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Discussion Starter #1
To read the wiki how-to entry and some of the threads, you'd think Ford would send the FBI to break your knees for this. I didn't think FoMoCo would really fire up the lawsuit machine over something so trivial, so I did the homework.
I just got off the phone with Ford PR. There are basically only three rules:
1. No elements of the original. "Elements" are defined as the original markings/text only, not the shape of the template or the holes in it (which are necessary to make it fit).
2. You cannot profit. So these are not for sale.
3. Scans of the originals are allowed, all you have to do is make it low-res and claim fair use. Others can then derive their own (original) templates. (If anyone sends me a scan of their 140 MPH gauge face, I'll be happy to template it.)

300 DPI examples attached, More to come.
(I did the Portal one as a joke, but if you use it I'd love to see pictures.)

Also, am I the only one who figured out that it's much easier to get the needle off by gently gripping the speedcup with one hand and (gently) twisting the needle with the other while pulling up? (As opposed to just gripping the needle and trying to pull it straight up?)

Last thing: that dot on the lower left, below the hole for the stop peg, is the zero calibration mark. With the stop peg removed, the needle should line up within that dot when the speedometer is facing up with the face parallel to the floor. I don't know what the other dots are for (I'm guessing they're where the car is supposed to shift to the next gear), but I added them anyway, just in case.
 

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What program are you using to create these? Photo shop? Wtf? They're GREAT!

If you could gimme a heads up on how to do this on my own, cool, or if you'd do one for genIV (mine's new style, but I'm sure you'd have interest for both halves of genIV)

***EDIT***
Oops, totally forgot i'm on the wife's computer and logged in on her name.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What program are you using to create these? Photo shop? Wtf? They're GREAT!

Yes, Photoshop CS2, but you could also use The Gimp.

The hardest part is the hashmarks, I have a layer set with guides for it. (see attachment) Draw a thin rectangle, copy, paste, rotate to line it up with the guide, nudge it to alignment, paste, repeat. It takes forever, though. I'm about to turn in for the night, but I'll write up a tutorial tomorrow if I have time.

For actual production, the tutorial on the wiki is pretty much what I do, regular glossy photo paper. Except after it dries, I give it a few coats of Krylon Matte Finish 1311 to cut the glare, and also keep it from getting messed up if it gets wet. And if you want parts of it to glow a different color than they look during the day, you print out a backing sheet (see attachment, which is for the Antique face) on an inkjet transparency, and put it behind the face. Like I said, I'll try to do a step-by-step tomorrow.

As for doing one for you, I'd need an original to use as a template, but other than that, sure, just tell me what you want.

The thing that got me into this in the first place was my Sable's speedometer started getting screwy, and since I'm having to replace it anyway, I figured I'd experiment a little.
 

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I would like to know how you made that guide with the correct angles for the hashmarks. I use CS3 all the time, and it is a rroyal PITA to rotate stuff and get it lined up correctly, such as hashmarks and the lines on a clock face.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would like to know how you made that guide with the correct angles for the hashmarks. I use CS3 all the time, and it is a rroyal PITA to rotate stuff and get it lined up correctly, such as hashmarks and the lines on a clock face.
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Well, first off, the nice thing about the gauge is there's a fairly wide tolerance. (The stock marks are two or three mph wide, I think.)

Here's the braindump:
Scan the original faceplate into PS at 300 dpi. Turn on rulers, and start laying guidelines. To do that, you switch to the Move tool (hit V on the keyboard), and click from the ruler, then drag a guide down or to the right. (It will appear as a cyan colored line). drag one horizontal to the top and bottom edge of the gauge scan. You can then use the guides to rotate the scanned gauge until the edges line up with the guides. After that, you just kind of eyeball the center of the hole the needle attaches through, and make a horizontal and a vertical guide.

This is where it gets interesting. I'd recommend leaving the "snap to guides" turned off, but it's up to you. create a new layer, and switch to the paintbrush. line up the cursor with the center of the needle hole, using the guides. (The crosshair will change color where it overlaps the guides.) With the paintbrush, click once in the center. Then, line the cursor up with the center of the outer edge of the original gauge's hashmark, hold down the shift key, and click again. If you did it right, it will add a straight line from the hashmark to the center hole.

Once you get the tens done, you can do the fives (etc.) easily. Duplicate the tens layer. Go to edit -> transform -> rotate, and switch to the move tool. You may have noticed that when you're in rotate mode, there's a little crosshair in the center of whatever you're rotating. The layer will rotate around wherever that crosshair is. Drag the crosshair over the center needle hole, and then rotate the copy of the tens layer until the lines line up with the fives hashmarks on the original gauge scan.

As far as precise complete circles of marks (as on a clock face), you can rotate by degrees. That doesn't quite work on the speedometer, though, because there are variations. (eg 45 MPH on the 85 MPH speedo isn't quite 90 degrees, and the distance from 0 to 10 is a little more than half of the distance between 10, 20, 30, etc.)

There's probably a more efficient way to do this, and there's definitely more than one way to do it, since there's more than one way to do just about everything in Photoshop.

I haven't used Freehand in years, but it might be a better solution than PS.

Hope this helps.

Oh, and here's another throwaway I came up with, for the fuel gauge this time, using the extra cluster I have, that doesn't have the tach.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well we do have offerings for the Gen2, I will have to check on 85mph.
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Yikes, I apologize, then. I just skimmed over the page, and didn't see the Gen 2 stuff.
 

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Hey gench, loudsho.... anyone else....

I have a couple of g4 04+ gauge clusters sitting around ;) ;)

I have a face already pulled off, and I'll scan it today, anyone who wants copies pm me.
 

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Damn - I'm reviving an 11 year old thread. Per chance did anyone create a template for a Gen 3 Taurus? Lead on one? My budget is low with all the maintenance lately but the mod bug is alive and kicking.

Hope someone sees this message in a bottle.

TIA, mcs
 
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mcsteven
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