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Building a Home-Made Light Tent

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I am Hussein, a 36 year old beginner modeler from Egypt.I was shooting my workpieces in normal daylight on a table and I wasn’t satisfied with the results. I always felt that my models look much better in reality than in my photos.

I asked for help in Armorama forums and after gathering all the advice and reading many blogs I decided to do my own light tent and to make my unique design.
The build
I decided to make the sides of the box slanted to an angle towards the center to allow focused light on the subject and give a realistic light from an angle. The top is covered with aluminum foil to reflect the light back from the top and reduce bottom shadows.

• Photo 1 shows the design idea on paper:

• Photo 2 - cutting the base:

• Photo 3 - cutting the back:

• Photo 4 - assembly

• Photo 5 - the hollow side frames

• Photo 6 - the sides after applying transparent material from inside and outside (two layers)

• Photo 7 - the top covered with Aluminum foil

• Photo 8,9 - the light box after assembly

• Photo 10 - adding the lights on the sides using “Daylight” lamps

I am satisfied with the results, these are much better than my previous photos; the test shots (photos 11, 12, 13, 14) are here to show the end results. Adjusting my camera to Auto white balance, auto ISO and doing some auto-correction on the photos on PC. I obtained satisfactory results.
I would like to thanks everyone who gave me advice and blogs that help me make this light tent.

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About the Author

About Hussein El Kaissy (helkaissy)

37 years old Egyptian Engineer, I have started modeling since 2013 and got totally hooked to it. My background as a painter helped me a lot to progress in the hobby. My focus is usually on modern armor and Dioramas mainly in Egypt and the Arab region.


Thanks Leonel, let me know how it works.
JAN 05, 2014 - 07:54 PM
Thanks Michael I think what they meant by dinner tissue is just large size disposable paper tissue but that would be too fragile to use. I recommend normal tracing paper as it will last longer. Cheers Hussein
JAN 05, 2014 - 07:58 PM
I would guess that it's a paper napkin. I suspect that pretty much any white material which lets light through indirectly would work pretty well. The light paper material which typically comes as packaging in brand new shirts would probably work well also. (I know it works great to simulate canvas when you paint over it with acrylic paints )
JAN 06, 2014 - 04:23 AM
Put one together the other night Hussein, Thanks for your instructions. Works very well.One question.My shots are on the yellow side using auto settings.Would it be better to set it on natural light? Tom  photo rrdg001_zps8c5473e9.jpg  photo rrdg002_zps7c1d6259.jpg  photo rrdg003_zpsea4df97b.jpg  photo rrdg007_zps4a99728b.jpg
JAN 17, 2014 - 11:20 AM
Hi Tom Great work No, i think you should keep your camera on auto mode and make sure white balance is set to auto. I think the issue might be with your selection of light bulbs, which ones are you using? If you are using normal yellow incandescant bulbs it will come out yellowish. I suggest you select a couple of energy saving bulbs from Osram or philips with the light color inidication "natural daylight" these will give you better results they are available in normal bulb shops Hope to see how it goes Cheers Hussein
JAN 17, 2014 - 12:14 PM
Well Tom i also noticed that the corner of the lightbox is showing in your photos background. I suggest you put a large white sheet of paper in the background and curve it without bending so that your vehicle comes out with a clear white background without any details like in pro photos in magazines. You can see this sheet in the last photo of my box in just hang it with a piece of tape and let it hang and curve to form the base on which i put my models for cornerless photos Good luck and let me know how it goes Cheers Hussein
JAN 17, 2014 - 12:30 PM
I am making this reply/post just so I can find this post easily again in the future. My son is majoring in college as a 3d animation designer and he wants to try to build one of these (sometime). He paints figures (Warhammer 40k) and some sci-fi subjects and currently he uses my paint booth as a photo booth where he sticks white paper around the insides. Had a heck of a time using KM's search in an attempt to find this post again for him. Sure glad someone posted something recently so it showed up in my forum list. Cheers
JAN 17, 2014 - 01:18 PM
Thanks Hussein, I'll try both. Robbie,it is hard to find things sometimes.I've learned to add to my favorites list anything I may use later. Tom
JAN 18, 2014 - 05:47 AM
Totally right Hussein, Bulbs were the problem. Thanks again. Tom  photo 001_zps2a794bb9.jpg
JAN 18, 2014 - 10:47 AM
Great job Hussein. Thanks for sharing it. Can you answer two questions for me though? What materials did you use (form board?) and what are the dimensions?
FEB 22, 2014 - 05:09 PM