Pictures to go with the words….

I am not an accomplished artist, or a writer or a photographer…but my theory with Rupp’s Skizzenbuch is that neither was he… so how bad can I do?

If the exhibits in his sketchbook connect emotionally and are immersive than I think the project will be successful.   I know where I am going on the writing and sketching but have struggled a bit with the photography.  This is not the History Channel, I don’t have an extensive historical archive to pull from and I don’t want to find old images and “pretend” they are from Bruno Stachel’s archive.  This exhibits are simulations of reality and the photo’s should be simulations as well.

I am experimenting using the mission builder in Rise of Flight as a way to model scenes and create images that I can use both as a resource for sketching and possible “faux” photographs.  Made some good progress this weekend and the results look promising.

Here is the “inside the cockpit” view looking at the Beauvin Aerodrome that I started with.

1 -Orig Cockpit

I made a second screen shot from outside the aircraft.  Keep in mind that the mission builder has limitations, so some things in this image are just wrong for the storyline.  The river is too wide. Too many buildings at the Aerodrome.  No north / south road following the train track. Distracting textures on the fields southeast of the Aerodrome.

2 -Orig Field

I took this image into Photoshop Elements and modified the image to clean it up.  I made the river narrow and more natural.  I brushed out the textures at the Aerodrome field.  I added the north / south road and adjusted the direction of the fields on the horizon to align with the road.  Most of it involved using the cloning tool and “painting” out offending objects or textures.  I also spliced out the sky and added my own photograph of a cloudy morning in Sacramento.  Not perfect, but an interesting experiment.  The river was the most successful.

3 -Field View Edited

Now the fun part….I wanted to be able to compose the Aerodrome image dramatically inside the cockpit and not be limited by whatever screenshot I could get in the game environment.   I also wanted the cockpit to be more in silhouette, so I created a “green screen” background, cropping out the Aerodrome.  It makes a very crisp image to play with.

4 - Cockpit No land

Now the cockpit and the Aerodrome are on different layers and can be rotated around and tuned separately.

5- Close to final

It makes a nice image, the environment is more accurate with the story line and the view is dynamic.  But it still looks like a screenshot from a flight sim.

Researched online for techniques to make vintage photos from current era photos in Photoshop Elements.  I used multiple techniques to blurr the image, add a “glow” to the foreground objects, fade the edges and found a nice bordered vintage photo paper to place the image on top off.

6-TestVintage Pic

Now clearly I am not fooling anyone.  This does not duplicate the authenticity of a vintage photograph from the 1900’s.  In the end I think it’s better that it doesn’t.  The goal is to build up simulated “authentic” images that connect the dots in the story line.  I hope to be able to collage images from multiple resources.  In the image below, you get a sense how rich this can be when it is all pulled together.

Now all I need is a smoldering cigar and a shot of scotch…will work on that for next time!

7-Final Book


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