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Author Topic: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine  (Read 5223 times)

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jacenwon

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Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« on: September 05, 2014, 03:34:16 pm »
It's been a while since I've shared, let alone documented an arcade project, and wanted to share my progress with the ladies and gents that helped get me started back in the mid 00's.

The cabinet's build will follow the dimensions of Rec Room Masters' Xtension Arcade Cabinet for the X-Arcade Tankstick, with substantial upgrades to both the cab's design, features, and control deck.

As far as artwork goes, I'll have custom work applied to the sides, marquee, bezel, and control panel. The side art concept is of my wife and I, in animal form, being chase up Donkey Kong's maze by a hoard of classic characters.

Here's some shots of the artwork in progress + the final line art I polished up in AI. More to come!

« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 10:08:09 pm by jacenwon »
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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firedance

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2014, 12:50:05 pm »
Very nice start indeed  8)  :applaud:

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2014, 03:10:58 pm »
Very nice start indeed  8)  :applaud:

Thanks, firedance. I'll have the bezel, marquee, and control deck art up shortly.
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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yotsuya

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2014, 03:14:59 pm »
Normally, I'm not a fan of these character-collage type pieces, mainly because they are poorly implemented. But when they're done right.... look out!

Excellent job there, my friend!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2014, 06:40:32 pm »
Thanks, yotsuya. I agree...I've seen a lot of bad custom art jobs. There's usually a great concept there, but poor execution. For those looking to do custom artwork down the road, I highly suggest hiring a professional illustrator to help get your thoughts on paper. It's not as pricy as you may think.
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2014, 06:58:49 pm »
I've been using an X-Arcade Tankstick for some time now, and it's treated me well. I even entertained the idea of reskinning it, and adding a spinner to kick it up a notch. However, the more I rolled it around in my head, the more I began to lean towards a custom design that would allow even more upgrades; like a dedicated 4-way section, trackball buttons, and even a flight stick section(?)

Here's an AI mockup of what I plan to build. It'll be a 30" x 17" x 6" control deck. Note that I'll be using black buttons for the 8-way and trackball sections, with colored bases/rings to add more visual contrast on the black panel. The top 4 buttons will be red, with a black colored base/ring to compliment the 4-way knob and flight stick triggers. I haven't seen this done much, and I'm not sure why. It looks pretty sexy on the black panel when you swap out the colors like that.
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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Generic Eric

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2014, 09:44:38 pm »
The side art concept is of my wife and I, in animal form, being chase up Donkey Kong's maze by a hoard of classic characters.

[It was that day, that he did show us a collage of characters in the same art style!]


Way to go OP!  Q*bert needs to lay off the smack.  He looks strung out!

yotsuya

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 12:16:12 am »
Love the side art, but you lost me on the control panel. No worries. Go out and have fun with your creation once it's done!  :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 01:01:03 pm »
Love the side art, but you lost me on the control panel. No worries. Go out and have fun with your creation once it's done!  :cheers:

Yeah, I wanted to stay away from the overly designed control panel, so I went with something simple. The bezel art will be simple as well. With so much going on with the sideart, marquee (which will be a bit busy color and element wise) and screen, I felt that most comfy with this route.

Thoughts on the control layout though?
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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a1pharm

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2014, 01:03:18 pm »
Love the side art, but you lost me on the control panel. No worries. Go out and have fun with your creation once it's done!  :cheers:

Yeah, I wanted to stay away from the overly designed control panel, so I went with something simple. The bezel art will be simple as well. With so much going on with the sideart, marquee (which will be a bit busy color and element wise) and screen, I felt that most comfy with this route.

Thoughts on the control layout though?

Be mindful of the under-CP dimensions of your trackball (the P1 buttons look VERY close to the frame of the trackball).

yotsuya

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2014, 01:32:15 pm »
Love the side art, but you lost me on the control panel. No worries. Go out and have fun with your creation once it's done!  :cheers:

Yeah, I wanted to stay away from the overly designed control panel, so I went with something simple. The bezel art will be simple as well. With so much going on with the sideart, marquee (which will be a bit busy color and element wise) and screen, I felt that most comfy with this route.

Thoughts on the control layout though?

Actually, I was referring to the layout... >:D
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2014, 02:07:50 pm »
Be mindful of the under-CP dimensions of your trackball (the P1 buttons look VERY close to the frame of the trackball).

