Saturday, April 28, 2018

Week 16: FINAL POST!

Here's the skinny on my final project.

I seem to have a bad habit of thinking of incredibly tedious project ideas, because much like my deer piece, this one took a LOOOONG time to put together. Here are the "scales," completely untouched and fresh from the printer:

BONUS: my own personal hell for 3+ hours


Notice that they were printed at a very low resolution. This was necessary, as per the file's instructions on Thingiverse (though now I'll need to smooth everything out by hand. Yay! I ordered a second batch from the Skylab since, predictably, peeling these things off their "support" was a bitch, and a good few of them broke.

As much as I wanted to play with the translucency of the newer scales, I didn't quite have the materials to do so, and research wasn't entirely too helpful. (Any methods of "dusting" pigment on to the material also called for primer, which would have been just as bad as painting it normally.)

I played with a couple of design ideas (as you can see from previous blog posts), but ultimately decided on the design sketched out here:

I messed with the orientation of them a little as I was laying them out for "weaving." I based the dimensions on my product on average US bust sizing, with the "cups" spanning about 5-6 inches and roughly 4-5 inches in between for design purposes. It looks like a lot laid flat like that, but when the scales get "woven" together the actual cups will be much smaller; I needed to account for the extra space in between cups where the breast wouldn't be covered.

A problem with the design laid out in scales alone was that the top part of each "scale" was exposed, so unless I wanted big ugly plastic hoops poking out as part of my design, I had to find a way to cover them up. I decided to use some leftover scales to cover the tops of the cups, rather than tack fabric on top and clash the materials.

I decided to go with black, as the "creature" I'm basing my project on is this scary, unreal Klingon-nightmare-beast (and I don't think a scary-unreal-nightmare-beast would look like cotton candy). I did two coats of black acrylic spray (primer included).

As you can see there were still some white spots in areas where the paint didn't reach. Since applying the paint before heating wasn't an option, I had to touch up these areas by hand. I bent and stretched the "weave" of scales as best I could to reveal these spots, then paint them out with a brush. I also touched up the bottom of the scales with a little bronze tip, to give the scales a more organic touch.

I went back and printed more scales, this time without hooks, so I could have something to cover up the loops on the top of my piece. I glued (and painted!) these individually. Here's the piece after painting:

Aaaand here's the piece all strung up!

This class was fairly challenging for me. I don't think it was extremely difficult, because I had the benefit of taking it while working on campus at the Skylab. However, with many classes there is the struggle of meeting deadlines, doing the coursework, the overall feel of the class, etc. I definitely feel like I've made an improvement, and I normally don't feel like I change much after finishing a class. I think this was the class that finally had me realize just how important it is to find passion in your work. There were many times where we would have in-class discussions or respond to readings we did, and I would come in guns a-blazing, super enthusiastic and ready to participate.

There's also the work I did for this project, our final. It started off as a joke, making Trekkie lingerie, but I actually had a lot of fun putting everything together. I don't think I would've had the steam to do all the things I did if I had chosen to do ship redesigns, or something technical like that.

I don't think I've improved my work-ethic per se, but I definitely feel like this class has helped me discover the tools I need to be successful for the rest of my time in college.

 (Bonus Skeleton model from the critique!) 

Week 15

There were some complications as I had sent my file. Apparently, this size of the individual "scales," in addition to the quantity I wanted to produce per file, was too great. I won't be able to start putting things together this week as I had hoped, so no progress pictures for that.

In the mean time (as Sea3D starts getting everything together for me), I've picked out the colors I want to use for the piece. Based on their recommendation (the Sea3D lab technicians) I have gone with an acrylic combination-paint-and-primer spray can to treat my piece with. Given that I'll need to apply heat for the little "straps" to put everything together, I won't be able to paint the scales first. Using spray paint will help speed up the process, and the combination paint-and-primer will help make things less tedious since having the primer dry on it's own may lead to some "sticking" as the scales will already be arranged when I start applying. I have also purchased some washers to help me bend the "straps" with more precision.

That's all for this week!

Week 14

Not much to report this week! We've officially started lab hours for our project. I prepared my file of "scales" for my final project, as shown below:

And I've come up with one final design to execute my project. Ideally, the shape will be like this:

I based my design on a few things. The complicated part about this project for me was finding a stronger basis for my research. The Star Trek Alpha and Beta wiki pages could only reveal so much; there's only a few sentences about any practical forms of lingerie as they appear in the original series, and even pages discussing fabric and tactiles yield limited results. The best I could do was look through the gallery of Klingon images and get a feel of what their clothing was like from there. Of course, despite the fact that this is a show about the future, the show is rooted in 60's and 70's culture. I would be remiss if I only made designs with current fashion trends in mind, so I took a cue from 60's and 70's fashion.


