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.