31 March

Something new! and Finished

T-shirt project

The Future has a Silver Lining

The watermark might be a bit much at this point, but I’m nothing if not paranoid. So a friend emailed me this week and asked if I’d be interested in creating a couple of tester images to see if anyone would be interested in buying t-shirts and other merchandise using images based on old movies. Well, 80’s and some older ones anyway. So her first suggestion resulted in this, and I’m pretty happy with it. It’s based off a billboard seen in RoboCop. If it doesn’t go anywhere, at least I have some completed artwork.

The text was modified from an existing font – to the point that I basically remade every letter except “I”. The buildings are not an exact replica of the original, though I could have done them. Space was taken in a little on either side so the graphic would fit better on a t-shirt. The clouds were done with a simple cloud render tool in Photoshop.

16 March

Moogles n’ Boobies

I suddenly expect my spam folder to explode. But oh well.

Inspired by an IM chat with a friend earlier tonight: first of (maybe) a series of sketches, and equally maybe, finalized digital images of moogles n’ boobies. Instead of Cats n’ Racks.

This was a quick sketch, maybe 1 hr, and I’d like to do more with it, including finish her hair and maybe add a hand over the bottom half of Lulu’s sleeping moogle.

13 February


Nothing technical today. I’m working on a set of shoulder armor for my cosplay costume, and they are so strange looking that I decided to create them in Lightwave to get a better idea of how to manufacture them. The design is fairly simple, but proportionally, they look very strange – on the character, they’re pretty big. The model I made is lacking the design details, because I really only wanted to get the basic shape down so I would have a better idea on how to carve it out of cardboard.

I’m going to create a new instructable when they’re done.

I started with a stack of around 15-20 sheets of cardboard glued together in a massive block, let it thoroughly dry, and went at it with an angle grinder until I got the basic shape. The rough shaping took about an hour. After that I spent some time using a chisel and a utility knife cutting and digging out roughly the underside of the armor where it will rest on my shoulders. I spent around 3 hours off and on with cutting and grinding bits on the dremel tool smothing down the edges and cutting away smaller pieces. I have at least another hour ahead of me getting the two pieces symmetrical. Then another hour constructing the funny looking top half and preparing a styrofoam ball to be the gem, by covering it in clay to start.

After that they’re reasonably smooth, I’m going cover them in bondo, sand them, prime them, then paint with black ‘hammered metal’ spray paint, then paint the gold trim. Hopefully they’ll be ready for Roundcon next weekend.

The rest of the costume is basically done, except for 2 cloth costume times that are as simple as hemming one piece of fabric into a rectangle and adding velco or elastic. I spent last night washing and re-conditioning the leather gloves I”m going to use for the outfit. Still waiting for my plasma ball to come in the mail.

1 February

WIP- Earth

Earth render for project

So, I’m working on an Earth for a new work project, and I’m having some issues with the layers on the planet. I’ve spent too much time on it already, but it’s not ‘right’ yet.

There’s one layer for earth, one for the sky/atmosphere and one for the clouds. The cloud layer has a bump map on it to imitate some of the close up photos you get with the earth from orbit where you actually can see the clouds puffing up against the edge of the planet. I had to turn off specularity on the ‘sun’ because it made my earth too bright, and now the oceans are too dark and you can’t see any land under the cloud cover. I have an alternate earth with clouds as ‘puffy clouds’ procedural texture, which works to some decent degree, but then there’s simply too much of them, they cover almost the entire surface of the planet. I may go back to that version just because they still look fairly good.

31 January

Wig dyeing

(failed)Adventures in wig dying!

First of all – if you’re trying to dye a wig of any other color brown, DO NOT USE Liquitex brown inks. They’re all ‘transparent’ for whatever reason, and they wash right off. Jerry’s Art-o-rama did not have FW ink in brown in stock, so I don’t know if they have non-transparent ink or not. My Midna wig was done using liquitex, so I know it normally works fine, just with other colors. I’m resorting to the sharpie method, which seems to be working surprisingly well. The brown sharpie pens cover the bright blue very well, it just takes quite a long time. As a bonus, it creates some variation effects which make it look more like real hair, rather than the solid color plastic that it started out as. I’m probably going to have to buy another 2 sharpies to finish the wig, but at least I can get them for $1 a piece at said art store, and more importantly, I don’t have to plunk down money for multi-packs of them. I should be able to style this wig for Padme quite well, and leave it styled permanently.

