Oriana

June 9, 2012 Leave your thoughts

Character Colors: Gold  White

Skin color: Skin 3

Eyes: Teal

Hair: Blonde, Long, Slightly Wavy

Outfit: White lacy dress with fine gold chainmail.

Accessories: Mace, (Wings?)

Name Meaning: Gold, Dawn

I see Oriana as sort of like a cleric from your typical MMORPG.  Since her name means gold her colors will be gold and white, and I may do some opal effect where I can.  I want her to be soft and delicate but with a sense of strength.  Her skin will be a light tan and her hair will be a golden blonde and she will have light teal eyes (since that looks better with gold than blue or green).  She will have gold micromail (tiny chainmail) armor on top of a delicate white dress with a matching mace to go with the cleric theme.  I am also debating big white wings, but good humane feathers are hard to find and I do care about that sort of thing, and I don’t think plastic feathers would have the desired effect.

Zombie Pin Up

June 6, 2012 Leave your thoughts

I was messing around with faces since I am still stumped over the hip joint.  I think I am going to keep her :-P .  She started as a mix of a few of my previous faces.  I just wanted to create a face that worked well with that Marilyn Monroe type hair.  Then I needed a some sort of fantasy/sci fi/creature for her, since I want all of my dolls to have some sort of visually interesting character.  I think a zombie pin up girl suites her :D.  Of course the doll will have more zombie like features than my quick render.  I am looking forward to doing the details.

I still need a name for her.  I like my names to mean something without being too glaringly obvious.  It is hard to find a name associated with death that isn’t too weird or obvious.

I’d love to be able to release her for Halloween (I also want to make my spider lady for Halloween, but I highly doubt I will get that done since that is going to have a ton of parts – I will set my goal for her for next year).  I love doing silly things for holidays and such.  I want to release Oriana and Ngaire (I haven’t posted about her yet) first, so I am hoping to have that ready before September so I can release my zombie for October.

Upgrade

May 27, 2012 Leave your thoughts

I finally got around to coding my site :-D.  Finally it looks more like I envisioned it, but I still have tons of tweaking to do to get it right.  I also have some more coding to do so I apologize for any bugs and general ugliness as I sort some things out – I was just so sick of my previous layout I couldn’t wait anymore.  I want to get back to actually working on my dolls so it may take me a while to finish tweaking, but if anyone notices any non-visual bugs let me know :nerd:.

Small Update

May 9, 2012 2 Comments

I haven’t been able to do much since my last update, but now that the semester is over I should be able to actually get some things done!  I am going to order some materials to get working on some eyes, then I am going to fix the latch on the face and get to molding that.  Hopefully if I can sell some heads my motivation will get back up to get me through finishing the body.  I am also hoping to get my (hopefully final) site redesign up soon.  I think my new design is much better than this (though this is more of a placeholder anyway) now that I know what I am doing a little more.  I really hope to make a lot of progress this summer since it has been way too long without anything significant accomplished.  I don’t have much else to say for now.  Hopefully I will have a real update some time next week.

Oriana Head Print

March 23, 2012 2 Comments

I got my print back a couple of days ago (the face and head are different materials).  It is nice to see her in real life with real lighting and perspective.  The material makes hard to visually take in, since it is a bit translucent and the print lines capture light differently than a smooth surface and create a blurred effect.  It makes it hard to photograph too.  At least being white gives a better preview of what she will look like when finished.  I can’t wait to get her smooth and cast – everything looks nicer in resin.  I am really looking forward to giving her a face-up too, but I don’t know if my skills can create my vision well enough.

I was hoping to cast asap, but I made the latch inside the top of the face too thin, so it broke right as I tried it (which I knew I shouldn’t have done, but I just had to try it).  You can see the broken piece above the logo.  The print material is weaker than resin, and I am guessing the way it was printed doesn’t help, because it broke in the same direction as the layers, but I want to make it thicker anyway as to not risk it breaking in the future.  The last things I want is for people to buy it and then have it break on them.  I don’t really want to print out a whole new face for it, but I don’t want to simple sculpt it on since then it wouldn’t be consistent for future faces.  My plan now is the model the latch and new latch holder (which I made separate from than head any way for molding purposes), then get it printed out and carefully glue the latch to the face.  That way, future faces should be ready to go.  This is going to take time though because of shipping, so I probably won’t be able to mold her for a few weeks.  I also want to get a few things done to print before, so I can get it all shipped at once.

I do love how the logo and name turned out, even though you can’t really see the face on the logo.  I could probably get the better material and the face detail would print, but it isn’t really worth it – all the other detail would be smoothed out from sanding anyway so it wouldn’t really help the doll’s actual face.  The big hole was to make it hollow for cheaper printing – it will be filled before molding.  And, where it looks like two different textures is where there was support material for the print.  She was printed face down so the shiny parts are where there was no support.

