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Happy Halloween from a sweet transvestite!!

Happy Halloween from a sweet transvestite!! published on 3 Comments on Happy Halloween from a sweet transvestite!!

Here’s Will again as he dresses for the Harvard Square midnight showings of Rocky Horror, which, he would like you to know, he attends very rarely, and he only played Riff that one time because he had promised the girl who usually played him that he would do it, and besides, he never would have done it if he wasn’t drunk, and the only thing he is going to say about the Short Skirts showing is that “madness takes its toll [50 cents please!].”

Transvestitism all the way here! Just about everything Will has on was originally developed for a female  model. First I used a free texture for Victoria 3 called Valarie for the base. Using Photoshop, I reduced the resolution of head and body textures, hid the scary scary nipples, whited out the genitalia, darkened the eyebrows and added more eyeliner from the Victoria 3 default makeup. Oh yeah, and I added some pink to his lips.  Textures can be used for male and female models without problems, so I didn’t need my new best friend CrossDresser for that. XD did, however, translate the boots [V3 morph-to-fit clothes], short shorts [from a free V3 waitress outfit] and the underbust corset [from a free clothing pack for the female Maya Doll figure]. I think even his hair [Wedge Cut 2.0] is, at the very least, unisex. The mesh is the only masculine thing here. :p

Anyway, I tinkered with him for hours tonight. I took melopoeia’s suggestion that he looked too rough and ruddy with the default M3 textures, which makes sense because, as much as he’s supposed to be a human [or formerly human] character, his appearance in my head is strongly influenced by the fact that he was/is a doll with stylized features. So I made him look pale and inhuman. melopoeia also thought he looked too mesomorphic, so I put him through the wringer and elongated some of his body parts so that he more closely resembles 1:3 Will, my Sabik. As for the face, his original makeup didn’t look shocking and cheerful enough, so I messed with it more.

Funnily enough, this is not really that much of a costume for him. The makeup’s normal, as are the shoes and the short shorts. I do suspect that he’d usually be wearing something over the corset, however.

No comments unless you’re reciprocating with Halloween wishes, please.

Free boingy ponytails and an underbust corset, Dial Cleaner

Free boingy ponytails and an underbust corset, Dial Cleaner published on No Comments on Free boingy ponytails and an underbust corset, Dial Cleaner Free hair and clothes, including an underbust corset Dial Cleaner Stakes and crosses Squirt guns [change color] Ancient book not free, but a corset for M3? underbust corset short short skirt, spike platform heels, underbust corset thingy underbust and lots of fishnet pieces overbust

Find Glorious Goth for The Girl??? the best corset thingy for M3 I’ve ever seen, plus arm sleeves

Making props in just Daz // Another modeling program

Making props in just Daz // Another modeling program published on No Comments on Making props in just Daz // Another modeling program  Dumbbell tutorial Merging primitives How to play with planes Wings3D an active W3D forum

The drag queen as Christ figure, or, Everything I Needed to Know About Rocky Horror…

The drag queen as Christ figure, or, Everything I Needed to Know About Rocky Horror… published on 2 Comments on The drag queen as Christ figure, or, Everything I Needed to Know About Rocky Horror…

…I Learned from A Film Freak Commentary…

In any event, this is not supposed to be a speech about a dragon. This is, indeed, a song about a dragon…

No, seriously…In Film Freak Central, Alex Jackson provides some personal and perceptive commentary on Rocky Horror [and Shock Treatment, but I’m ignoring that part].

Because Jackson never got converted to the Halloweeny mania of midnight showings, he has an outsider’s slightly more balanced view to the whole proceeedings. Interestingly enough, he thinks that the fan celebration of RHPS as an excuse for silliness “neuters” the fact that it’s an interesting, very good, really touching movie. [Yeah, it grabs him where he likes to be grabbed.]

Now I’m not sure that RHPS is very good or even really touching, but I agree with some of Jackson’s observations on what makes it more interesting and textured than a throwaway diversion. He notes a persistent threat of angst, sadness and loss that looms [heavy, black and pendulous] across the movie. Jackson is at his most insightful when he’s talking about one of my favorite themes, the pathos of the villain:

… The film introduces him as the monster, but by the end we cease identifying with Brad and Janet and embrace Frank as one of us. Often Frank will look directly into the camera and grin or break the fourth wall with a line of dialogue, facilitating the identification process and establishing that he owns this movie and that everything that happens in the film happens on his terms. It doesn’t, of course–he has to brainwash his friends to get them to stay and he is subsquently surprised, slain, and defeated. The pathos of the film is in the total humbling of this god-in-his-own-mind. Frank has what I think is the most powerful moment in the film: Riff-Raff and Magenta tell him that they are returning to Transylvania and he sings “I’m Going Home” with tears forming in his eyes. As he slowly approaches them, expecting to leave this mortal coil, he imagines an audience applauding him. …

So his point is that the movie divorces us from B&J [Blow&Job] and links us with Frank through techniques of breaking the fourth wall. We thus grow invested in this supposedly villainous character, identifying with him such that we feel that we are like him, control-freaky and manipulative though he may be. When Frank sings I’m Going Home, it’s not just the ironic delusional of a nutcase; it’s a character singing about his sadness, his isolation and his rather pathetic need to imagine a theater full of accepting, adoring fans because he can’t get any in real life except under duress. Because we sympathize already with Frank, his expression of loneliness becomes a conduit for a general human desire for love and companionship. And, if you want to get really really deep about it, the fact that Frank is just about to die is really just an intensification of the fact that all of us in the audience are going to die too, probably without ever transcending our painful daily lives and seeing the “blue skies” of happiness and safety promised by the mythic state of “home.”

