23 July

I did another thing – Rebel Legion

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Blue_Ridge_banner_Darinus

A new Jedi Knight member of Blue Ridge Base/Rebel Legion asked for a sig banner, so I made him one.  The Darth Vader is a 501st member – he’s not from a movie screen shot.  “Darinus” is an OC, with a cape instead of a robe in grey tones and a purple lightsaber.  He’s only got the one costume so far, but when he gets more I’ll update his banner be animated.  Though, now that I’ve said that, I’m tempted to go back and animate a glow on the sabers and make them vibrate a little.

The right round logo says “Nexus Temple” – all Jedi are automatically members so we all get to use that logo in addition to the BRB logo.

3 June

More friend requests for ‘shopping

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Danielle on fire

For whatever reason ‘fire’ keeping getting requested.

I threw this together for my friend Danielle in about 30 minutes. I think she’ll be pleased. Still, I wish I could get people to give me original files instead of just the facebook upload photos.  The bottom-most layer isn’t really good enough for facial details, but I think it works overall.  I ended up just leaving the bushes behind her green just to leave a counter-color opposite all the reds.

Once again, going for kind of a ‘book cover’ sort of feel.

Danielle is Sorsha here, from Willow.

 

29 May

ConCarolinas!

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Animazement ended up being a total bust for me – my first year since I started going five years ago that I missed it.  Or was it four years ago? On the plus side, I’ll be getting a bit of overtime pay for the holiday weekend.

ConCarolinas is coming up next weekend, and I’m looking forward to a low-key con.  I just got a brand new round of makeup in the mail from ELF, which seems like a bit of product placement, but it’s really not.

I have a lot of make up to split between personal life and costuming, though I try to keep separate sets for each. Elf became a go-to for inexpensive colors I knew I was only going to use for a specific costume and as a way to avoid dropping 8 bucks on a lipstick I knew I would only use a couple of times.  With the exception of my Rebel Legion characters, I tend to only wear my costumes a couple of times before putting them up or retiring them. I’ve had the good fortune (or sense) to make more costumes that require no make up and are easier to throw on.

A Rebel Legion buddy of mine is working with me to make matching “Weeping Angel” costumes more or less following a helpful Instructable.  While no makeup will be involved, getting into and out of them will take up some time.  Navigating together while wearing them will be the more difficult part, at least at DragonCon.  This week I sculpted one of the ‘scary’ masks, and I’m anxiously waiting to see if the thing is going to crack while drying.

They won’t be done in time to enter the costume contest with them, and I don’t know if I’m entering this year, or what I’m bringing besides Mara Jade.  I *could* enter my True Form Midna, which hasn’t won anything yet, but I have no skit, and groups do better than solo entries at ConCarolinas.  And I kind of just want to not enter this year and let he con be stress free.  I’m not really supposed to enter my Rebel Legion costumes, so no Mara either.  Journey would be great if I could dance at all, but I’d probably fall over anyway.

I’ll play it by ear and see what happens.  Maybe next year I can do a Firefly skit with Becky and put that Kaylee outfit together that I’ve been wanting to do..

26 May

More fun with Lightsabers

Mara_Book

 

My second take on this ‘stalking pose’ from the Star Wars informal photoshoot day on May 17th. I had played with it once, tweaked it, and then ultimately slapped myself on a free existing downloadable background.

I jacked up the lightsaber glow effects, fixed a few lighting issues and probably added an extra filter or two. Overall, I’m happy with it. I really wish the original photo hadn’t come out blurry, but I think it works alright for the ‘book cover’ type effect that I’m going for here.

I love wearing my Mara.

Original photo by Brandon Hurley

 

 

20 May

Fun with glow

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Chris_shallnotpass

I readily admit this turned out better than I expected.  Chris Burnside is one of our resident “Generic Jedi” at our Blue Ridge Base with Rebel Legion.  We had an informal/non-event photoshoot a couple days ago to get some character shots, and he half-jokingly posed for this “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” shot.  Half an hour ago, I asked him if he could think of any particular shots he wanted glammed up.  He said no, so I took it as a personal challenge.

 

19 May

New Mara Jade photos

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Mara_BWWe had an informal Star Wars photoshoot this weekend with members of our local Rebel Legion group and one of the Carolina Garrison.  Technically, I was in my Garrison version of Mara, since I have the purple lightsaber here that I picked up from SaberForge last year, as a gift from my husband for an anniversary present.  This is the second lightsaber I’ve gotten as a present, and I got him one last year too for the Corran Horn Jedi Robes I’m making him. Eventually, I’ll make him a CorSec flight suit/uniform as well.

