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  1. Great Western Railway (GWR) locomotive City of Truro. I had the pleasure of riding a train drawn by her in the 80s, and when I came across my photos again I thought she'd make a good subject. For the front view I looked up some original drawings on a GWR archive website, which avoided the problem of perspective; for the wheel, I had to make adjustments by guesswork. The colours are authentic GWR colours I found online on a model-makers' web page. The signal gantry is inspired by a magazine photo of a scene on the Severn valley Railway at Bewdley, England. And after I'd made the small lamps, I decided to do a big one. (Lamps or discs were fixed on the front of a loco to indicate what it was pulling, if anything. I used to have a book that explained the code, but I've forgotten what they were.) First draft, without shading. Driving wheel and maker's plate The small 'calling-on' signal, the lowest one, is upside-down! I have no idea why it was set up that way, nor why it's facing the wrong way (the track and turnout are to the left). And if you notice there are one or two small details missing . . . yes, they are! The 'distant' signals (yellow) are actually fixed at 'caution' (horizontal) and don't move. I thought I'd make them more interesting. 😊
  2. Hi, This post is a mixture of share your work and lesson learned. To get some practice with vector art, i start with photos of real world situations, and try to trace the curves manually. My goal is to stay 100% vector, and reach a high degree of accuracy even for small details (e.g. badges and symbols), but using as much simple shapes as possible (e.g. stars and ellipses for curves). After working several hours after business work for the last weeks the result is a mixture of nice / promising, and stuck in too much effort. Below you find the current state, missing lots of the under-carriage and fine details like tubes, nuts, color gradients. Lessons learned: Real photos always have a perspective distortion. This leads to some complexities: every wheel of the train differs, and ellipses don't accurately match a wheel viewed from perspective. So everey wheel needs to be adjusted individually, and every shapes needs fine tuning after conversion into curve. It might be easier to render this in 3D vs. trying to achieve this level of accuracy with Designer (lacking tools for perspective correction for pure vector documents). Some objects needs to be partitioned to correctly render the Z-axis / 3D Designer gets slower over time, after 2-3 hours you need to restart. Especially blur filters (or Layer FX) are taxing to the performance and lead to Designer become less responsive, even on my PC which is quite beefy. Now I'm curious how you rate my work, and what you recommend to improve the workflow (or artistic direction accuracy vs. abstraction vs. realism vs. imagination). This is 100% fun work, no intention to go commercial. Photo used as basis: own work. RBB is an active small steam train public transport with fixed schedule, used by tourists and commuters on the island Rügen in north-east Germany.
  3. Isn't it nice to have all the time in the world, a head full of daft ideas, and the means of bringing them into being? I'm old enough to call the bit on the left a wireless; my grandfather used to make 'em like that for his own amusement back in the twenties. He'd have been quite capable of setting up the steam generating set to drive it too! (You get better reception if you connect the headphones!)
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