So, by twanging on the heartstrings labeled NEED FOR LOVE and FEAR OF DEATH, Frank in this song reveals himself as the most recognizably human and accessible character. Because he voices thoughts and feelings that we usually keep squished and because he does it so vulnerably [nakedly…vulnerably… same thing], it is very easy to respond to him. This is why, every time I listen to I’m Going Home, I seriously feel heartbroken. It’s a nondescript little ditty [as so many O’Brien tunes are] out of context, but, in context, it’s an encapsulation of our primal desires and our eternal state of yearning.

I do think that the comparison between Frank and a Christ figure is pushing it too far, though. Christ figures are like Nazis; whenever they enter the discussion, the tenor just devolves into something flat, stupid, repetitive and uninteresting. Christ figures are not useful devices. They obfuscate the humanity of the character that is supposedly such a figure. They are saintly and godly and powerful and pure and passive and dead and glowing and awesome and really, really, really boring. I wish they would all go away, but that is a separate entry.

Make your own tombstones…

Make your own tombstones… published on 2 Comments on Make your own tombstones…

Instead of buying some tombstone models that don’t look like the ones in the Old Burying Ground, I could use Blender to make them my very own self!!! 

Dear blender
Oh won’t you help a first offender
Oh, toaster
Don’t you put the burn on me
Refrigerator, why are we always sooner or later
Bitchin’ in the kitchen or crying in the bedroom all night

No thanks to you, Shock Treatment.

Dirty rotten cheatin’ doll companies

Dirty rotten cheatin’ doll companies published on 1 Comment on Dirty rotten cheatin’ doll companies

 As I’ve mentioned before, I’m keeping a running list [part I here, part II here] of BJD companies that I do not deal with because of dishonest, dubious and/or illegal business practices. Now I’ve got a new one for the list: Dollkot. In advertising a custom sculpting service, Dollkot committed a pile of egregious offenses. Instead of showcasing their own sculptors’ talents and results, they used photos from DIM’s MiniMee project to illustrate their concept. 

Okay, that’s dishonest, but it gets worse. Said photos from the MiniMee project were actually directly scanned from a magazine article in Haute Doll where MiniMee owners contributed their personal photos and comments about their MiniMee dolls. So, not only did Dollkot misrepresent its services, but it did so by doubly stealing: once from Haute Doll, which gave no permission for the article to be reused, and also from the MiniMee owners, whose photos and comments were reproduced on Dollkot’s Web site without permission. 

To add insult to injury, their inanely cheerful response to Armeleia, one of the MiniMee owners whose photos and quotes were illegally used, implies that they thought they could get away with it. They removed the pictures, but why were they even up in the first place?

Next on my themed playlists…FANGS!!!

Next on my themed playlists…FANGS!!! published on No Comments on Next on my themed playlists…FANGS!!!

I’ve done multiple playlists about queer characters and one about dolls and one about the ’80s. Now it’s time for…one or two or three about VAMPIRES! The A.V. Club has a good starting point. Although the article focuses on obscure novelty tunes, the comments have a trove of alternatives. I have to say…I’m surprised that nothing by Type O Negative is on the list. Or Vampires by the Pet Shop Boys from their appropriately titled Nightlife album, which makes explicit the connection between love, death, sex, desire, hunger and blood in these lines:

Do what you want
and then can I do it to you
You’re a vampire
I’m a vampire too
You’re a vampire
I’m a vampire too

It’s a reflex
Just a reflex
like fear or sex

Edit: There’s more here: in a Philly paper’s special section.

Portrait of Will

Portrait of Will published on 2 Comments on Portrait of Will

Tonight I learned that you can put makeup maps developed for Victoria onto Michael’s face. However, when the designers made makeup maps for Victoria, they apparently erased her eyebrows and replaced them with thin, high lines that make her look revoltingly surprised. I ended up approximating Will’s makeup by pasting the eyes from Victoria’s map onto a map for Will. Then I just changed his lip color in the Surfaces menu, with some gloss from the Victoria maps. Besides all this, I also closed his eyes slightly so that he doesn’t look so much like a bug, then puckered his lips slightly, since his mouth is supposed to be short.  If anyone says he looks like an aging queen, why, you’re right. He looks a little softer with makeup on. It’s definitely an improvement from his stark look with invisible eyelashes….

Will’s Pussy Part II

Will’s Pussy Part II published on 1 Comment on Will’s Pussy Part II

Here’s the second installment of the Daz test comic. Will is distracted from his gender-related bitching by a mysterious noise. Strangeness ensues.

A note on Rotten Slimeball, the kitty cat: As soon as I discovered that Daz offered a cat to download for free, I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the product. The default state of the cat character is, of course, much cuter than the deformed Rotten Slimeball. In order to make a truly supernatural feline, I elongated the legs and the neck and increased the size of the ears. It has lopsided eyes and a protruding tongue because…well, it’s a zombie. Its texture is taken from a photo of red lichen on rocks.

Will’s barf was also surprisingly hard to do. I never thought I’d have to seriously think about the physics of spitting up blood, but I just did today. I decided that it would dribble viscously, rather than spew with force.

Here we go.

Here we go. published on 2 Comments on Here we go.

I don’t know what he’s doing. It’s just that this pose amuses me. I finally found him some underwear too, thank God, so he’s not flashing me any more. This is actually a more accurate rendition of the clothing that I imagine him wearing: short, bright and tight.

You do know that no one can take you seriously in these clothes, right, Will? It’s not the boots so much, and the underwear isn’t a problem because usually no one sees it, and even the shirt is kind of acceptable…but what’s with the dress?

I love you, CrossDresser!

