It Takes a Village

My mom every year at Christmas creates a village or a Christmas garden, as she calls it. Mostly the garden has gone under the tree, but other years she has had fun doing it on top of the piano. This year, Laura asked her to create the village on top of the piano.

I took a about a 100 photos of it already, close up, and they look rather adorable, but then John had an idea.
He suggested I take photos all the way across, say 4 or 5, and then stitch them together with Autostitch for a panorama shot.

I did that, and the result was great, no notice of where the stitching took place. Not satisfied enough with that though, he thought I should remove the distracting background and create a sky and mountains in Terragen for its backdrop.

Well, one idea led to another, and here is the way it progressed:

Here is the 5 photos taken, stiched together with Autostitch. Notice that the program creates curves around the edges, but really works well to blend the 5 photos together.
panorama of mom's christmas village

The next thing I did was to paint out the background in white, and as an added idea, I “flooded” the village with a graphics program plug-in from Flaming Pear:
flooded village panorama

Next, I rendered a snowy mountain and a cold winter’s sky in Terragen:
snow and sky in terragen

I combined the village and waters with the Terragen Render:
Village and Terragen render together

And the finished image, Mom’s Christmas Village (She was delighted!):
Mom's Christmas Village

I was pleased too!

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13 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    That is awesome! Beautiful work, and a lovely little how-to.

  2. Myrna says:

    It’s beautiful! Where’s the train, I remember the train that went
    with this under your tree, I looked forward to seeing it whenever
    I came to your house! (Also, is there any way to e-mail or blog
    the wonderful cookies your mom made and kept in the tin on top of
    the refrigerator?

  3. Carl says:

    Awesome idea Congrat’s fo you for pulling it off I have autostitch and have never really worked with it in this manner
    Again my compliment’s

  4. procedimento veramente interessante !!!
    Brava !

  5. Very beautiful idea and realisation, Barb 😉

  6. Miles says:

    Outstanding. This has come out really well. It should be on a christmas card or something 🙂

  7. Markus says:

    This is lovely! Very well done. Looks like one of this Xmas postcards to me.

  8. Barb
    How delightful. Thanks for the tutorial. I really love it.
    Gayle in Saginaw, MI

  9. Manojbabu says:

    Very Nice Village and tutorial. Happy Xmas

  10. Becky says:

    Awesome job.. You should be proud of what you did.
    I totally love it!!!
    Have a very Merry Christmas and a
    Joyous New Year..

  11. hal says:

    Terrific … thanks for sharing and for the technique

  12. Tanya says:

    It’s fantastic Barbara! You are so talented, and you have MUCH
    patience! I could never put so much time into something, and it
    really is beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Have a great Christmas.

  13. Jane Carter says:

    Just beautiful!
    I love Terragen, and have been learning it, have most of the Flaming Pear filters too. And you put this whole scene together in a stunning way.
    An inspiration to a beginner like me!

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