Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Here's some more story boards for you panting, unwashed masses who can't get enough! Chew on these for a while!

Face Robot
Dave 'Ninja Fingers' Sikma posted these here neat-o pictures of our head armature, version Mark I. The jaw goes up and down, as do the eyes. Both are controlled by threading the 1/4" rod seen in the back in and out, which is then attached to i's respective mechanism via 1/16" aircraft cable. This is some serious NASA-shit we got going down here.
Just as I foresaw, the only way to approach the thing was to just pop a big-ole drill bit in the old keyless Makita and have at 'er. The eyes move quite smoothly; they're held in place with elastic cords; the same cords also pull the eyes to the extremity of their upward movement - the cable pulls it to the other extremity. The thing is a bit freaky looking.
Progress should be rapid in the future - this represents about a day and a half of work, and i'll have a whole three days off every week in the near future.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I've gone down to working four days a week again; hopefully that'll free up enough time to get our 'big heads' completed in a timely manner. We're hoping to get out of our present studio after the winter, in order to move into a closer space (our current space being a three hour round trip on the bus). I have no idea if we will be able to finish with our current set in that time frame - there is an awful lot of work to be done.

Dave cleaned Loomis Art Supplies out of 'superflex sculpy' today, a task he was able to accomplish despite being lazy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Inital progress on big head #1 is encouraging - progress has been reasonably rapid. So far i've accomplished the following: sawed off the back of the skull, installed elastic cords in the jaw, and attached a cable to the jaw. This cable will then run to a bolt which will allow us to pull the cable incrementally by loosening or tightening it.

We tested out the good ol' Superflex Sculpy last night; we've determined that it will work. It is, for the unitiated, a modeling clay that is then baked hard - this particular type of Sculpy retains flexibility after baking, which is the key.

Now I have to tackle the eyes and eyelids. It is going to be hard. There will probably be swearing involved.

We should be doing a few little animation tests with the unfinished head reasonably soon - i'll post the results.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This here is what i'm talkin' bout; I have to make the big heads do stuff like this. Here's Conelisz, the evil painter, getting all excited and creepy.
Well, we now finally have a skull (after the two that Michael R-addison ordered never showed up, i.e. we we're robbed). Now I have to figure out how to build this monstrosity; how to go about this is yet to be determined. The idea, for those of you haven't read the pertinent earlier post, is to build an almost-life sized armature head for our characters; an 'armature head' in the sense that we'll be able to pose the features incrementally to create neat things like feelings and stuff. The snivelling nerds will then animate these heads and then digitally transpose them onto our 9.5" armatures, using teamwork, sharing, and working together. There is a long list of challenges for myself: how to make the eyes move, the jaw, the eyebrows, and at least a few of the muscles involved in smiling, frowning, etc, and what materials to use to accomplish all of these things - and no space-shuttle crap; I have to but this stuff at hardware stores.

I do like to design and plan before I jump into anything, but this seems to be case where I simply have to have a whack it to decide the best way to do it. This inital attempt might very well be a botched one.

The first head armature is going to be Johannes, the apprentice to the painter - I managed to locate one particular reference image of a young man that suits our needs, after having looked at thousands. I'd show you the image, but I stole it from a fantastic artist, and it would be a copyright violation. So screw you, you'll just have to wait to see what I come up with.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


We're doing stuff again! We are now the proud owners of a brand new plastic skull! That's right kids! We're going to turn into a life-size head armature, and then digitally impose onto our regular armatures to make them talk! Or this is what the nerds insist that we can do. Besides doing this, i'm researching funding sources; specifically grants. Because I think its cool that the government can can take your money by force and then give it to us so we can buy plastic skulls. Because, by buying plastic skulls with your money, we're culturally enriching you - whether you like it or not, you blue-collar classic-rock-listening slobs!
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