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Author Topic: Looking for suggestions on control panel  (Read 1405 times)

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Smalkmus

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Looking for suggestions on control panel
« on: August 26, 2018, 09:32:56 pm »
I bounced all over the place on my cabinet's theme and finally ended up on a mash-up of various fighting games because that's the majority of what I'll be playing on it.  I hired an artist whose work I found on deviant art and they created my side art.  I really like it but now I'm struggling with the control panel design.  It feels too empty but I'm not exactly sure what would be a good alternative. 

I attached all the files so far.  I'm planning to leave the bezel black and the kick plate with the coin door black.  I included the right side to give an idea of the theme.  This is exactly what I asked for and I really like it.  I also like the control panel kick plate and I think the dragon works good on that piece.  The marquee is not exactly what I asked for but I tried to put together what I asked for to send him back an example and I don't think my idea was very good because it wasn't working very well.  So I'm actually pretty happy with the marquee. 

For the control panel, I asked to keep the characters away from the buttons and joy sticks so that they don't get covered up.  He sent two versions, one with them small underneath the buttons and another with them big across the whole thing.  I'm kind of torn, it feels so empty with them at the bottom.  I thought some more detailed textures or background images could help but I'm not exactly sure what would be good to ask for.  So any ideas would be greatly appreciated!  I want to go back to him and ask for a little more detail on the control panel and see what he thinks. 

I feel hesitant to even show what I have here because I know most of you guys prefer cabinets dedicated to a single game and do not enjoy this collage type look and mixing up elements from different games.  Looking at what the great red dragon did with those pokemon designs and what Wyo did with his mega man and zelda cabinets is amazing and I am kicking myself for not sticking it out with my original street fighter x mega man idea and going with that type of approach.  However, I really do like what the artist came up with for my side art and it's exactly what I asked him for.  I just need some help with ideas of what I could go back to the artist with to fill out the control panel so any suggestion on how I could spruce it up would be greatly appreciated!. 

Mike A

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2018, 09:36:38 pm »
 :censored: collage.

Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2018, 09:45:17 pm »
Ya I know you're not a fan of collages.  Is there anything in your opinion that can improve the control panel design or does the fact that there is a collage on the side make this project nonredeemable in your eyes?

yotsuya

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 10:05:33 pm »
Iím not a fan of collages either, but I do like the fact that all the art styles match on yours and that itís custom, not cut and paste. Honestly, itís not that bad. Itís unique to you, which I think is something that when people do collages, they overlook. :cheers:
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yotsuya

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 10:06:17 pm »
Oh, and I prefer the small control panel art. At least that way none of it is up obscured by controls.
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Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2018, 10:15:45 pm »
Thanks, yotsuya for the feedback.  I'm wondering if I should ditch the characters completely from the control panel and just go with some kind of (not sure the appropriate term) background design around the buttons and joysticks like project mame and many others have done:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,76150.0.html

I also thought to keep it as is with smaller art with Ryu vs Akuma under the buttons and maybe add the Ryu stage background from street fighter 2 but I'm not sure it matches with the more cartooney characters.  Or maybe he could draw his own version of the ryu background there.  Do you think that would work well?  I hacked together a crappy version of what I'm talking about.  This kinda looks like a cheap fight stick to me, maybe not a great idea.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 10:17:17 pm by Smalkmus »

Malenko

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2018, 10:19:18 pm »
Can I get a copy of that Akuma? He's baller as ---fudgesicle---.


As for the CPO , imagine the lightning clouds from MKII in the background, the lightning striking the dragon balls that are all side by side, like the beads around Akuma's neck. Then super impose a ten symbol on the middle one.

That'd get you 3 of the franchises in a relatively easy to make scene.
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Mike A

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2018, 10:41:23 pm »
Ya I know you're not a fan of collages.  Is there anything in your opinion that can improve the control panel design or does the fact that there is a collage on the side make this project nonredeemable in your eyes?
Yes. That is exactly correct. What difference does the control panel art make if the side art is crap? You should have let the artist come up with something creative rather than shackle him or her with a horrible collage idea. You should go back to the beginning and come up with something good.

Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2018, 10:47:19 pm »
Can I get a copy of that Akuma? He's baller as ---fudgesicle---.
Absolutely, I'll be happy to share all the finished art with you when I get it.

As for the CPO , imagine the lightning clouds from MKII in the background, the lightning striking the dragon balls that are all side by side, like the beads around Akuma's neck. Then super impose a ten symbol on the middle one.

That'd get you 3 of the franchises in a relatively easy to make scene.
Cool idea.  So do you mean to get rid of the characters completely and put the dragon balls getting struck by lightning where they are standing?  Or add that behind the characters in the distance a bit? 

