My Portal Room Project|
January 27, 2012
Cave Johnson: That’s not a panel; that’s a crusher. We sell those too.
Although the Test Chamber sign and Cave Johnson painting are great additions in the room, I needed some sort of focal point, or feature that would really stand out and tie the room together. I decided that since I was painting the entire room already I would do a “feature wall” that looked as if it was made from panels like test chamber walls in the game are and include a large Aperture Laboratories logo as well.
Of course, there are a number of ways I could have tackled this idea.. One thought was to cut and paint actual panels from MDF board and stick them on the wall, however that would add a little over $150 in materials to my budget so I decided to try panting the panels on the wall instead.
I hopped into the game and took a few snapshots of test chamber walls to hopefully spark some design ideas. After I had a vague concept of what I wanted, I loaded up CorelDraw and put together a scale mock-up of my wall. I tend to mock things up using Corel or Photoshop first so I can get a good sense of how a finished project will look. Once I was fairly confident my idea would work and look the way I wanted, I set off to the hardware store for paint!
Since this isn’t a tutorial about how to paint a room, I’m going to skip over the steps needed to actually paint and go right into the process of how I created my panel wall. I started by transferring the measurements from my Corel mock-up to the wall itself by using small sewing pins and some red thread. The reason I used the thread was because I didn’t want to mark up the freshly painted wall with a bunch of pencil lines, and I could hang a lightweight string level onto the line to help keep everything nice and straight.
The next step was to mask off each of the panels with painters tape by following the string guides. Once painted, my hope was that these lines would create the illusion of a small space between each panel. On a side note: The painter’s tape I used was called “FrogTape”. It’s a little more expensive then the standard green or blue painters tape, but it has a special adhesive that doesn’t allow paint to bleed under the tape and it creates super crisp paint lines. I highly recommend the stuff!
Once the lines between the panels were fully cured, I masked off the darker accent panels with some more tape and proceeded to paint those. Here are a few pictures of the process.
In addition to just painting some panels, I also wanted a large “Aperture Laboratories” logo. Some people have the talent to just paint this directly onto the wall. Not only do I not have that talent, but I also thought the logo should be a significant feature in the room and wanted it to really stand out, so back to CorelDraw I went.
I snagged a vector copy of the logo and made a few phone calls to local sign making companies. I found one that was willing to cut the lettering out of ¼” MDF board on his CnC machine and provide me a paper template of the logo for just under $100. All the other places I called were $300 or more so I sent him the file and the next day I picked up my Aperture logo and got painting!
Hanging the logo on the wall was relatively easy. I put a piece of painters tape directly under the lettering on the paper template, marked the edges of each letter, then transferred the tape to the wall where the logo was to go. This gave me a perfect guide of where each letter would need to be placed as well as a nice straight edge to line them up too! Best of all, NO MATH OR MEASURING INVOLVED! I applied a little double sides tape to each letter and after about an hour of work, my logo was complete!
Total cost of project = $142 (Including Paint for the rest of the room)
I’m quite happy with the way this feature wall turned out! I think it really brings the room together and adds to the portal theme!
It's just paint, so there isn't much to really write on how I did this, but I decided that a nice finishing touch to the room would be to somehow include Doug Rattmann into the theme.. and where better but tucked inside the closet out of view from GLaDOS
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