Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Back when it was still done by hand.

I was going through some pictures over the weekend, and came across a set I designed and painted for one of the local television stations in Calgary. Digital printing was just starting to make its entrance into the industry, but most of the sets were still painted by hand. The funny thing is, the material I used for the backdrop was vinyl that was being used for printing outdoor billboards. I had started using it for painting backdrops instead of canvas and muslin because it could be to lighted from behind, and was also good for putting removable coatings on. This set was designed for the stations new Breakfast Show, and would probably only be used for short time. The backdrop was coated with 5 coats of Sign Strip, so it could be painted on and then removed when the show ran its course. They ended up using the backdrop wall for a number of years, painting it many times for shows and commercials. The funny thing is, last year, I had a call from a lighting company that had changed the studios over and wanted to know if I wanted to buy this really neat backdrop set up that could be painted on. I laughed and told the fellow that it was my company that had designed and installed it years ago. The process that we used to do the job was to coat the drop first, then with foam core stencils, and a projector for the layout, we airbrushed the design with spray guns and water-based paints, to apply the images. The reason it was sprayed instead of painting with brushes is they wanted to light it from behind. It took 2 days to complete with myself and 2 others. I find now with all this being done digitally, or green screens and  3d sets; it just doesn't seem to have the look or feel of a hand-painted set. Maybe I'm just getting old. Hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane.


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