Yes. That is exactly correct. What difference does the control panel art make if the side art is crap? You should have let the artist come up with something creative rather than shackle him or her with a horrible collage idea. You should go back to the beginning and come up with something good.
I wasn't sure how to make the request to the artist.  I actually posted here lots of questions about how to reach out to an artist and how much direction should I give vs letting the artist do their thing and nobody replied so I winged it.  I think you're right, I probably should have let him do his own thing but there was some language barrier and I did my best to convey what I was looking for and here's where we are.  I'm pretty happy with what he did and I'm really just looking for suggestions on improving the control panel.  If you think of anything that might look good on this control panel I'd love to hear it. 
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 10:56:55 pm by Smalkmus »

yotsuya

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2018, 11:15:35 pm »
Thanks, yotsuya for the feedback.  I'm wondering if I should ditch the characters completely from the control panel and just go with some kind of (not sure the appropriate term) background design around the buttons and joysticks like project mame and many others have done:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,76150.0.html

I also thought to keep it as is with smaller art with Ryu vs Akuma under the buttons and maybe add the Ryu stage background from street fighter 2 but I'm not sure it matches with the more cartooney characters.  Or maybe he could draw his own version of the ryu background there.  Do you think that would work well?  I hacked together a crappy version of what I'm talking about.  This kinda looks like a cheap fight stick to me, maybe not a great idea.

Personally, I think this one is the best one.
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Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2018, 11:29:12 pm »
If I went with the Ryu stage background or with Malenko's idea of the dragonballs getting struck by lightning, would you also add some design around the buttons and joysticks?  Do you guys like the arrows that show 8-way vs 4-way joysticks and the little merged circles around the buttons? 

TheGreatRedDragon

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2018, 11:37:20 pm »
I really like that sideart. What I consider to be a collage is what a collage actually is: Cutting and pasting different pieces together. Collages on cabinets almost always look tacky because by their nature they're usually a hodgepodge of artistic styles, and they look cheap because it's just about the easiest way to throw some art together, meaning amateurs who have never touched graphics software can throw one together.

This art is none of these things. The only thing it has in common with a collage is that it's based on different games. Other than that it has nothing to do with a collage. In fact it's the exact opposite of collage, it's custom made artwork created by a paid professional. That is way more hardcore and awesome than anything I've done so far (thank you for the compliment BTW). And for a cabinet that's going to be playing multiple games, what's better than well-made artwork that actually represents that?

As for the control panel, it's tough. I'm not really in a position to give advice in this department because when I was stuck in the same position you're in I went the easy route. My own tastes call for flair around the controls so that's what I went for, but it's up to you.

Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2018, 11:52:59 pm »
Thanks man, I agree with you, I am super happy with the side art, I just wanted to get out in front of the comments about mixing multiple games on the side art of a cabinet because I know that's looked down on because of the way people do just slap a bunch of varying styles together.  And yeah, your new pokemon nintendo cabinet designs are freaking fantastic.  I love how seamless they are, looks super legit! 

And thanks for the input, I am leaning to adding the flair around the buttons (thanks for helping me with a good term for it) and I'm not sure about what to do with the rest of it.  I'm going to mention these ideas to the artist and see what he thinks. 
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 11:54:41 pm by Smalkmus »

Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2018, 12:32:34 am »
I'm thinking to combine all the ideas.  What do you guys think of putting Ryu and Akuma on the outside and then maybe have the dragonballs in the middle with the lightning hitting them or would that be too much going on?  I slopped together a couple examples.  I feel like it's super busy with the ryu stage and the balls and the lightning and the larger characters but I think if I gave the artist this direction he could make it look pretty awesome.  Not sure what it would cost in addition to what we already agreed on. 

TheGreatRedDragon

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2018, 12:48:28 am »
The buttons over Akuma's hand are a problem. They're blocking the focal point of his image.

Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2018, 01:26:03 am »
I thought that too and I was trying to think if there's some way I could turn the fireball and akuma's firey hand into the button flair in some way.  I don't know if that can work. 

I thought to try copying what the artist did on the side panels and create a bunch of little fights all over the control panel.  I was thinking it could be fun to have the dragon balls all scattered around so there's that one too.  These are all super sloppy, just trying to get ideas together that I can send back to the artist who can put this together way better than I can.

TheGreatRedDragon

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2018, 01:36:49 am »
I think that works better. The Kamehameha (which should be blue BTW) is covered a bit but that's not too bad.

