Simon

Part Images

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Greetings, All.

I've been offline for a couple month, due to some minor health problems, but during the last week I came back to Rebrickable, and I need to start with this:

Nathan - you have done a tremendously good job! Version 3 is way better then expected; performance is insanely good (I still have no idea how you manage to do this -smile-), interface is beautiful (and I am using high contrast colors on a background, which makes a lot of websites very ugly...), and I love all the new features you already added. Congratulations, you now own the best LEGO website in the world!

I really felt I had to say this -smile-.

The reason for this post is this: I have a lot of old Fabuland sets, and Rebrickable doesn't have images of some of the Fabuland minifigs. At least, in my "Missing Images"-list I see a lot of Fabuland minifigs and parts.

I would really love to try to make some nice pictures of the parts, but I could use some advice, as I have never done this before. My wife has a good camera, I know how to crop and rescale, but I really need some advice about lightning and positioning: should I use daylight, or artificial light, at what angle should such a photograph be taken, what to use for background, do I place the part on a grey baseplate, etc.

Furthermore, when I browse the part lists of the Fabuland sets, there are also elements like this:

http://rebrickable.com/parts/3068pb36/tile-2-x-2-with-fabuland-alarm-clock-print/

tiles and bricks with prints on them. Rebrickable uses a generic image for these, but I presume an actual photo would be better. However, these elements do not appear in the "Missing Images"-list. If I start making photographs, should I include these elements?

Take care,
Simon

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I'm not an admin but since I've sent in over 100 photos that were accepted, I guess I mustn't be too bad at it and I might be able to help you.

The picture submission page gives some guidelines:

  • White background

  • Single part per photo

  • Correct coloring

  • Part is in focus

  • Minimal shadow

  • Minimum 500 x 500px

  • Consistent orientation for all colors

Along with some examples.

Personnally, I use a large white cardboard sheet (2' X 3') as a background. I usually curve it upwards and lead it against a box or something. That way, it's white both on the "ground" and the "back wall" without any seam. And it only cost me about 1$.

For angles, I try to find similar parts on Rebrickable and reproduce the angle to keep things coherent.

For light, one thing that helps is to have at least two sources of light to minimize shadows. I usually use simple clamp lights like this because I have some around: https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/0aecde81-484e-42f6-9417-e353f7c1eec3_1.ccfdcbab7e9730267725d11d6b6898a1.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF But you can use pretty much anything. You could be ok with you flash if it has a diffuser, once again, to help with shadows.

This is not much of an issue for small parts but something that can make pictures of large parts much better is to change the aperture on your camera. The higher the number, the more depth of field, which means a greater depth will be in focus. This will require more light but you should be ok if you have dedicates lights.

Don't raise the ISO too much; it may create noise in your picture.

Know that you don't need to rescale or crop your pictures in advance. The uploader has these features. But try to make sure you have enough white space to make a square that fits the entire part.

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Hai, Vokhev.

this is exactly what I need, thank you muchly.. -smile-

And apologies for my stupidity: I had searched for a help page about this, but I never expected that those guidelines would show up when one actually made the photograph and then tries to submit it. Seems a bit late.

(Whispering to admins: perhaps copying these guidelines to a help page would prevent a lot of frustration...)

Right now I am working on set images (catalog scans) for service packs from the early eighties, still got about 50 or so to do, after that. I'll start searching for cardboard and lamps.

Again, thanks for the tips!

Take care,

Simon

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It just occurred to me that, for parts like printed tiles, flags, shields, and such, it might be possible to put a whole lot of them in a scanner, and scan them at a high resolution, either 1200 dpi or 2400 dpi, and then crop each of these parts into a 600 by 600 image.

Granted, this would only show the surface, not the sides, but Rebrickale uses LDraw images by default, so the 3D form of the part is already visible, and the surface scan would add the actual print, undistorted, and at a very high resolution.

Question for the admins: would you accept scanned images of printed pieces?

Take care,

Simon

 

 

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8 hours ago, Simon said:

It just occurred to me that, for parts like printed tiles, flags, shields, and such, it might be possible to put a whole lot of them in a scanner, and scan them at a high resolution, either 1200 dpi or 2400 dpi, and then crop each of these parts into a 600 by 600 image.

Granted, this would only show the surface, not the sides, but Rebrickale uses LDraw images by default, so the 3D form of the part is already visible, and the surface scan would add the actual print, undistorted, and at a very high resolution.

Question for the admins: would you accept scanned images of printed pieces?

Take care,

Simon

Your post is quite timely and the answer is Yes if they are good quality.  

I wanted to test part scans myself and had given my husband the task of scanning some minifig torsos and legs in the morning when he gets up.  We had tried it a few years ago without good results, but we have a new scanner now so I'm hoping it will be better.  It would be especially helpful for dual sided torsos.  

I don't know about old flags with those fragile clips though.  It would be a shame if they got damaged.

 

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Hi, Thea,

Right now it is over 30 degrees Celsius here in Holland, and my scanner is in the attic, so I'll wait with my first experiment until later this evening, when it has cooled down a bit.

