It is hard to believe that it was only seven years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research I quickly found out that with the relative simplicity of EnRoute, CNC routers were capable of just about anything imaginable. This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as we continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful software... -dan

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things you can do with bitmaps

Parametric textures are cool and I sometimes use them to good effect. But many times the textures I want to create can only be done with bitmaps. In this case for Khai's panel I could easily have created a vector of the design. It was done as an oversize belt buckle sign background. With the powerful tools in EnRoute it could have been traced in an instant, and this file used to achieve pretty much the same effect as the bitmap I used. But this would have only added one more step to the process. The present parametric textures could not create this texture.

When it came to the extra texture on the background and the lettering it could easily have been done with a parametric texture. I find it so easy to use the bitmaps which I am familiar with but I am the first to admit it's not the only way. That is the beauty of a program like EnRoute.

For Kirsten's name plaque we are back in Bitmap texture territory. The vector files were done in EnRoute.

The bitmap file was created in PhotoShop and is a lot simpler than it initially appears.  The leaves are cut and pasted, adjusted for value and rotated randomly. The effect achieved inside EnRoute with the file is amazing! 

Every user (myself included) has favorite methods they tend to use given the choice. The program is powerful enough to allow us to do so. My advice is to try them all and become familiar with all the tools available. As you continually push the boundaries you will find occasion to use them all.