I love you, CrossDresser! published on 1 Comment on I love you, CrossDresser!

I finally got my CrossDresser program to work, converting clothes for female figs into clothes for male figs. I’m still running into problems with skirts for anyone, male or female, but I’m happy to report that XD successfully converted a ridiculously short, long-sleeved crop top [not shown] and some black pleather platform heels! Well, at least Will’s footwear [and certain shirts — he always did have a thing for crop tops] is accurate now. I’m going to go to bed and work on the skirts later… Heels below.

Skirt wrangling

Skirt wrangling published on 1 Comment on Skirt wrangling

Me trying to make Will wear something more in his style. Every time he moves his legs, though, they poke through the skirt, so I have to fix that. Remarks were made that his is not a very sophisticated outfit. This is true. He can dress very much the macho part [with relative success], but, when it comes to his true tastes, they are either flamboyant or clueless or both… The best part of this outfit are the boots, which are textured with a picture of a swirling pink fantasy planet!! Please also note that he is flaming, as per the flames on his shirt. Nyar har har.

Spinal whiplash

Spinal whiplash published on 1 Comment on Spinal whiplash

Today I learned some important things. 1) I can now keep characters’ pants or skirts on so they don’t leap out of them when being posed. 2) Clothes made for Victoria do not behave when fitted to Michael. That goes for shoes too…. 3) However, poses developed for Victoria 3 translate nicely to Michael 3, thereby expanding my library of poses easily! 4) Whenever Will comes out of his closet, his [lack of] fashion sense always startles me.

Anyway, here he is in another sartorial folly as only he can accomplish. [Pinstripe pants and red pleather… I weep.] He is in a Victoria model pose, which explains why he appears to be on the verge of spinal whiplash. [Modeling poses are pretty dumb, but he does look pretty anxious and intent.] I do like the lines in the pose, though. They really convey a sense of quick, focused motion.

Saving morphed characters, clothing, also general organization and Cyclorama

Saving morphed characters, clothing, also general organization and Cyclorama published on No Comments on Saving morphed characters, clothing, also general organization and Cyclorama

“Fit to” vs. “parent and adjust:” 

Keeping clothes on and moving with fig:

Putting clothes on morphed figs:

Overview of 3D modeling programs:

Organizing runtimes: 

Possible organization for runtimes:

Saving morphed characters:  

Customized textures into Cyclorama:

How to make custom textures and MAT files for Cyclorama:

Will’s Pussy Part I, take 2

Will’s Pussy Part I, take 2 published on 2 Comments on Will’s Pussy Part I, take 2

All right, here’s my second try on Will’s Pussy Part I. He’s now against a real live photo backdrop of the Charles River, along Memorial Drive between Western Ave and JFK Street, looking toward Western Ave. Now you can see the details of my photograph and of his bulge. I assume this is an improvement. No comments about the size of the bulge, please. It’s a function of the outfit, which apparently maps its textures directly onto his skin.

Notes on LHF lighting, or, The Curse of the Night

Notes on LHF lighting, or, The Curse of the Night published on No Comments on Notes on LHF lighting, or, The Curse of the Night

When in the latter days of LHF 1.0, I wanted to make my characters hanging out in recognizable Boston metro locations. I tried using photos of mine as backgrounds to achieve this effect. However, since LHF characters are all goddamned nocturnal vampires, I darkened my pictures to simulate night. While the low light was accurate to the time of day, the night effects effaced the detail in my characters, my backgrounds and my overall compositions.

I observe the same effacement in Will’s Pussy Part I. Therefore, I’m thinking that I shouldn’t go for full night effects. I’ll stick to dawn and dusk, which means I should only take photos early in the morning, early in the evening or on very cloudy days. On that subject, I took some photos along the Charles River between 7:30 and 8:00 AM today with clouds and light rain. Perhaps I can use them as part of a new scene for Will’s Pussy Part I. 

Will’s Pussy Part I

Will’s Pussy Part I published on 1 Comment on Will’s Pussy Part I

Here’s the first panel of a test comic that I rendered in Daz tonight. Will is standing in the pre-loaded Faerie [HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH] Forest scene that came with the program. The lights are on “night.” Auspiciously enough, my computer did NOT have a hernia while rendering a high-res character with a bunch of high-res props and a background. Let’s see what happens when the second character enters the scene….

For my next trick…

For my next trick… published on No Comments on For my next trick…

Using only a few photos and some digital props, I am going to artistically recreate a 3-D set of the Old Burying Ground in Cambridge, my favorite cemetery, and then force my characters to hang out in it because I slaved so hard over it. This is, of course, assuming that my computer doesn’t go totally hemorrhageous from all those high-res textures.

My photos will be of the actual cemetery, hopefully projected using the Cyclorama. I have a sarcophagus prop, several gravestone props [with lichen!] and a Spooky Tree [TM] prop. Eventually my characters will be able to sit on top of the sarcophagus and at the base of the Spooky Tree. Oh yeah, and there’s a Light Dome to make it look like night.

I would really love to make an aerial view of Will curled up on the ground next to a gravestone, sleeping with his teddy bear and smiling. 😀 😀

Today’s Daz work: primitive renders of Will

Today’s Daz work: primitive renders of Will published on 1 Comment on Today’s Daz work: primitive renders of Will

After downloading the necessary stuff for actually getting shit done in Daz [base figures, face/body morphs, standard textures, some clothes, some poses, Will’s teddy bear, etc.], I spent several hours tonight tweaking Michael 3.0 in order to get Will out of it. He has the skinny body morph with a lot of tweaks to his face that make him look rather old. These are about the only clothes that I knew how to put on him without parenting something to body parts. A full report on the program and its usability ensues later, but so far it’s exceeding my expectations. Look at how close up I can get in the photos below. [Any resemblances to James Marsters and the character of Spike are completely intentional and probably accentuated by the outfit. I should have made the coat leopard print, but I was getting lazy.]

