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Smooth Letters

Made a minor correction to The Pocketwatch, while reading through it and noticing that it said Medea lives in Kyushu. I meant Honshu, the main island. 

Way back in high school, when I changed Spiral Island into a trilogy, I started this project in Photoshop to be a promotional poster for the trilogy overall, combining key aspects from all three of the games together, as the 'Spiral Island Trilogy' poster. The Spiral Island logo itself has some styling to it, using the section sign for an 'S' to somewhat convey the idea of a spiral, and a stylized 'I' mainly because the standard I is just a straight line. So for the poster, which reads 'Spiral Island Trilogy' across it, I needed to come up with a third stylized letter, a 'T'. 

The main problem with the 'T', however, was it became damaged in transit, pretty much. At that time, my own personal graphic editing software was Paint Shop Pro, which is what I designed the character in instead of a vector image software. And then when I transferred it into Photoshop, and began to apply some layer effects, errors in the design became visible:

Now, fast forwarding into the future, I stopped using Paint Shop Pro at version 8 because changes to it had slowed it down quite a bit (I was at the time using a Pentium 400 machine, so the change was unacceptable), and I have a lot of principles against using any Adobe product, so my choice of software now is GIMP. That said, the beveling and such tools (collectively, the Layer Effects) of Photoshop are simply much higher quality than Paint Shop Pro had, which is why I had started the project in Photoshop in the first place, and so once I was out of school and didn't have Photoshop to work with anymore I had pretty much stopped the process.

Not that long ago, I found a plugin was written for GIMP to mimic the Layer Effects feature, and in fact even surpass it because it is so much more customizable (than what I used anyway, might have been more of the customization like this in later versions than I had used), and so I started up the project again. As I rigged it all again, and replaced some of the things that had changed in that time (such as changing the font of the AnacondaSoftware logo, and the new logo symbol, which at that time was far before I had set the proper lengths and angles as I use them now), I noticed that the ugly 'T' was even more pronounced now with the way that the GIMP plugin rendered the bevels. And so I needed to create a clean copy of it.

Main problem was, I have no idea how I did it in the first place anymore. It has been so long since I did it that I forgot how I originally got it to look that way, as nothing in the font it is based on actually has curves like that which I can see. So I decided to just approximate it, and created the new one:

I like it more the way it looks now, actually. When I finally get this finished I will have to redo it again, because some antialiasing jaggedness was introduced from the transition between Inkscape and GIMP and the rest of the letters look much cleaner, but altogether it looks nice and serves the logo well.

And as a side note, reducing the layers from full image size (3200 x 4000 pixels) down to just the information area of each of the respective layers cut the in-memory size down from 1GB before I swapped in this 'T', to a mere 188MB.

Date posted: 15 May, 2010
Tags: anacondasoftware software spiral_island the_pocketwatch typography
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