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Comments - suggestions...

I have decided to do this on the Sleigh. I have the following that I have created - comments and suggestions welcome - let me know which one you like!

First is Santa driving his sleigh...

Next is a nice shot of some Christmas ornaments...

A cartoon of Santa and his sleigh - never could get his face where I wanted it...

The North Pole! My car is red though - was hoping for something more red...

Red Christmas Ornaments!

Red Christmas packages!

I like this one with Santa knocking at the door...

But it was so plain I tried to add some reindeer to add some interest...


So there they are - in no particular order. Let me know which ones you like - help me decide!

Thanks for looking,
Santa Michael
 

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OCD?

So, the rumors about not much to do in Louisville must be true... :p
Either that or I am ADD/OCD and spent all Saturday night making gauges!!!

Truth is, once you have made one and have the process down, it is quite easy. I am posting from my phone, when I get home I will post a short step by step on making your own with Cube's file and Gimp.
 

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Quick tutorial on Gimp

- Download the template file here. http://www.cubefx.com/smart/speedo/raw_psd_and_font.zip

- Save it to a folder you can find – NOT to your desktop – you will be putting a lot of files in one place

- Download and install GIMP if you do not have it already: GIMP - Downloads

- Find a graphic you want to use for the Speedo. The graphic needs to be fairly large to work – at least 1600 or so pixels wide. Anything smaller and the picture looks grainy when you make it the right size. I recommend the following:

- Google Images

- Type in your search term

- On the left hand side of the window select ‘Larger than…’ and then select 2MP (1600x1200).

- When you find something you like – make sure you download the LARGE version - not the thumbnail that Google shows you in the search window. Click on the small picture to go to the web site – right click on the large picture and save it to the same folder you placed the template file in.

- Open the folder you placed the files in and double click on the Template file – Extract all files to the same folder you are placing all the files in.

- Right click on the file cf.psd and open it with GIMP.

- The LAYERS window is where you need to work. The layers work just like they would with a pile of papers or transparencies. The higher they are on the list – the more you will see them. Try clicking on the ‘eyeballs’ in the list and watch how the layers change.

- You want to put YOUR image into this file as a layer. But first your image needs to be the right size and have a few 'clear' spots. To prepare your image right click on the image you downloaded and open it with Gimp. You should now have TWO things open in Gimp – the template and the graphic you want to use. We will start working on your graphic first.

- Add a transparent layer to your graphic file by selecting Layer - Transparency - Add Alpha Channel.

- Size your graphic for the speedo by setting the width to 1950 pixels. Click on Image - Scale Image - set the Width to 1950 pixels and then click on the Scale button.

- Now you need to find the portion of the graphic you want to use for the speedo – go back to the Template file and turn off ALL the layers (click off eyeballs) except the layer called ‘Layer 33’ – should be at the top of the layers window.

- Now select Edit - Copy Visible

- Go back to your graphic – and select Paste as…New Layer

- Now select Tools - Transform Tools - Move so you can move the image around to see what will show on the speedo. It is best if you set the Opacity for this layer at around 50% so you can see ‘under’ the image you just placed in the file.

- Make sure that none of the ‘black’ image from the template is over any of the edges of your graphic. Once you are happy with the placement select Layers - Transparancy - Add to selection.

- Now click on Select - Invert.

- In the Layers window right click on the ‘black’ layer from the template file (should be called Clipboard) and select Delete.

- Now press the delete key.

- Click on Select - None.

- Congratulations – you have an image you can use in the Template file.

- Select Edit – Copy and then go back to the Template file. Select Paste as…New Layer.

- You will probably need to use the move tool again to make sure everything lines up – you can use Layer33 and the Opacity trick we used earlier to get it lined up. I use the center 'emergency triangle' to make sure the new graphic is lined up. Make sure you have the layer your graphic is on selected before you try to move anything.

- Make sure the eyeball is 'on' so your layer is visible. Move the layer up and down in the Layers window until you are happy with the way everything looks. Your graphic should probably be lower in the layers window than everything else – depending upon what other items you want on top of your graphic. Turn on and off the other eyeballs to play with the other items included in the template until you are happy with everything.

- Once you have done one or two it really becomes fast and easy.

Experiment – have fun! Be sure to read the WHOLE thread before you start assembling - there have been some updates on what to print your graphic on and how to attach it to your smart.
 

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I just came across this thread this afternoon, and I was wondering if removing the sticker over the clips that hold in the glass will void the warranty. I really want a custom speedo face and to paint the grey piece on the inside, but I don't know if voiding the warranty is worth it... :shrug:
 

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I forgot to update this thread!!! Last year, I made my own custom speedometer. The car is now nearing 70k and the speedo still looks purrrrfect.

Numbers are for losers. :p




How I did it:

- Edited Cubefx's template .PSD files in GIMP (freeware program that works like PhotoShop. Basically I made it white and added in the ragefaces.

- Edited (well, someone else here did, thank you!) the transparency file to have ragefaces instead of numbers.

- I took the files to the local FedEx store and got them printed on high quality paper. I had the transparencies printed as well. I got 4 copies of the speedometer and 8 copies of transparency.

- I then used photo adhesive (spray) to combine two transparency pages together with the speedometer face. I then took a self-adhering laminate and put it on top of the speedometer face (this isn't required, I did it to have a more "polished" look).

- Followed the instructions on Evilution (Evilution - Smart Car Encyclopaedia) to take apart the speedo.

- The factory speedo face peels right off. Saved it in case I wanted to go back stock.

- The new speedo face wouldn't stick to the adhesive left behind from the stock speedo, so I gave it a couple dabs of photo adhesive.
 

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Excellent, but I just realized the scale is different.

I got my daughter a Smart Car. It came from Canada, and we live in the US. I thought and easy fix would be to make a new speedometer faceplate. I used one of the templates from this site, had it printed, laminated it, and installed. Turned out great, but the speedometer is nowhere close to accurate. How can that be? I figured the needle would be the same, and with the new template, it would just show the MPH equivalent, right? On the stock speedometer, needle straight up is 60 KPH. On the template for MPH, needle straight up is 50 MPH. If you do a MPH to KPH conversion, 50 MPH = 80KPH. 60 KPH = 37 MPH. No wonder we can't figure out how fast we are going! So, now I realize that the speedo is different for KPH cars. I found a plate with both KMH and MPH online at a place called Lockwood International. you can see that the scale is different. I do not have Photoshop nor do I know how to use it. Does anyone have a file with MPH on a KPH scale? I would prefer to make a new one then have to order one for almost a hundred bucks. Thanks!
 

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Tip For Lamination

To get the lamination to line up perfectly, I got a piece of clear plexiglass and let it hang over the table. I then put a lamp on the floor. put one printout down. Cut an inch or so off one edge of the next printout. Line it up until you get it perfect without any glue. Tape the edge you cut. Now you can fold it open along the tape line. Spray with glue, and when you fold it back over, it lines up perfectly.
 

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And I'm happy to report that my laminated custom speedo is still in perfect condition, nearly three years later.

I think I'll skip turning the 453 speedo into a bunch of memes because I love how the 453 speedo looks. :)
 

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... a different color probably wouldn't be bad. Maybe a gray or black background with white lines and numbers. What i really want to do is figure out how to take off the whole instrument panel/head unit surround and paint it a different color. That, and the vent trim rings.
 

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Are we talking 451 or 453? I could probably blow some dust off GIMP and whip up a 451 speedo like that. As for surrounds, can't tell you about the 453, but the 451 trim rings come off by squeezing them and pulling hard-ish.
 
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