Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Colored Thanksgiving turkey!

Consider this a very very quick sketch in ZBrush. I'm trying to get back into zbrush with lots of little projects. Holidays are always good for exploiting this. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Did a quick thanksgiving turkey in Zbrush to get myself back on track.

Monday, October 14, 2013

R/C DKM Bizmarck modification

I've spent the last few weeks modifying a remote control battleship to more accurately portray the DKM Bizmarck. Luckily, the molding and detail on this toy far exceeded my expectations, and actually very little other than paint had to be changed.

Click on the pictures to get larger versions.

I purchased a model kit of the U.S.S Arizona to help with the modifications. The model was a little bit smaller than this 1:360 scale R/C toy, but some of the parts proved useful. In the above image, you can see that I used the depth marker decals on the bow of the ship.

I entirely got rid of the HT-3827A in favor of the historically accurate (if not brief) dazzle camouflage. HT-3827A was the particular name for this toy.

A good side shot.

When the Bizmarck left port, the Nazis painted two large Nazi flags on the top of the ship. One on the bow and one on the stern. This was done mostly for PR for the christening event. Soon afterwards the sailors were set to painting over the flags with white to hide them, as two large red flags would be too easy to spot by enemy planes. I've chosen to keep my ship the way she actually went into battle. (it's also easier not having to explain to my 6 year old nephew what swastikas are and to never draw them).

I was fully prepared to rip the silver plastic boats off this toy and throw them away, but was shocked to learn that these speedboat looking things are actually quite accurate! Who would have thought? So I instead took them off, painted them and glued them back on.

It's hard to see, but I ripped off the missile launchers from the center of the ship and replaced them with two airplane launchers from the Arizona kit. I also added two cranes for the boats.

 The antenna tower in the rear was a particular pleasure to rip off and throw away. I hated it's solid plastic form. I scratchbuilt this much more accurate tower from parts of the Arizona kit. I then used black thread to put up a small representation of the rigging from the Bizmarck. The actual Bizmarck had dozens upon dozens of wires, mostly centralized around the middle of the ship.

I changed the deck color from dark grey to brown wood. For the upper superstructure, I spray painted the entire thing brown and then carefully painted all the walls grey metal.

The top of the ship comes off so that you can access the battery pack. I've taken the liberty of creating a camera mount for my waterproof GoPro Hero 3 camera. I'm sure this will make the ship impossibly top heavy and unable to turn (at least sharply) but it's a waterproof camera... so we'll have to wait and see.

I'm excited about the camera. The GoPro series seems to be the camera of choice for shows like top gear, and mythbusters when helmet mounted are needed. I can also control the camera with my iphone via wifi that the camera itself creates!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

3D Logo, Printed!!!

I did it! I 3D printed a nice clean piece! It's about 5 inches wide and a half inch tall. But it was not an easy process....

This picture shows the 2nd attempt in printing. The first time some left over plastic on the print head got in the way and tore apart an area early on. This second attempt had flaws in the belly area of Hemmingway. I'm still not sure what really happened. I just came out after an hour to check on it and it looked like this. After this attempt I reopened the file in Zbrush, flattened the back (the key to all the problems I think), Decimated the polygons down by half and tried again. She printed like a dream after that! 3D printing has been frustrating to say the least. I only predict more heartbreak in the future. But at least with this one victory, I can keep going!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

ZBrush logo! Next stop, 3D printing!

Spaceship 3: blueprints

I've been working nightshift the last few weeks. I come home with NO energy to do anything other than stare into the middle distance. That's why this post comes almost a full month after the last one.

This is more or less the final design. I may tweak a few details as I go, but it will pretty much look like this. I'm going to print these out at 1:1 scale and use them to cut all the wood (or styrene if I can find any) to start off with.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Spaceship 3: Rough sketches

I've drawn out the initial rough sketches of Spaceship 3. It's going to be a Space island cruise ship. I'm going to light it with several short fiber optic strands that I have. I'll also incorporate LEDs wherever needed. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Comicon Inspired project #1: Spaceship 3

