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Author Topic: How would you make an accurate vector template for an arcade stick panel?  (Read 4150 times)

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Gunstar

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Hello, I've been wanting to customize some of my older arcade sticks and was wondering if anybody had any tips on how to go about getting accurate results?

For example, I have this Hori Soulcalibur stick that has some strange angles on it and was wondering how I would go about making a vector template in something like Affinity Designer (I have an old illustrator version too). I'm new to vector programs but have a little understanding (making curves with a pen tool!)


I assume I should be trying to measure against straights to get the angles right? Is there a bit of trial and error when getting subtle curves right?

The other option I thought about was just tracing a pencil outline but not 100% sure on how to get it to be an accurate recreation when it comes to printing off the artwork.

Any tips or links to tutorials would be most welcome!

lilshawn

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step 1: take a pic of your stick with a ruler.
step 2: stop laughing. this pic should be taken directly overhead as possible. the pic you took already is really good, just needs a ruler.
step 3: open pic in your graphics editor.
step 4: scale your photo so your scale fits the ruler in the pic. (IE draw a 1x1 or an 8x8 box and then scale the pic up or down to match the ruler measurement)
step 5: congrats, you have a scale accurate 1:1 pic of your stick. e-mail it to girls, or draw out your artwork now...artwork will be 1:1 and will print accurately (enough)
step 6: ?????
step 7: profit.

alternately:

step 1a: get a caliper and measure the crap out of every angle, side, dimensions up down all around and plunk the numbers into your editor.
step 2a: get frustrated cause you misplaced a decimal somewhere and start at "step 1" above

PL1

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The one thing I would add as step 4a to lilshawn's process is add a separate layer for your artwork above the 1:1 photo.
- This way you can switch the photo layer view on/off as desired.


Scott

Gunstar

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@lilshawn - haha thank you that was insightful and funny! I think that's helped, if I have a known size (e.g a ruler or exact diameter of the buttons) I should be able to make sure the sizes are correct based on that 'known'. I have a caliper so I should be able to start with accurate buttons and then use comparative measurements (I hope!)

@PL1 - That's a good idea, I think I might start with the tracing of the plate and also a photo of the stick itself.

Thank you both! Looking forward to learning how to do this and I'll probably be back to ask for more help. Cheers.

yamatetsu

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If you want to go the measuring route, you might try this.

Step 1

Controller: Measure the length of the <top line> and of the <bottom line>. Measure the distance between the two, this will become the <center line>.

Image: Make a horizontal line the length of <bottom line>. Make a vertical line the length of <center line>. Move <center line> so that it's bottom end point meets the center point of <bottom> line.
Make a horizontal line the length of <top line>. Move <top line> so that the center point of <top line> meets the top end point of <center line>.



Step 2

Controller: Measure the length of <top line 2>. Measure the distance between <top line> and <top line 2>, this will become <center line top>.

Image: Make a vertical line the length of <center line top>. Move <center line top> so it's top end point meets the center point of <top line>.
Make a horizontal line the length of <top line 2>. Move <top line 2> so that the center of <top line 2> meets the bottom end point of <center line top>.



Step 3

Controller: Measure the length of <bottom line 2>. Measure the distance between <bottom line> and <bottom line 2>, this will become <center line bottom>.

Image: Make a vertical line the length of <center line bottom>. Move <center line bottom> so it's bottom end point meets the center point of <bottom line>.
Make a horizontal line the length of <bottom line 2>. Move <bottom line 2> so that the center of <bottom line 2> meets the top end point of <center line bottom>.



Step 4

Image: Connect the end points of the lines to get your shape.



Step 5

Image: Remove the inner lines.
                  

Gunstar

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Thank you so much, yamatetsu, I think this will be super useful! I can't thank everyone enough for the help

Gilrock

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Sometimes you just gotta revert to SOACAHTOA.

thelanranger

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The "take a picture" route combined with some use of digital calipers will usually get you there.

Alternatively, if it's possible, take the buttons and joystick out of it, put it face down on your flat bed scanner and scan it (preferably with a ruler) then import that into your CAD program and scale that and draw over it. Once you're done, double check some of the key measurements and print it out and you should have high confidence that you did well.

BGoulette

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Sometimes you just gotta revert to SOACAHTOA.

My son's math teacher taught him a new mnemonic for remembering those trig identities: "Some old hippie caught another hippie tripping on acid." It was new to me!

Gilrock

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Yeah I needed that so I wouldn't have remembered it wrong...lol