Check this out.. Really Cool + Need Help - DIY "Limited Edition" Art Box

  • I am trying to develop a standardized format for creating a DIY "Limited Edition" Art Box for Anime's that I have "standard" versions for.

    For FMAB, I own Funimation's "Complete Collection" version, Part 1 and Part 2 on Blu Ray. I can't even find any "Art Box" versions of this show at all or any info on such a version anywhere. I decided to MAKE one.!2340&authkey=!AFOaf6c1oWDr6k8&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg!2332&authkey=!AKg-1mEeVLife0c&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg!2333&authkey=!AAmBDO7enguFMuA&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg!2334&authkey=!AAd14CH_TSNxlX8&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg!2336&authkey=!AJKgb8qfncMCMfo&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg!2338&authkey=!ALF5Xjy6BAgjzHg&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg!2335&authkey=!ABCASzh0tdlIJ34&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg!2337&authkey=!ABzz9eER-mDaJ38&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg

    This is my first attempt. Constructing the chipboard box was easier that I thought it would be. Chipboard panels, a razor, a straight edge, super glue, and patience. With the best super glue, it is rock solide, you'd have to squeeze hard to damage it.

    Next was the artwork, which wasn't that hard to find, just hard to decide. I did spent a lot of time editing the logos and stuff to make everything as immaculate as possible. And with my PIXMA photo printer, the resolution is awesome. The main issue with this attempt is that I failed to glue the edges enough, and you can see the bubble's. They ruin the authentic feel of the whole box.

    The paper is one thing, in my mind anyway, stopping this thing from really looking like an official release. The above version was done on 48 lb glossy "brochure" photo paper. When glued down with Modge Podge to the chipboard box, it feels VERY flat and looks really good, but that tacky feeling of the photo paper is just so hard to ignore. It's just not what I want

    As an example, I want the box to appear as close as possible to one of the 3 styles that I've seen on my favorite Art Boxes:

    Example 1: Stein's Gate and Eureka Seven!2329&authkey=!AEAOSVv6Ax5ANfg&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg

    These Art Boxes have a very very glossy and smooth feel to them. Almost like the paper is laminated. Yet, examining the edges of the paper and even peeling them back a bit reveals the paper to be relatively thin. Also, I'm certain that this would need to be printed on laser jet, and I have ink jet, so, there's that..

    Example 2: Robotics;Notes and Cowboy Bebop!2330&authkey=!ADdpYNP8GqxZb6o&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg

    These two seem to be some sort of cross between glossy and "matte" papers, especially RN. They are less shiny than the two above, but still smooth and not at all like photo paper.

    Example 3: Sword Art Online!2331&authkey=!AHkC4awo-Z9qvWk&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg

    Don't judge, I really enjoyed the show. I finally broke and just had to have this set. These art boxes are seriously a class above Funimation's releases. The paper texture is just BEAUTIFUL! It feels like.. like felt, or velvet almost. If you own them, you know what I mean. They are certainly closer to a "matte" finish then any of the above. In fact, the way this paper brings out the colors and deepens the blacks in the Art is so awesome, I decided to aim for exactly this on my next attempt at an FMAB box.

    Version 2 - Unfinished!2344&authkey=!AMxt5VmsaA_Lze0&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg!2342&authkey=!AJhUQL5jlCyzROI&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg

    This version was printed on "matte" presentation paper, 32 lb. I won't be using 32 lb again, as it is too thin, and the ink soaks in too much. You can tell because the text on the bottom of the box is ugly. That's also cuz I did white text on black background as well, didn't help with so much black ink. Also, this matte paper just didn't have the "soft" feel of the SAO box that I was hoping for. In fact it may as well be regular document paper. I still have yet to try the 48 lb matte paper, but before I do, I'm hoping to get some input.

    My main problem. I need serious advice on what type of paper to use to make an "official" looking and feeling art box. I mean, if ideally someone on the Funimation staff could reach out to their production team and find out some details on the methods and papers used to make their Art Boxes, I'd be seriosuly indebted.

    If anyone has any ideas on how to get the paper right, please tell me your thoughts.

  • I sure am glad I pay just $7.95 per month for an all access subscription and don't have to deal with these first world problems :p

  • ….few days already and only one reply, and a joke at that, but over 60 views. I thought this was a forum for people who liked anime... Guess not?

