(Topic ID: 241400)

The Claytorian Basement Remodel


By RyanClaytor

6 months ago



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  • 281 posts
  • 69 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 76 days ago by flynnibus
  • Topic is favorited by 40 Pinsiders

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    There are 281 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 6.
    #51 5 months ago

    Some more updates:

    Update #1: My builder texted me yesterday and said he's easing into a new routine and will likely be over on Monday. I told we'd be out of town the first couple days of the week...

    CCtourSchedulePHoF (resized).jpg

    ...but that we're available from Wednesday onward. So the build will likely pick-up again mid next week.

    In the meantime...

    Update #2: More messing about with neon.

    So, I sent last night's new neon attempt (see

    previous post) over to my neon guy, and it turns out I either have a lot more to learn about neon, or I have a lot more money I need to make. Ha-ha! Seems as though that last attempt with the flashing, alternating, and 4-frame animation would use about 13 transformers(!??!) boosting the estimate up to the $3k range. *WOOF!*

    I called up neon guy to chat, in an attempt to further educate myself, and he told me that the animation alone in that previous attempt would require 7 transformers (1 for flashing, 2 for alternating, 4 for 4-frame animation). I was under the impression that each of these would only require 1 transformer. I was obviously mistaken. The take-away I misconstrued was that all of these cost less than doing a 4-frame mechanical/traditional neon animation. If my memory serves me correctly, here's the approximate transformer quantity and monetary breakdown for each of the aforementioned possibilities:

    Flashing: 1 special transformer ~$90
    Alternating: 2 transformers and the alternator/animator ~$225-250
    4-frame animation: 4 transformers and the alternator/animator ~$450
    4 frames of mechanical/traditional animation: 4 transformers and I don't know what but I'm not about to pay this much ~$950

    Of course all of these prices are for the hardware only and do not include materials like the neon tubing or the labor. Anyhow...I'm learning! To neon-guy's credit, he told me I now know more about neon than about 95% of the population. *LOL* This new knowledge SHOULD help me design a sign better suited to our budget. Oh, and before I forget, neon guy also said all that neon looping back and forth on the letters would bump the price up, too. More tubing also means more transformers and more money.

    Okay! Here comes another attempt. I whipped out my trusty paper and pen came up with this:

    IMG_20190530_150304588 (resized).jpg

    The idea is based on a saying that my dad used to tell me as a kid...

    dadsticker_clear (resized).jpg

    ...one that I've named my self-publishing company after:

    2016EEshirtFinal (resized).jpg

    So, here it is with the mock neon treatment:

    ElephantStatic700 (resized).jpg

    As you can likely see from the sketch I first showed, I have some ideas for animation. The first is kinda subtle, just the proverbial bite being taken:

    ElephantBite.gif

    I also wondered what it might look like if the trunk raised and lowered:

    ElephantTrunk.gif

    Or if the elephant had some more motion to it, like maybe walking:

    ElephantWalking1.gif

    I tried a little different approach to the back legs in this one, but I don't think I like it as well:

    ElephantWalking2.gif

    Then I saw that trunk and thought, maybe it could be picking up the coin that it's grasping:

    ElephantTrunkCoin.gif

    ...and finally, I tried combining the walking and the coin motion into one:

    ElephantWalking3.gif

    Each one of the iterations above only uses alternating animation, so I feel like I might be able to get by on the lower end of the neon animation budget. We'll see. As usual, you're seeing things before neon guy does. I'll see what he has to say about this, and I've got some more ideas I'd like to mock-up before committing to one.

    Still open to feedback at this stage.

    #52 5 months ago

    I like the elephant idea more than the chevy-ish logo with the books and flippers. That one seemed a bit... literal? Almost like a generic shape with a couple of your interests tacked on. The elephant has some mystery, a story, and just seems like a more holistic (?) concept.

    I'm torn on which elephant animation looks best. I would guess it will depend on which is feasible / affordable per the neon guy.

    #53 5 months ago

    Could you use less transformers by switching the power through relays?
    ( I know nothing about neon)

    #54 5 months ago

    Elephant with the coin looks the best. You would be explaining the bite out of the leg over and over I think. I also though the previous effort with the book might be a little too literal. Elephant walking with the coin is nice but not much nicer than the coin only, so I would only do that if it wasn't too much extra. Overall, very cool!