I made my original Mara cat/jump suit based off Twi’lek Pam’s information and instructions here: Mara Jade suit

I’m wearing a brand new suit made of 4-way stretch material.  I broke down and bought the good quality vinyl/spandex for from Spandex World, after ordering some samples.  I ordered from the ‘fake leather’ line, which is a 4-way stretch fabric that sewed surprisingly well.  The suit is also extremely comfortable – I fully expected to sweat it in, but I didn’t. I’m not saying it’s breathable, but I could wear this thing all day with no problems.  I haven’t added the piping yet – my serger worked fine on the fabric, but the regular machine that I was borrowing did not. I had finished up some details before crashing at her house before the shoot, and was unable to add the front or back piping using her machine.   My first suit was a lighter, ‘dancer’ type material, and looked good in photos, but it did not hold up.  The original material was so stretchy that I kept getting various lines of bunching when I stitched it together.  This new fabric is much hardier and easier to sew.

We collected out at the Fayetteville Botanical Gardens and had permission to take photos an hour before the regular crowds started showing up.  I got a few photos that I was more or less happy with, and so did everyone else, so I’m calling the event was a success.

I’ll be adding Mara Jumpsuits to my list of things I’ll do on commission, now that I’ve done a few and have figured out the little tricks to it.

 

15 May

New Etsy Item!

True Form Midna sewing instructions, patterns and printable guides.

The PDF has complete instructions for making the cloak.  Later versions will include the skirt and other items.  Midna is my first true costume love, and I still haven’t really retired her, even if I haven’t worn her in over a year.

Back_Pattern inversePurchasing the file also gets you the above pattern that can be printed out full size for someone who is between 5’5″ and 5’8″.  Any more or less, and I’ll do an adjustment and save out a new file, otherwise it can be difficult to position and keep in proportion.

 

11 May

Architectural project

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I’ve done some virtual sets for work, but I haven’t really attempted to make something from existing plans.  The virtual sets tend to be 3-walled rather than four, and single room, or implied single room only. Final renders with lighting and textures were needed, of course, but the structure of the room itself wasn’t all that important. I also feel a little rusty since no one at work has wanted or requested a new virtual set in a while.

Here are one of the preview plans that my husband and I rejected for our future house building adventures.  As you can see from the linked page, the plans are not complete.  It seems to not be showing the light house like tower as a separate plan, but that shouldn’t be a problem.  As an exercise, potentially for the plans we do settle on, I’m going to see if I can replicate the house in Lightwave. I’ll likely populate it with free table and other household objects, since plenty of those already exist online and there’s not much point in spending time on chairs and say, curtains.

If it all works out, there will be two final versions of the house project. One project will have furniture and lighting and be rendered. The other will be empty and suitable for 3D printing in blocks.

China recently made the news with 3D printing components of houses.  This kind of put a little bug in my brain about possibly doing 3D printed mini-houses in a compartment manner so they can either be assembled or snapped together in boxes.

7 May

Arwen Belt update 1

beltupdate

I’ve updated the object so none of the leaves are overlapping. Everything is now on one single layer, but I may have to break it up again for 3D printing, I don’t know yet, but I hope I only have to add some posts to the back that can be broken or cut off to support the leaves and arches while printing. The leaves and vines are now partially attached to each other in back, also for printing support and for physical support, since there are so many free floating tendrils.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to do a test print, but hopefully soon!

I’m also going to have to make the mesh denser, it’s currently in ‘smooth’ mode with fewer polys than it looks.

In other news, Tandy leather no longer carries any grey suede, except for the super expensive lambskin hides, so I’m either going to have to go internet hunting and hope I can find enough of the same color and quality to make the chase dress, or I’ll have to just suck it up and go with a thick micro or ultra suede. I’d prefer to have my own real leather outfit, but reasonable pricing tends to win over perfect material. Or it does when I’d have to get $500 worth or lambskin.

 

6 May

“Make sure the polys are correctly facing…”

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One of the costumes I have on my “to-do” list is the “Chase” dress worn by Arwen in the Lord of the Rings movies. A very helpful person has already gone through and done every bit of necessary research I could ever think of.

The belt buckle on the costume is huge and delicate, and I cannot currently cast metal objects.  It seems like a good candidate for a 3D printer item. I used a sketch someone else had made as a basis for modeling the belt buckle in Lightwave.

Starting with this:

ChaseBuckle_Niki

 

After about four hours, I’m here:

ArwenWIPThe bottom-most leaves are slightly asymmetrical, and I’m going to modify the top set of leaf/wings to also be a little asymmetrical as well. I want to capture the feel of something hand made once it’s printed, and not completely perfect. The only thing I want to look exactly symmetrical are the long upper and lower half-loops. The belt buckle will tie on the sides with ribbon.

At the moment, some of the leaves are overlapping on each other, and I’ll have to fix that before exporting as a printable object. I’m also going to tighten the raised ridges on the half loops to make them more distinct. I’m going to have to experiment with the leaf thickness to see if it’ll be strong enough once printed. I may also glue a wire to the back loops to reinforce them if they seem wobbly.

 

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