Here she is in my hand, for size.  Her face is actually the same size as other 65cm dolls, but her head is much smaller and closer to actual human proportions.  This will be a bit of a problem for wigs, since they are made for big round heads, but I really wanted to make realistic head proportions.  I am planning on making silicone (or some other soft material) head caps so hair can be implanted in to look realistic.  I pulled the hairline back a little so that a layer of lace wig could be added to hid the line between the parts, and to allow a custom hairline (and so that it wouldn’t be seen when she is wearing a normal wig).  This would all be a lot of work, but I am hoping the effect is worth it.  I tried not to make the hairline too far back so that it would still look okay without the lace part.  I am hoping to address the wig fitting problem with a thick silicone head cap to bring her head closer to more typical doll size.

Her eyes are also much smaller than most dolls.  They are still larger than human size, but compared to most dolls they are very tiny.  This is another risk, because she might not fit in well with people’s doll families, and it will be hard finding eyes that fit, but it is another thing that I just couldn’t compromise on.  I do like some large eye dolls, but I find more realist sculpts have more potential for that “wow” factor.  I am planning on making urethane eyes for my dolls, but people will obviously want more options (and I don’t know how many I’ll be able to produce).  My eyes are 12mm with 5mm iris which is very different than most available eyes.  I tried out some 11mm eyeco and they fit really well, but I also tried some 10mm acrylics and they weren’t horrible but the eye itself was a bit small and the iris was too big.  She might be able to fit in some 12mm with that large iris look.  I have some 13mm eyeco that, while a little too big to fit nicely, the large iris didn’t look too bad.

Another difference from most dolls is that her neck is much bigger than most – it is much closer to human proportions.  I think it looks nicer and it allows the head to move more naturally, but it may be another problem.  Her head should be able to fit okay on other doll bodies, but I will probably make different neck pieces for a couple popular bodies so it fits and looks better than just plopping the head on top.  Having other heads on my body is going to be a bigger problem.  I doubt they will just fit on with no modification, so I may make a separate chest piece with a thinner, longer neck that is more typical.  This isn’t ideal but at least it will give people options, since I really want my dolls to be customizable to the fullest.

Update

March 4, 2012 Leave your thoughts

I haven’t been able to spend much time on my doll recently, but I finally moved into a place with a basement, so I should be able to get some real work done when I have the time.  I am very excited – for the past two years I have been in an apartment with very little room to work, and I was always too nervous to do any casting or really anything since I did not have a space that I could lock my cats out of (my one cat is the pickiest eater but seems to have a thing for clay, and the other likes eating crumbs of anything off the floor – I just couldn’t risk them getting into something that could hurt them).  Having a basement is incredibly useful for me; I no longer have to be scared of getting any chemicals on the carpet or my cats getting into something dangerous.  I also have room upstairs to paint so I am looking forward to getting my space together and finally getting things done again.

I just ordered a head and a template to make eyes printed, so hopefully I will have some updates in the next couple of weeks.  My doll body isn’t close to being done, but I might start selling a couple of heads before hand if they fit any pre-existing bodies.  I only ordered Oriana for now, but if that goes well I will order a couple more and just release the sets later.  I have also been looking into making eyes for a long time and I am finally going to test some of my ideas so hopefully that goes well.  I am really looking forward to making eyes, I just hope my ideas work!

I do still want to get my first doll produced, but when I get close to making my mind up to go ahead with it, my pessimism sets in.  I have had horrible luck with her so far and I am just so worried I will not be able to make a minimum order, since loosing any more money will make it even harder to get my newer doll printed once I am done with her.  Since I have the space now, I can finally make repairs to my prototype that was damaged in shipping, so I am going to do that as soon as possible and make up my mind on getting her produced.

Jointing Progress and Oriana

January 28, 2012 2 Comments

Here is my jointing progress so far.  I have the head and chest/shoulders done.   The neck is the easiest part since it is just a sphere.  A lot of the difficulty with these easier joints isn’t so much figuring out what to do as figuring out how to properly execute it.  I needed to somehow make the sphere that I used for the neck blend with the neck itself.  I won’t go into detail because it is hard to explain, but it required a bit of trial and error with different scripts.  The shoulder joint was very difficult to figure out how to execute.  I don’t even really remember what I ended up doing, but it involved a lot of expanding and shrinking and relaxing and spherify-ing until it worked.  Maybe I will make a video of me working at some point – I’m sure there is someone out there who would find it useful.  My hard-drive is almost full though so I need to wait until I get another one.

The neck will have a plastic elastic holder instead of s-hooks, since I really hate s-hooks.  I remember when I got my first doll, the first things I did was try to remove her feet to get her pants on and to replace them with the high-heel feet, and the s-hook shot through the leg and I was so scared something broke.  The neck also got a dent from the force of the s-hook when the head was off.  It wasn’t visible with the head on and really tiny, but annoying none the less.  This way, the force will be very evenly distributed.  It will also be easy to take the face and head off without worrying about things snapping back into the body.  And, the elastic will be moved at central pivot point when the head moves around, so movement should me more fluid and stable than the more typical joint with a large hole in the head.  That little hole in the bottom is for molding purposes so I can align magnets.