Those 3 buttons above the trackball will be used with the trackball. I'll have the 1 & 2 player buttons on the cabinet, right before the bezel glass. I know it sounds strange, but it'll make sense once I get the cabinet rendering up for y'all to view.

...and yes, I made sure to keep enough room to fit everything within the box/base dimensions, absolutely. It's a tight fit, but the numbers say it'll be fine. Thanks for the input!
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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yotsuya

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2014, 02:09:44 pm »
I DO like your idea of a simple CP design to compliment the advanced artwork. But I'm not a fan of all the extra controls. However, go out and have fun with your creation once it's done!  :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2014, 02:16:21 pm »
I DO like your idea of a simple CP design to compliment the advanced artwork. But I'm not a fan of all the extra controls. However, go out and have fun with your creation once it's done!  :cheers:

Since it'll be running MAME, I wanted to try for an all-in-one solution. To each their own, of course. Not everyone sees a need to have spinners, flight sticks and 4-ways. I've seen a lot of switchable joystick builds to give you 2 in 1, but they never felt right to me.

Thanks again for the feedback and input, y'all.
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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yotsuya

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2014, 02:18:54 pm »
I DO like your idea of a simple CP design to compliment the advanced artwork. But I'm not a fan of all the extra controls. However, go out and have fun with your creation once it's done!  :cheers:

Since it'll be running MAME, I wanted to try for an all-in-one solution. To each their own, of course. Not everyone sees a need to have spinners and 4-ways. I've seen a lot of switchable joystick builds to give you 2 in 1, but they never felt right to me.

Thanks again for the feedback and input, y'all.

Yeah, I know. I've been there and I get it and I don't want to discourage you. But I can tell you want honest feedback and so I though I'd share it. I appreciate you seeing it for what it is.

But honestly, I think the custom artwork is a home run, and I commend you for doing that right.  Regardless of what you do with the CP layout, this is going to be a nice cabinet. Can't wait to see the final photos.  :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Rick

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2014, 02:34:05 pm »
Thanks, yotsuya. I agree...I've seen a lot of bad custom art jobs. There's usually a great concept there, but poor execution. For those looking to do custom artwork down the road, I highly suggest hiring a professional illustrator to help get your thoughts on paper. It's not as pricey as you may think.

Art thou one of said "Professional Illustrators"? What would the work shown on the side of your cabinet set one back? Because, I can't say I've ever seen another collage work as beautiful as this.

yotsuya

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2014, 02:40:56 pm »
Thanks, yotsuya. I agree...I've seen a lot of bad custom art jobs. There's usually a great concept there, but poor execution. For those looking to do custom artwork down the road, I highly suggest hiring a professional illustrator to help get your thoughts on paper. It's not as pricey as you may think.

Art thou one of said "Professional Illustrators"? What would the work shown on the side of your cabinet set one back? Because, I can't say I've ever seen another collage work as beautiful as this.

I took it that he hired someone to flesh out an idea of his.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2014, 03:21:55 pm »
Art thou one of said "Professional Illustrators"? What would the work shown on the side of your cabinet set one back? Because, I can't say I've ever seen another collage work as beautiful as this.

Yessir, my wife and I collaborated on it. Depending on the complexity of the illustration, say, something like mine, you're looking at about $500 if the concept was clear from the start, and the client isn't a d!ck. If you went with something less complex, like a large, single caricature of you jumping up, you could land it for less than $250 easy. You could even shave more off the cost if you do the coloring yourself. Lineart by itself is MUCH cheaper than the cost of a full-color job.

If I wasn't juggling a career and college, I'd love to entertain some of your ideas for artwork. Gods know you've all helped me a bunch over the years. If you're itching to get some custom artwork done, PM me your ideas and I can give you an honest estimate, and/or recommend a few artists that'll help you bring it to life.
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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pbj

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2014, 03:27:04 pm »
Are you a furry?

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2014, 03:55:45 pm »
Are you a furry?

Only towards the end of hockey season, bub.  :burgerking:
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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pbj

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2014, 04:14:09 pm »
Are you a furry?