Say hello to Will’s package!

Say hello to Will’s eyelashes.

Marginalization of 3-D homosexuals — and where are the 3-D crossdressers?

Marginalization of 3-D homosexuals — and where are the 3-D crossdressers? published on 2 Comments on Marginalization of 3-D homosexuals — and where are the 3-D crossdressers?

I’ve discovered something interesting about the distribution and availability of heterosexual couples poses and homosexual couples poses for Daz.

Hetero couples poses can be downloaded for free from Renderosity. They also appear on the official Daz Web site, where you can buy the Pure Romanze set of props and poses. It consists of a gazebo, a pergola and 10 couples poses of demure, starry-eyed romance. There’s also a Budding Romance hetero couple pose, depicting mostly hugs, cuddling and other affectionate behavior.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that hetero couples poses are obviously posted and freely available. They also range from mildly romantic (like the Pure Romanze set) to sexually explicit.

In contrast, I have only found homo couples poses on Renderotica [warning: this is a pretty boring site that leans heavily on stereotypical porn wear for female characters, stereotypical BDSM props and silly, silly animations] and similar age-limited sites for Poser porn. As can be expected from the general tenor of such sites, most of the homo couples poses are sexually explicit. I have yet to find a couples pose set for homos that contains casual affection or romance. Anyway, it seems that homo couples poses exist only on porn sites where you have to pay for them. They are not freely available.

Given the distribution of hetero and homo couples poses, it’s very clear to me that Daz [the developers of the program] and the general user community assumes the hetero orientation of the 3-D people you create. This is not surprising; when I was more active in Men With Dolls, people’s dolls were generally assumed hetero until proved otherwise, kind of the way it is with people. Hetero is the default orientation, so I refuse to make a stink about that assumption. It’s rampant in this world and in digital worlds.

What pisses me off is the sexualization and marginalization of homo couples. The appearance of homo couples poses solely on porn sites implies that all homos do is have sex. While we queers do make queer desire our defining feature of our sexual orientation, our queerness is not necessarily the overriding feature of our lives. Even in the case of queer activists and artists who make a living out of identity politics, they [we] do much more than have queer sex. The placement of homo couples poses on porn sites accentuates sex to the detriment of any other aspect of queer life, while simultaneously making queer couples seem pornographic, potentially objectionable and obscene, like the surrounding material.

And while I’m ranting about Renderotica [and similar sites], I would just like to ask where the 3-D crossdressers are, specifically the male ones. There is a huge interest in male crossdressing porn, which also shades into forced feminization, transgender, she-male, etc. porn. Surprisingly enough, I haven’t seen those themes represented at all. Am I the only Daz user who wants to use CrossDresser to put a male character in clothes designed for female characters? [And I’m not talking about men in fantasy robes; that’s boring.]

EDIT: Okay, I found some homo couples poses on Renderosity. Here’s Gals 1 poses with lesbian romantic poses. Here’s MM3 Guy Poses 1 with gay romantic poses. I think my point still holds, though, since I stumbled upon these just by chance.

Daz final

Daz final published on No Comments on Daz final


Making low-res Daz people & using Cyclorama

Making low-res Daz people & using Cyclorama published on No Comments on Making low-res Daz people & using Cyclorama

This tutorial takes out all the photorealistic details that I don’t need because I am supposed to be making comics with dolls, not people.

This one is about how to make your own Cyclorama backgrounds….

Today’s fridge poetry is entitled “Please Shut Up!”

Today’s fridge poetry is entitled “Please Shut Up!” published on 1 Comment on Today’s fridge poetry is entitled “Please Shut Up!”

The online version of Online Poetry, Genius edition, certainly has a lot of vituperative terms in it… Either that or it’s just so much fun to denigrate someone with polysyllables.

we understand that
your vapid temerity is
an amalgam of crass platitutdes
with pejorative caterwauling
& a verbose fusillade of obtuse turgidity

I learned a new word today…

I learned a new word today… published on 2 Comments on I learned a new word today…

An exceedingly rare occurrence, given that I know the standard “unusual words.” Today’s word is hypaethral.  Can you guess its meaning from the context in the following sentence?

We were thinking of putting a roof over our porch, but, if we leave it hypaethral, we’ll get more sunlight and we’ll have a convenient location to look at stars on clear nights.

It means roofless. I learned it at FreeRice, a vocab quick with a cheap charity gimmick. My vocab level on the quiz fluctuates between 47 and 50, although, now, after 200 words, I see that they are recycling some. What’s your score?

I just found the Frederick’s of Hollywood for 3-D guys…

I just found the Frederick’s of Hollywood for 3-D guys… published on 1 Comment on I just found the Frederick’s of Hollywood for 3-D guys…

Some genius developed an application called CrossDresser, which allows you to reconform any clothing for any 3-D model to any other 3-D model. So you can reconform clothing for Victoria 3 to clothing for Michael 3, which allows me to make 3-D Will wear 3-D Anneka’s clothes, which saves the trouble of me finding dresses specifically for him.

Plus de shit

Plus de shit published on 1 Comment on Plus de shit

 Goth Poser stuff from Renderosity.

Dark Moods [reflective] V4

Alexandra base

Mark and Maximilan base

Hair porn

Hair porn published on 3 Comments on Hair porn

Please check out this picture of Paradise Hair. It’s a hairstyle for the Daz 3D Victoria 4.1 female model. The Paradise Hair model consists of one ponytail on either side of the head with loose strands on the forehead and around the ears. Length of the ponytails can be varied. 

