Last December, after more than a year of not visiting family, I flew down to Florida for a week to meet up with the ol' crew again - mom and dad, along with some of my cousins and friends and families of friends. They had driven down to meet me there, ready for beaches and a Christmas without snow and cold, which Florida readily gave. The trip had been a long time coming, and seeing family again really brought back memories. I took the opportunity to catch up, to soak in the presence of the people who I had lived without for the past few years, to breathe in a salty air that was so unlike the air up north, to drink in the scenery of sky, water, and sand. A week's worth of family and sun rejuvenated me. It was more than enough - I was ready to go back and tackle the new year.
Happy 2014! Happy year of the horse!
There's a full lineup of things-to-happen this year - but I'll start with just updating on the things I've already worked on so far. This is a LONG and PICTURE-HEAVY post! Contents are below, click the 'Read more!' to read more!
In order of appearance:
An update on RWBY scythe
A recap of my week in Florida
A living-hinge book cover I designed
Some speedpaints I did
Click below to read more!
After starting to CAD RWBY's transforming scythe, I came upon the realization that I still have a lot of work to do. A LOT. By 100. I dearly underestimated the amount of sheer work that I will need to do to have this ready in time for any con. (´⊙ω⊙`)！
Having decided to lasercut everything, I had dived into CAD-land and started modeling pieces, taking into account my own liberties in designing this thing. So. Many. Pieces. I created an organizational naming structure for my files just for this project (instead of naming parts like, say, 'redbladething1') so that I could keep track of everything - it saved me quite a lot of headache!
Screenshot of the growing chaos of the assemblies.
Taking the advice from Charles, I shoved what I had on a laser cutter to test for size and feasibility. Tessellating the parts on a given sized board was rather fun - I managed to fit everything of the main bulk on 2 boards (24"x36", and 24"x24") after some fiddling.
Completed lasercut board A.
Currently laser cutting board B.
Laser cut negative space, after I took all the treasure out, mwahaha!
Laser cut positive space - the treasure stash.
Assembled pieces. Everything will still need to be glued together.
Yes, this thing is held together by hot-glue and superglue.
Yes, I'm seeing how long this glued-structure will last.
No, the final version won't have glue. ....Probably. xD
Assembled parts shell, extended.
Assembled parts shell, contracted.
Me holding it, for size reference.
Ultimately, not sure if this is the route I want to take for the main bulk of the piece. But I'm going to roll with it for now so I can figure out what needs to be changed/added/modified on the CAD drawings, since wood is easier to work with than metal and laser cutting has a quick turn-around time.
A few days back, I also vectorized RWBY's rose ornament on her belt and threw that in the laser cutter as well, along with a scrap piece of black acrylic I found. The result looked rather nice! I'm thinking of either finding a waterjet to cut out metal pieces of the petals, or just paint over a sheen of metallic paint on top of the acrylic so when it rasters, the black acrylic can shine through underneath.
In the process of laser cutting my vectorized image.
Not too shabby!
Next steps - finish CADing, populate with mechanisms, finish building it, make costume. And a thousand different subtasks under those giant umbrellas. WHEE--- /o/
Aah, Florida. Nice weather. Much nicer than up here in Boston. I took a break from work, stayed down there for a week, and got up early every morning to see the sunrise, something I normally never do. It became a little routine just for that week - wake up around sunrise, walk or jog along by the shoreline, sit on the ledge for an hour watching the scenery and listening to the water lap beside me and/or drawing/writing whatever came to mind while snapping photos like a tourist... It was the only time of day that I was really by myself, before the noise and business of family took hold during the day. And to have that peaceful moment all to yourself, a time to reflect and think and decide as the world lit up around you... It was beautiful.
A flock of birds flew past me during this sunrise; I had scrambled to get my phone camera up in time.
I created my own little zen sand garden by the beach, and my friends helped me populate it with shells.
Silver skies and silver seas.
A sunset, though you can't tell; I snuck up on this bird, but it didn't fly away.
A line of legs on a ledge; My cousins and I sat here for a long time just talking and watching the bay.
I kept walking along one of the beaches we had visited one day, and ended up in this disaster zone.
Along this trip, I had with me a little moleskin. I had started it with doodles of cute little robots, but I actually amassed more poems than anything else when I took it with me to Florida. So I thought I'd share two:
they prowl the sky
Hundreds of little security cameras
searching the perimeter.
First comes the smell
A scout or two flies to investigate
Hovering low enough to grab
as they stare expectantly.
Next comes the sight
and reinforcements are summoned.
Target lock on a young boy
with a fast food take-out bag.
I watch from underneath a shelter.
Sandwich in hand.
From hundreds of miles up
Watching the gold and silver streams
Spill across the black earth
like scattered jewels and fallen stars
I breathe; enraptured.
I saw a picture of some living hinge structures a few weeks ago and thought they were super cool! So I took inspiration from one of the articles and replicated one of the patterns I had seen for my own book cover, modifying it to fit my needs. EpilogLaser has a pattern you can download (click here!), but I couldn't download it, so I just designed mine from scratch based on the images, haha. Using some of the hardboard stock I had bought for RWBY, I created this:
The little robot on there is actually a vectorized version of a robot doodle in the moleskin this cover is for.
This was just a test print to see if the design will actually work. And though it did, it's really flimsy. Next print, I'm hoping to get another robot on there and make a little snap in guide for the book inside so it can stay in place.
More recently, intermittently through a week, I created three speedpaints, each done in the course of an hour, give or take 20 minutes. They initially weren't going to follow any theme, but after the first scene, I spontaneously put in a little red-capped character. I guess I must have liked the effect, since I stuck her in the next two scenes as well.
'Searching for clarity...'
This occurred after one of the Northeast big snow storms, and after I
had watched 'Frozen'. Perhaps the dreariness of the weather outside and the
slight dreary slump I had been in subconsciously drove me to choose
those colors and that landscape.
'A long road ahead...'
I was listening to the 'Journey' soundtrack, by Austin Wintory, and as always
when listening to it, felt inspired. (The game is great, as well!)
And yet, the little red-capped character is again in a world
without anything else except a vast landscape and a far horizon.
'In unfamiliar territory...'
Here, I decided that I would consciously use the color red, as I already had
blue and yellow-based scenery in my previous two pieces.
And since the little red-capped character reminded me so much of
Little Red Riding Hood, the idea of a forest came naturally.
These speedpaints provided good practice and were quite stress-relieving. I've found strokes came much easier and the concept-to-paper was formed more readily on the third piece after I had practiced churning out the other two of similar rough detailing. Perhaps the journey of this little red-capped character will continue...