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Planning my layout...

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Planning my layout...
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 4:09 PM
Im planning my layout for this Spring and would like to know whick DCC sytem would suit it best. I would also like to makesure that there isnt anything terribly wrong with the track plan.

Heres the link:
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-5/189758/choochoo.jpg

The red box in the top left corner is 1 square foot. The layout is designed for filming. Im goin to make my own "Thomas the Tank Engine" movies for my son. Thats why there are so many dead ends. The largest locomotive is a large wheeled 3 axil (Gordon if your familiar with the show). Thanks everyone. Ill look foreward to your replies.

  • Member since
    August 2002
  • From: Corpus Christi, Texas
  • 2,377 posts
Posted by leighant on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 5:37 PM
I haven't seen the Thomas the Tank Engine movies but I am a (small time) TV producer and videographer.
Are your dead ends so that you can film a head on view of locomotive coming right toward camera? You might consider having a layout that had at least one conventional continuous loop where you can just let trains run, and also have a track or two or three or four coming off that loop, sceniced to appear as main line but dead-ending at the end of layout. Use that for filming the head-on scenes, and use the continuous route for ordinary running.
One trick in filming is "cheating the camera angle". You can have one track that dead ends of end of layout, it's continuous route curves away. Somewhere else on the layout, in the middle of a continuous run of straight track, have a track that curves away at a turnout (switch) with the surrounding scenery the same as your dead-end track. Use that part of layout for filming from the side and the train can just keep going straight continuously. Use the dead end track for filming head on. It will look like you are filming the same part of the railroad from two different angles, but you have actually set up areas where you can get easy angles that you couldn't reach on one section of track.

I'm not sure whether I am giving you train advice or cinematography advice!!!
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 5:55 PM
Thanks alot!!!!

I'v watched and rewatched several episodes dozens of times (the ones containing these locations) and i'v made storyboards of all the camera angles they use. Then I figured out how they could fit together, so that an area that may appear to be 1 location is actually 3 if viewed from different angles. The dead ends are the shot areas where simple scenery and backdrop paintings will fill in (at least thats where they used there's). such as the forest on the left can dead end because the trees will be so thick, you would have to look at it exactly head on in order to see the end of the table. Some of them are slightly curved so that it is impossible to see the end.

Thanks again!
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 6:17 PM
Samlam,
I would suggest a more conventional layout. The reason I say this is you are making film for you child to watch of Tomas the Tank. But from a child's perspective, wouldn't it be more fun to have an operating layout? In other words, I can see from your perspective that your thinking - "won't it be great fun to make these movies and have little junior watch them." From little juniors perspective, the layout might be more fun than the movies.

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