This particular hair model immediately inspired lust in me because it’s a realistic render of Anneka’s wild, full, gravity-defying ponytails. Streams of hair! Oceans of hair! Buckets of hair! I love the watery profusion of it all, as well as the shimmering highlights and the illusion of the strands being fine and possibly charged a bit by static. I love the way that it seems to be the work of an artist who starts drawing quick strokes for the ponytails and gets so into the groove of making those satisfying swooping motions that he or she just goes berserk with them. The result looks realistic, but it is not achievable in this particular universe. It’s a fantastical style done with not just great technical skill, but also great exuberance and relish, and for that I really esteem it.

Hair and clothes

Hair and clothes published on 1 Comment on Hair and clothes

Found more dresses for guys on the Daz 3D Web site in its official store…they were all hiding in the fantasy/sci fi category because no guy would ever want to wear a dress in real life. The stupid gender binaries of these rendering programs astonish me. On the plus side of things, I found Will’s sperm-crunchingly tight pants and fishnet shirt! More links.

More Poser stuff for LHF

More Poser stuff for LHF published on No Comments on More Poser stuff for LHF

Including dresses, gowns and skirts for Will, which were hiding under “robes” or “tribal clothing” or “Egyptian” because apparently you can’t search for “dress AND michael” [Michael = latest Daz 3D male character] and except to come up with anything, nooooo. I’m beginning to despair of finding corsetry. Forthwith, what I HAVE found…


Leopard love seat

Cell phone [iPhone]

Egg chair and sci fi furniture

Small bedroom and girl’s bedroom

Reto chair

Bookshelves, piles of books, single books and full shelves of books

Posable secretary chair

Big Bertha V4 morph

Eating and Drinking poses V4

Fishnet V4

More Designer Bed poses

Vampire, Playing Dead and Designer Bed 1 poses V4

Couples Designer Bed poses and Couples poses for Free Chair

Designer Bed and some Couples poses

Free Chair and poses, glasses

Facial piercings

Simple bed, night backgrounds, chrome furniture

Search for Lips Sofa under free stuff for Poser on Renderosity!

Bar Scene

Manual wheelchair

Fangs for both M3 and V4

Pharaoh of the Sun M3 [short-sleeved gown]

Tribal Clothing M3 [wrap skirt]

Dystopian MedBay

Victoria 4.1

Michael 3

Free shit on Renderosity!

Free shit on Renderosity! published on No Comments on Free shit on Renderosity!

Renderosity amasses many free things for Poser. I found several kitchens [Alexandra and Maximilian’s backdrop], a bar [the NIghtcrawler], a living room [Anneka and/or Will?], multiple bedrooms [Anneka and Will], a cellar [Janet and Velvette, a kid’s room [Geordie], kitchen cabinets [Alexandra and Maximilian], a toilet, a sink, a bathtub, beds with curtains, a folding screen [Chow and Baozha], a taser [Janet], a syringe [Janet], Pocky [Baozha], barrels of toxic waste [Janet], an egg chair [Will!!], a corner sofa, a wheeled table, all sorts of bookcases [Anneka, Will and Mark], office desks [Anneka, Will, Mark, Janet], candlesticks with unlit candles [Will], a fucking Gothic tomb with removable grave [Will], a “Dystopia Console” [Janet], hats, watches, BDSM equipment [Anneka and Will], a 5-ring earpiece [Baozha], open and closed books [Anneka, Will and Mark], wheelchairs [Maximilian] and lots more….

Maybe I should just get…

Maybe I should just get… published on 1 Comment on Maybe I should just get…

Poser! It has collision detection, dynamic cloth and a mouse-based interface, plus a much larger built-in library of items, faces editable all over, editable hair, a sprawling user community with free items and…more realistic results than iClone. The base pack of Poser 7 is just around $250, and you don’t have to buy hundreds of extra bonus packs just to do simple things like make people naked or modify their clothes. Better deal?

Bang Ping, otherwise known as Baozha Bang

Bang Ping, otherwise known as Baozha Bang published on 1 Comment on Bang Ping, otherwise known as Baozha Bang

Look…it’s Bang Ping, otherwise known as Baozha [meaning “explosion”] Bang.

She’s the adopted daughter of the leader of the Hun, the vampires of Chinatown. From most to least formal, her adoptive father’s names go like this:

Bang-shi-fu=Lord Bang [what he wants people to call him]
Bang Chow=his full name [last, first]
Chow Mandarin=Chow the Chinaman [what his fellow sailors, who were Englishmen, called him]
Chow=his first name [used disrespectfully by Baozha, Will and anyone who wants to piss him off]

Anyway, since I just refer to all characters by their first names, Baozha is Chow’s kid.

This is my first all-around accurate iClone render of an LHF character. [Previous ones of Will were experimental and thus didn’t count. I also did Janet earlier, but she doesn’t have appropriate hair.] Everything about Baozha’s build, features and even clothing is accurate to her character. Her outfit represents my earliest pathetic attempts at customized clothing design. For example, her pants were made with a downloaded texture, originally in green and opaque, which I tweaked to look like bleached denim. Her shirt is an application of a fantasy industrial scene jpg with a clear reflection + yellow glow so it looks like it’s made out of plastic. [I foresee lots of shiny, slick and plasticky clothes for my characters.] As you can see, her face is going to freeze in that expression…

They took until 2.5 to develop drag-and-drop?! *boggle*

They took until 2.5 to develop drag-and-drop?! *boggle* published on No Comments on They took until 2.5 to develop drag-and-drop?! *boggle*

So…I got iClone 2.1 Hooray! I have yet to do anything substantive with it, though. From what I read, I should probably just wait until the 2.5 patch, released later this season, which will make manipulating characters, props and other elements much easier.