    #55 5 months ago

    Talked to my neon guy. He said that elephant could be animated with one alternator and could likely come in a lot closer to my hopeful budget, which is around a grand.

    - --- ----- --- -

    Here's another.

    Inks:

    blackwhite.gif

    ...and then I tried a couple different animation schemes on them. This one would work with a flashing and an alternating:

    coloredLayers.gif

    ...while this one would work with two flashing (a little less expensive):

    Animation2.gif

    Interested in more opinions. Thanks for the feedback thus far.

    #56 5 months ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Interested in more opinions. Thanks for the feedback thus far.

    That looks cool too! Different direction, classic atomic age design. Universal appeal in a game room, I think.

    #57 5 months ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Interested in more opinions.

    Cool looking sign - very 'arcadey.'

    I would rather see the flippers moving instead of the stars blinking.

    I really like the Saturn thingy. Is that the pinball? Saturn could be animated by moving up every time the flippers move. Even better, just the ball part of Saturn without the word 'the' could move and it should be fairly reasonable price-wise.

    Edit:

    And you have options.

    Option 1: Both flippers move and pinball moves up once, then twice.
    Option 2: Right flipper moves and the pinball moves up and to the left. Then, next frame, left flipper moves and the pinball moves up and to the right.

    I don't like Option 1. That's 'monkey flipping.' There will be no monkey flipping at the Claytor Arcade!

    #58 5 months ago

    Great thread Ryan - good for you and congrats!

    I vote elephant ... flipper for tusk and four legs balancing on a pinball

    #59 5 months ago

    Got some feedback from my neon guy last evening after sending him the atomic/space-age design and thanking him for his time looking at these and answering a lot of questions from me...

    neon.gif

    ...so that felt pretty great. In addition to that, he gave me some really helpful suggestions about light-colored neon (whites and yellows) being too close to each other and bleeding into one another. My wife was also saying that the most recent design felt like it was all jammed together and kinda claustrophobic. So, I made a ton of micro-alterations in an effort to give that design a little more breathing room:

    Animation3.gif

    I actually think this is a lot more legible.

    Another critique from my wife is that she missed the "animated" (alternating) flippers from a previous design, so I pulled the flippers away from the design a bit to allow them room to flip:

    Animation4.gif

    I also took away one of the flashing elements from the stars, to save some money, and the Mrs. said she liked it better anyway...that there was just too much going on before.

    I've also been pondering the elephant sign. While not as flashy and retro-hip as that atomic design, it's definitely more personal. However, a lot of the animations of the elephant above focused on movement (walking, trunk, etc) rather than the actual personalized element (bite). The problem with the bite is that it's such a subtle animation and I'd like the sign to be a little more dynamic. So, after staring at and pondering the elephant sign I came up with what I think is a nice hybrid of personalization and motion:

    ElephantBiteTrunkTail.gif

    ...by eliminating the walk cycle, but combining bite (the personalized part), trunk (the reference to this being an arcade sign), and adding a little tail movement.

    Another suggestion by my brilliant wife was to move the title a bit. She felt it was too right-heavy with a bunch of dead space over on the left-hand side. So I moved "CLAYTOR" to the left just a bit and moved "THE" and "ARCADE" quite a bit. I think the text feels better balanced now.

    #60 5 months ago

    digging the last elephant, simple and clear.

    #61 5 months ago

    LOVE the space-age design. If you're taking votes that's where mine goes! All of the designs are amazing though! I thought about having a neon sign designed for my game room too at one point but I never looked into pricing. Has your neon guy given a price for the space-age one? I know you mentioned a grand for one of the designs.

    #62 5 months ago

    Like them both and both the tweaks - Pecos suggestion of the flippers moving is spot on and I like the elephant legs not moving. I too have been considering an atomic/spaceage design of my gameroom, so that sign speaks to me, but the elephant is great too and tells your story. Tough choice!

    #63 5 months ago

    *elephant trumpet noise* - ooh a coin!

    #64 5 months ago

    Okay, so I tried a thing...

    western (resized).png

    ...and I feel like it totally didn't work. Ha-ha!

    Was trying for a western theme with attention to typography but it's just...ungh...too much everything. Too close together, too interlocked, too illegible, too detailed to make a neon sign (quite likely...I haven't checked, but I don't know if it's even worth checking in). I also think it suffers from the same lack of personalization I'm fretting about on the space age sign.

