December 1, 2003
Woke up ridiculously early this morning (3am) and since I couldn't sleep I started messing around in the lab. I double-checked the beam lengths, tweaked the fill lighting on a Netsuke cat that I'm using as a test subject (to be mastered later), took some light readings and dropped a 2x2" piece of film in the holder. According to my light readings I needed a 50s exposure so I set R2 for that a retired to Susan's office to do some reading while the lab settled..
This layout is the craziest I've attempted so far. I call it crazy because of the way I've had to mount the spatial filter and cylinder lens (shown at the left of the following picture).
I've got the beam exiting the laser, passing through my primary (variable) beam splitter, hitting the first mirror which redirects the beam straight up about 5" to another mirror which shoots the beam across the table to the collimating mirror which in turn redirects the beam to the plate holder. In between the second mirror and the collimator I have a lens which expands the beam slightly as it enters the spatial filter. The filter has a 10x lens but with the combination of the first lens I can get the coverage needed on the collimating mirror. Just past the spatial filter (which is 9" off the surface of the table at the end of a two rods clamped to a magnetic machining mount) is a cylinder lens I use to re-shape the reference light so I can make use of as much of it as possible.
The object beam setup is fairly simple with the beam being split off using the variable beam splitter (down and to the right of the spatial filter) and being redirected to a mirror at the left corner of the table. That mirror redirects the beam to the object mirror at the right which in turn directs the beam through the lens onto the scene (which isn't in these pictures). There's another beam splitter just to the right of the first object mirror which redirects part (about 40%) of the beam to the second object mirror at the upper left of the table. That mirror directs the beam to a mirror in the upper middle of the table which directs the beam through another lens and onto the left hand side of the scene.
I made two test shots that came out decent although the background didn't show up all that well. That's not too surprising since it was a darkish background and there wasn't much light hitting it.
For the remainder of the morning I worked on finishing the ground and trees for the Elephant scene. This scene consists of a varying plaster terrain on a styrofoam base with three aluminum trees in the background. I added long grass to the base and some mossy "leaves" to the trees and gave the whole thing a coat of clear shellac to stick the grass and leaves in place. This evening I'll put a temporary background in place and do another test shot or two to help me figure out how I should shade the scene. Once that's figured out I'll mix up my latex paint and airbrush the scene to both even out the lighting as well as increase the light reflected from the areas in back.
Came home from work today and discovered a mess in the bathroom cabinet. It seems that the JD4 'B' solution dissolves plastic at room temperature and forms interesting crystal shapes when stored in the refrigerator.
This had apparently happened sometime after I tested the developer with PFG-03 plates and I never noticed it until today because I'd put the JD4 bottles at the back of the cabinet and have been using my D-19 working solution which I keep on my developing station and JD2 which I keep at the front of the cabinet. The solution had even started to dissolve the 'A' bottle which was leaking slightly.
As soon as I'd finished cleaning up the cabinet I went to the garage where I have a small refrigerator with chemicals mixed and waiting to be used. I was afraid I'd find a horrible mess inside.
Instead, I found this:
After taking these I immediately transferred the solution to a glass bottle.
Over the weekend I had some time to work on the Elephant. Because I needed to adjust the lighting so that the background trees were brighter than the Elephant (attempting to adjust for the fact that if they were lit the same as the Elephant, the plate would "see" less light from them) I ended up painting the trees a neon orange color.
After a few exposure tests and tweaking of the lighting I tried my first master this morning and the results were very good. The elephant and background trees are close in intensity and the scene looks pretty good. Once I get home tonight or in the morning I'll spend more time doing some critical examination and see if it needs anything else before moving to the next subject.
In the morning I made a master of a netsuke cat that Susan gave to me for our anniversary. It's carved ivory of a cat stalking a mouse.
A friend at work loaned me his model of Alice's Cheshire Cat (this is the one from the video game made a few years ago). In the evening I made a transmission master and once I'm done mastering I'll attempt a copy.
This morning, before a dental appointment, I decided to make a quick transmission master of my Millennium Falcon
While we were putting ornaments on the tree we came across this one.
I had used it many years ago while experimenting with holographic shadowgrams and decided that I needed to make another hologram of it. I stuck it on a mirror on top of some red satin and shot it.
The final hologram is nice and bright and interesting because you can look...
practically on top of the horse and into the mirror. I must have turned into a vampire though because I couldn't see myself :-)
Here's a final copy of the elephant hologram. Sorry, short on time for descriptions at the moment.
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