  • Right, because all anime fans are also huge fans of arts and crafts projects. I assume all 60 views went something like "???" and then closed the thread

    I would suggest talking about anime if you would like to communicate with anime fans

  • slams yardstick down on table

    COOL IT!!! >0<

    For the record, Bluetm, I actually was very interested in your project, and I've been meaning to respond to it appropriately, but I've just been very busy lately.

    For the rest of you, either be nice, or get your posts deleted. That is all. -_-

  • I have no useful advice or input to add to your photo paper dilemma, but I think what you're trying to do is pretty cool. I'd be very interested to see what you find out.

  • I'm not sure as to what exact technique you should use, but I suggest going for the 48 lb paper. Try experimenting and find the one that fits the best.

    As for reaching out to the FUNimation design team, I'm not sure.

  • Really awesome work, that art box looks great. Sorry I can't be of help to you about your paper problem.

    I do have a question for you though, where do you get the artwork ?

  • @Riles:

    I would suggest talking about anime if you would like to communicate with anime fans

    Wow I'm not sure what to make of this line at all. I thought that's exactly what I was doing… sigh, I work myself into these dilemmas too often. I'm not really on this forum much, whether to post or just view, so I don't how the activity is. Guess my expectations were the problem.


    Really awesome work, that art box looks great. Sorry I can't be of help to you about your paper problem.

    I do have a question for you though, where do you get the artwork ?

    I just used Google images, searched for the highest resolution I could find. A lot of series have a surprising amount of official artwork that is in extremely high res. FMA, not so much. There's a lot but much of it has weird logo placement. Copyright infringement is no concern, since I have no plans to sell anything, so in that regard there is loads of fan art that looks as good or better than the official artwork. My desire for high continuity/authenticity with my other art box titles drives me to use only official stuff..

    Maybe suggestions on which domain forum to try would have been a better question? I just figured Funimation was the place to start since FMA belongs to them as of now. For now, I edited my OP to suck all the excitement out and get right to the point.

  • ^ I apologize for the rather cold reception from some of the other members (Riles, be nice!! -_-). I hope you weren't made to feel unwelcome here on the boards.

    Personally, I agree that your box looks very well done. I'd prefer more color on the spines, but it is only your first one after all. On the subject of paper, as a graphic artist myself, I would probably actually wrap the box in vinyl. It's much more durable than paper and adds a very nice gloss (or matte, if you prefer) finish to it. However, you kinda need a print shop with some rather pricey equipment for that, so that might not be an option for you.

    If the idea of a custom-made metal artbox has any appeal to you, you might try Googling Paul Champagne's work. I can't give you a direct link, but he's done some really fantastic custom anime and film boxes. You might even be able to get a few hints for your own work. :)

    You can also give The Fandom Post forums a go. The guys over there tend to be a little bit more on the "technical" side of things.

  • SpacemanHardy, thanks for the awesome input. When I first decided to do FMAB I really wanted to get some metal on the box somewhere, ya know, "Fullmetal" being the title and everything. But I couldn't think of anything that wouldn't look corny. I'll check out Paul.

    If printing on vinyl takes specialized equipment I probably won't get far :( .. No one I've asked so far will print artwork that's (at least to their eye's) is obviously not mine. Sucks, I'm intrigued by the idea and will still look into it of course.

    Edit: Just checked out Paul's page. I remember I've been there before when doing research prior to this post. I never realized his custom boxes were metal tho! I may contact him now for sure

  • Interesting idea . Might make a couple of these myself for the individual parts i have of various shows . I have some white pressboard around from some hobby model making i do , should work out nicely , do you have measurements for the side panels ?

  • For Blurays, you'll want to cut your front and back panels to be exactly 7" x 5.5". The width (top, bottom, and spine panels) will vary depending on how many Bluray cases you plan to fit, also, how wide each individual case is. For my FMAB complete collection cases, the panels are about 1.43". They vary greatly depending on generation of the case and how many discs they hold. For artwork sizing, search for "aspect ratio calculator" in google. You can use this tool to check and make adjustments to your high res artwork. I typically start with the dimensions 7000h x 5500w and then enter the larger dimension of the artwork. Then I scale down until both dimensions match the 7000 x 5500 pixel ratio. I print using Gimp 2.0, since it allows me to print the art at exact inches. This way I don't ever have worry about "pixels per inch" or "dots per inch". Start with the highest quality possible and the software and printer will handle the resizing beautfully. For the spine, top and bottom, I just round up to 1.5" when doing the art.

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