It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated with what I saw and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research and LOTS of hands-on practice I quickly found out that my MultiCam router was capable of just about anything imaginable.This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as I continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful tool... -dan

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Treasure Quest - part one

We are now full blast into the build of the Skallywag Bay Adventure Park for Trinidad. We'll be busy for the better part of a year in our studio before heading down to the Caribbean Island for the installation of all the pieces. It is going to be both challenging and exciting every step of the way. Because the project is in many ways similar to the one recently completed, Cultus Lake Adventure Park, we will be building on our successes there and hopefully kicking things up one more notch in the process.

I designed the sign for the kid's play area some time ago.  At the time I wasn't worried about details like the font. That would come later. 

As we got into the realities of the fabrication I also knew some things had to be changed up a little. Because all the pieces have to fit inside shipping containers (fourteen in all) we are limited to about 7' 6" tall. This meant I would reshape the tree a little and then perch the parrot a little lower. I didn't redraw the design but rather did it on the fly as we built the frame and armature. In the picture below the frame is welded and the lath is almost in place. The parrot form can be seen perched on a branch to the middle right.

Then it was on to begin creating the routing file. I started with a nice cartoon font which I bought for the park logo called PiekosFX. But as usual for my style I didn't keep it looking like it came out of the box. I adjusted the angle of the downstroke of the R and shortened the top down stroke of the S. I also resized and then thinned down the T and the Q. All of the kerning was adjusted to my liking as well.  I also kept the name of the play park on one line to keep the sign a little thinner and longer than in the original design.

Then we began tweaking all of the letters. In version 5 of EnRoute we can distort the vectors easily using this tool. In the next four pictures they show the process as I went through the process twice to get the effect I wanted. The lettering was now much more fun but still very readable.

Then using the outline tool I created a double border around the letters. The outside border is a little wider than the first.

The lettering is now ready to start working with as I create the relief. I'll cover this process in the next post to the blog.