Making background scenes


Probably the most important part of this operation is “Good computer skill levels” to complete the jobs in hand. You will need some sort of imaging program one that can re-size and have the ability to erase and eliminate what is not required on the printout.

Step #1 is to obtain a suitable photograph with trees with either mountains or a town scene. Or you can just use trees only.

Step #2 once the desired photograph is in the imaging program, find out its size. For N-scale I used a total height of 5” maximum and a length of 22” (2 A4 sheets required for each printing job) For other scales you would need to find out what height and length you require, but the procedure is the same.

Step #3 what I did next was to make a blank photograph using these dimensions and then saved it. Now work can start on the making of the back scenes.

Fig1 shows some trees I cut out, these trees actually were photographed on my 0n30 layout, and show the cut out around the trees.

As I only required the tops and part of the lower half of the photo (Hidden from view on sky) I didn’t bother to cut this off, just printed it out.

Step #4 once you have cut out all the parts of the photograph not need, save it. Now hopefully you’re imaging program will have the facility to place a “Magic” wand inside it.

Select the magic wand tool and left click into top left of picture, now hold down shift and click into every available clear part. When finished go to SELECT and inverse the picture then save the selection from the SELECT button. Go to EDIT and copy the picture. Now minimize the picture. The reason you saved the picture was to be able to use it for another background later, just click on SELECT at a later date and re-load it. 

Step #5 Remember the blank image you made, well, now is the time to bring it on to the screen. Now go to EDIT and paste the image you copied, and paste as transparent selection. Once the picture is in, use the MOVE TOOL and position the picture properly. NOW go to LAYER and flatten image. Now save the blank photo page with the new image in it. (Your choice of name)

Step #6 Okay, that’s one part of it done, if you place the photo at the right edge or the left edge, you will notice that these is still plenty of room for another image to be placed. All you need do now is to copy and paste again, and the second set of trees will come along side the first set.

Now save it.

Step #7 well, that’s the first part completed, all that remains now is for you to look at the photo and see what need to be altered using a “clone” brush in the imaging program. What this brush does is to literally clone parts of an area, so it’s a simple task to see which area’s are in need of touch up and fix it. If your doing this for the first time I would suggest trying the clone brush on some old photo first to get the hang of it.

If you printing out town scenes with trees behind, I would suggest you printout the town scenes first. Then printout the trees using “Epson transparencies paper” Once you have printed the trees and cut them out, place the town scene in front and carefully glue the two together.

All trees should be printed onto “Epson transparencies paper” so when the trees are cut all around, and placed onto the sky background, they will merge well into the sky.

Well, there you are homemade back scenes; here are a few photos from my N-scale layout with back scenes I created.