Secondly: I’m going to attempt to make Lina’s paudrons out of cardboard and bondo. I’ve been researching a few ways to this, and if you can get bondo sanded down to a nice smooth surface, it looks like you can produce some really nice looks out of it. The trim will likely be done in painted craft foam, but I would prefer something non-porous and hard so I can use gold flake paint or shiny gold spray paint to get that super shine she seems to have on them. Craft foam just seems to absorb shiny paint and dull the sheen. I already have my sealant spray from Padme’s jewelry set, so I’m good there.

Also, I found the perfect blue/green beads for Lina’s detail pins. It only took me about an hour total to find them, not four, so some sanity saved, yay! I still have 2.5 weeks to finish up Lina, but I’m feeling really good about it. Sometime this week, before the weekend hits, I’ll assemble the cardboard sheets into a solid block to shave down and bondo on Friday. Saturday I’ll sand them.

31 January

Lina Inverse post part 2

(again x-posted. It’s not 3D work, but it’s something, right?)

I’m excited. I just realized I can use my red contact lenses with my glasses and easily take off my glasses for photoshoots – my glasses won’t smudge my make up, leave pink spots on my face where another color should be, and hopefully won’t get caught in my orange wig which will be loose rather than tight to my head and covered by cloak hood. Lina’s eyes are red, and being able to use my $80 red contacts for more than one costume makes me happy!

I’ve figured out what I have left to get:

Plasma ball for posing w/ spell in hand: www.amazon.com/ComputerGear-Desktop-Plasma-Ball/dp/B003551M0Y/ref=sr_1_6
– my super amazing husband is going to dismantle the base, help me make a secret pouch for the batteries and rig something to attach to my wrist so I can hold my hands around the ‘spell’ with less risk of dropping the damn thing. Also, when I asked him for an idea for Lina’s spell casting, it took him exactly 1.5 seconds to think of this route. Awesome husband is awesome.

White Leather gloves, preferrably from ebay – about $15, maybe even less. Leather gloves seem more realistic for Lina, rather than satin or something else slippery (see above), and the materials that would probably be available in her universe, with artistic license in some aspects.

Gold tone earrings, clip on – got on ebay for $3 total. They’re perfect.

Gold fabric for pant.. lets.. whatever she’s wearing under that top – already have. Found shiny gold fabric in my bin.

I’ve decided, with consulation with a friend, to try out the shaved block of layers of cardboard method for the pauldrons, but with craft foam trim. Basically, you stack glued carboard layers, carve off what you don’t want, slather it with bondo and shave to a smooth finish and paint. This way I really only have to buy bondo. I”m fairly certain I have black gloss spray paint, but if not, total cost is still only around $15. The tricky part will be making them symmetrical.

Acceptable Boots: have
perfect Wig: have
Cape material: have
Sculpey and craft foam: have
Sticky pins to attach beads to gloves and boots: have

Left to spend: about $45. pants material, gloves, plasma ball, beads for accessories, bondo.. uhmmmmmm.. random gems.

31 January

My cosplay is taking over my blog

(crossposted from my LiveJournal)


I found this book cover helpfully posted by someone else doing a Lina Inverse cosplay. She’s doing a velvet coat, which I had originally planned on doing, but I found a top in goodwill for $5 that will work perfectly, and is the right color. Well, almost perfectly. I had to seam rip it, remove the buttons and take it in a size, but it will still be better fitted than trying to make a jacket/top from a pattern. I’ve had issues with velvet in the past, and sometimes it just doesn’t look that great.

I’m going to use the white boots I bought for Princess Vivi, and not dye them. Lina’s boots seem to vary in color from white to pale violet to brown, so I”m going to save my sanity and just leave them white. Midna wig #2 is going to be re-purposed for Lina, so I’m set there.

Now, what might end up being really cool are her metal bits – Jason is doing an aluminum firing at the end of February, and it would beyond epic if I could make molds for Lina’s metal parts (and maybe even Midna’s belt pieces) and actually cast the pieces myself. The wrist and belt buckle bits look pretty cast-able, and starting out with metal may make it easier to swap out the gems later on (maybe).

Hmmm.. That’s AFTER roundcon… shoot. I may have to do sculpey after all.. Well, I can use the sculpey to make molds…. hmmmmm.

I bet I can pick up some shiny clip on gold disk earrings on ebay for cheap. And maybe some blue plastic or glass gems for the gloves and boots, which seem to be all matching, making my life a little easier.