You see — iClone currently allows you to change positions of characters, props and other elements with some stupid little slider bars that you have to click the arrows on. This is a clunky interface, buried in the options box, rather than obviously right in front of you on the real-time render screen. It’s akin to working in Photoshop with the keyboard only, no mouse — it can be done, but it’s inefficient and time-consuming.

Any developers with brains would have programmed in the capability to edit characters, props and other elements via mouse right in the real-time render screen. But no, despite the almost universal use of WYSIWYG GUIs, the elegance, ease and familiarity of these apparently did not register in the first major or second major iteration of iClone. It took until 2.5 for this basic interface to be incorporated. I wonder if the programmers tested the program on real amateur users?

Oh yeah, and on a positive ranting note, I find the site Renderosity a great source of free 2D backgrounds and textures. I downloaded some creepy/industrial/Gothic/night scenes for possible use in LHF 2.0. The only disappointment I have with Renderosity is that it contains many Poser and 3DX files that I cannot use because I do not have the software. But the thumbnails sure are pretty to look at.

BBC’s Ouch! podcast

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For 30 or 40 minutes every month, you can crack up over the BBC’s Ouch! podcast, which features actor Mat Fraser and comedian Liz Carr hosting a talk and comedy show about disabilities. The two interview celebrities, banter sarcastically together and run a hysterical quiz show called Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable?, where they try to guess a caller’s disability based on yes/no questions. All archives are available on the site, not only sound files, but also transcripts, so you can read them if you wish. Go to the general Ouch! Web site to find columnists, blogs, Q&As and other fun stuff. Thanks to  melopoeia  for the rec.  

iClone 2 outlay revised

iClone 2 outlay revised published on 2 Comments on iClone 2 outlay revised

iClone Studio 2.1 $199.95 [the engine]

CloneCloth vol. 1 $97.46 [so they can wear more than pants and shirts]

Classic cuts vol. 2 $17.95 [more styles for guys and gals]

Saloon chairs and table $1.59

Mahogany round table and chair 0.80

Voluptuous bedroom free download

City rooftop free download

French maid character free download

German soldier free download

Geisha character free download

Apron free download

Lil2 character free download

Oh la la character free download

Elegance character free download

Amanda character free download

Gina character free download

old graveyard prop free download

open coffin free download

animated candles free download

laptop free download

study room free download

bass guitar free download

bed prop free download

stone room free download

hospital bed free download

sci fi workstation free download

lying down and blood pooling project free download

glowing green room project free download

Lilac ladies clothing download

5 women’s hairstyles free download

Agent Trinity character free download

Lilac clothing textures free download

Lilac clothing textures 2 free download

Lilac clothing textures 3 free download

Library scene free download

3 outfits and textures free download

30 motion poses free download

16 poses free download

model with stockings free download

winter clothes free download

30 more lilac poses free download

Adam Ant free download

cocktail scene lounge free download

fashion project files free download

dresses and some hairstyles free download

bodysuit and trench free download

sparkly bikini, also dress and bolero vest free download

Attack of the Clones: More iClone renders

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A mad scientist discovers a fatal flaw in her master creation.

Messing with iClone again. This is the default character, a female Hero. Apparently this body style is the “plump” one, but I don’t really see that. The scientist has a “sad” expression, while the clone has a “tease” expression with a “dance” animation.

iClone render of Will, iteration 2

iClone render of Will, iteration 2 published on 2 Comments on iClone render of Will, iteration 2

Okay, here we go. I imported a picture of my Will doll to use as the base for this version of Will. I couldn’t get him as cadaverous as I wanted, but the skin is a nice interesting dead color. Eyes are accurately blue, sockets accurately shadowed.

Here’s his atrocious yet riveting outfit. Both the pants and the boots are “female casual.” I didn’t know over-the-knee fuck-me boots were casual wear….

And here’s a close-up. Why yes, he is smirking with 100% “Evil Intention.” He also looks like David Bowie, no?

Empty sockets

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Well, this set was intended to show Will’s naturalistic posture in my living room, knees curled up toward his chest, hands in his lap. Instead, I cranked with the levels, contrast and Dark Strokes filter to get these pictures. He either looks like he has skull holes instead of eyes or he’s been punched in the face…take your pick.

iClone 2 render of Will

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Using my trial verson of iClone 2, this is as close as I can get to Will. Hairstyle is inaccurate [not sticking up enough], as are eyes [not brown] and pants [not tight enough], but the complete lack of fashion sense, the cadaverous build and the eeeeevil smirk are right on. I am very amused to note that there is an “Evil Intention” emote generator, which I cranked up to 100% to get the following smirk.

iClone 2, interestingly enough, separates everything by sex. Bodies, clothing and shoes are understandable. [In a bonus for me, women can wear “male” clothes and men “female,” although “female” tops have prefab breast bumps in them which do not look good on a male character who is not a drag queen. In the case of shoes, though, it’s no problem. Will’s wearing “female” casual black boots.] But even body language is segregated! “Male” poses connect solidly with the earth, looking dynamic and forceful, while “female” poses show more imbalance and tentative, swaying movements. [But the sex of the character does not determine available poses and motions; Will is in a “female” casual seated posture.]

iClone 2.0 outlay

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Assuming I want to use it…

iClone 2.0 Standard $79.95 [the engine]

Furniture Pack 1 $39.95 [because they need beds and chairs and tables, but that’s about it]

Working Fashion Theme Pack #1 $97.46 [because they need to sit, stand and talk — that’s all they do]

Total $217.36

Monetarily speaking, that’s actually cheaper than 1:6, given than I’ve probably spent $2K [?] on 1:6 in the past 5 years, maybe more. {We won’t talk about my BJD spending. Oh, okay, we will. I’ve had Zephque, Sardonix 1.0, Jareth, little Jennifer, Frank, big Jennifer, Submit, Sardonix 2.0 and Will, which is 9 dolls, not to mention their clothes. I’d say that I’ve spent about $9K on them in the past 3.5 years.] 