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I looked at both trends in lingerie at the time, and trends in scifi/fantasy costume design for women. **Amazingly** enough, the two look nothing alike. A lot of early scifi costume designs for women were either weird, suctioned body suits, or these insane glam outfits. I decided to lean more heavily on the latter scifi designs for obvious reasons, though I kept some of the more practical 70's looks in mind. As funny as it would be, I don't think I'd be able to create something with enough structure for pointy 60's boobs.

That's all for this week!

Week 13

After having my project idea reviewed last week, I sat down and tried to narrow down my final product. Even though it would be really cool, it's not practical to expect me to have three entire sets of "clothing" prepared by the time finals week hits. So, after doing a little more research, I've decided to stick with just one race to base my Trekkie lingerie idea on: the Klingons. The clothing they wear in the show gives me really strong Xena vibes, and I knew from the start I wanted to try experimenting with chainmail and armor. I've started sketching out a few ideas for the design.

That's all for this week!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Make-Up Work: Trying the Crab Print Again

So! As the title indicates, I have made a second attempt at getting my "crab" model sucessfully printed. I went back to Sea3D and asked them to run the print a second (technically seventh) time, and I have to say I like the results! Here's what it looked like when I first picked it up:

As you can see, there was a LOT of complex support. I should have expected this, given how many times the print had failed. Also, you'll notice that this is a resin print instead of PLA/ABS. We decided that resin would be a better guarantee for this print, since all the plastic printers that tried before ate up the file and spit out a bunch of hot garage. 

After clipping everything off with my pliers, here's what it looked like:

Notice all the little bumps and scratches from the supports. This took some serious sanding and polishing. Here is the final result:

This is actually a little tricky to show, but the original model had sprinkles modeled on the top to look more like a doughnut. Obviously the supports butchered them, so I improvised. Instead of sanding away ALL of the little leftover support nubs, I sanded away about half and smoothed down the rest. Now it looks more like a doughnut! Also, unlike the previous runs of this print, the resin print wak able to capture the other little details I added, like the "smiling eyes."

I'm pretty proud of how this one turned out! Definitely an imporvement from my other six failures (though my tiny baby crab print will always stay close to my heart).

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Final Project: Star Trek Artifact

I've given much thought on the subject, and after discussing the topic in class and doing my own independent research, I have decided that the focus of my project will be on lingerie, as it exists in the Star Trek universe. Research will result in a comprehensive understanding of sex and mating habits of several well-known species in the Star Trek universe, as well as the concept of gender as it exists (and is performed) throughout multiple insterstellar cultures.  Similarly, a practical understanding of how the lingerie industry would function in a similar context is needed in order to figure out textile materials and any additional functions the garmets may serve. There will be much conjecture about the implications of such a luxury industry existing in a post-scarcity society, and of the feasibility of fabricating creations independently. Ultimately, the fruit of my research will be mock-ups of what I think lingerie would look like in the Star Trek universe. For the sake of this project, additional research will be conducted on the practicality of producing 3d-printed articles in our current time and culture. I will need to see what I'm allowed to do in the labs on campus and figure out if there is a way to properly produce textiles, or if I'll be limited to just generating plastic figures.

The above articles provide little in terms of research, but spark the idea and provide a ground for me to work on. The Alpha Wiki article on Lingerie is only a few sentences long, but at the very least shows that lingerie in the Star Trek universe 1) exists, 2) is implied to be an item of luxury, 3) is considered a general interest to women amongst all races (or at least according to Garak), and 4) functions as " underwear intended to look fashionable and alluring." 

The article on general underwear is much more expansive, and goes on to describe garments that can withstand extreme conditions and even assist in combat.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Week 11, possibly 12?

We critiqued our 3D models this week! There was some good conversation and overall I really enjoyed looking at everyone's work. And we went over more detail on the Star Trek project. I'm still not entirely sure what I want to do for mine, though the possibility of a trekkie lingerie line was discussed. The Star Trek wiki- Wookipedia?- has quite a few articles on fabric so I might actually have a lot to work with on that front. Thomas also wants us to construct a moodboard, in addition to our written-out proposal, and I'm honestly not sure what he's expecting. I've done moodboards for my illustrations, but that usually directly relates to the end-result of my project. Like, moodboards help establish an aesthetic for my work, and I'm not sure how to establish a solid aesthetic for something that isn't even going to be an illustration. I'll have to do more research and see what I come up with!