It is hard to see, but there are a bunch of circular indents all in the head-cap for magnets.  I don’t have any specific plans for horns or special fantasy ears at the moment, but I like to keep my options open.  Having the spaces for magnets will allow consistency for accessories, and it will make taping in magnets easy.

The head will come off by simply picking up the thing the elastic is around a bit and rotating the whole middle part.  Taking apart the doll’s torso will be easy too.  The elastic holder just moves sideways,  rotates, and lifts up to release the elastic.  Super simple, but at the same time, it isn’t going to happen by accident.

I am putting the name of the sculpt and my logo on the inside of the face-plate.  Indenting it would have been smarter since then I wouldn’t have to worry about it getting in the way (hence the curve on the thing the lock goes into on the headcap, if you can see it), but I like the look of it this way.  I may put a domed decal in the head-cap, but that would mean loosing a magnet space or two, and I don’t want to put it on the outside.  It is more to help prevent/identify recasts than anything, but I can hope not to have to deal with that.  Sculpts that have an open mouth will have space for a tooth-piece, since trying to paint teeth that are part of the face is a giant pain.  I’d love to make expression face plates, but it is very hard to get looking right.

I will show pictures and explain the chest and shoulder in another post.  And, I apologize for the weird graininess of the renders.  I figured out how to fix this problem, but I can’t get the lighting to look as realistic when I do it right, so I am sticking with this set-up for now.

Next up is the hips!  They are the hardest thing to joint, but I’d rather save the smaller joints for last.  I have tried so many things but I just can’t get it perfect.  Hopefully I will think or something that fulfills all of my requirements, but I may have to start compromising.    I even got a chunk of the hip printed so I can test things in real life.

Old Work and Other Ramblings

January 24, 2012 Leave your thoughts

I’ve been looking through some of my old screenshots/pictures, and wow, some of it is bad  :-P .  It has been a few years since I started, but it feels like much more.  I spent so much time on my clay model; every day I would wake up early before work and sculpt, then after my classes I would go home and sculpt all night.  I guess I got pretty close to finishing, but no matter how much I did it always felt like there was a ton more to do.  Once I decided to go with the 3D modeling I finished pretty quickly.  I probably rushed it a bit but I couldn’t help it; I was too excited.  The body actually isn’t too bad for my first attempt, but my first couple heads are just horrible.  I wish someone would have told me how bad they were at the time, but I probably wouldn’t have seen it anyway.  I have no idea how I thought those were good though.  I hope am not as delusional this time around.  more

Marketing Ideas

January 22, 2012 Leave your thoughts

I’ve been trying to think of ways to sell/market my dolls once I get that far.  I should probably focus on getting them done first, but I like thinking about this stuff. I’ve been planning a choice doll system for a while, but I am not sure what to do with limited dolls and stuff. I think the purpose of resin BJD’s is the customizable aspect, and limited dolls kind of take away from that, especially when what is special about the doll is just the faceup and the outfit. I definitely want to do special fancy sets, and they probably should be limited from a marketing and just a practicality standpoint, but I still want people to have options, because that really is what this hobby is about. more

Some Plans

January 22, 2012 Leave your thoughts

It has been so long since I have started this journey.  I really hope to have something to show for all my work soon.  The plan is to get a company to cast my first doll, which I will call PulkiDoll V1, as soon as I can.  I’ve been putting it off because it isn’t cheap and pretty risky for me.  I guess I am a little put off after my previous plans fell apart – I am worried that I will again be disappointed.  I am very scared that I will not sell enough to meet a minimum order, or that a lot of work will need to be done that will cost me.  I think she is pretty cast-able as is, but there are some parts that are pretty thin and awkward to mold that may need to be modified.  I really don’t care much about money or profit, but I’ve already sunk a lot into this and I need to make back some money if I want to eventually get my newer doll printed.  I am not too good at all this businessy stuff :P I hate dealing with money.

I plan on only doing one order of my V1 doll, unless there is a lot more interest than I expect.  She should be very limited – I am hoping to sell 50.  If I manage to sell those 50 dolls quickly, I will do more, but I don’t know how much interest there will be.  The doll companies really stepped up their game since I started and she isn’t really that special anymore, and she has her flaws (though probably not as much as I think – I tend to be way over critical of my own work).  I feel like a few years ago I would have had more luck, when it was harder to find artist dolls and before the amount of companies really expanded.  I am worried I missed my chance, but hopefully I can still squeeze in there and make something of all this.

After I am done everything with my V1 doll, I hope to move on to my current project, which I’ll just call my 65cm girl (or V2).  This doll will hopefully be more innovative (though I use that word loosely, since most of my ideas have already been done to some extent by other companies at this point) and more sturdy and structured now that I’ve learned from my mistakes and I actually know what I am doing.  I’ve learned how to to better deal with the more mechanical aspects like tension and all that so this doll should hold a pose better.  I’ve also figured out a lot of modeling techniques so I can better execute my ideas.  I am really looking forward to finishing her and getting get printed, but it might be a while.