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Artwork Reproduction

Tracing stenciled arcade artwork with vellum

The problem with reproducing arcade cabinet artwork always starts with proximity to the game. Scanning a cabinet is a ton of work, and when combining the stitching in Photoshop of all of the pieces, you might be looking at 6-12 hours on that task alone. The nice thing with stenciled artwork is that the design is usually highly refined and more simplistic, which means it is easier to do a tracing to get the artwork to a workable format. Here are some visuals. (more…)


How to vectorize arcade game artwork

Earlier in 2008 when I was really pushing to see what sort of traffic I could get on this arcade blog, I was starting to gather the best arcade artwork resources here under one roof.

I had contacted Tom Van Horn to see if he would let me reproduce (with credit of course) his very nice tutorial PDF on how to use a vector program to trace and then reproduce your arcade game artwork. I thought that this resource could be more easily found if made into HTML pages will a greater density of keywords and keep the PDF as a compliment to download and easily read offline, print, whatever was needed. A pretty good idea I thought. (more…)


Reproducing Control Panel Artwork – Measurements

I wrote about how to measure / figure out the placement of the controls on your game control panel, now let’s talk about how to get the correct measurements for your artwork, and how to set up your Illustrator canvas to match. It’s pretty easy, but if you haven’t sat down and thought about it then getting the correct measurements on your artwork may be difficult. (more…)


Visual definition of ‘bleeds’ – arcade artwork

A handful of arcade game collectors possess some graphic design knowledge and understand the basic theory of reproducing cabinet artwork; scan the artwork, stitch it in Photoshop, and then trace the vector lines and shapes in Illustrator. But not too many know about one of the most important details of reproduction artwork preparation – including the step to add bleeds to your shapes to compensate for small shifts in registration. Don’t understand how bleeds work? That is what we’re going to illustrate in this post. (more…)


Sizing Your Arcade Artwork Scan

Now that you have the scans of your arcade cabinet artwork finished and the sideart is stitched together you are ready to start tracing those scans into vector artwork using Illustrator. But one important tip before you just place your scan and start tracing, we need to look at what size your artwork needs to be before you start. It can be tempting to just jump right in and start drawing over your scans, but even the fastest computers can get bogged down when trying to re-render if you have a hi-resolution scan with a complex piece of vector artwork. You need to copy and downsample your original scan to a piece of artwork you can easily work with and manipulate, and here’s how. (more…)


Check arcade artwork dimensions

You’ve got an awesome scan of your arcade game artwork, from the side of the cabinet, the control panel, or another piece that you would like to reproduce. You’re a little type A, and don’t trust that the computer scanned the piece in at actual size, or more likely, you downloaded a piece of artwork from Local Arcade hoping to have it printed but want to make sure the dimensions are correct. You’re on the ball, and checking artwork dimensions before sending the vector file off is a great idea, and it is so simple to do in Illustrator. (more…)


Scanning Arcade Game Sideart

For all of the great arcade websites that exist for collectors to interact and collaborate, I have not come across many articles that I would consider a “primer” series stepping a potential future collector through the process of having arcade artwork reproduced. There are a lot of small nuances and skills that go into a run of reproduction artwork and we are going to try to cover all of the main points in this series. (more…)