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not fish...snake scale! (updated 7/28 - pics)
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Mr_Creepy
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Joined: 24 Nov 2006
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Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:05 pm    Post subject: not fish...snake scale! (updated 7/28 - pics) Reply with quote



7/28/ UPDATE:
Here's a few better images of "my" scale, courtesy of Nexus6 and superjedi--thanks guys Smile



And a better image showing the v1, v2 and the screencaps I used for them:




7/15 UPDATE:
Well, I'm calling this done! The following pic shows a comparison of my new scale alongside the hi-def caps supplied by Nexus6 (thanks again!). I only resized them, none of the colors were adjusted. I know, a couple of the "fingertip" images have the scale backwards and are slightly "doubled", and my trim job isn't the best... Embarassed Laughing



Same story on how these were made, so I'll leave my original post in place..only real difference was that I sprayed a light mist of the pearlescent paint on both side of the vellum before I clear coated it. While cutting the scale out, I could see just a hint of iridescence so I think that will help it.

I'll have a FOR SALE thread up in a day or so for those who have been asking, and the contest winners who contacted me about the last ones will get an upgrade shortly



ORIGINAL POST:
Iíve been working on this project off and on for a few weeks now, since around the first part of April. I hadnít ever seen or heard of anyone making them, which surprised me considering this is a small, but important plot device in the movie BLADE RUNNER.

Of course, a couple of weeks ago I found a thread at propcircle concerning the snake scale--would have been a nice read before I started on mine! Oh well, I still had a great time working on this, and having never made a paper prop "from scratch", it was a great learning experience. Smile


Going in, I figured the easiest way to make this would be to adapt a screencap, so I took a bunch from the older Directorís Cut DVD. HEREís the cap I decided to use as the baseóit gave the best overall view of the scale, and the background was relatively uncluttered.

I had a rough idea of how big the scale probably was, but to get a more accurate gauge, I resized the cap until the screencapped baggie on my monitor was the same size as some 2X3 baggies I already had. The result was close to what I had approximated earlier, but it was nice to have supporting data. Wink

I went back to the original cap and "cut" the scale out, sized it to the proper dimensions, and then saved it as 300dpi BMP (yeah, in hindsight that was overkill Rolling Eyes ). I used Adobe PhotoDeluxe and MSPaint to clean it up---mainly lightening and a bit of color correction. Next, I removed the surrounding background, and smoothed the edges a bit.


My original plan was to print these out on inkjet transparency sheets; I knew Iíd have to do a few tests since the color would look different going from white paper to clear plastic. I also knew that I wanted the scale to have a bit of iridescence (like a real snake skin), so after they dried, I misted a light coating of opalescent paint on both sides of the sheet.

Unfortunately, after 3 attempts, I realized that the transparencies would never give me the effect I wanted. Confused Since had no idea what to do next, I set the project aside for a while. Salvation came in the form of a wedding invitation---the RSVP note had the typical vellum "insert" and I had my answer!

After a trip to the local scrapbook shop, I had packages of "normal" and heavy weight vellum, and a couple of sheets of iridescent (coated) vellum. Once I took the first sheet of the heavier paper out of the wrapper, I knew thatís what I wanted to use.


What makes the vellum "work" is that it has a milky translucence (as well as a bit of rough texture) so it looks more like the original scale (whatever it was). Itís also thicker than the transparency film, so it doesnít feel as fragile. After printing, I sprayed a light, protective clear coat to both sides of the sheet, and then buffed it to a nice, subdued finish.


Sadly, the same properties that make the vellum so nice for this project also make it hard to get good pictures (my camera skills donít help much eitherÖ). In the following images, the same scale is used, but under different lighting conditionsÖ.

"baggie" caps

COMPARISON IMAGE of my finished scale alongside the "parent" screencap.

"FINGERTIP" screencap comparison.

The hardest part of this whole project was trying to find something that looked good in different lighting conditions. Since this wonít always be displayed in a rainy, smog-ridden inner city, I wanted it to still look reasonably accurate sitting in a baggie on a shelf! Laughing

HEREĎs a pic of the various test sheets and scales, along with the final version (the reddish one).


The screencaps posted at propcircle appear to be from the recent high-def version of BR, and show much more "characterization" and fine detail than mine. Overall, though, I think my interpretation of the BLADE RUNNER snake scale prop works.

