Friday, May 27, 2016

Save the Date!

Have you heard the news?  CIMTA 
(Cottage Industry Miniature Trade Association) has added a
 RETAIL show to its 2017 miniature show lineup! 

This is exciting news for collectors and mini-makers alike!!!

Shop for quality miniatures from artisans like:

ULUS miniatures de Jose Maria Bolio (Mexico)
 ...and more (including yours truly)...

CIMTA has over 35 years experience bringing scale model artisans
 and collectors together.  Originally a wholesale show only, the expansion into the
 retail arena offers west coast collectors a chance to shop high-end miniatures without travelling to the east coast!  And there's so much to do in Las Vegas, 
why not plan a vacation around the mini show?!?

Are you excited??  Me too! 

Save the date!  January 23, and 24, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

***Watch this space for a chance to win TWO free tickets to the show!***  

If you make miniatures and are interested in signing up, check out
 this link for more information.

See ya there!  :)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Playing Around with White Backgrounds

I struggle to achieve good, quality photographs.  I have a lightbox.  I have the special lights.  I use two photo editing programs (to sraighten an image that is skeepwampus in the photo and to remove dark backgrounds).  And sometimes with all that and when the stars properly align on the first Wednesday of the month following a full moon and I can balance just right standing on my head, I can -- after multiple attempts -- get a photograph I'm happy with.  Or at least can live with.  Until the next said Wednesday rolls around and I can try again.... ;)  It's a very frustrating process.

And so I've been experimenting with Clipping Magic.  It's a program that erases the background from an image, creating the illusion that it's floating in white space.

Before                                         After

The program is relatively easy to use and although it's no longer free, it's still a good value in my book.  Rates start at $3.99 per month for 15 downloads (called "credits") and increase in increments on up to $14.99 per month for 500 downloads.

Here are more dramatic transformations
Before                                            After

Clipping Magic has a step-by-step written tutorial with pictures and there are video tutorials on youtube.  Like this one.

Of course, I didn't watch the video tutorial before jumping right in -- that would've been too easy  ;).  So I just dove in and clicked around.  :)  One of the tools I found useful (which is not mentioned in the above tutorial) is the scalpel tool.  The scalpel tool became my new best friend for getting the background out of the small crevices in the above luggage photo.  

 Let's try another keychain:

As you can see, the results of your edits are shown in real time.  Once you're happy with the "after", you click the blue download button at the top of the screen.  Or, if want more edits, there are more options on the menu along the bottom.

When you click the download button you get this screen:
Follow the instructions to download to finished photo to your computer and voila!  You're done!  I created my new blog header using some of these images.  Whatdyathink?  :)

Until next time, happy mini-making, fellow miniacs.  :)