Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekend Hobby: Home made light box

I have been complaining about not having a light box to even out the light when taking pictures of my miniatures. So with the help of my wife and dog I set out to make myself one. First I watched this video.

I based my box on their box. I cut my foamcore a bit thin.  If I was doing it again I would make it a 2" thickness in stead of 1.

What you need:
3 sheets of formcore. Got mine in a 3 pack for $5.99 pluss a 25% of coupon.
1 roll Duct tape. no price since I had some
1 poster board. $.50
3 sheets of tissue paper.  I got 25 for $1 Save the rest for wrapping paper.
1 Utility knife
1 pair of Scissors

Step 1: Measure your cuts and draw them out.
 I went around the edge measuring 1 inch all around and drew a line in pencil.

Making sure I get it straight

Once you are done you should have a large rectange inside you foam sheet.  Repeat on all other sheets.
Step 2 Cut out the rectanle.
 Using a utility knife and a straight edge cut along the lines.  I found if you lightly score it and do multiple passes it tends to cut better than trying to force it all at once.  It tends to tear otherwise.
One down 2 to go
Repeat the process of the other 2 boards.
Step 3 line the boards with tissue paper.

The first thing I did was take strips of duct tape and cut them in half.  I took 4 wide sttrips and made them into 8 thin strips.
Then I measured out the paper on my board.  I made it where it was about a half inch from the edge of the board all the way around. I marked it with a pencil and vut it with scissors.

I then taped the corners down trying to smooth out the tissue before taping.
Once the corners are down I used the last trips to tape in the middle to help hold the tissue in place.

Again repeat on the other boards.

Step 4 assembly

I laid out the board side to side I left a little bit of width between the boards and taped them together.
 My first time I tried to tape with some over lap.  I found this to hinder the bend so try to only tape the length of the board.
I flipped the over and after bending it 90 degrees I reinforced it with another piece of tape.
 Next I placed the next sheet down  still leaving that gap.

 I learned my lesson the first time and used the right lenght of tape this time.

Again I flipped it over made a bend and reinforced the angle.
Step for the backdrop.  For the backdrop you want a nice gentle slope with your poster board so you don't get that hard baseline in your photos.

 First measure out the width needed mark it out. and cut it out. 
 fold over a inch crease and attach to the top of the box with tape.

Step 5 Set up.

Once it is assembled I set it up with 2 desk / stand lights on each side.   I might look into brighter lights.  I played around with how close I set the lamps.  Also I might look into getting daylight or true light bulbs.
Here are some shots of the drones I painted up.

Over all not bad.  It makes my editing job easier and while there is a little shadow it is not like what I would have gotten with direct light.  I am happy. Now if only my rotating display would come in.

I hope you enjoyed this how-to.  It took a few hours to do but I think it is worth the effort.  Maybe now I should stop using my cell phone and switch to a real camera.Have a great week.

Questions? Comments? Hobby fun time?