Mike A

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2018, 04:06:53 am »
Your control panel ideas are too busy. Control panel are typically much simpler.

yamatetsu

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2018, 04:35:39 am »






I would go with the first one.

I'd say that the CP kickplate art looks out of place. You have a gazillion of characters on the cab's side, some more on the marquee and the CP and just the one dragon at the top of the side. Yet that dragon gets a prominent space. It just sort of floats around, it's placed near the CP art but has nothing to tie it to it.

I would try to make the CP kickplate an extension of the CP art, maybe another fight going on or some spectators.
                  

Malenko

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2018, 09:48:32 am »
If you want, I can throw something together in photoshop after work today.  My idea removed the characters.
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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2018, 09:51:51 am »
I am interested to see what Malenko comes up with.

Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2018, 10:07:14 am »
Thanks guys, you are all awesome. 
Great Red Dragon,
Good call on the kamehameha color, I can't believe I didn't notice that. 

Mike,
I agreed the CP is too busy.  I suck at this stuff!  And thank you for pushing me in the right direction to keep this thing sane even though you don't agree with the overall design!  I really appreciate the feedback. 

Yamatetsu,
Thank you so much this is great feedback!  I totally missed the way the pieces are flowing together.  This view really helps.  I think the marquee and the sides flow nicely and those are the pieces which I gave the least direction on so clearly it would be better if I let the artists do their thing! 

Malenko,
That would be awesome, I would really appreciate it!  I would love to see your vision. 

Does anyone have a suggestion for the CP kick plate?  Maybe depending on what Malenko comes up with, we can come up with an idea that would flow from the CP graphics down to the kick plate?

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2018, 10:15:39 am »
Thanks for understanding why I bother to comment on projects when I know some people are going to cry about it. I don't do it to be a jerk. You will always get an honest opinion from me. You are happy with your side art and it doesn't matter at all what I think of it. I think you will be much happier with a simplified CP. Those samples look a lot better. Although the one example is too bare.

I prefer to deal with people who can take some constructive criticism, and the occasional jab. ;)


Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2018, 10:51:57 am »
Yeah man, I really do appreciate it.  I've lurked a few years and know that people come with uninformed ideas and then get upset when they are told how wrong they are.  I totally get why you prefer something more along the lines of what Wyo and others have done that are more faithful to the original games.  In the end, I like the side art and marquee that the artist came up with and I did like the CP kick plate until yamatetsu correctly pointed out that it doesn't flow well with the rest of the pieces.  The artist just did exactly what I asked him to do so that's on me.  I really appreciate the feedback from everyone, I'm excited to get this thing a little more coherent.  I totally agree that the CP is getting too busy with the ideas I was putting out late last night and especially with how busy the sides are, it doesn't need to be so busy.  I am super excited to see what Malenko can show us and eager to hear any other suggestions on how to fix the CP and CP kick plate to tie it together with the rest.  I have this super vague idea in my mind with some yellow lines flowing around the CP and CP kick plate but I can't quite bring that mental image into focus. 

I've emailed my artist and asked him to hold off from making any changes until I can get my ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- together and give him a coherent direction. 

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2018, 10:55:08 am »
The side art will look even better to you when everything flows correctly. You are going in the right direction.

Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2018, 11:23:34 am »
In case it helps, I went ahead and put all the panels together.  Do you guys think it's good with the black bezel and kick plate where the coin door is?  I asked the artist to keep it simple with some textures and background colors and he's got this subtle gradient with some subtle cross hatch going on.  I think it works although I'm not sure about the crosshatching. 

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2018, 11:35:21 am »
Glad you posted that, I thought the dragon was a kickplate (think Galaga art under coin door)  and not the CPO front.  Why not just have the Dragon go from the top of the CP down to the front?
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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2018, 11:46:48 am »
If you don't go with Malenko's idea, just leave the bezel and the kickplate with the coin door black. You have so much going on already,  IMHO you have to give the eyes some space to rest. There's nothing worse than a picture that is crammed so full of stuff that you don't know where to look and because of that, in the worst case don't look at anything at all.
                  

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2018, 02:16:15 pm »
Yamatetsu,
Thank you so much this is great feedback!  I totally missed the way the pieces are flowing together.  This view really helps.  I think the marquee and the sides flow nicely and those are the pieces which I gave the least direction on so clearly it would be better if I let the artists do their thing! 

Tip: When you have decided on the CP/front plate art, send the 'all panels' pic to the artist, so that he/she can get the same feel for how everthing fits together.
                  

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2018, 02:28:41 pm »
Thanks guys, this is all super helpful. 

