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Sand level low in middle?  

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(@alhamric)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 7
October 18, 2018 6:17 pm  

I noticed that my Sola3 track on the 22” table (see attached photo) is lacking definition in the center. Is this because there is not currently enough sand to make larger ridges?


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(@heropup)
Contributor
Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 12
October 18, 2018 7:40 pm  

There's only so much detail that can be drawn for a particular grain size of sand.  Since all tables regardless of diameter use the same sand, and the paths are scaled to fit a table's drawing field, the larger the table, the more apparent detail can be seen in a track as a whole.  In the center of some tracks, the details get finer and finer until the sand is too coarse to resolve them.

If you were to take a picture of, say, the central 2 inches of the track drawn, it would show roughly the same amount of detail for the same ball size and amount of sand, regardless of the size of the table.  But the features are proportionally larger for a larger table (e.g., the spacing between overlapping paths).  For instance, if I take a picture of seash5 drawn on my 22" end table, and I take a picture of the same track drawn on the 36" coffee table, such that the entire design just fits inside the frame of the photo, then when comparing the two images, the latter will appear to have finer sand and finer details; but if I take both pictures from the same distance from the glass, the sand will have the same apparent size and the same detail, but the path on the larger table will be magnified compared to the smaller table.

Unless there isn't enough sand to draw a path, if you add more sand to the center, what will happen is that the ball will just push it around and leave virtually the same amount of sand behind.  If you use a smaller ball, you'll see a little more detail since the ball won't flatten the sand as much (it draws a narrower path with less overlap).  I would encourage experimenting with different ball sizes and amounts of sand.

Another interesting possibility is to change the shape of the object pushing the sand--a cylinder, for example (like a hockey puck) might create a different effect than a ball.


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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 85
October 19, 2018 10:30 am  

In addtion to heropups excellent reply - if you do notice the middle getting a little shy in the sand department, you can of course remove the glass and brush sand from the "terminal berm" (hill of sand around the periphery). But alternatively, a more elegant solution is to create a playlist consisting of two tracks: "e10" followed by "apache". Run the playlist in order (not shuffled), with repeat on, and let it go all day (or over night). You should find after repeated runnings, that there is a net increase of sand in the center.


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(@bruce)
Admin
Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 85
October 19, 2018 10:38 am  

@heropup-

Trying other shaped "boulders" is fine, but be sure they don't have sharp edges, which could scratch the "sand pan". I've tried a few things, but nothing comes anywhere close to a sphere aesthetically (IMO). I sometimes use a BB when I want to draw something that needs detailed lines (like text) and I want a photo of the completed track. But because of the relative increase in size of the particles (compared to the ball), the smaller the ball the less smoothly it rolls.

Another interesting possibility is to change the shape of the object pushing the sand--a cylinder, for example (like a hockey puck) might create a different effect than a ball.


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(@alhamric)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 7
October 25, 2018 9:37 am  
Posted by: Bruce

But alternatively, a more elegant solution is to create a playlist consisting of two tracks: "e10" followed by "apache". Run the playlist in order (not shuffled), with repeat on, and let it go all day (or over night). You should find after repeated runnings, that there is a net increase of sand in the center.

Thank you both. I must have forgotten to subscribe and am only just now seeing these replies. I knew the tracks got scaled for the different sized tables and wasn't sure if it was a detail issue or a sand issue.

Bruce - I did notice a return of sand to the middle with certain tracks. It would be great to have your suggested track order in the FAQs to accomplish it.

Andy


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