I am finally done with the artwork layout for the control panel, and I think it turned out well. I stated earlier that I wanted to have a hodge podge of arcade characters with the joystick colors they represent within that area of the CP. I was also hoping for interaction, but I found out that, that was asking a little too much.
Let me start by telling you what I did for the artwork. I first went and gathered a bunch of vector graphics of arcade characters that I had planned out for the artwork. Each character represented a color, for example I had Scorpion (MK) for yellow, and Ken (SF) for red. If I could not find a vector drawing of the character and I still needed them, I would look for a very high resolution of the character and then photoshop out the background. This turned out to work pretty well for a substitute.
Now, the reason I need vector drawings is so I can re size them and they will not become blurry. I was taking a risk with the high res drawings, but for the size I needed them they still looked good. If you want to know the sites I used for the vector drawings, it is the Arcade Art Library. They have a vector section that you can use for your arcade art.
Now without any further ado, here is my CP artwork.
Control Panel Production
I started out by downloading the layouts for the trackball and the joystick/button layout. I was able to find these with a quick Google search for Arcade Joystick Layout. Now, the size of the CP I was initially going to go with, which was 62" x 19", I felt was too small after laying out all the joysticks and trackball layout. I wanted more space for people to rest their hands, and so I lengthend the CP to 21"
Now with all my holes drilled I placed the CP on the arcade to see how it would sit and how it looked. It looked pretty good, and at about the size I assumed it would be.
Lining Up The Artwork
I still have a lot I need to do for the control panel, such as wiring and mounting the trackball, but I went ahead and got a test piece of the artwork printed. It cost me about $9 to get this done, and I highly recommend it so you can see how the artwork will line up with the CP. Now, to let you know I did go back and edit the artwork after I expanded the CP length.
Here is a shot of the test print laying on the CP. Not everything lined up perfectly, but I am able to tell where the buttons may pop through someone's face, and if I needed to move anyone around. I noticed that Anarkis may get covered by a button, and Ken is also in danger of this. Also, the MAME logo in the center is in danger of being cut for the Trackball. I have since moved these things around, and it should help with the final print.
So I have now ordered the artwork to be delivered at my house. I went to Office Depot who were considerably cheaper than the competition. I paid $50 for a sheet of 62" x 21" high gloss paper. Anywhere else I went I was look at $65 - $80. It should arrive soon. Now, I am off to start cutting the trackball and wiring the control panel, this should be fun! Thanks for tuning in.