New day, New Haircut

There are a few things that challenge sculptors moreso than anatomy, clothing, details.

Hair. It’s just one of those things you can’t actually represent as a solid object without changing it dramatically just so it can be represented in the medium you’ve chosen.

A few people can rock this haircut pretty solidly – gone are the bullets and some of the locks. Still working on details and elements, and soon – there will be a full final pose. And that in turn will require more sculpting.

But that’s another post.

Check out Emma in Stained on Comixology.

Out of character

A base is something people too often skimp on. A dais, a disk, a square, it’s one way to save money when manufacturing figures but I don’t really like putting a character into – well – nothing. The base should say something about the character standing on it if you have time to do it properly.

I got this one a little wrong – and in light of the recent events, I thought it should change. I asked he creator, David Baron, about it and since the character is more into darts and stun guns than bullets and bombs, some details had to change. So I’m taking out the and and bullet holes of the base and going more tech/urban details.

But the cracked concrete, still kinda cool. What’s a modern dystopia without some broken concrete, right? Emma doesn’t do bullets.

Be sure to check out David Baron’s Stained out there on the internet.

The Super Group

Misleading title – polygroups, if you don’t know Zbrush – is just a way to help organize sections of your model. Combined with the polyframe viewing mode, sometimes you get interesting renders.

In this case, the model looks much more complicated than it really is. What’s more interesting is how easily the model is to manage at this point because of the way it’s organized now.

Panels of cloth, separate details, smaller parts and larger section all get a group. After this, I can get started on the base for the print.

Be sure to look for “Stained” by David Baron in your LCS, or on Comixology.

Project Pile up

So everyone experiences a few project pile ups, and making time for all of them usually means you have to start saying no, juggling, dancing around holidays, etc.

I made a commitment to a few things that took too long to finish which made things look like a bad day on the interstate. But visualizing my time and commitments using a calendar app of some kind makes things looks less intimidating.

I like visualizing data in certain ways, and time is one of those things that looks more intimidating when viewed WITHOUT tools of some kind. Producers, project leads, people of the accounting persuasion all use tools like these to manage large amounts of other people’s time. And it can get overwhelming when something has a lot of moving parts.

But a schedule – a good one, shouldn’t looks like it’s contents – it’s the global view of time and work being done.

I am reading a new book by Jordan Ellenberg which cautions against the linearity of certain problems – how some things appear to be lines when charted and sometimes they are actually curves. The time spent on certain tasks has some of those dimensions – tasks can take more or less time in your schedule, making them shrink or expand in weird ways.

Your plans can change, holidays or emergencies pop up – it can end up making your neat little schedule look like a Sig Alert on a Monday morning. When charted in actual time versus tasks, the chart starts to look pretty noisy.

But tracking things according to much simpler data – whether or not a task is done versus not done – that helps make tracking linear – at least when using an app.

Anyway, I am still reading it and can already safely recommend it.

My top NEIN

I like Instagram, but in terms of my top 9, I think I’d rather not even mention them let alone post them. I didn’t feel like I produced a lot of work that was … I don’t even want to label it. I might invent a new adjective or two that wraps up the feeling. But, oh well, “all the cool kids are doing it.”

Am I disappointed? Somewhat. If I am to be as rigorous as the data driven millennial lifestyle obsessed masses I would have to conclude from my best 9 that I should abandon comics and comic making entirely.

When people keep saying “take my Money” I tend to think they don’t have any to take. But I manage to sell my comics rather easily at shows I do – I’m just getting better at being a good salesman. People are still completely baffled by what they should pay for 3d printed objects or 3d in general.

The psychological effect of valuing your own work more than someone else – you’ve heard of that experiment, right? If you made a widget, you’d value it more than the person in a position to pay for it, typically.

Salespeople disconnected from the creation of a widget have an easier time with this phenomena – they know the value of a thing comes from what the market will support. And I’m still trying to find that part.

Armed and armed

Weapons. I know artists who have made their ENTIRE careers and reputations on the way they design and approach CGI weapons. I got around to adding more of Emma’s weapons – side note on the side arm – it might be a separate piece entirely when 3d printed so users can take it out.

I could fuse the hand weapon into the print, but I always like figurines where discreet parts are made separately – makes it tougher to manufacture and mass produce, but adds a touch of scale and realism.

Eventually, any weapon I make will be fitted to her exact proportions – I think I’ve worked in a few places where a character was modeled by one artist, the weapons by another and when the time came to “Arm” the character, there were issues in scale, fit, and proportion. To be honest, until you take the weapon and put it in your character’s hands, you won’t really know how thing’s will look or work.

Be sure to check out Emma inĀ David Baron’s “Stained” on Comixology.

Or check him out on Twitter and Instagram @MyZombies.

Gray days, grayscale

So Emma is now feeling gray – just going back to simple materials as details begin to take shape.

One of the things I have always been particular about are shoes. I think I see a lot of character models that kind of ignore them – they are after all somewhat tedious to model. Laces in particular are a study in contradictions – they repeat but are unique at a very granular level.

Laces across a shoe have to follow some rules in the way they repeat (if you have ever been in the military you know what I mean) and lace up. But when you look a them very closely, they have a unique shape as they follow the contours of the shoe’s leather and form.

Picky, picky. Haha!

Be sure to check out Stained on Comixology!