Malenko,
I like the sound of your ideas and I kind of get it but it's kind of fuzzy in my mind how that would look.  If you really wouldn't mind putting some examples together I would be so grateful!  You guys can see I'm pretty terrible at this creative stuff. 

Yamatetsu,
I agree, too much to look at can be overwhelming.  I want to make this a little cleaner and easier on the eyes.  I sent the artist a bunch of ideas, basically everything in this thread saying, here's an idea, do you think this would look good?  I realized I'm not being helpful by sending him so many ideas so I replied again with the all control panels and told him that I'd like him to hold off on making any changes so that I don't waste his time because I see the problem with the CP front not fitting well with the rest of the art and that the CP needs something more.  So I asked him to give me a couple days to get my ideas together so that I don't send him in the wrong direction, waste his time, etc...  Thanks again for getting me set straight.

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2018, 03:04:11 pm »
yeah I can whip something up. it wont be print ready, more of "rough concept" so your artist has a starting point
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Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2018, 04:33:05 pm »
Thanks man, that's exactly what I'm looking for is just some rough direction that I can provide the artist because I've proven i can't be trusted to give direction haha. 

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2018, 06:29:15 pm »
I like the art, and the collage works because it's the same style. But, I'm not a fan of the CP image.  People always like to do stages for fighting game theme cabinets on their CP's and it always looks so tacky to me. 

Personally I'd use the stage idea as the monitor bezel art (looks like you're not planning any bezel art?), minus the characters, just the stage surrounding the monitor.

Then for the CP I'd do more of a simplified look, same gray/black background of your side-art but continues the dragon's body from the CP to the front of the CP like you have. Slap some button borders and compass arrows for the joys, in the color of your Marquee font, then call it a day.

"Less is more". In this case you've already got a very busy Marquee and Side Art, if you simplify the CP it gives more clarity to the overall look of your theme, and doesn't create this noise of visual stimulus so it's easier for the viewer to digest.

Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2018, 10:19:37 pm »
Thanks for the ideas, opt. Yeah, I am feeling the same about the Ryu stage as the CP background. It just felt too empty and I was grasping at ideas to make it better. I like your suggestion, for keeping it clean and simple with the dragon and the button borders and compas arrows on the joysticks.

I like the idea of the stage as the bezel but I am leaning more toward the less is more. And like others said itís so busy already that maybe itís good to keep the bezel plain and drive the focus toward the sides and marquee and CP.

Malenko

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2018, 10:29:18 pm »
I couldnt get my rough the way I wanted, and I like opt's idea better anyway :p

sorry mang I spent like 45 min on it and tapped out :/
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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2018, 10:36:40 pm »
No worries, thanks for trying!  I am going to try to rough out something to send back to the artist and basically just ask him to make the dragon go seamlessly across the CP and CP front and see what he thinks.  I have had pretty good success doing the button borders and joystick arrows so I will probably tack that on after the fact.  Once I get the assets, I'll be in touch to get you the akuma and any of the others that you're interested in.  Please let me know if you guys think of anything else!

Malenko

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2018, 08:59:30 am »
I'd be happy to help with the buttons surrounds and what not in exchange for that akuma being free for all ;)
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Smalkmus

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2018, 12:25:08 pm »
Thanks man!  I will definitely take a stab at it and then probably share it and take you up on your offer!

So a final question before I go back to the artist with my request...

...Why not just have the Dragon go from the top of the CP down to the front?

...then for the CP I'd do more of a simplified look, same gray/black background of your side-art but continues the dragon's body from the CP to the front of the CP like you have. Slap some button borders and compass arrows for the joys, in the color of your Marquee font, then call it a day.

Do you guys see the dragons head moving to the CP in the empty spot below the sticks and buttons or do you think leave the CP front as is with the dragons head there and just have the dragon body flowing around the  edges of the CP?

Drnick

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2018, 12:58:15 pm »
Do you guys see the dragons head moving to the CP in the empty spot below the sticks and buttons or do you think leave the CP front as is with the dragons head there and just have the dragon body flowing around the  edges of the CP?

Yes, Bring the dragon off the Control panel down the side of the CP along the front then up the other side and back onto the CP. Or have a dragon each side of the CP like the original cabinet but larger and then their tails can intertwine on the front of the panel.That along with some arrows and stuff is very much in keeping with the original spirit of the MK cabinet. 

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Re: Looking for suggestions on control panel
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2018, 01:36:02 pm »
or do you think leave the CP front as is with the dragons head there and just have the dragon body flowing around the  edges of the CP?
Sort of this. 
Just have the artist build up the body from what is already there.

That way the head won't be obscured by the controls or labels, and it'll be easier for the artist since there isn't any need to re-position the dragon.

  
 

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