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The costuming is proving to be a real worry: This nifty pic was intended to be an aid for designing the costuming but I didn't find it to be useful. I think you'd need a graphics tablet to do your experimenting on the computer because the mouse doesn't cut it (as they say, it's like drawing with a bar of soap). For that matter, the pic didn't even work as a printout for sketching over: The printed lines are helpful, but you can't erase a laser printed line like you can erase a penciled line. A blank sheet of paper and a pencil seems to work better for me; but then, you need ideas or it remains just a blank sheet of paper.


Up to this point in the project, I've made very few tough decisions, and it took me a whole page to say that uhhhhh... I'm starting a project, it'll be female, and it'll be Black.... duh. I'm actually further along than that, since there's a delay between Reality and Website. It's like two projects going on at the same time, and the writing part can take almost as long as the project work time. (Hey, it's not easy to write all those paragraphs and say so little!) I haven't figured out a way to do both at the same time, and I kinda envy those websites where folks just buy stuff and review it.

To get you up to speed: The first thing I did was crack open the Perfect Body figure and grind the innards so I could run elastic through it. The neck was cut off and reconstructed as a separate piece, the legs and arms were modified for elastic tensioning. There was a lot of back & forth cutting, sanding and puttying in all the areas, just to get a basic working figure that I could string together to test with a standing pose. After that, there was another pass of tuning to fix things that were clearly wrong-- it's easy to make stuff that looks awful when put together when you work on everything in separate pieces.

Once the basic proportions and mechanicals were in crude but passable shape, I trimmed arm and leg lengths: I seem to have a natural predisposition for shorter, which may look unnatural to other folks' eyes. The length of ganged hinge limbs are especially tricky to gauge since the boundaries of the two limb segments isn't well defined. I eyeball most stuff, but probably should measure.

Then, back for restringing and more fine tuning. Once it was a little closer, I started working on the head. The head was backfilled with putty, the features were grinded off and the eye holes were cut out, with a spherical bevel grinded on the inside. The seam where the eyeball meets the eyelid needs to be pretty thin or it'll look funky.

That's approximately where I was when the first installment was posted, after about a week's worth of free time work.

The next step was to attempt a facial sculpt. I had to plan that session around my work week because it's the sort of thing that could require a long continous stretch of time. Even though it takes a miniscule amount of putty, it takes a long time to nudge it in the right places, trying to make sure that it's symmetrical and that it blends-- all while racing against the curing time of the putty. Even then, I never know until I've given my critical eye a break. When I come back, I usually notice bad stuff that seems like it should have been obvious. So, this is take 1, after adding blue eyeballs, a rudimentary paint job, and a quickie hairdo:

I'm a little underwhelmed, and it seems like I've sculpted this face before! The overall look of the face seems vaguely sweet and innocent-- The mouth has a slight smile at the corners which looks weird. As I was working on it, I was aware that the jaw was jutting, but it didn't bother me at the time-- I figured it made her look more determined. Now it bothers me, so it's something to fix.

At this point, the whole figure is tentative and doesn't even have breasts (in the top pic, she's wearing the PB chestplate); it's all waiting for a role and a costuming direction, which is where inspiration and motivation are so important. Wish I could buy that stuff online...

--10/29/07


"But gee... now she looks kinda snarly!"

"Exactly."

This is what the face sculpt looks like, after a lot of tweaking. The mouth and chin was grinded off and totally resculpted. The nose was given a little bit more flesh at the tip and the base between the eyes was broadened. There were a lot of asymmetries in the cheeks, jaw... everwhere! It's strange how these slip by initially, but how they seem so glaring, later (Initially, I suppose I'm happy if it looks almost human). That same phenomenon goes on while I'm fixing stuff-- it's difficult to judge the precise amount of putty needed to fix something, so new problems can be introduced that I notice later... so the process goes back and forth, back and forth.

Back to modifying the body: It was finally time to give her some boobs since the PB chestplate wasn't giving me a true picture of how the body looked. After doing some more costuming research, I decided to give her a pushed-up, loosely pushed-together look. Volumetrically, it's slightly smaller than the PB chestplate. I was sooooo tempted to bump it up just a half dozen cup sizes to emulate some of the wondrous sights I'd encountered during my scholarly research at "Black & Stacked".

I thought she looked stubby so I made her abdomen slightly longer. That seemed to throw the arm length & belly button position off, so I shortened it. I wasn't happy with the slope of the torso waist contour, so I tried to widen the abodomen above the hips. Then I tried to fine tune the leg articulation. Then I noticed that the torso's center line had curiously shifted through all this dickering, so I had to re-grind and shift her belly button and ass-crack... @#%#!!!! It's a damned good thing that I never entertained any thoughts about becoming a plastic surgeon.

--11/03/07

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