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 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 of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Friday, May 17, 2013

Woodgrain bitmaps in the works

I often get asked if photographs will work to create textures. The answer is yes but the routed results will often be something quite different than you might imagine or expected and often not at all what you want.

EnRoute translates the values of the photographs into height coordinates. Black does nothing, white is raised by the value of the measurement entered. Gray does something in-between.

Today I spent a good part of my day on a beach on Vancouver Island photographing driftwood. I took more than 400 pictures of all kinds of wood. I will carefully go through the pictures, editing and tweaking them extensively to create a new series of woodgrain bitmaps. Each of these will be imported into EnRoute to create a routing file and then tested on the router to see how effective they are. The best of these will make it to the new texture DVD now in the works. I'll also be creating a special second pass bitmap for many of these files to really make the woodgrains jump to true 3D. I'm looking forward to the task and can hardly wait for the results!

As a sneak peek here's a few of the photos before the tweaking and adjusting gets serious....

Stay tuned for the results...

-grampa dan