    Bah.

    FWIW, there it is.

    #65 5 months ago

    Elephant for the win

    #66 5 months ago

    Love the elephant! After seeing him pick up the coin, all I visualize is him doing this

    52D2FAD3-E6D2-43BB-BEAA-F8A3C660019C.gif
    #67 5 months ago

    Thanks for all the feedback, guys. Still trying to iterate a bit before making a decision, but I really appreciate the opinions.

    In the meantime, here's another:

    ClaytorEE.gif

    #68 5 months ago

    First thoughts from my wife is that it didn't have enough arcade stuff in it. She loves the flipping flippers (I do too) and I tried adding a coin, too.

    ClaytorEE02.gif

    #69 5 months ago

    The animated bitemark is perfect!

    #70 5 months ago

    Playing with colors and making some minor revisions on this one:

    ClaytorEE03.gif

    #71 5 months ago

    I love both the elephant and cosmic/space age design. With your "Elephant Eater Comics" company, I gotta give a slight edge to the elephant. I also love the animation of the elephant.

    #72 5 months ago

    What a cool thread!

    #73 5 months ago

    with the space age, couldn't you tie the stars blinking into the flippers flipping. So when one flipper flips, it makes a star blink. Loving all the designs.

    #74 5 months ago
    Quoted from Insane:

    with the space age, couldn't you tie the stars blinking into the flippers flipping. So when one flipper flips, it makes a star blink. Loving all the designs.

    That's actually a really great idea to save on a blinking transformer. Leaning away from that idea at the moment or I might mock that up. Also...in Vegas right now.

    IMG_20190603_094355476_HDR (resized).jpg
    #75 5 months ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    ...in Vegas right now.[quoted image]

    Umm hello!

    128DFF91-E972-4809-A99C-22FD6D861B24 (resized).png
    #76 5 months ago

    So far I like this one the best....

    Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 11.30.50 AM (resized).png
    #77 5 months ago

    Can you make a sign with something like luminescent wire? It would free up the design and probably allow more animation.

    #79 5 months ago

    I can't speak for Ryan, but there's just something about real neon that can't be replicated (yet).

    #80 5 months ago
    Quoted from jeffc:

    Umm hello!

    Ha-ha! That's a great suggestion. Thanks, Jeff! My wife and I have actually been to The Neon Museumin Las Vegas a couple different times, and you'd better believe I was taking some inspiration from some of their signs. Ha-ha! Remember that mess of a design I made a few posts back:

    western (resized).png

    ...well, I was making an abysmal attempt at a Sassy Sally inspired arcade sign:

    JH-216-2 (resized).jpg

    And this recurring theme of stars...

    Animation4.gif

    ...is inspired by a ton of classic Vegas neon, like the Stardust, for example:

    stardust.jpg

    All that to say, I've been looking at a lot of signage, and trying to figure out how I might scale down certain elements, since my sign will be a lot smaller than most of them I look at. Again, mine will be occupying roughly a 3'x5' space, rather than the size of a roadside billboard.

    Quoted from MarkInc:

    Can you make a sign with something like luminescent wire? It would free up the design and probably allow more animation.

    Hi MarkInc. I really appreciate the suggestions. I hopped over to that DIY thread you posted, too, and I'll definitely keep that in mind for other potential projects in the future, however...

    Quoted from yancy:

    there's just something about real neon that can't be replicated

    ...for better or worse, I am hell-bent on using neon for this project. It's likely the one and only time in my life I'll be able to make a custom neon for our family, and I'd like to use traditional neon...not neon-esque.

    Speaking of real neon and inspiration, when my wife and I flew back to Michigan yesterday, we spotted this sign in the airport:

    IMG_20190604_045237305 (resized).jpg

    ...and we both liked the look of it, with the mix of fonts and its dynamic shape with the asymmetrical triangle. So, I decided to take another crack at our sign this morning:

    TriangleFlat.gif

    Starting with the design I posted before leaving to Vegas...

    ClaytorEE03.gif

    ...I'm trying to use a greater variety of colors. I really like the full spectrum backglasses found in many flipperless and late 40's titles:

    image-1.jpgimage-2.jpgimage-1 (1).jpg

    Plus, the number of colors used does not increase the price of the sign.