Any thoughts, comments, critiques, abuse and/or opinions would be welcomed and appreciated. Smile
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Last edited by Mr_Creepy on Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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andy
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Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn! That is brilliant. It looks great. Very very nice job. I am convinced and ready to buy Very Happy Great work and very simple solution.
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Mr_Creepy
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Joined: 24 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks andy, coming from you that is indeed a compliment!

I'll eventually try selling a few of these (Hell, I have close to 300 on a single sheet of vellum Shocked ), but I wanted to wait for opinions and see if people liked them before even worrying about it.
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andy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was working on this too, and was having a lot of problems with the material as well. Your solution looks perfect. I may try my hand at using the vellum as well later, maybe after I get the HD version of the movie. Until then I would like at least a couple of yours when you decide to sell them. Truly inspired solution. " A Brainstorm Huh, Sebastian?..." Wink

Now you just need to find the bags with the 'Squished' sides of the zipper.
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IGNITERS
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Joined: 14 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: count me in Reply with quote

"Thats the spirit!"
Yes count me in as well I made one from a plastic package but it is laffable compared to your masterpiece!
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Whitefall
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea! That turned out really well....
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darkknight0667
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than, "Holy Schnikes! That looks terrific!", the only thing that I can say is that the narrow tip should look like it was broken off at a bit of an angle, rather than rounded off, as in your replica.


Oh, and I'd love to have one. I have one that I picked up from Gary Willoughby, but the scale is nowhere near as accurate looking as this.
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Division 6
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done.

It's a coincedence I was thinking of using vellum for this as well a few months ago.
Never got around to trying it though.

D6
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KarlBud420
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the look of the "happy ending" version!

You've redefined my understanding of the term "happy ending"! Laughing

Bruce
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prototype7
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Joined: 22 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:29 pm    Post subject: snake Reply with quote

Toothtech...
Very cool replica! Probably couldn't get much closer to the original if you tried!
One question though... if I put it under an electron microscope will I see ... -07X/B4??? Very Happy
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sethb6025
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is so cool, nice work!
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Mr_Creepy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, hearing that from you guys means a lot Embarassed

Pete, I realized I had the tip trimmed a little off when I was editing the pics together--suffice to say it's an easy fix

I tried to get the serial & makers number on there, but it just didn't work---and I tried, believe me!
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andy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have to see if we can get you a screen cap off of the new DVD or the HD version that was shown on TV. I know at least one member here had that version on their computer.
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Mr_Creepy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks---I have a couple of caps that SurferGeek posted over at propcircle.

I have to be honest...that's one fugly scale! Shocked Laughing
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Nexus6
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy wrote:
I may have to see if we can get you a screen cap off of the new DVD or the HD version that was shown on TV. I know at least one member here had that version on their computer.



Wink
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sethb6025
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a thought; you could print the pattern on both sides, with it mirrored on one side. It could add some depth.
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Mr_Creepy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nexus6...looking at it, mine's not quite as "off" as I thought it was! Shocked

seth, I did some tests printing mirrored images on reverse...the vellum is translucent enough that it made the final image(s) way too dark. It did bounce the colors around very nicely though!

I should probably clarify..the pearl paint I tried was only on the clear film..on the final vellum scale, it's simply printed on one side, and then both sidea are clear coated with Krylon Satin. I let it dry overnight, and then lightly burnish both sides with one of those kitchen scrubbers that look like the 3M Scotch Brite pad (but these are less aggressive).

The final effect is hard to photograph, but in "person" it looks cool. Laughing
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Planta
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great job! keep on, man!
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juno88
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great job -- you really thought outside the box on this one. I never considered it to be a paper prop -- I was looking for shells or scales that would be the same. You nailed it!

I also enjoyed seeing your exploration of various techniques. I think that is often my favorite part of making a paper prop -- the application of new methods. Looking at all your test sheets reminds me of my poor recycle bin after a night of crazy prop making.

I was going to suggest using a die to cut out the scale, but the more I look at it, the more I believe the X-acto-ed edges really work. However, I might try printing the random design on two thin sheets of vellum and using spray adhesive to stick them together, then cut out the scale. It might add the level of translucence you're looking for.

Then again, it looks pretty damn perfect as it!
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airhead
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian,

The scale arrived today in the mail - it does look great in person. The effect is quite good. It has a real organic look to it. It doesn't look like an image on top of paper, but has a real depth to it. Thanks for the generous gift!

David
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