Ponoko sent!

I just spent most of the day making a prop for my giallo movie.

What is giallo? Read about it on wikipedia. I’ll write more once the project is done.

Anyway, I needed a cult-looking cross for my movie. I originally made it in clay, sometimes covered in aluminum foil, sometimes spraypainted silver, to look like metal… it melted in the blood we were using. This was unfired clay. Actually clay in general was looking way too sloppy.

So, I needed something more precise. I decided to laser-etch it. I bought a “prime” membership at Ponoko on the off chance I would need to make a bunch of these.

My initial cross design was a Rosicrucian cross, complete with all the rosettes and hebrew letters. But, it looked too fat, too alchemal, and not sinister enough. So, I drew a new cross, more Chaos-inspired, and put some glyphs on there from the Necronomicon (the big seal on the front of the book).

The thing that took me the longest to figure out: I really like brushwork in my illustrations, using custom pressure-sensitive brushes on my Wacom. But laser cutting needs zero-point strokes. No stroke. That means all your brushwork has to be converted to outlines. Okay, done.

Also, all the fancy compound shapes need to be simple, nonoverlapping outlines. So I used a lot of Pathfinder and the “Expand” function, which is basically “make a vector path that is what I’m seeing at the moment.” Very useful.

Ponoko color-codes their laser operations. Cutting is blue. Heavy raster is black-filled. Heavy vector (not cutting) is red. So my design has a lot of those three colors.

I started at around 2; I just finished at 7:30. 5 and a half hours… including shipping, it cost only $20 for 2 copies of my design! Very worth it! Here’s hoping the design worked!

Maybe if it looks super awesome I’ll make it in metal and sell it as jewelry to gamers.

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