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Old 05-14-08, 01:48 PM   #1
williamkrause
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Advice for getting pictures of my decals before paint stripping?

Hello Everyone,

The paint on my bike is in terrible shape, so I'll be stripping it off soon. I was wondering if anyone has tips for taking pictures of my decals so that I can get them reproduced.

I'm good with photoshop, so I was going to bring the images into that program to get them into a format that will be undistorted, cleaned-up, and easy to print.

I was thinking about taking pictures of my decals with a grid drawn on a transparency taped over them. Does anyone have some tips to share on this process?

-Will
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Old 05-14-08, 01:55 PM   #2
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I would also like some info on this. I want to send my frame out for powder coating, however I dont want to lose my original decals. Is there any place to purchase decals, or is reproducing them the only way?
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Old 05-14-08, 02:07 PM   #3
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I found NOS ones on ebay
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Old 05-14-08, 02:27 PM   #4
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The grid idea sounds like a good idea. I would just do 2 strips of tape with marks every .25". You could wrap the tape around the tube in front and behind the logo for refference.

Since the logos will be unevenly distorted (foreshortened towards the edges and flatter towards the center) you might want to scale them in photoshop using a feathered/gradient selection.

Post your logo pics and I can give it a shot in photoshop.

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Old 05-15-08, 09:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by steppinthefunk View Post
Post your logo pics and I can give it a shot in photoshop.

Jason,
Graphic Designer, Graphic Design Instructor

Thanks for the offer, I'll have time to do the photography this weekend.

-Will
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Old 05-15-08, 10:34 AM   #6
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the grid is a good idea. When I had Mike Swantak reproduce the decals for the Gazelle I took photos from multiple angles, and took a ton of measurements. Granted, most of the decals on the Gazelle were largely text and straight lines so the complexity of getting the scaling right was not as bad as it could have been. Think he was more than a little thankful for all the work I put into the photos and information, and the end product was spot on.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:23 AM   #7
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I dunno if a grid is necessary. When working with jrrestore on the Voyageur 11.8 decals he just asked for left, right, and straight ahead close-up shots, and like Cuda2k said, lots of measurements.

Make sure your camera's white balance is set correctly and shoot in natural light to get the colors correct. Learn to use the Macro button on your camera if you don't already know how, to get clear, frame filling close-up shots. Save and send them to him in high resolution (~150 to 200Kbs) jpg format.

That should do it!
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Old 05-15-08, 12:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steppinthefunk View Post
Since the logos will be unevenly distorted (foreshortened towards the edges and flatter towards the center) you might want to scale them in photoshop using a feathered/gradient selection.

This is something I have been curious about recently. You speak of uneven distortion due to the curvature of the tubes? How do you use the feathered/gradient scaling to handle this? I don't want to get too far off-topic but I'd love to hear more about this. PM me if it is too detailed to put here.
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Old 05-15-08, 12:55 PM   #9
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Here's the scaling factors I worked out:

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Old 05-15-08, 01:04 PM   #10
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tape a quarter to tube above/below the decal......shoot pic....download to pc...view....enlarge/reduce pic to match size of quarter........insert pic into Excel for your grid if you still need a grid............
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Old 05-15-08, 06:32 PM   #11
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paint shop pro has a function for correcting "barrell distortion". does photoshop have that?
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Old 05-16-08, 08:31 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!

Does anyone know if it will be difficult to print the white parts of my decals? I know a regular home printer won't print white, since it's dependent on printing on white paper instead of a clear decal.
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Old 05-16-08, 08:57 AM   #13
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Also, does anyone know how much it will cost to get decals printed from my image files? It should be 2 sheets, about 8.5x14

-Will
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Old 05-18-08, 10:03 AM   #14
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I bought some transparencies at the stationery store, and had them photocopy graph paper onto the film. I wrapped the bike's tubes snugly with the transparencies, and then brought the pictures into Photoshop. I set up a grid of guide lines, and then used the lasso-line tool to select a rectangle of the photographs, and then used the distort tool to match the photograph's grid to the new guide line grid. The circles still distort a little, but I'll be spending a lot of time re-tracing these images to get them ready to be printed.



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Old 05-18-08, 10:06 AM   #15
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Sorry if that is a confusing description... basically I was taking a rectangle of little squares from my photos, and then distorting those rectangles to match the new grid I set up in Photoshop, and then repeating the process until I had a complete decal.

-Will
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Old 05-19-08, 07:17 PM   #16
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Well crap; that's a lot simpler than my approach. Story of my life: Too clever by half.
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Old 05-19-08, 07:36 PM   #17
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They had me lost at "photo shop."
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