Wednesday, 21 October 2009

3-D specs............

I should have stuck to my intention of updating our brochure and leaflet today. That would have been a relatively simple task, easily achievable and and it would have engendered a sense of success in a job well done.

But no.

I decided instead to work on an idea I've had for some time of a little 3-dimensional children's theatre in the Victorian style. A few years ago I designed a Punch & Judy puppet theatre so I have all the basics of the theatre itself. Then a few months back I acquired a very, very old book of theatre backdrops and scenery which I thought I could use in conjunction with my toy theatre to create a multi-dimensional, recede-into-the-distance' diorama.

In 1/12th scale.

I don't know WHAT I was thinking.

First off, as I needed to carefully resize the scenery, I had to engage with the scanner. Regular readers will know that the scanner/copier/printer and I have a chequered past. Our mutual animosity was made worse earlier this year when I was able to justify a lovely new extra-high quality printer which is sleek and silent and obeys my every whim. Unlike the old machine, which is chunky and clunky and is forever shuffling its ink cartridges and going off in a sulk.

However the new printer only prints. To do any copying or scanning I have to curry favour with the all-in-one, and relations today have reached breaking point.

I thought I might have problems by the way it narrowed its little blinking LED lights when I sat down in front of it. Casually, I ignored this and lifted the lid to carefully place my theatre cutouts on the glass. As soon as I closed the lid and turned to the computer to pull up the scanning software, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the printer metaphorically folding its arms, and pretending it was really, REALLY busy doing something extremely important by going through one of its endless cartridge shuffling sessions.

Undaunted, I continued setting up the scanning parameters then hit the preview button.


Tried again.


Closed the program, re-opened it, set up the scanning stuff again and decided to forgo the preview and go straight for a scan.


Checked that the printer was connected to the PC, even though I absolutely, certainly knew it was. Switched the printer off and on again, hoping to wipe its memory of every ruckus we'd ever had.

Still nothing.

Eventually, after about 90 minutes of faffing around, and perhaps sensing that if it didn't relent and cooperate it would be drop-kicked out the window, the printer seemed to suddenly notice I was there and after a few more minutes of shuffling, began to scan.

V---e---r---y, v---e---r---y, s---l---o---w---l---y.

So slowly in fact, that I could have drawn the scene by hand, strolled round to the shops for a pack of crayons, strolled back and hand-coloured the whole thing in less time.

It was THAT slow.

The resulting scan was so big it took our state-of-the-art, super speedy PC a full 3 minutes to render it viewable.

I have another 6 pieces of scenery still to scan but I have lost the will to live. I'm sure I am not imagining that the printer is sniggering.

So instead of a gorgeous 3-D toy theatre diorama I have one solitary piece of scenery which took me most of the afternoon to achieve.


Isn't it yardarm yet............?


julie campbell said...

LOL Sandra :0) But it will all be worth it when you have your fab mini theatre. I adore toy theatres so am really excited to see this and might just have to buy one !
see you at kensington !!!
julie xx

depesando said...

I think you are scanning at very, very high resolution - hence the speed, size and memory usage.

Do you have a little panel that comes up at the start to adjust it - even really good magazine images are only 300 dpsi?

Sandra Morris said...

Thanks Julie,

I love toy theatres too and have quite a collection in my toy shop.

The one I'm working on will be wonderful if I can only get the prototype just right.
Hopefully I should have at least one ready in time for KDF!
*fingers crossed*

Sandra Morris said...

Richard, thanks for the advice. Yes, I thought as much. However I am absolutely, positively sure that I had selected the correct settings.

If I'm scanning to print then the default resolution is 300dpi (which is then greyed out so it can't be changed) so I lay the blame squarely at the door of the printer, who has had it in for me from day one.

It's a malicious, malingering, miserable sonofabitch and if it plays up any more today I'll take a spanner to ITS works!