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November 2, 2003

Nothing much to write up or show at the moment.  I've done a few tests for the hologram for Susan but mostly I've been recovering from the Mission Impossible crunch and playing (or attempting to) with my new laser.

November 9, 2003

Here are some shots of my new laser (older pre-purchase shots are here).  I've discovered that the power supply that came with it is very sensitive to noise in the power lines.  If I run my HEPA fan or turn on my computer monitor it will sputter.  Turn those off and it runs nice and steady.  I'm going to attempt to attach a step-down transformer to increase the input voltage somewhat and see if that makes the PS happier.  In the meantime, here are some shots.  Oh, by the way, this puppy is 4' long.  I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to integrate it with my 4' table but I'm working on that too.

November 10, 2003

Hologram test city today.  Looking to get maximum brightness on a hologram for Susan and made several tests today while changing variables here and there.

In the evening I modified the table slightly to remove one mirror and hopefully reduce the affects of some thermal contraction and expansion I've been seeing lately.

November 19, 2003

No pictures yet but I've done a number of exposure tests with Susan's gift hologram as well as all but the terminator head hologram.  For several days I was getting results that were disappointing to say the least.  Yesterday I realized that the only thing I hadn't double-checked were the beams lengths for each leg.  I had recently documented them as 62" each but the thing to do was double check that.

Turns out that the H1 beam was actually 60.75" and the H2 beam was 62".  Enough for me to end up with dirty looking images.  I corrected that problem and shot a few tests using the 2-channel terminator.  Much better.  I'll post some pictures as soon as I can.

The next thing I'm going to try is an exposure using some new PFG-03M plates.  Unfortunately according to my exposure charts I'm going to need an exposure time of 60 seconds!  Yikes!

November 20, 2003

Late last night I tried my first plate of PFG-03.  Here's what happened.

On the first attempt I ended up shredding some of the emulsion by using plastic coated forceps to handle the plate. This is what I use with PFG-01 film with no problems. I had no idea that the 03 emulsion was so delicate. I do now. The resulting hologram was dim and covered with bits of emulsion. Bleh. It had gone dark extremely fast in the developer (JD4) and was overexposed due to my missing the part about JD4 increasing the film speed by 10x.

On the second attempt I handled the plate with gloves and reduced the exposure time and managed to come up with a not-horrible hologram. There were still bits of emulsion that came off though not as bad as the first attempt.

On the third attempt I modified the exposure time once again (closer to what I'd been using with PFG-01 film) and got a nice bright hologram although it didn't dry evenly and I accidentally put the plate down on a towel while the emulsion was still wet (I'll definitely have to get used to the increased drying time).

One constant in these attempts is that each plate is only usable in a 3" diameter circle centered on the middle of the plate. Everything outside that circle goes immediately black when the plate is placed in the developer. Inside that circle the emulsion gradually darkens as expected.

This appears to be a common problem with PFG-03 as mentioned here


November 22, 2003

Holography = play. Stretch your mind to its limits.
If someone says it can't be done but they haven't tried it, don't believe them.

I made a couple of quick H2 copies this morning.  One of the two-channel terminator and one (finally) of the terminator head (a picture of the H1 is at the top of this page).  I'll post pictures as soon as I can get some good ones.

Now that I've got copies for my portfolio I just need to make a few copies for other people and then really get cracking on three new models for some Christmas holograms (although the subject matter has nothing to do with the holiday).

Something I did recently was add some safelights to the top of my table canopy so that I can see what I'm doing when adding or removing the film holder.  I was doing some soldering below the table and when I was done I found that the laser beam was very visible.

November 25, 2003

I've been doing some serious copying lately.  I don't have pictures of them all but I've got copies of the Terminator Head, Terminator Looking, Lizard and the One Ring.

One drawback to doing the masters so fast is that the Terminators and the One Ring have a few hot spots that are causing a great deal of local burnout.  The Terminators aren't so bad that I need to re-master but I'm definitely going to have to re-do the One Ring.  The burnout on that is so bad that if I compensate by raising the light ratio to where the burnout doesn't happen, the rest of the image is too dim.

Note to future self...  Strong highlights look good in masters but are really really bad when making copies.


November 26, 2003

No pictures, but this morning I attempted to make two quick copies of Terminator Looking and Enterprise but had problems with the film moving in both cases.  I have got to make a new plate holder this weekend that isn't so sensitive to the pressure applied using the holder bolts.

In the afternoon I tore down my copy setup (shown above) in preparation for shooting some masters for Christmas gifts.  I also took some time to improve my laser mount and re-orient the laser so that I can get a bit more distance between the laser and the first beamsplitter.

November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving! (to those in the States).


November 28, 2003

I've started a new layout for a three-beam master as well as some background tests.  I'll post pictures as soon as I can and as soon as I know if it's going to work.  I'm changing the layout so that the reference beam comes from the "top" rather than the side so that I can light my scene from the sides.  My previous layouts forced me to light my models from the top or one side (and the bottom in the case of the Enterprise) but with scenes that have "ground" I didn't have enough control of the lighting.

I've also been spending a fair amount of time reclaiming the glass from some window panes we had in the garage.  Recently we had a window removed and replaced with a door (leading to a new patio) and I saved two of the windows with the intention that I'd try to use the glass for masters.  I've managed to cut quite a lot of 3mil 5x7" plates from two double-pane windows.  I've also made a new film holder and hope that I'll get more stability from the thicker glass (I've been using 2mil glass up to now).


November 30, 2003

Spent quite a lot of time this morning tweaking the new master layout.  I think I've got the polarization set properly and all the beams legs equalized.  I plan on checking the beam ratios in the morning and doing a test shot or two.

The left side of the table.

and the right side of the table.  The object has been removed and all that remains was the temp background.




2003: Feb | Mar | Apr | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2004: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
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2006: Blog
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