadow is kinda soft and diffused so I don't see any problem there. In fact, it adds contrasts and depths to the figures and creates quite an effect. If only the suited saber is not laid to a black background then we might see it better. Anyhow, don't chop them off by the ankle and it would be a better composition.
:tere:
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby Slaigar » August 11th, 2008, 10:51 pm

shawn wrote:Great post, Slaigar. Hope you have more fun taking more pictures. Keep 'em coming. :ne:

Will this 3-point lighting tip help with your shadows? With a slightly stronger backlight, you can control the shade of your shadows and could even remove it totally if you want. More 3-point tip.... & ....another article.

Your Fate Zero's shadow is kinda soft and diffused so I don't see any problem there. In fact, it adds contrasts and depths to the figures and creates quite an effect. If only the suited saber is not laid to a black background then we might see it better. Anyhow, don't chop them off by the ankle and it would be a better composition.
:tere:



Many thanks for the articles. I'll start reading through them and see what I can I do to improve.

Keen eye, Shawn! The bulk of my photos are lacking the feet + bases. When I started, I usually tried to hide the base and the feet were lossed with it. It was only the figures that could stand on their own (Kanu and Chouun) that I included the feet. I always thought the bases were distracting. What does everyone else think about bases in photos?
I agree that having the feet missing seems odd. I'll be sure to include them on the next shot when Lily Salvatana gets released.
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby valho » August 12th, 2008, 2:56 am

your photos are looking good Slaigar, the three point lights should help you with the shadow.
Kanu and Chouun looks great together but i didn't get Chouun though, kinda regreting it right now
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby Slaigar » September 25th, 2008, 12:50 am

valho wrote:your photos are looking good Slaigar, the three point lights should help you with the shadow.
Kanu and Chouun looks great together but i didn't get Chouun though, kinda regreting it right now

Thanks, Valho.

[ALTER] Lily Salvatana
She has such a badass and seductive pose. Out of the three girls from Satsuriku no Jango, she has to be my favourite sculpt. There's no castoff- which I don't mind- but the odd part is the lack of painted nipple detail :ase: (it's just odd...). I sound strange, so hopefully it's just me, haha.

When you get her, you have to sort of make the glass frames. The metal frames are there, they just need to be bent into the shape of glasses. The parts which balance on the bridge on of the nose were tough to do. For clumsy people like me, it was a bit of pain. And trying to get them it was tricky without scratching her. She comes with three metal frames so you can mess up at least once.

Other than that, she's all good. The paint and sculpt are the usual Alter quality which doesn't disappoint. She's very recommendable, even if you missed out Donne Anonime and Franco Il Nero.

I wanted to get a nice background and also get these done fast, so used ISO400 to get it to show. The skin tones are off on each because I didn't care so much for the lighting situation.

Image
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and a bit more contrasty

Image

She's rather difficult to light up. Her boobs stick out far and her face is hidden by the hat. So I used reflector + flash to balance it out a bit though I was successful in only in a few of the poses. Most of the shots were done with f/3.5, which did an awesome job on blurring the background which was a foot away. But it also ended up blurring some things that I wanted to be in focus :ase2: .

Now, I need to get my hands on a [ALTER] Yagami Hayate preorder. I'll probably resort to eBay for this one. Otherwise, it's a long wait until Gwendolyn gets released.
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby BigPfeiffer » September 25th, 2008, 1:25 am

Really nice photos of Lily, it's a great looking figure. For some reason I thought it was cast off (maybe because it looks like it should be). Second picture from the back showing off the hair is my favourite. Like I said, really nice - thanku for posting them.
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby Shinobi2u » September 25th, 2008, 4:14 am

Very beautiful pictures as usual. She looks beautiful. I am still waiting on mine. The ALTER Hayate Yagami appears to be a somewhat massive figure. She's gonna be beautiful as well.

Keep taking these lovely photos.
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby shawn » September 25th, 2008, 3:43 pm

Ah... FEET! :tehe:
I must agree with Pfeiffer. The one with her back to us, with some off focus and some on focus hair gives it depth. Lovely. :nico:
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Re: Slaigar's Figures!

Postby Onegai » September 26th, 2008, 3:37 am

That Salvatana chick is looking pretty nice! :ne:

The glasses sound appealing to me since I love those self assembly kind of things.
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