Coloured Appliques

Are you getting bored with all these monochrome window appliques? I decided to try out how these would look with colors and here are the results. At the same time I decided to try out how it would look to write these mod-articles more like the reviews with mixed images and text. This allows me to use bigger images and I don't have to start using small thumbnails which you have to click to see a bigger picture. Hope that you like this.


Window with transparent pocket

So you have the window already? Good, now you just have to tape or glue this kind of transparent/semitransparent pocket behind it. This will allow us to change the image more quickly and also makes things easier later.



You can buy these "pockets" from almost every office supply store or similar. I only had this kind of semitransparent model that makes the image little blurry. You can get these in many different colors or textures but clear one is best for this.


Printed image inside the pocket

This is where the magic begins.

I took a sheet of inkjet transparency film and printed a nice looking anime girl to it with HP cp1700. There are many manufacturers who make these transparency films but here is one of them for your reference.

After this I placed the image inside our new window plastic pocket. Idea here is to keep the window transparent but still have something as an eye candy on it.


Girl with lights

Same image with side panel in place and with lights on. Case is lit with a blue cold cathode tube. As you can see the blue light eats away the colors from the image and makes it look quite dull. To get more contranst I had to come up with something...


Tracing the girl

Paper is regular A4 printer paper. I placed it over the image and used a pencil to draw the countours. Then I followed the lines on my drawing and made a perfect cut.


Girl with more contrast

As you can see from the image, there are more colors visible and overall appearance is much better. Of course this will vary from image to image and if you just want to make things more transparent just leave the paper out. You can also try to find the right effect by using different kinds of paper. For example baking paper is semitransparent.


Paper vs. film

Why not just print the image to regular paper and cut it to right shape? On transparency film, the ink is not absorbed by the fibers like in the paper. This makes the images look better with brighter colors and higher contrast. To demonstrate this I placed a regular paper print out on the left and transparency film over the blank paper on the right. With light shining through these two the colors will be even more opaque.


Transparent vs. with paper

To get the idea how the same image would look without the paper and with paper I made this. Also in this image you see the effect that this semitransparent pocket makes. Some will find this effect usefull and some may not. Behind the images are two Bitsmodding's dual color cold cathodes that I reviewed recently.


Paper mask

Here you can see the paper mask that I cut for that previous comparision. It doesn't need to be perfectly cut because the light will soften the edges quite nicely.


Without the pocket

With bigger image from the Trigun series and without that semitransparent pocket. I used few short pieces of tape to attach the image to the case window. As you can see all the components are easily visible and this is what you would get with transparent pocket.


Final image

This was actually the first image that I took for this project. Behind the image is a plexi with protective film still attached on both sides. If you just want to show the image you could use this method. Maybe place a small image/logo to your 5.25" face plate or cut a window for your case's front bezel place some nice looking image there. In these cases you don't need to show the insides of the computer and you can mask the window for example with white plastic bag to get the best contrast for the image. :)


Some may say that this a ghetto mod and maybe they are right. You just have to have access to a decent inkjet/wax printer and buy some inkjet transparency films (~0.60 €/$ each) and that is pretty much all that you'll need. I would like to think that this is simple and quite nice looking mod. Hope that this article gives you an inspiration to do this same mod for your case window or to develop this even further. There just can't be enough mods floating around so think, think and think! ;)

Update! 06.01.2003

I've received a lot of request about the images that I used to make this mod. Here is the link where you can find them.

Questions, comments?
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03.11.2002 - ©Japala

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