Thursday, February 27, 2014


Today was a day to have multiple things going all at once....

First, a good friend in Aledo needed me to do a little carving for his machine is
having some this 8' long sign has been carving most of the afternoon:

I've been painting the various parts of the Stark County Ambulance sign...they brought by a patch with the proper colors and that's been a tremendous help matching!

While I was painting, I thought about how much I enjoy re-using old containers that would otherwise have gone directly to some land-fill.  I feel that at the very least I'm giving them a second, third and sometimes 4th or 5th life before they finally end up in the dumpster. It's a little thing, but one that matters.  Since I only use water based paints, I don't have to be concerned about reactions with the plastic.

Tomorrow I should be able to wrap up the Ambulance sign and my friends 8' carving....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Shovel shovel shovel!

We've had more snow here, so much of my morning was spent digging out the drive and getting a path cleared at the shop....and I just know if I buy a snowblower, we'll never see another inch.

Either way, I made some time to wrap up Sinister Vision's booth logo sign.

Now it's back to the ambulance project!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sinister isn't always scary.

For some time I've followed an amazing illustrator named Chad Savage.  He has a website called
Sinister Visions.
He has created some wonderful art and even some cool fonts!
Many of the fonts are free... check it out:

The challenge?  He could use a dimensional version of his logo to take
to shows and events:

It needs to be durable, but lighter is better. 

This version is about 31" in diameter.

I've primed it, given it 3 coats of black and now a coat of white on top...this is in preperation
for the orange, which will also get 3 coats.  It will get one more coat of white before I go to
the orange.

I plan to make the orange match the logo..but I will try it with a "metallic" version
of it first.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Aspire to build more!

One of the reasons that I use Vectric Aspire is that each custom job is unique and I know that there are several ways I can approach the work.  I thought I would show you a couple ways it might be done. Bear in mind, there are a couple dozen more ways to do it, and I'll talk briefly about how that might be done, too!

First, here is an approach I enjoy.  It attacks the job by assuming we'll carve the project from a single piece of material.  I have the luxury of having built all the vectors, so I'm in full control of those.  I begin by building a project that matches the size of the material I'll carve and it's thickness.... Next, I import the vectors I've created (in this case I built them in Illustrator based on an existing logo).

Once I have the vectors imported and sized to my material, I can choose how I want to carve.  In this case, I've just quickly set up a series of pocket cuts to show you how it can be done.  Each "pocket" removes material around or within a vector as I have selected.  Here is a view of a couple of pockets cut "virtually":

One thing to note is that I can set the depth of each pocket and fully control how "deep" each layer goes.  It's great to be able to view each modification I've made and Aspire even allows me to revert if one of them isn't what I wanted...awesome!

Once I've set the various pockets up, I can finish by setting up a perimeter carve to cut the shield out from the background material:

In this case, I've only carved these red lines to represent the flag stripe locations, as I will hand sculpt the "wave" in the flag.  I certainly could do this model work in Aspire, but I like to keep certain things in my projects "hand" rendered. I think it adds to them.

In addition to this, I can add special features to the lettering or edges of the objects with relative ease...but let's look at another approach:

I could also choose to create a "grayscale" version of the logo:

I could then import this into Vectric Aspire and convert the image to a 3d file based on the various colors representing different heights:

I could then create a perimeter cut and again remove the waste once it finished...the only way to control the depths would be to modifiy the original gray scale colors.

Yet another way to handle this would be to bring in a full color image or use the grey scale and create vectors within Aspire from the image, those could then be used in a fashion similar to the first one shown here...

Another approach used by some folks is to cut out pieces using primarily perimeter cuts and to "build up" the project as a series of pieces. I did this on the McCauley lettering for a farm sign I recently created (see earlier posts)

The point?

Vectric Aspire allows me to build the project however best suits me, the material and the work.  I have the freedom to control every aspect and ensure that I can control how much or little work I want to do on the back end.  That's pretty awesome.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In An Emergency...

I'm working on several designs right now for different clients.
This one is for the local ambulance.  They have multiple locations
in the area and have taken control of the Wyoming location.

  Here is what the current sign looks like:

The design I'm working on is based on a badge that they currently use. 

The plan is to do much of the sheild in 3D and the lettering as well...  There may be additional
changes to the design as I work with the client to nail down details.  I think much of the sheild
will hopefully be in metalic colors.