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Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:36 am
by Leapo
So, its been about 20 years since the iconic Channelwood Age poster was originally printed, and the things have become exceedingly rare. Nothing but expired ebay listings await you if you're looking to buy one these days.

While searching around, I stumbled across Blake Patterson's blog post.

He managed to get one of the last remaining posters from Cyan Worlds themselves. I seriously respect the effort this guy put in, and major props to Cyan for digging one up. I don't know of many developers that would have done something that awesome for a fan. :D

But after reading his post, it became pretty clear that the chances of getting a genuine poster myself were slim-to-none. Thankfully, Blake took some seriously high-resolution photos of his poster. None of them are a perfectly clear shot (over-exposed, flare, reflections off glass), but it gave me an idea... I wondered if I could reproduce a reasonable copy myself?

I gathered up every photo I could of the poster. Google, Flicker, DeviantArt, you name it. I spent two days aligning and correcting all of the various photos, removing lense distortion and adjusting for all the varying perspectives. Once they were all in-order I composited the images together, manually painting-in the best and least-distorted parts of each one. This gave me the best possible version of the actual Channelwood artwork I've ever seen.

With the artwork restored, I cropped it out and went about reconstructing the rest of the poster from scratch at print-resolution (300 DPI). The artwork was placed on a 24x34 black matte and positioned appropriately to match the original poster. Then it came to reproducing the text... which turned out to be almost as difficult as getting the artwork into a usable state. The "MYST" logo on this particular poster doesn't match most other examples, and no premade fonts matched perfectly either. Adobe Garamond Pro is very, very close, though.

I pulled the highest-quality photo of the logo I had into Illustrator and went to work. Typed out the text in Adobe Garamond Pro, converted the text into paths, and then tweaked every character by-hand to match the text on the poster. Once finished I rendered the text out at 300 DP and pulled the resultant image back into Photoshop for final positioning. Not a single detail was missed, even the copyright and trademark symbols are present (The copyright information in the bottom-right corner even matches the original poster).

End result, after 3 full days of working on this thing? Drum roll please...

Close-up of a few select portions, scaled down to 150 DPI:

Disclaimer: As a precaution, the above has been scaled down to only 721x1024 so as to make it absolutely unusable for print. This project is for personal use only, I do not mean to distribute the full-resolution source or any resulting prints. If the mods wish, I can water-mark the above image as well.

I've sent the poster off to be printed and should have it in my hands by Wednesday or Thursday. I'll post up some photos when it arrives. I know it's not an original, but I'm still excited to see it in-person :mrgreen:

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:06 pm
by Leapo
Woohoo, it came in the mail today! Still waiting on the frame, though

Looks about as perfect as it can get. Very happy with the results here :mrgreen:

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:24 am
by rivenwanderer
Wow, that's a seriously awesome project! Super jealous :)

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:11 am
by Acorn1
great job! :D

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:09 pm
by Leapo
Thanks guys, I'll post up some additional pics when I get it into a frame (should be here in a few days). Should look great next to all my Myst game boxes. hehe.

I'd be curious to know what Cyan thinks of this. I'd love to release the source file for others to re-print, but not without permission from Cyan Worlds.

Of course, I'd also love to see Cyan issue a new run of these posters. :mrgreen:

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:38 am
by Ainia
Hey Leapo,

Another option might be to tie your poster in with the Obduction funding effort. Several other fans have added their own creativity as an incentive to donate, so I'm sure a *few* folks would be happy to pony up some cash for Cyan in order to get their hands on an exclusive Channelwood poster reproduction!

[[with Cyan's permission first, of course!]]

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:12 pm
by Leapo
So, after all that work, I stumbled across this site today:

They have a high resolution render of the image used on the Channelwood poster. It has some weird depth artifacts going on in the transparent textures, so it doesn't appear to be the original render, but it's a LOT cleaner than the photos I was using. It also shows more to the right of the image than the poster does.

Direct link to the image itself: ... rsum10.jpg

I'm updating my poster with this new source, and it's already looking a lot better. Lots of little things need to be touched-up in the above image, but even so, this should be my best version yet.

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:07 pm
by Yali
Cool, you found my site! :)

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:02 pm
by Leapo
Heh, yup. Stumbled onto it while searching for a good image of Stoneship.

Any information on the source of that Channelwood render? It really is the best source I've seen so far, rendering errors and all.

Re: Channelwood Poster Reproduction

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:19 pm
by Yali
Nope. I found it on tumblr I think.