With the front bezel mostly painted I started work on designing the laser etch for the window. After some extensive research using Google, I found thepcmodshop.com
, a company in the US that does laser etching for a decent price as well as deilver to the UK - a rare combination, believe me.
Unfortunately, there was one snag: I needed to turn the image into a black and white grayscale for them to work with. A simple enough task I thought but boy, was I wrong. The source image had a white background which now needed to be black. Simple enough, you say, just invert the image. Sadly, that ruined the KOS-MOS image, so time to bring out the big guns: Adobe Photoshop.
I had to crop around her and invert the background while at the same time leaving the original image as a grayscale on the top layer. My problems did not end there - I encountered a problem that has haunted Photoshoppers for from the dawn of time: wispy hair.
Not wanting to destroy the image in attempting to hack out the hair, I emailed Namco
, the people behind Xenosaga 2. I explained the situation and asked if they could help out by providing the same source artwork on a different background colour. It is the kind of asset that the Marketing Department should have on file in a layered PSD, so it's not like I was asking them to do a bunch of extra work.
Four days passed and I finally received a reply from Namco. Predictably, some might say, they said that the assets I requested were not available to the general public and never would be. Cheers Namco, no kudos for you. Back to Photoshop and grind away.
After much mucking about I managed to separate the image from the background and the results were somewhat acceptable. Of course, working with a 3000x4000 pixel images to start with made it a lot easier. After overlaying the image with the template they sent me, I fired it back at them ready to be laser engraved. All up, the window set me back roughly US$70 including delivery to the UK - I could think of worse ways to spend £40 quid.
I couldn't wait to see how it would look in the flesh, so you can imagine my feelings when I had to wait an extra day because I had missed the postman. I skipped off work early and headed down to the Collection Centre. The box looked suitably large, and just have a look at the final result: gorgeous!