2014-08.5: Computer graphics for structures

01 Sep 2014

Average: 4.2 (21 votes)
20:23 - August 2014 Act IV - Backshop Clinic: Structure graphics (2014)

Miles Hale brings his laptop into The Backshop Clinic studio to show Lionel Strang some tips for using graphics software for structures.  He'll demonstrate techniques for using Photoshop to create model signs from photos, and offer tips for using Model Builder software to design photo-realistic building wraps.


You can tell Miles was/is a teacher. He explains the process completely, logically, and it's comprehensible.

Nicely done. A good source of textures you can use in Photoshop or the like is Mayang Textures


Another good video on the use of photo shop.  I've always had trouble using such programs, but with this I'm going to give it a try.

Thank you,


Photoshop is a complex, versatile and very expensive piece of software.  Corel Paint Shop Pro - the poor man's Photoshop - will do many of the same functions (everything demostrated here) for a lot less money.  Check it out.

TMTV Station Agent's picture

This is why Miles uses an older version of Photoshop.  Many seemingly outdated computers that have been abandoned still have the software installed, or it can be purchased used via sites like craigslist.org.  For example, I do some of my designs on a 2001-era Mac G4 with Photoshop 6.  For modeling purposes, the older software versions do just about everything we as hobbyists need them to do.

By the way, I wish that more designers of simple software for the hobby would make their programs for older computers.  Who wants to spend money on the lastest technology when there are so many older machines that could be put to use in the basement rather than put in a landfill?

Another good source of older software is eBay. A good practice as a hobbyist is to go buy software that's several versions old and you'll pay a fraction of what the price was new. Another good option is Photoshop Elements. Just now checked and found several older copies of Photoshop Elements for less than $30 - and PE will do everything Miles demonstrated - and more.

One thing that Miles mentioned was that all of your work with Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud would be lost if you dropped the subscription. All you would lose is the software if you save your work to your computer or another online storage service such as Dropbox. If you use the Adobe storage you may. I have subscribed to the Adobe Photography Bundle which costs $10 a month and gives you Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5 (for organizing, editing, and printing your photos, online storage (if you want to use it), and a Adobe hosted website for photography. Since I am a model railroader and an amateur photography this made sense to me but maybe not to others. Photoshop CC has some really useful perspective warping tools for correcting photos taken on an angle and making them flat. That would be useful for modeling purposes. 

Not that this is your correct solution, but it works well for me.

I really enjoyed this episode. I would love to see more on how to used photo shop for modellrailroad.  I would like to know how to edit photos of buildings to use as photo backgrounds.  Great show!

"I would like to know how to edit photos of buildings to use as photo backgrounds" - yes please! That would be a great topic for another video. Also, what about getting dimensions of buildings from photographs for the purposes of scratchbuilding?