So, we went to comicon and as with any convention I was all like "I'm totally going to change my life after this! Everything is art from now on!" Mostly, this is all bullshit. I get back home and I have to do dishes or something and all the inspiration disappears. HOWEVER, I did promise myself I would do three things after comicon. The first project was inspired by the above three photos. Every year at Comicon and Megacon, there's a booth that has a ton of beautiful models from various anime's I've never seen. These models are inspiring and amazing and I always say to myself "Someday I'll do that!" Well, this time I'm actually going to do that. I've made two model ships in my day, one of which still adorns my portfolio site:
I called it 'spaceship1'. It lit up and was fun at the time. My second ship (called spaceship2) lit up and had rotating engines and a gun that came out of the front. It never got on my portfolio site as it was hideous. The third one was supposed to be a future police ship with lowering landing gears and lights. That one never got finished.... then over seven years passed.... nothing happened. Until I took the above photos at Comicon and promised myself I'd make spaceship 3. It probably wont be a police ship (only decided by the fact that I had a little chip that made a red and blue LED flash), but I want it to be as close to a masterpiece as I can get. I've been playing around with sketches and I have a nice fighter design. But I kind of want to do something bigger and more grandiose. 

If I can't come up with anything I like that's larger, I'm going to totally do this instead. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

ZBrush chapter 4. Dragon so far....

So here's my dragon at chapter 4. I've been very pleased so far with the book! I'm more comfortable with z-spheres and some of the sculpting tools. I can't wait to start texturing and adding dorsal spikes (and possibly wings.). It seems like the book starts to teach a whole bunch of chapters worth of other techniques that have nothing to do with the dragon from here on out, so I'm not sure how long it will take before I post another dragon update.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

ZBrush: The end of chapter 3

Okay, so here's where I am with my dragon at the end of chapter 3. I like it much better than the last dragon I tried on Sculptris. The ability to separately sculpt a tooth, and then copy it into the mesh is nice, but the transpose tool is a nightmare....

Monday, July 1, 2013

Z-Brush Chapter 3...

So apparently z-brush has a movie feature! Yay! I no longer need to animate frame by frame manually anymore to get turnarounds! Here's a little look at the dragon head the book has me doing in chapter 3. I'm just about to get to the 'insert brushes' section to create eyes! This is basically where my self taught knowledge left me. From here on out, it will be completely new stuff!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Starting Fresh...

  My plan is to do one Z-brush project and then one real sculpt, then one Z-brush project, then one real sculpt ... etc. Well, I just finished Pascal so I'm supposed to find the next thing to digitally sculpt. The problem, however is that my current 'learn ZBrush' method is horrible. I've been using the learn-by-doing approach, which is fine if the program is simple enough. I've managed so far by finding Youtube videos to answer my questions, but the farther I get along with this, the more specific my questions become and the less likely Youtube will be able to help me. I've finally decided to be responsible and just shell out the $50 for a real Z-brush tutorial book. I picked up 'Introducing ZBrush' by Eric Keller. It was the only ZBrush book that Barnes and Noble had, which is good. I don't need a lot of choices between books. I just need one that really takes me through this program the proper way. I'm only on page 47, but I'm very happy with it so far. It's already answered some of my questions. The downside is it will be a while before I really can show any good progress project-wise. I'll reassure myself with the knowledge that the next project I do will be infinitely superior BECAUSE of my studying.

.... and on a side note... this photo of my workspace sort of shocked me into realizing I NEED to clean up my workspace.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Well, here we are. 17.5 hours from start to finish (not including the work on the base or drying times.) I'm very happy with him. He's a little larger than the original, but not by much. I'm actually very happy with how the base accents the grey, adding a little bit of color. All the maquettes I've done in the past have been painted the same 50% grey color as the sculpt. So I might make stained wood bases the norm from here on out.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pascal: Hour 16.5

I made sure to use the right sandable primer. I prefer Rust-oleum, however they offer two different primers. One is clean metal primer and the other is automobile primer. Clean Metal tends to never truly dry. It stays tacky for days and days. The auto primer, however dries in an hour and is sandable in 4 hours. I had long since forgotten which was which, so I baked a little rectangle of clay to test on. Once I was sure, I went ahead and finally gave Pascal his initial primer coat. This photo is the final sanding after that coat. 

Pascal: Hour 15.

At hour 15, Pascal is baked, sanded, apoxied and sanded again. While baking, the tail spiral sagged a bit to the right, so I had to break it completely off and re-attach it. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pascal: Hour 12.5

 I worked on him for an hour and a half until I was forced to stop. I need to make a quick mold for his skin texture and I have to wait until I'm at work to do that. I'll make sure I take photos of the process when I'm there.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pascal: 10 & 11. Oh yeah!

  Oh yeah!!! This is when it all comes together! The detail is really making it look nice!!!