Alternatively, iClone 2.0 Studio is $199.95 and it comes with Working Fashion Theme Pack #1.

Cool Clones has downloads.

Cool Creators has a store.

I would like to try before making a commitment of several hundred dollars!

Sensations of death via an article in New Scientist

Sensations of death via an article in New Scientist published on 2 Comments on Sensations of death via an article in New Scientist

Just in time for Halloween, New Scientist’s October 13, 2007 issue has an article about what various types of death [hanging, drowning, bleeding to death] feel like, as reported by those who have survived massive injuries. I was particularly interested in the effects of exsanguination which, it turns out, are just an extreme version of what happens after donating blood.

How to make a web comic

How to make a web comic published on 2 Comments on How to make a web comic

 Option: 1:6 dolls and backdrops

I know how to do it.
Reasonable photography skills
Instant manipulation
Instant control over light and setting
Computer needed only in after work

I’m burned out on that medium.
Pasting them into photoed backgrounds takes time.
No diversity of body shapes
Takes so much time
Low-res results

Option 2: Software like iClone

Diversity of body shapes
Import faces of existing characters
Avatars look plasticky
Easy pasting in photoed backgrounds
Photography and composition skills applicable here
High-res results
Outlay equal to that of 1:6

Program’s learning curve
All time at computer
Less fluid, more stereotyped posing [fetal position, head in hands, handshake, eating, having sex poses available?]
Large initial outlay
How many characters per scene?

Option 3: Photos to line drawings

Simplification of messy photos
Just like original LHF

Just as much work as original LHF
Loss of significant, affecting detail
No showcase for photoed backgrounds

Option 4: Get a drawing partner

More time to concentrate on story

Lack of complete god-like creative control
Necessity of compromise
Infiltration of someone else into my ideas

Option 5: Draw a simple sketch comic

Characters easily caricatured

Lose subtleties of light, shade and expression
Can’t draw dynamic poses and backgrounds well

Option 6: Draw a detailed realistic full-body comic


Complete control
Limited by imagination, rather than doll shapes and clothes or software limitations

Lack of drawing skills

Option 7: BJDs and backdrops

High detail
Showcase for photography
Even moodier

Bank-breakingly expensive
Space hog

Option 8: Export from something like Sims

Highly customizable avatars
Shot control

Not compatible with photoed backgrounds
Existing faces not importable
Pathetic scenery
Too flat-looking, not plasticky enough

L’Harpiste Mauresque

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Extra, extra! Remember the delicate, skeletal harp-playing double amputee I linked to yesterday? Her name is L’Harpiste Mauresque, or the Moorish Harpist, and she was created around 1880 by the French automatonist Gustave Vichy. 

Well, there’s a full version of her at the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, and she’s wearing golden spangles and seated on an octagonal stand. If you go to the Morris Museum’s main site, then Current Exhibitions, then Musical Machines and Living Dolls, then the picture of L’Harpiste [last one in the first row], you can see a high-quality video of her playing and, yes, moving her eyelids. 

Here’s a still from the February 2005 Journal of Antiques, where you can see her expressive little purple face.

With those big eyes, she looks like a BJD! [Thanks to

 for the links.] I like the haggard-looking one better… I want one.

my sharpened tongue

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It’s hard to concentrate at work. [No, really??] Forthwith, some spew from the online Romantic selection of Magnetic Poetry [TM]. I like the sharpened tongue the best…it’s the little inhuman touches that are most effective… :p I notice that all of my fridge poetry appears to be about death, disturbance and violence. Or sex. Or several of the above. WOOOOO HOOOOOO!

when I open your laughing throat
warm blood soaks my sharpened tongue
I drink    I devour    I am drunk in this hour
oh a world of wild redness rushes through
my skin


Lazy comic creation

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 suggests a program like this, which converts photos into line drawings. I wonder if I could make this work for a comic strip. I could take pictures of characters in stereotyped positions, then mix and match parts…? I know that Oh My Gods!, a much simpler comic strip, uses preselected parts to construct the characters, and Two Lumps is just lazy, reusing images of the cats with different expressions. Maybe I could use a similar method WITH SLIGHTLY MORE FINESSE. [I miss LHF.]


tantamount to temerity

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I checked out a fridge poetry community, but all the entries were too serious and/or pretentious, so I left for Magnetic Poetry, which has a Web site where you can futz with some of the kits. I used the Genius edition, which is more like the Regular Vocabulary edition for me. I like “tinged with galling language” and “tantamount to temerity” the best. They just speak trippingly on the tongue, you know. Tantamount and temerity are good words to eject contemptuously and if you get them both together you just have a veritable mortar spray of plosives!

your vicissitudes were
tinged with galling language
secreted in veiled books
by a trenchant cunning woman
whose mellifluous opinions
are tantamount to temerity

Just like a Real Artist [TM]!

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I got some new paintbrushes today. I will NOT be storing these bristles down. Anyway, I got out my supplies…

Then I shaved some pastels with my craft knife onto my technologically advanced palette:

Then I made a mess all over Will’s face, putting some brown around his nose and on his philtrum and, most significantly, a thin layer of purple shadows [see unmixed blue + red above] under his eyes. Here’s a harshly lit shot that shows the additions. I am just now exploiting his darkened eyes in a formal shoot.

