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Fretwork Tutorial


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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it


This tutorial show you a technique I used to create a fretwork in my latest Orb design.  A fretwork, according to Internet search, is a pattern that is created by utilizing tools such as fretsaw, jigsaw, and if you have the money, laser cutter.  It is used to create patterns in wood or metal, and in this case, it is part of the orb design.


Plug-in required:

@dpy Circle Text and Metallize, part of his plugin pack.

@evanolds Mirror Over Line

@BoltBait Bevel, part of his plugin pack.


Note: If the font I am using isn't found on your system, try something else.  The main thing is to find a font that will give you a metal feel.  Without further ado...


Step 1) Set background to black (or another color of your choice).


Step 2) Set primary color to yellow-gold (Hex #7F6A00).


Step 3) Go to Effects > Text Formations > Circle Text.


Step 4) 


I am going to break down what you can do with this plugin.  In the Text box, this is where you enter the letter(s) of your choice.  Here, I will enter lower case 't' repeatedly.  However, depending on the Font Size I choose, I may have to delete extra 't' to create a perfect circle of the text.


The Font drop down list display all the fonts installed on your machine.  Go through each one and pick the one you like most.  Here, I picked a font called Century and set the Font Size to 88.



My goal, so far within this plug-in, is to create a fretwork where this is no noticeable gap between the letters, so I repeated the 't' until it was almost overlapping with each other.

You can take a step further.  The finer adjustment creates an interesting shape.  Play with it and see how it influence the shape.  You can increase the radius, but if you do, add more letter until there are no gap in between.  You can play with the angle of arc and angle of start.  Your choice.

I will go ahead and render the base of the fretwork.


Step 5) Duplicate the base of the fretwork to a new layer.  I will hide the first base layer and rename the duplicated layer as Bevel.


Step 6) On the Bevel Layer, run Bevel (Effects > Objects > Bevel Object).  The only change was I decreased Depth to 3, and left everything to its default value.



Step 7) Here, we will turn this into an actual fretwork.  First, use Mirror right half over left half (Effects > Mirror > Mirror right half over left half).  Then, Mirror top half over bottom half (Effects > Mirror > Mirror top half over bottom half).



Step 8 ) Run Metallize (Effects > Color > Metallize).  I set Type to 1 and unticked Gray Scale.



At this point, you are pretty much done.




A possibility with this approach... In the example below, I used this letter pattern, vW, repeatedly, increased the radius. Then used the same steps as outlined above.



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Very clever @TrevorOutlaw!  :star:  Nice alternate way to make metalwork.  I used @xod's Circular Text plugin, though. It's easier to use. :)




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