    So, I tried to made that happen here, too:

    Triangle01Rainbow.gif

    It felt like a bit of a mess on this design, so I tried pairing it back a bit:

    Triangle02Primary.gif

    I also spent some time fiddling with that previous design again. Something about the color spectrum moving in a traditional rainbow pattern (red at top, purple at bottom) bugged me a bit, so I reversed the colors:

    ClaytorEE04.gif

    ...and that blue coin felt like it was out of place in the spectrum. So I changed it to white:

    ClaytorEE05.gif

    Still not sure if that white coin calls too much attention to itself.

    I also felt like there wasn't enough contrast between the yellow decorative elements and the white text, so I allowed the central circle to act as the yellow element, changed the decorations to orange, and modified the colors beneath it:

    ClaytorEE06.gif

    In other news, my builder should be here either tomorrow or the following day to start building out our basement, so I'm trying to create as many designs as I can before I need to fill a big hole in a wall.

    #81 5 months ago

    I like your triangle01rainbow.gif

    One thing that doesn't look very good in the renders is the black space left where tubes overlap (animations)
    I guess in real life it would look better since light would glow through a bit.

    #82 5 months ago

    The one above is nice. The more colors the better...it IS an arcade....

    #83 5 months ago

    you could always make the O in your name into a quarter

    #84 5 months ago

    Tryin' s'more.

    Inks:

    LeftCircleInks.gif

    Colors:

    LeftCircle.gif

    #85 5 months ago

    The pinball might read like a 'c' when turned into a neon tube.

    I like the triangle rainbow and saturn/star ones the best.

    #86 5 months ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    And this recurring theme of stars...

    Animation4.gif

    ...is inspired by a ton of classic Vegas neon, like the Stardust, for example:

    You had the correct one at Animation4.gif. That's the one that works the best.

    #87 5 months ago

    I'm leaning into the more personalized imagery of the elephant. Did a few minor revisions.

    In this one...

    LeftCircle2.gif

    ...I changed the colors of the minor decortative elements from orange to pink, purple, and blue in an effort to get some more color into this design and also tie in the ball and bonk element on the right. I think I like it better this way, but likely won't be the final product.

    My wife suggested some possible alternate imagery related to my first game, Whirlwind , which will likely never leave our collection. So I tried a fan motif:

    ClaytorEE07Fan.gif

    Another suggestion my wife made was to make the letters red:

    ClaytorEE09Can.gif

    She likes the red letters, but I'd have to say this version is my favorite:

    ClaytorEE10.gif

    #88 5 months ago

    I have enjoyed seeing all the itterations.

    I know your going a different direction but one more vote for the elephant or the space theme from me

    I purchased a chinese neon sign and although its ok. They appear to have wrapped the glass with colored plastic wrap to change colors in a continuous glass element. Kinda cheesy and unexpected but I have moved on.... yours is going to be amazing whatever design you choose!

    #89 5 months ago

    All designs are great but my vote is also on the retro space themed sign.

    #90 5 months ago
    Quoted from rufessor:

    I have enjoyed seeing all the itterations.
    I know your going a different direction but one more vote for the elephant or the space theme from me
    I purchased a chinese neon sign and although its ok. They appear to have wrapped the glass with colored plastic wrap to change colors in a continuous glass element. Kinda cheesy and unexpected but I have moved on.... yours is going to be amazing whatever design you choose!

    I’m not up on all the details for neon signs, but aren’t the color options dictated by the gas inside the tube, possibly in combination with the inside coating? It seems that there would be a somewhat limited palette of colors to choose from. Plus, each different colored tube segment would need to be filled with a different gas. Not sure if that increases the cost. But the cheap Chinese solution with the colored wrap doesn’t surprise me. If you look at a neon sign like this, there is almost no way to exploit our advances in technology to make it easier, better, cheaper. All of those tube segments have to be manually glassblown, that is an art. They have to be filled with gas and sealed properly so they don’t leak. There probably are advances in the power supply and controls though. But, it adds up to basically a handmade work of art, and that’s just not gonna be cheap.

    I just googled this and it does seem that you can get a lot of different colors. They have a variety of coatings for the tubes to get this.

    #91 5 months ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    I just googled this and it does seem that you can get a lot of different colors. They have a variety of coatings for the tubes to get this.

    Yes, this. ^^^ ...and when chatting with my neon guy, he tells me number of colors really don't make a difference in terms of price. Woo!

