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Old 02-17-2019, 03:40 PM
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DMSS DMSS is offline
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Changing Aspect Ratio From Photo Reference to Support

I like to take my own reference photos. My printer only prints them as 8x10. If I am going to paint 8x10 or 16x 20, then scaling is not a problem because the aspect ratio is unchanged. But what if I want to paint on an 11x14 support or 9x12? I bought mattes cut to various inside openings, such as 5-1/2 x 7 and 4-1/2 by 6, and I can use them to crop an 8x10 photo to the desired aspect ratio, but when I do that I have to crop so much of the photo that important elements of the composition get cropped out. There must be another way. How do you handle changing aspect ratios from a photo to your support? I think I'm missing something obvious. Thank you for your thoughts.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:47 AM
Tipo Tipo is online now
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Re: Changing Aspect Ratio From Photo Reference to Support

This is how I expand drawings for theatrical back drops and flats.
Draw a diagonal from one bottom corner to the opposite upper corner on your reference.
Measure this angle with a protractor or pick it up with a bevel square.
Project this angle from the bottom corner on the support to where it meets the top or the side.
You can now form the rectangle from that point.
You will now have an extra strip either at the top or bottom, itís easy to decide what to do with that extra space put it at the top or bottom left or right or split it.
To form the grids on the reference and support put in a second diagonal across the corners. At the intersection erect horizontal and vertical lines, you now have four squares.
Keep dividing these new squares with diagonals till you have formed grids of sufficient size to transfer the detail.
It depends on the set designer and director how close to the drawings we need to be, often there is no need to do elaborate grids and things are just quickly drawn in freehand.
Donít forget to leave room for your art, a good director always allows for that.

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Old 02-24-2019, 04:03 PM
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KolinskyRed KolinskyRed is offline
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Re: Changing Aspect Ratio From Photo Reference to Support

Excellent advice, Tipo.

DMSS Do you have Photoshop? With the digital photo open, click on the Crop Tool. You now have its tool controls at the top available. Type in the new aspect ratio in the dimensions. It does not matter what units you put in, just put in for inches.

Now, to explore your new aspect ratio, click and drag out the Crop Tool. However big or small you drag its corners, its aspect ratio is constrained by the numbers you just typed in. You can make it larger, smaller or move it around on the image as you explore the new aspect ratio effect on the old.

Great thing is, you can still see the area outside the crop, as its just a little more dim than the area of interest the Crop Tool is showing you.

Dismiss the Crop Tool, or Crop and close without saving, or Crop and save to another file name as you would wish.

No Photoshop? Cut out two "L" shaped bits of paper or matte, and mark off unit-less equal length tics that can then replicate the aspect ratio you would like at any size within the reach of the adjustable cardboard "L"s. Hope that makes sense.


Last edited by KolinskyRed : 02-24-2019 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:49 PM
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Re: Changing Aspect Ratio From Photo Reference to Support

Thank you, KolinskyRed. I don't have Photoshop. I got the same advice about L-shaped cardboard in the Oil Painting forum, and that has worked very well, better than my precut mattes.
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