Complex pub sign – part four

I forgot to grab screen captures of the small bottom oval but it was a flat relief, modified with a second layer using the dome tool. Then the ‘Q’ was added to the top of that with a 0.15″ height. It was then merged highest with the previous base relief.
Now we are on to the QUEENS lettering. I built the lettering outline as a separate relief. This would be nudged up or down as necessary in the front view at a later point to make sure it was in proper position in relation to the rest of the sign.

The letter outline relief was then modified by adding beveled letters.

Then I nudged the QUEENS relief vertically until I was happy and merged highest with the background relief.

For the upper crown I took my design cues from the lower lettering and the ‘qQ’ oval. It would look best arched upwards in the middle. To do this I first created a flat relief and then drew an oval vector around it. I would use this vector to modify the crown outline relief in an arc. I nudged it up a tad in the front view to make it look good in relation to the rest of the sign.

Then I modified the crown outline relief by adding the crown. relief

I checked everything with a render and by looking at the front views and then MERGED it highest with the background relief. The pub sign was looking pretty fine! Not much further to go.

The last step was the PLATE lettering and outline Once again to make things easier to adjust as needed I would build it as a separate relief, starting with the lettering outline, then modifying the outline with the letter shapes and lastly with the top decorations – all at 0.15″ tall.

Then I merged highest with the background reliefs one last time.

With that the sign was ready for tool pathing and routing.


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Complex pub sign – part three

 With the background of the sign done it was time to start in on the scroll and lettering. While I could have made the scroll all curved the reality was there would only be 0.15″ between the layers on the folds… not much room for anything fancy. Dave was more than capable of doing fancy blends with paint to make the sign more dimensional. The scroll pieces would all be built as separate elements one layer at a time and then merged highest with the background at the end. I started by selecting the lowest elements of the scroll and made them 0.8″ tall.

Then I worked my way forward keeping in mind what folded over what. There were four layers over all.

In these front views we can see the layers of the scroll stacked up.

Then, when I was satisfied how everything lined up it was time to merge the layers to the sign. First, after opening the merge menu, I selected the background relief.

And then following the prompt I selected each piece of the scroll, one at a time and then merged HIGHEST to the background. I then moved the pieces of the scroll to a new layer and made it inactive. In this way I could keep the pieces intact for Dave. To make sure everything was right I did a render before I moved on.

 Now it was time to move on to the eatery lettering. This needed some special attention to make it work. I kept Dave’s original rendered view handy for reference and noted that the end bits of the lettering on each side tucked under the scroll. But the scroll ends were lower than the shield in the center of the sign. This meant the Eatery lettering had to bend upwards. EnRoute is capable of just such a feat by using a special procedure.

To accomplish this task I drew an oval around the work eatery. We would use this to modify the relief later.

First I created a flat relief that was 0.45″ tall. This number was a bit of an educated guess on my part as to the height but it worked out in the end.

Once I had the flat relief I then modified he relief by selecting both it and the oval vector I had created previously. A 12 degree slope on the curve also proved to be the magic number in clearing the center shield and sloping down enough on the edges to tuck under the scroll folds. It took me three tries to figure this out. Once I had the lettering background right I added the lettering to this raising it 0.15″ (not shown)

Then, after checking everything in a couple of different views I could merge highest to the background relief.

The sign relief was coming along nicely and showed some great looking dimension.

We’ll pause it here for now and then continue in the next post.

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Complex pub sign – part two

The pub sign started like pretty much every project. I would build a flat relief, in this case 0.4″ thick. Everything else would be built on top or added to this basic relief.
The next step was the borders. These vectors were selected along with the original relief and then I modified the original relief by adding to them 0.15″ in height. 

The ornate background border was next. It overlapped the border element so I built it as a separate relief. Because so many of the elements overlapped from here on in, we would have to build the rest of the files and separate reliefs and then merge highest to modify the original relief. I first built the fancy design as a separate relief that was 0.7″ tall to make it slightly higher than the background and borders. Then I modified this relief by adding the shield shape that was another 0.15″ tall.

this fancy shape was then merged highest with the base relief. The two steps for this proceedure are shown below.

And here’s the file rendered as it now looks.

So far things have been pretty easy and straight forward but as we get into the file it gets a little more complex. Stay tuned for more next time.


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Complex pub sign – part one

Last week I received a request to build a file for another pub sign for the same fellow I did some for a while back. It is not often I build files that I do not design and route but Dave’s work is just so fine and challenging that I find it hard to resist. Dave is in the process of building a new building to house a router of his own. When that happens I know he’ll be off and running and we’ll see some pretty amazing work in the future. With Dave Barrer’s kind permission I will be posting the step by step of building this complex pub routing file.

Like last time he sent me some well crafted and amazing Illustrator files.

Dave asked me to build three versions of the file. He also asked me to keep all the elements of the build separate so he could use them in the future for other projects. This meant I had to learn something new this go around. I would learn about using layers in EnRoute. This would be fun and challenging.
I imported the Illustrator files into EnRoute knowing what would happen. The beautiful blends in Dave’s illustrations appeared as black boxes with tight vertical lines. I would need to edit and simplify the vector files considerable before they were usable to create reliefs. Each time I get illustrator files from designers used to working for print I see this kind of thing. It really confused me when I first saw it but now I know what to expect.
Other areas of the design such as the borders and letter outlines also had many extra lines. I carefully went through each area of the file deleting and simplifying the design. In all I spent about an hour making the file usable for routing purposes. This is what I expected from pervious experience.

The file was now ready to begin creating the rather complex design of the sign. I had budgeted four hours for the task of building the relief but it actually took more like six hours before I was done. To do this kind of intricate work requires complete concentration for me. I waited until late in the work day when things quieted down. Then I worked non-stopuntil I was done, save for a couple of quick breaks to walk outside for a breath of fresh air and clear my head. It required the file be built from the bottom up, keeping track of the depths of each piece as the many layers were assembled. The key is to keep going forward, building one element at a time without having to redo any pieces – a task I actually managed to accomplish.
The build of this relief will seem complex without a doubt but in reality it is simply a combination of many of the things I have discussed previously in the blog. For those just starting I would strongly advise not to attempt something this complex until you get a firm grasp on handling files in EnRoute. But for those who like a challenge and have some experience in EnRoute this is the perfect kind of file that will give you a run for your money. Next time we’ll begin the process and most likely spread it out over a few posts. 
Stay tuned…

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