Lighted Sign – Portal Games Logo

One of my jobs is working for the Polish board game publisher, Portal Games. Recently, we decided to change our logo and I thought it was a great time to build something special for the CEOs office.

It starts with a piece of particle board, some poplar, a few LEDs, and a piece of plexiglass. I cut out most of the audio from this video because of the length… so if you want to know more, keep reading!

 

routing-logo

I first traced the logo in Inkscape. I have a video about that here. Once printed, and spray mounted to the particle board, I used a router to cut out the center. I’m using shelf liner here to keep the piece in place. This ensures that when the center breaks free from the cutting, it won’t shift into the router and destroy itself.

I’m using a router because I don’t own a scroll saw and jigsaws just mangle particle board. Also, the two “circles” in the center of the logo aren’t actually round, so the inaccuracy of this method is fine.

primer

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After adding a back frame, and a ton of sanding, the piece was panted. I cut a piece of plexiglass to fit in the center. This plexiglass was sanded on one side to take advantage of internal reflection. I then painted it white to keep it opaque.

I added a slot for a toggle switch and glued in a string of 20 LEDs.

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With careful prep and a good primer coat, no clear was needed. Shiny!

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Overhead Camera Setup

Previously, I made a camera rig that attaches to my tripod. This makes for great handheld shots while also having the option to use my tripod. To complete the usefullness of this rig, I needed a way to shoot overhead shots for animations or demonstrations. So, in this video, I do  just that.

In the first video, I tried this method of hanging the camera and… well… it worked, but it wasn’t great.

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It worked to finish that movie… even though the movie was about making the rig I was shooting that overhead with. Let’s not worry about shooting out of sequence here… but it wasn’t ideal. If I bumped it, the camera would sway, and it required a bit of fiddling to get the camera rig set up… and the cabinet door had to be open, which made it difficult to shoot shots of that area.

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So, this is the solution I came up with. A sort of shelf for the rig to sit on that attaches to the bottom of the cabinet with a few bolts, fender washers, and wingnuts. This solution is way more convenient because I can store the shelf when it’s not being used, yet quickly insert it and shoot from overhead. I can also go from handheld shooting to overhead shooting without having to do much in post to edit out the awkward swinging camera. It just works!

Camera Rig With Quick Release

I have a camera. I have a tripod. I have over 10,000 subscribers on YouTube. I should do something with that. Time to make some movies. I’ve always enjoyed filmaking, but I’ve never had a subject I wanted to cover, and my life is not interesting enough to try and be a vlogger. So, I’ll make project videos… sometimes with the girls… most times alone, in my garage. I spend a fair amount of time there. Why not turn on the camera and see what happens?

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The first is this camera rig. It’s only fitting that my first new video with my new equipment is a video about that equipment. This is a simple camera rig that helps me easily grab my camera and move it around the shop without the risk of dropping it. I also put a quick-release plate on the bottom so I can keep the camera attached to the rig and move it on and off the tripod easily.

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The whole project cost about $5 because it was made from PVC and scrap. PVC tubing is like LEGO for grown up projects. It’s super awesome to work with on jobs like this. I could have spent time making a beautiful handle out of exotic hardwood and custom finish… but this is something for the shop. It needs to be light, and durable… not pretty. Things that go in front of the camera are pretty… except when I go into selfie mode.

 

Me Booty! – Now For Sale!

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In 19 days, we celebrate my favorite holiday: International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Every year, around this time, I do something special. Traditionally it’s been to give away copies of Scallywags… but this year, it’s something a little bit different.

Me Booty! is now for sale at thegamecrafter.com!

Last year, I started a thing… each year at Gen Con (and maybe some other conventions) I will be making a new game, and giving it away. Last year, my main motivation was that I had some money leftover from my PULL! Kickstarter campaign and I felt guilty about it. I chose a game that I always wanted to release, but felt a bit weird about it because it was so similar to Scallywags, my first published design.

text3366As promised, I am not Kickstarting this game… but demand has been significant with many people who picked it up at Gen Con asking to buy more. I thought long and hard about it and decided that a year was long enough. I should share this game with the world-at-large, so here it is. If you order now, you should get it in time for Talk Like a Pirate Day!

If you noticed, I changed the look of the game a bit to make sure that those original 100 copies remain special. For this edition, the card backs and box now feature a dark background with some skull and crossbones instead of the original wood. I touched up a few spots in the rules as well that have drawn questions. The game, remains completely unchanged.

I love this game. I am crazy proud of it and thankful that it’s been well received. I hope that someday it will find a publisher for a larger release, but I’m not going to be that publisher. I’m out of the Kickstarter game fort he foreseeable future… so until it finds a home, please help me bring this game to life by sharing the Game Crafter link on all your social media outlets. That would be swell.

Thanks friends!
-Chevee