    Quoted from rufessor:

    I know your going a different direction but one more vote for the elephant or the space theme from me

    I totally appreciate your (and others') opinion. Sincerely. As you mentioned, I'm leaning in a different direction, but I really do appreciate all the feedback, regardless of whether or not I've directly incorporated it in a visual revision. I've, at the very least, made mental mock-ups of each suggestion and tried to take stock in each. So, thank you, to everyone posting on this thread. It's made this process a lot of fun.

    Speaking of this process, I see it as akin to a pinball game designer position in that I'm trying to make the best product I can for the desired audience (in this case, my family and me). I want to solicit thoughts and opinions of others, but ultimately, this is gonna come down to a personal decision, as I'm the one who will be staring at it more frequently than anyone. Ha-ha! But I truly appreciate everyone chiming in here, as you've allowed this to become a more collaborative and thought-provoking exercise.

    I've been doing a TON of image searching, book combing, and additional attempts (that I just didn't think warranted the faux-neon treatment). Here are just a few I was poking around at last night:

    Image-(17) (resized).png

    These attempts are frequent, and not all of them get the neon mock-up treatment for one reason or another.

    Anyhow, all this to say, I think I'm coming close to a point of making a decision, my builder should be showing up tomorrow to start framing things in, which means it's almost time to figure out a sign that's gonna make me and my family happy for many years to come. With that said, I thought I'd post the gallery of mock-ups just for fun. That way they can all be easily referenced in one place:

    #1:
    neonMock.gif

    #2:
    neonMockBookStar3.gif

    #3:
    ElephantBiteTrunkTail.gif

    #4:
    Animation4.gif

    #5:
    western.gif

    #6:
    ClaytorEE10.gif

    #7:
    Triangle02Primary.gif

    #8:
    LeftCircle2.gif

    #92 5 months ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Yes, this. ^^^ ...and when chatting with my neon guy, he tells me number of colors really don't make a difference in terms of price. Woo!

    I totally appreciate your (and others') opinion. Sincerely. As you mentioned, I'm leaning in a different direction, but I really do appreciate all the feedback, regardless of whether or not I've directly incorporated it in a visual revision. I've, at the very least, made mental mock-ups of each suggestion and tried to take stock in each. So, thank you, to everyone posting on this thread. It's made this process a lot of fun.
    Speaking of this process, I see it as akin to a pinball game designer position in that I'm trying to make the best product I can for the desired audience (in this case, my family and me). I want to solicit thoughts and opinions of others, but ultimately, this is gonna come down to a personal decision, as I'm the one who will be staring at it more frequently than anyone. Ha-ha! But I truly appreciate everyone chiming in here, as you've allowed this to become a more collaborative and thought-provoking exercise.
    I've been doing a TON of image searching, book combing, and additional attempts (that I just didn't think warranted the faux-neon treatment). Here are just a few I was poking around at last night:
    [quoted image]
    These attempts are frequent, and not all of them get the neon mock-up treatment for one reason or another.
    Anyhow, all this to say, I think I'm coming close to a point of making a decision, my builder should be showing up tomorrow to start framing things in, which means it's almost time to figure out a sign that's gonna make me and my family happy for many years to come. With that said, I thought I'd post the gallery of mock-ups just for fun. That way they can all be easily referenced in one place:
    #1:
    [quoted image]
    #2:
    [quoted image]
    #3:
    [quoted image]
    #4:
    [quoted image]
    #5:
    [quoted image]
    #6:
    [quoted image]
    #7:
    [quoted image]
    #8:
    [quoted image]

    My favorites are #1 and #7. Tough choice among all options.

    #93 5 months ago

    I like them all but number 4 and 7 are my favorites as I love that theme. Number 6, however, is what i think seems like the better fit for you.

    #94 5 months ago

    #7 kills it...nice job

    #95 5 months ago

    Forgrt about the white....use blue or red....

    Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 4.12.29 PM (resized).png
    #96 5 months ago

    I'd vote (in order of preference):

    #6
    3 or 4 (tie)
    7

    #97 5 months ago

    Love #3

    #98 5 months ago

    4 and 7.

    #99 5 months ago

    Love #3

    6b45539c5b9eb14261acbfcf58f896c72b99b209.gif.jpg (resized).png
    #100 5 months ago

    3 or 7
    All great choices.

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