A RARE GLIMPSE INTO THE ARTISTRY OF CUTTING RUBYLITH FILMS
The TARGET ALPHA Backglass Project - by - RAY
LOCKHART, CPR Art Team
|WHAT ARE RUBYLITH
They simply look like big red sheets of
plastic, but they were the backbone of pinball artwork
preparation for decades!
A rubylith film has two layers: the red "ruby" layer on
top, and a transparent backing layer. The artist cuts
the ruby layer (with a blade) to peel away where ink is
NOT to print. This leaves behind red artwork that
represents where ink will be printed.
The "ruby" layer blocks UV light. When making
silkscreens, UV light is blocked by the ruby patterns
when the screen is baked under UV light. UV hardens the
screen where the film is clear, and opens the screen
where the ruby blocks the UV.
You need a separate ruby film and screen for every color
you are silkscreening.
Through CPR Artist David Fix (Doc Pinball), we were
introduced to Ray Lockhart. Ray took an interest in
what CPR was doing,
and saw a challenge in producing an art package for a pinball
reproduction project. The chosen project in the end was
Gottlieb's TARGET ALPHA backglass. The cool thing
was - this wasn't going to be another one of us sitting at the
computer for months, vector-tracing a high resolution scan and
preparing digital color separations. Ray was going
to be doing this totally via traditional hand-cut rubylith
films! A career artist himself, Ray had worked with
in decades past, so this style of color separations was not
foreign to him at all. Nearly a lost art today, cutting
to create intricate artwork like for a pinball backglass would
boggle the minds of most of us! But remember, this is how
prepared for DECADES in pinball manufacturing - and we all see
the results in every one of those machines we admire.
Here are a few photos of Ray in action. Keep in mind,
there is a rubylith film required for every layer/color in the
including the white backing and the grey-metallic lightblock
layer on the backside. The complete Target Alpha film pile
up becoming over a dozen sheets deep! Wow. Here is a rare
look at what cutting films looks like...
click to enlarge
OH...and did I forget to mention...Ray draws the BLACKLINE
BY HAND ! See that pen?
click to enlarge
See examples of Ray Lockhart's paintings & sketches at
his iFreelance site by
You CAN commission him to do paintings - of your house, your
car, your family, etc!
END OF PHOTO GALLERY
Our Gottlieb reproduction projects are respectfully licensed
under formal agreement with Gottlieb Development LLC.