Only towards the end of hockey season, bub.  :burgerking:

You wouldn't be the first I've encountered in this hobby.  Full on otherkin or do you just keep it to yiffing?


jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2014, 04:28:33 pm »
You wouldn't be the first I've encountered in this hobby.  Full on otherkin or do you just keep it to yiffing?

Haha, you're good. The animal concept derived from our personalities and grooming habits. No yiffing, unfortunately...

"Your thread needs more me." bravo.
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2014, 11:28:33 pm »
Started the control build this past weekend. Picked up 3/4" MDF from the local Home Depot, and went to work on the cuts.

I had originally planned to use RecRoomMasters.com for the control panel overlay artwork, but their vinyl was too glossy for me. This is strange too, because I've had sideart printed by them in the past, and it was top-shelf all around. Anyhoot, I decided to try www.GameOnGrafix.com instead. Not only was their vinyl much better, but they gave me the option to have a full-sized paper printout of my holes, so the drilling would be much easier.

Here's a shot of the printout on the wood, along with a few progress shots of the drilling and router work. I'll have some vinyl + other shots up shortly.
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2014, 01:22:59 am »
Here's some shots of the side art applied to the cabinet pieces, a quick look at the marquee artwork, and the assembled control deck.

SIDE ART
www.RecRoomMasters.com did the side art printing and application, and I'm happy with the way it looks on the wood; however, I'm a little disappointed at how the artwork is already bubbling around the bolt holes. I built it out the day I received the sides so I could take measurements for my upgrades, and that's when I noticed the bubbling. I didn't really tighten the bolts that hard either. Oh well. You'd have to really look for it to see it.

MARQUEE
The marquee, also printed by Rec Room Masters, reads "Super Ultra Megacade." My wife is Thai-American, and thought it would be funny to include the Thai translation in the artwork, which reads "very large box with games inside," in English. The print came out lovely, and will be lit up by a traditional fluorescent lighting fixture.

CONTROL DECK
The control deck came together nicely. As mentioned before, the overlay printing was done by www.GameOnGrafix.com, and came out terrific. The vinyl is super durable, and went on without much fuss. One thing I'm upset about, and it's my fault, is how the flight stick's mounting plate can still be seen. I should've applied some spackle to the top of the plate, sanded it even with the wood, and then added the overlay. Totally kicking myself in the ass for not catching that. Other than that, everything looks really clean. I even wrapped the frame of the box with a 30mil black vinyl so it's as smooth as the overlay. I then added a custom cut chipboard to the base, which I'll screw on when the switches and brains of the control deck have been connected.

I'm waiting on 7 more buttons to complete the user controls. These 7 buttons will go on the cabinet itself, right in front of the bezel, and will let the players add credits, pause the game, soft reset, and even exit back to the frontend I'll be using MaLa for my frontend.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 04:02:55 pm by jacenwon »
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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EMDB

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2014, 04:17:31 am »
Nice!

I think its a pity your great artwork is showing those bolts. It would also have been nice if the CP had matching artwork. Mixing the colored parts of the buttons is a bit too much in my opinion.

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2014, 07:09:09 pm »
Nice!

I think its a pity your great artwork is showing those bolts. It would also have been nice if the CP had matching artwork. Mixing the colored parts of the buttons is a bit too much in my opinion.

Thanks for the look. Yeah, my next build will be designed to hide all hardware.

I stayed away from the over-designed control overlay, but I get what you're saying. Adding some of the colors or illustration style wouldn't have hurt. I actually dig how the swapping of button color keeps the control panel neutral while the cabinet art colors are loud. Definitely a subjective bit.
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2014 MAME cabinet build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-mamecab-2014
2008 MAME Neo29 build: http://tinyurl.com/jaces-neo29-2008
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EMDB

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2014, 06:34:48 am »
Nice!

I think its a pity your great artwork is showing those bolts. It would also have been nice if the CP had matching artwork. Mixing the colored parts of the buttons is a bit too much in my opinion.

Thanks for the look. Yeah, my next build will be designed to hide all hardware.

