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...
...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:
The idea is based on a saying that my dad used to tell me as a kid...
...one that I've named my self-publishing company after:
So, here it is with the mock neon treatment:
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:
I also wondered what it might look like if the trunk raised and lowered:
Or if the elephant had some more motion to it, like maybe walking:
I tried a little different approach to the back legs in this one, but I don't think I like it as well:
Then I saw that trunk and thought, maybe it could be picking up the coin that it's grasping:
...and finally, I tried combining the walking and the coin motion into one:
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.