The Match

The Game Crafter’s new website revision is live, so I’ll be putting my custom International Checkers up there soon. They’re requiring a bit more polish on the game pages than before, which has got me updating a bunch of my images from the DicePack project. Those are still a little rough around the edges after my first pass, but at least usable.

The MatchThat has got me thinking about images to put up with the other project, and right now I’d like to focus on just one. One component of the publisher’s site is “action shots,” allowing you to show close-ups of game components, how the game is set up and played, and such. Okay, so I’ll set up my proof copy of the checkerboard and take some shots.

But, wait, maybe somebody should be playing the game? Nobody here but me. That’s the train of thought that lead to this split-screen effects shot of me playing Checkers against myself. If you’re asking now how this was done:

  • Set up the checkerboard, chairs, and such. I’m using a board position from the Wikipedia article on International Checkers.
  • Set up the camera on a tripod, up on the railing of the deck where it’s got a good view of everything.
  • Take a shot with the timer on the camera, hustling around to sit in one chair and pose as if pondering.
  • Change shirts and put on a hat. Take the second shot, as if making a move. Had I been thinking, I might have used my left hand, but I didn’t (no, really, wait for it).
  • Pull both photos into GIMP.
  • Create a mask the same size as the photos, with black on one side and white on the other. Run a blur over the mask so the two parts will blend together rather than splice.
  • Multiply the left-hand image by the mask, and the right-hand image by the inverse of the mask.
  • Add the two images together
  • Mirror-image the whole thing. This is because my printer’s proof of the board was from the mirror-imaged version. This also meant mirroring the board position, of course, and rubbing out the text on that bottle of gardening stuff in the background. Given the odds of anyone noticing the error in the board, I can’t claim any of this step was rational.

There was a bit more fussing, but that’s basically it. In no way was any of this necessary, but it was fun.

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