I stayed away from the over-designed control overlay, but I get what you're saying. Adding some of the colors or illustration style wouldn't have hurt. I actually dig how the swapping of button color keeps the control panel neutral while the cabinet art colors are loud. Definitely a subjective bit.
Yes artwork and colors are subjective. Once again congrats with the original artwork though  :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

emphatic

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2014, 02:41:04 pm »
Such lovely sideart! :cheers:

swaffar

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2014, 10:48:22 pm »
I absolutely love the artwork.  :applaud:
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jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2014, 10:32:15 pm »
Such lovely sideart! :cheers:

I absolutely love the artwork.  :applaud:

Thanks, y'all. Hoping to have some more photos of progress this coming weekend. Been waiting on some buttons for what seems like forever  :dunno
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swaffar

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2014, 01:29:56 am »
Thanks, y'all. Hoping to have some more photos of progress this coming weekend. Been waiting on some buttons for what seems like forever  :dunno

And I'm usually not a fan of placing the MAME logo on cabs, but your control panel is also very nice, very clean.  I'm glad it's very sterile to offset the busy sideart.  Some people go all-out, all-over and it's a bit dizzying.
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jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2014, 02:13:43 am »
And I'm usually not a fan of placing the MAME logo on cabs, but your control panel is also very nice, very clean.  I'm glad it's very sterile to offset the busy sideart.  Some people go all-out, all-over and it's a bit dizzying.

That's exactly why I've chosen to go the minimalist route with the control panel. With that many control elements, I felt it would be best to K.I.S.S. It's good to know that fellow arcade enthusiasts understand the importance of a clean UI  :cheers:
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opt2not

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2014, 02:47:08 pm »
Niiiiiiiiiice side-art!!
The marquee is kinda lackluster in comparison, but hey, sometimes you gotta put all your eggs in one particular basket.

Character collages are sometimes tough, but you did a great job!  :cheers:


Depending on the complexity of the illustration, say, something like mine, you're looking at about $500 if the concept was clear from the start, and the client isn't a d!ck. If you went with something less complex, like a large, single caricature of you jumping up, you could land it for less than $250 easy. You could even shave more off the cost if you do the coloring yourself. Lineart by itself is MUCH cheaper than the cost of a full-color job.
This is right on point in terms of custom creation costs.
It's roughly around the cost of what I charge, but like he says, it really depends on the complexity.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 02:56:34 pm by opt2not »

Le Chuck

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2014, 02:59:04 pm »
This thread is rad.  Watching!

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2014, 03:42:16 pm »
Niiiiiiiiiice side-art!!
The marquee is kinda lackluster in comparison, but hey, sometimes you gotta put all your eggs in one particular basket.

Character collages are sometimes tough, but you did a great job!  :cheers:

Thanks for the compliments. The marquee's creative umph was definitely scaled back a bit to let the side art standout the most. I'm already thinking about my next build, which will have larger marquee to play with. Just didn't want to go too crazy within such a small space.

Thanks again!
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jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2014, 03:44:06 pm »
This thread is rad.  Watching!

Sweet. Thanks for the props! Hopefully the end result is just as rad  ;D
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Cobrawolf

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2014, 11:05:29 am »
This is a really nice piece. I figure I'll throw my opinion in the ring as well, and go with Jace on this one. I like the side art, and then keeping the rest of the cab very minimal. With how busy the sides are, anything else would have made it look a little like an art-based mosh pit.

I like the simplicity of the CP as well. It has all of the features that would be needed for almost every game in the MAME arsenal. Great build so far.

-Dave

jacenwon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2014, 01:58:18 pm »
This is a really nice piece. I figure I'll throw my opinion in the ring as well, and go with Jace on this one. I like the side art, and then keeping the rest of the cab very minimal. With how busy the sides are, anything else would have made it look a little like an art-based mosh pit.

I like the simplicity of the CP as well. It has all of the features that would be needed for almost every game in the MAME arsenal. Great build so far.

-Dave

Art-based mosh pit! Haha...well said! I obviously felt the same, but the more I think about it, the more I wish I would've incorporated some recurring art elements into the rest of the art. I plan on giving that way a go on my next one.

Still waiting on the buttons I've purchased for the frontend controls. Note to self: don't ever order buttons from china. It's been 30 days, and still no buttons. Customs must be doing a number on my package  ???
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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2014, 02:50:23 pm »
Customs must be doing a number on my package

***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

horizon

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Re: Custom Art & Cabinet Build for MAME Machine
« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2014, 07:35:35 pm »
Best Monk gif I've seen to date.


Great looking cab bro.  Very nicely done!

  
 

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