5/12/2017 – Overlay applied

Got a chance to apply the overlay tonight.  It went much better than the previous one, and the overlay looks spectacular.  The colors really pop with the art that Joe did for this one.

As you can see in these close ups, the scans did not match up perfectly.  There is about 1/8 of an inch offset at some points, and I tried to split the difference to make it as good as possible.  If we had a good amount of time, I would probably do a second print and move the inserts just a little bit to get things perfect.  I think it is just one of those things, that since I put it on, I really notice it a lot, so it bothers me.  I look at production machines, and there are definitely issues that are on those when you get close look at them.  I guess my suggestion is if this is for a project that you have been working on for 5 years (I guess I’m talking to Mark (Nightmare Before Christmas) if he reads this blog, be prepared to do at least two printings to make sure that everything lines up perfectly).  I believe that he also scanned his playfield with the hp4600 and he will see the same sort of issues (i.e. off by 1/8 inch or so in certain sections).

These close up pictures emphasize the offset because I’ve zoomed into them.  Over all, I’m very very happy with how applying the overlay went and the art.  (One more time that my wife talked me down from the edge).

Next up is auto clear coating fun!

4 responses to “5/12/2017 – Overlay applied

  1. Looks very nice!

    So is it the scanning that is off, or the printing? I have the slightly newer HP 4670 and was going to do the same thing, I’ve also scanned Pinball Pool and Golden Arrow playfields for making visual pinball tables, but didn’t double-check with measurements to make sure it all lined up perfect in the stiched scan, and not sure what I would do if it didn’t.

  2. So it is off about 1/8 of an inch over 20 inches in either direction. That’s about .6% off. (tolerance wise, that is really pretty good). I’m almost certain that the scanner isn’t going to get much better than that for scanning. In the y direction, it is using a string drive system to move the “carriage” through the cycle. I don’t know how they running the scanner in the x direction…if there is a sensor over the whole length, or if there is a sensor that walks across. With how fast it runs, it seems like there is a sensor across the whole length.

    Since it seems like most of the issue is in the y direction, maybe taking scans the one way, then rotating the scanner 90 degrees would make it better. Very tough to say.

    I don’t think I had any printing errors this time. (Ran into that last time because I didn’t know how to order the print properly). Stitching it could have a large effect because most of the stitching was in the y direction since the playfield is taller than wide.

  3. interesting, and yeah that would bug the heck out of me on the inserts too. It does appear they are off in both x and y direction, just more y.

    On the one’s I’ve stitched (photoshop and microsofts ICE) the cropped auto-stitch image came out sized within 10 pixels or so off the calculated size, which on a 300 dpi scan (image size 6075×12,600) is damn close, so I’m not sure where the errors would be. sounds like a project for when I get back home, I recently scanned a close encounters playfield that is still blank so easy to measure. It should be easy enough to do some measurements in your image file and compare them to the overlay print to check on printing accuracy.

  4. Calculating the scan size after the stitching seemed really close. I have been scanning at 600 dpi. I chose that because I thought it would give me the best resolution and allow me to position things a close as possible. It could be that 300 dpi is more accurate. At 600 dpi, the scanner over scans multiple times to create a scan. Maybe that is actually less accurate.

    It is really difficult to tell without doing a lot of tests, and frankly, I’m not sure that I care enough to do those tests. If I have more time, I would have done multiple prints and that would have solved most of the issues. A print costs around $30, so it really isn’t that expensive. My problem is that I’m running into a time constraint. Most people aren’t rushing towards a deadline.

    My second problem is Joe is doing my art and he is remote (i.e. he lives in a different state). It is difficult for me to hand small changes back and forth to really get the stuff lined up perfectly without having more time. Maybe I put too much time pressure on this project. Even at this point, to get everything ready within the next two months is going to be a stretch.

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