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Author Topic: Wanted: Graphic Designer assistance for Mach3 V4 screen set  (Read 16142 times)

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Wanted: Graphic Designer assistance for Mach3 V4 screen set
« on: March 12, 2010, 02:05:04 PM »

Hi, this is an open call for some Graphic Design skill assistance.

We have a window of opportunity for someone from the Mach3 community to gain fame (well, a little bit anyhow) and fortune (uh, none actually, we’re seeking a volunteer)…   :-)

Project background:
I’ve been working with Artsoft to develop a new Mill/Router screen set for the V4 release of Mach3.  The screen set has been prototyped using Mach3 V3, is 99% functional, and the prototype (built on v3) is currently being alpha tested.  We anticipate starting the conversion of the screen set VB code from V3 VB calls to V4 VB calls soon.

As part of the project, I did graphics for the new screen set.  While (at least IMHO) they are a significant improvement over the 1024.set, some aspects are not quite of the professional quality level that I would really like to see in the new screen set.  I’m the first to admit that I am not a professional graphic designer.  I simply did what I could with the editing tool we choose to use for the project.  Now that the screen set functionality is pretty stable, this would be a good time to do some graphics tweaking. 

The graphics update task:
The task would be to take 12-20 graphic building blocks and “visually upgrade and clean up” the basic graphics components. 

The current screen set graphics are modular and are composed of groups of objects built from a relatively small number of base building blocks (Buttons in about 6 colors, LED images in 3-4 colors, background panels and a background image).  The base objects have then been used in different sizes within the screen set. 

We are not talking about designing a whole screen set or even a whole screen page (we are past the point in the project where that level of alteration is practical).  What I would like to do now, is to achieve some incremental visual improvement by updating the base button/LED components.  The current expectation is that this effort to “professionalize” the graphic components would not be large since it should only require the tweaking of around a dozen graphic objects.

What is desired is someone that I can talk to and say “I would like the buttons to be a bit more “X”, a bit less “Y” in appearance and we need it in 6 colors.  While I “know” what the desired visual result of the update is, and have some visual examples similar to the desired result, I don’t personally have the level of graphic design skills needed to translate the desire into “oh, to do that, you to do this, this, and that to the image – how’s this look?”

Project constraints:

Fame:
The reality is that this is not a project for which there are any funds available to pay for professional graphic design work.  The screen set and associated graphic sources will be made available to all and given away with the V4 release.  So, there is no fortune to be had here… but fame?  … Ah, that is another story!  I can offer credit in the screen set credits page for the graphic design work.  This could be your chance for “15 minutes of Mach3 Fame”!

Graphic Tool:
The project graphics are in RealDraw Pro source format.  An ideal volunteer would already be familiar with RD.  However, this is by no means a prerequisite as RD is pretty easy to learn (especially if you already know something like Photoshop).  RD has the ability to import Photoshop PSD files. 

Time Frame:
Ideally I would like to see this update fit into the time between now and the end of the month.  That would keep it from being an impact on the overall project schedule.  I think this is reasonable given (I’m guesstimating) that for someone with a graphic design background, the actual graphic work involved is in the ½-1 day range for the actual graphic work, + whatever time is needed to learn how to mess with RD + some time talking to get us on the same page re the goals for tweaking the graphics.


If you have good/professional graphic design skills and would be interested in contributing to the v4 screen set project, I’d really like to hear from you.

David Bagby

Author of the MachStdMill Extensions for Mach3
www.CalypsoVentures.com
Re: Wanted: Graphic Designer assistance for Mach3 V4 screen set
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010, 12:53:49 AM »
Many thanks to those that responded to my request for assistance. As a result there is now an updated design that is much better that what we had a few weeks ago.

We're making progress on this v4 stuff!

Dave

Author of the MachStdMill Extensions for Mach3
www.CalypsoVentures.com

Offline FXC

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Re: Wanted: Graphic Designer assistance for Mach3 V4 screen set
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 05:09:43 PM »
Is there a place where we can read what this screenset is about? Or how the progress is going, some early previews etc.?
Mach3 is a mess.
Re: Wanted: Graphic Designer assistance for Mach3 V4 screen set
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 07:52:53 PM »
Hi,
I'm afraid that this response my not be very satisfying as it's not really my place to volunteer very much info; it's up to Brian to decide what he wants to say re his product plans and release schedule.

I can say that if you combed thru all the posts in all corners of the web site and yahoo, you would eventually learn that the revised screen set:
1) has support for user interface changes required by v3->v4 functional changes
2) will support 99.5% of the functionality of the stock v3 screen set (I made up the 99.5% value, it's close, but I'm not quite brave enough to claim 100% <grin>)
3) adds built in functional support for some things that previously required significant user programming (Brian has disclosed in other posts that support for common probing operations has been built in).
4) The the visual appearance has been updated and is generally considered (by the alpha testers) to be a pretty good improvement over 1024.set.

Dave
Author of the MachStdMill Extensions for Mach3
www.CalypsoVentures.com

Offline FXC

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Re: Wanted: Graphic Designer assistance for Mach3 V4 screen set
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 08:34:33 PM »
Hmm, I'm not sure why all the secrecy behind this. ArtSoft isn't Apple, Inc. and the new Mach3 isn't the new generation iPhone. I believe an open development would have yielded a much better outcome, whatever it'll be.

See, when you get used to something, you tend to miss the big picture and that's why you need some very outside opinions. The fact that you asked for help only on the graphical elements means that the "new" interface is pretty much a done deal and apart from a few purely cosmetic touch-ups, there's not much else to contribute with. It's probably too late now, I just hope that the new release includes at least a bit of paradigm shift.

I also hope to live on the day when the seasoned pro machinist, as well as the hobbyist newcomer, will start up Mach for the first time and be like "Wow, this is so easy! Cool software!"... without the initial migraines caused by visual-sensory-informational-overload.
Mach3 is a mess.

Offline RICH

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Re: Wanted: Graphic Designer assistance for Mach3 V4 screen set
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 08:15:55 AM »
FXC,
Just keep in mind that Mach is so configurable as it needs to address so many different setups. As your setup gets more complex then
so does usage of say the screen set. A good example would be using the rotary axis on the mill. Should the manual include some examples of basic setups / configuration without reading the whole manual it would make it easier. BUT, just try and write it up, as something simple becomes rather hard since all is intertwinded.
Just some thoughts ...... and off subject some........
RICH