I thought I would share this with everyone. This is from a post I wrote in
the Yahoo! Group Custom Paint And Airbrushing that I am a co-founder of
and where I write posts like this occasionally. Posts that actually are useful
and not a comedy. This is for the folks out there in airbrush forum cyberland
that may have not used an opaque projector before, maybe thinking of buying
one or just curious about them.
The Ag100 is a good one that will last for years if not knocked off a table
upside down on a hard kitchen floor like the cat did to my scanner.
I have an Ag100 opaque projector that I use occasionally when I need
it. When I finally got the money saved to get one I thought I had
died and gone to Heaven. It can speed up production by taking some of
the guess work out of painting portraits, vehicles, special order
designs which in a fast paced business such as T-shirt airbrushing
means less time, more money. At times it may not be possible to use
one as in out painting on location, but when you are in an area where
one has the space and the absence of light, it can be beneficial.
There are those that will say that enlarging with an opaque projector
is "cheating", to those I say "Get Real!" . The projector
isn't doing the painting. You are.
It is simply a tool. Talent and ability of the artist makes that artwork,
not the tool.
The AG100 is very easy to use. It has to be in a space that you can
make very dark (get out the blankets and cover up the windows). I use
my hallway at the house as I did at my apartment (no windows, gets
dark in there). I don't have a stand for my AG100. I always put the
projector on a non wobbly chair on top of a stack of encyclopedias to
make it far enough off the floor. Use what ever works for you that
doesn't shake rattle and roll. For me, this was standard procedure
for t-shirt designs but it would be different when I had larger
projects to do.
Where ever I put the projector, I had to make sure that it was level
(invest in a carpenter's level) and that it was the same distance
away from the wall or whatever I was aiming it at(I know you have to
have a tape measure laying around somewhere). If it is askew it will
distort the image and your eyes can play tricks on you and you may
think it is lined up but the distance or your perception of the
projector's placement can be deceiving.
When in the hall, the kids (the kids blew things up too for school
projects and they make very cheap labor, you pay them in oreos) and I
sat in the floor with sketch paper taped to a bedroom door(smooth
finish not a textured wall)to the side of the paper to draw the image
with a #2 pencil or dark colored pencil depending on the image and
the colors of the image (you don't want to think you are through just
to find out that you have missed something and have to redo or
readjust). If possible, one person would focus while another was at
the paper, checking the focus at the paper to be able to get the best
If a specific size was needed, I would mark out on the paper the
area that the image would need to fill. Most T-shirt designs are
normally around 14"x14" and I would always use a 14" wide sketch
paper for T-shirt designs, larger for portraits and designs that
would cover a large area on the shirt. The image does get larger or
smaller as you focus and if the focused image is too large or small
then the projector must be moved backward or forward while checking
the focus until the correct size is achieved. Sometimes it may be
inches you will have to move it sometimes feet. That is why I always
liked the chair setup. Easy to move around.
Like I said before, this was the most typical, but I did move it to
where ever it was best to setup for the project I was doing at the
time. I have used my AG100 not only inside but outside at night. It
is good for enlarging a design straight onto a wall for murals and
for larger sketches on butcher paper or similar for designs to be
transferred onto large objects, such as vehicles.
It may be necessary to piece together an enlarged image. If your
original is too large for the 6"x 6" screen, try reducing the size
with a copier or pc program and print out the adjusted size. If that
isn't possible then raise the cover and readjust the original
carefully so as to not move the projector's position. After you have
moved the original and it was done without repositioning the
projector, then move the sketch paper until the image is lined up
with marks you have already drawn. If the image doesn't line up or
the projector has been shifted, it maybe easier to do it over again.
It is difficult to see if the image is distorted so you must judge
yourself when you are painting if adjustments are necessary. It is a
great tool but don't rely on it's total accuracy. I would only sketch
out the guide lines(very basic) that would help my project go faster
and didn't try to get every little detail. As with everything in
airbrushing, practice with the AG100 makes perfect (almost).
Oh Denise Shoobee Doo
Airbrush Art By Denise's Novels
Custom Paint And Airbrushing