The shoulders are going to be the most difficult part -proportionally, they’re huge. They stick out way beyond her natural shoulders, and stand straight out to boot. I’m going to need some kind of anchor, or something to stabilize them to stay put, maybe a rigid bar in the back or something.

27 January

WIP – Lottery Billboard

Lottery prize board

Lottery Billboard

Nearly complete. Requested a week or so ago as part of my work load – it was a nice break from my usual routine. I used VBscript in VIZrt to allow the board to be switched out for a MegaMillions option via a radio button, and the numbers may be selected to reflect the current potential drawing payout (before taxes). After punching in the numbers and picking PB or MM, the tempate plays directly out and may be recorded immediately. (one of the things I really like about VIZ) The colors are taken from local billboards and designs, with a slight twist to look more like our graphics.

I built the billboard scaffolding in Lightwave 9, after hunting down some photos and noticing that scaffolding everywhere is apparently covered in rust, which is why it’s red here. The walkway is a low-poly mesh built from a curving path and duplicated with Array. Nothing new with that. Simple pieces like the pole and billboard itself were built in VIZ, on top of the imported OBJ. I ran into a new VIZ limitation – it will choke after a certain poly-count. I had to export the scaffolding on one side, then the other in order to get both sides in VIZ. VIZ does not seem to have a function for object mirroring, which would have saved me a few steps.

The images on the billboard were built in photoshop, nothing special there.

The traffic in the background is actually a 30 second video loop taken from a DOT cam. The 14’s in a circle are a standard element and rotate slowly clockwise.

4 January

Happy new year

I need to figure out how to make ‘posts’ in my WIP area so I can better comment on them. I tend to wait to put up WIP’s but when that happens, I spent less time working.. on my WIPs.

So, here’s a new one:

Wire Mesh

Wire Mesh

Yes, it’s simple.

It’s going to be expanded in all directions a little bit and then I’m going to figure out how to turn it into cloth or deform it so I can shape it into an steep sided dome for a microphone mesh. It’s a request for work, so I won’t be putting it up on turbosquid. Still, figuring out the dynamics of this will be fun.

I did put some work into reducing the polys before duplicating the mesh to make things a little easier on my computer. I trashed my original mesh because of this, and started each with a simple rail extrude. Each bend has three segments, then a long straight segment, then three more, and so forth.

This will also make things easier on the far end when this has to be imported into another program we use at work that is less able to handle high poly (or anything else) counts. By the same token, VizRT does not do all that well with curved surfaces – you cannot UV map in Viz, that I’m aware of in any capacity, and you cannot import 3D objects that have textures applied – they are removed in the process. This makes for interesting and creative image positioning, mirroring and other shortcuts, but it’s always a workaround and doesn’t look as good as other software. It’s biggest drawback in this regard is an inability to have it apply images as anything other than straight on – it does not conform to curves – otherwise there might be yet another workaround with an alpha image of wire mesh. It can handle double sided surfaces, thankfully, but just not curved ones.

In addition, Viz can’t handle layered objects, and cannot apply more than one color or texture to any one object, but that’s a rant and long post for another day.

I’m hoping that I get some useful comments at some point, and less spam. I’ve been getting a lot more spam lately – is that a good thing or a bad thing?


Just today I’ve had to reply to three emails to my gmail account that were not intended for me – it’s really not that hard to check your email address before sending sometimes confidential information, people.

/end rant

15 December


I got a paypal transfer today from Turbosquid. I’d all but forgotten that I’d uploaded a few random objects last year. It kind of makes me want to get back on the production wagon -again- and put up some useful items. I’ve made little progress on my paladin, but I plan to get back to her. I don’t really want to post WIP’s yet. I almost want to get back to my Saturn Sky and finish it too. I will say that regurgitating my original site contents into WordPress has at least made me pay more attention to my work outside of work.

On that note, I need to publish my Unreal level to share so I can link to it here as well. It’s basically done, it just has a few issues I need to fix (what doesn’t?) floating trees being my main worry. I think of everything I want to get done at home, at work, and everything I want to get done at work, at home. ugh.

I have about 6 fleece hats to finish for christmas gifts and 9 jars of orange marmalade to re-can before present day – it’s quite possible I have too many crafts (or just spend too much time on World of Warcraft)… I’m pondering opening a shop on Etsy and selling my hats there, but that would require time to make hats on order, in addition to working full time, working on Flash part time, and updating my portfolio. I’m pretty happy with my fleece work, and I think I have some unique designs.

I’m making some new web ads and possibly a new web banner for my full time job’s main website, if they push to swap out my design from the rather outdated one.

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