I was thinking I might build two wall-like structures, using white 1 x 4 bricks; one with square holes by offsetting some bricks one stud by using 1 x 3's; the other with round holes using white technic bricks with one hole. Then inset the shields into the square holes, and use the round holes to pin some printed tiles.

This way I can evenly space out the parts to be scanned, and I can add small rubber dots at the sides to prevent scratching the glass surface of my scanner.

I'll let you know the result when I am finished experimenting... -smile-

Take care,
Simon

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I can't help on the scanning techniques but I can add a couple of pointers to Vokhev's guide.

I started with a sheet of card similar to his but now have a small 30cm photography tent (purchased from amazon). I use it along with an remote flash setup on a Canon SLR which gives both direct and indirect light for my images. The tent has a built in led light strip but being a budget tent it gives a very blue light which ruins the colours in the picture.

After taking the pictures I use GIMP (https://www.gimp.org/) to make minor white balance adjustments. This both ensures a clean white background and accurate colours on the part as I know the background of the picture was white when I took it.

Once I have found the parts I want to photograph and setup the tent it takes less than a minute per part to capture, edit and upload each batch of pictures.

Unless you want to spend enough money for a couple of Modular Buildings on gear then the main thing is to be willing to experiment with what you have available until you find a setup and process which suits your needs and produces a good image.

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Hi, Ivar,

GIMP? I've been using Linux for four years now, tried GIMP a dozen times, and I still can't find my way around in it. Either I am too old, or that program is too complicated! So, I added Wine and I use good old Paintshop Pro v6, from 1991. 26 year old, and it still works. LOL

LED strips? Few years ago they were indeed a little bluish, but a few weeks ago I bought a strip with a USB connection that actually emits real nice, somewhat yellowish white light. No idea how it look through the lens of camera, but it is worth trying.

Thanks for the tips,
Take care,
Simon

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9 hours ago, Simon said:

LED strips? Few years ago they were indeed a little bluish, but a few weeks ago I bought a strip with a USB connection that actually emits real nice, somewhat yellowish white light. No idea how it look through the lens of camera, but it is worth trying.

Probably also highly depends on the type of LED strip you buy. If you buy an RGB led strip, you won't get true white light (because there's only a red, green and blue led). If you buy an RGBW led strip you do get better white light because there's an extra fourth white led.

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The LED strip in my tent was incidental and not something I wanted. It just happened that the cheapest one on the market had one which also explains why it has a low quality of light. Good to know there are better ones out there if I need one. Although as I already have a flash gun which is designed to emit true white light I don't need it any time soon.

GIMP is indeed very complicated, but can do pretty much anything I ask of it. I do have to google most tasks first though. I'm sure after 26 years you can get photoshop pro to do what you need it too. I remember when they bundled it as fee software on the CDs (or was it floppy discs) on front of magazines.

 

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Greetings, all.

I did a few scan experiments with printed tiles and minifig torso, yesterday, and here are the results:

https://bricksafe.com/files/Simon/partimages/3068pb23.jpg
https://bricksafe.com/files/Simon/partimages/3068pb06.jpg
https://bricksafe.com/files/Simon/partimages/973p24c01.jpg

The first two are printed 2 x 2 tiles, simply placed side to side on a large plate, scanned at 2400 bpi, squarly cropped, resized to 600 x 600, and sharpened a little. I think they look pretty good.

The last image is a minifig torso, just placed in the scanner, also scanned at 2400bpi, squarely cropped, resized to 600 x 600, and sharpened a little. The torso print itself I think is perfect, but the scanner does have a problem with the arms and neck. I don't think scanning at a lower resolution would solve this, but, just to be sure, I am going to try that tonight.

Before I do any more and start adding change requests, I would love to hear from staff if these (any or all) would be acceptable.

Take care,
Simon

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I wouldn't crop the tiles like that, I think it would look better if you leave a little empty space around the tile. I did scan a bunch of flat printed parts a little while ago with great succes, never tried a torso though. I gave it a very quick shot and this is the (raw) result:

Torso%20scan%20raw.jpg

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but you don't see the torso mold in that scan....

Edited by biodreamer

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I agree with Thea: legolijntje, your scans are great! -smile-

But to comfort Paul's feelings (and mine), I do think this is a scanner problem. This afternoon I've tried several other resolutions, 150dpi, 300dpi, 600dpi and 1200dpi, and all with the same bad result. Some problem appears when trying to scan printed slopes.

Back to scanning tiles.

Take care,
Simon

PS. @biodreamer: I know about mold differences in bricks and modified plates and such, but I have no idea about mold differences in minifig torso's. Could you explain (or point me in the right direction)?

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9 hours ago, slangivar said:

According to http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artjan13/dw-scanner-type.html there are two common types of scanner. One of which gives a depth of field of about 1cm while the other has almost no depth of field.

Looking at the scans above it seems clear that legolijntje has the more expensive type.

 I indeed have a scanner that looks almost identical to the right one in the picture on that article. It's from Canon and it's very good for scanning negatives (of which I've scanned about 2000+ so far) :)

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