Dead people, demons and other fun stuff, Tuesdays at 9 PM

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Reaper is about a 21-year-old guy whose parents sold his soul to the Devil, so he has to be a bounty hunter for errant souls. Reviews say it has witty banter and comedy. I’ll bite, but I’m damn well spittin’ it out if it don’t taste no good.

Is “undead” a legit TV subgenre now?!

Why does mint taste cold?

Why does mint taste cold? published on 2 Comments on Why does mint taste cold?

This is why you should listen to Quirks & Quarks because you can learn the answers to riveting scientific queries of the day, like this one. 

The sensation of mint as cold has long fascinated me, but I have never known why mint makes my mouth chilly. Now the answer is here. Apparently mint, like Tabasco sauce, stimulates your taste buds with a sensation like pain. It’s not technically a taste, but rather a feeling of pain! 

Because your taste buds have been primed by this painful mint, anything cold that you eat afterward with seem colder. Interestingly enough, anything hot that you eat afterward will seem hotter. 

Mint also increases your salivation and washes away thick protective saliva from your taste buds, so more of the cold or hot thing hits your naked, shivering taste buds.

Messy nasal shading

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Will had some marks on his nose. I tried to erase them with paint remover. In doing so, I erased all the paint from his nose, forming ragged edges between his paintless bridge of his nose and everywhere where the paint is. I tried to fix this today by applying some shaved pastels to the ragged areas. The result is very messy because I was working in low lamplight, not natural daylight. Also my paintbrush was frazzled. Finally, I have a messy and unfinished style of painting and drawing anyway.

I’m not really perturbed by the messiness. When I first got Will, he looked perfect, pure and unblemished. I admire the high grade of resin used to make the doll, but the appearance of the doll is not accurate to Will’s character. Will is supposed to be over 130 years old. While his body has remained at approximately 30, he has suffered over a century of wear and tear. I imagine him as beautiful but also haggard, more like an aristocratic, finely made-up old lady who used to be a pageant queen, rather than a person in his shining prime. My messiness thus takes away his flawless appearance, but he’s not supposed to look young anyway.

giftless juice of a screaming symphony

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Figured out the peculiarity of Magnetic Poetry. With its preponderance of adjectives, it has no association with workaday language, so it all but requires a) endless concatenations of nouns and adjectives or b) strings of adjectives that you would not expect to go together. Case in point is today’s effort. Also I swear that I didn’t set out to write about cunnilingus. I just realized after that the last clause could be interpreted that way.

I recall repulsive
white love & the
giftless juice of a
screaming symphony
beneath the thousand
smooth tongues
of girls

to crush the delirious moon

to crush the delirious moon published on 1 Comment on to crush the delirious moon

…Continuing the tradition of complete and grammatically correct sentences created with Magnetic Poetry [TM]. Not particularly inspired by anything, except we had all the adjectives collected together, so fast, true and black were nearby.

your fast true black diamond
shot up to the lightless pole
to crush the delirious moon
& so I will sleep in honey

In an alternate universe, Buffy is scared of vampires…

In an alternate universe, Buffy is scared of vampires… published on 1 Comment on In an alternate universe, Buffy is scared of vampires…

Given the huge popularity of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this Chick tract about a kid named Buffy who hates spiders, vampires, Halloween because it’s the “Devil’s holiday” is really, really funny. Trick or treat…would you like some irony with your waxy candy corn? Site contains full text and pictures of all other Chick tracts. As a bonus, here’s an MST3K version of Dark Dungeons, about an anti-D&D Chick tract.

“Flock of Seagulls hair!”

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So saith my wife when she sees Frank and Will in their new-to-me fake fur Wicked Wigs. I picked these up today in a face-to-face exchange with DOAer SolarCat [Lauren]. I showed her my Soom Sabik; she showed me her Soom Kanoa, an irresistibly smirking little guy with a great pointy nose. She sold me the Wicked Wigs for 1/3 of list price, and I got two well-crafted wigs that fit closely to the contours of my dolls’ heads.

I’m pleased with the construction and quality and even more with the result. The length of short-pile fake fur is a much better approximation of Will’s hair as I imagine it in my head. Picture below [crappy, low light], with Frank just in time for Halloween and Will apparently anticipating Xmas.

Pushing Daisies: Watch it before it dies.

Pushing Daisies: Watch it before it dies. published on 2 Comments on Pushing Daisies: Watch it before it dies.

Hi, I just watched the pilot of Pushing Daisies on ABC. Those of you who enjoy candy-colored, quip-ridden whimsy should check out this show before it is flushed down the inevitable toilet. Its well-balanced construction of consistently witty writing, neatly sketched characters, sun-drenched nostalgic colors and perky narration can only last so long before one of two things happens.

Either it will implode into a twee, trite mockery of itself, or it will be canceled because mainstream networks can’t handle originality and creativity, especially in the form of a prime-time TV show.

So, anyway, Pushing Daisies is about a pie maker who can bring people back to life with one touch, then kill them again with the next. Ned [Lee Pace, deadpan] spends his days making perfect pastries and solving murder cases with the victims’ help, splitting his rewards with sardonic investigator friend [Chi McBride, suitably snarky]. Everything going swimmingly until he resurrects childhood crush Chuck [Anna Friel, unusually bright and punchy for a charming love interest]. Now she’s alive when she’s not supposed to be; he can’t touch the woman he loves, and there’s this matter of her killer still menacing people nearby. 

The overdetermining narration very nearly pushes this slight, comic tale into the land of tooth-grittingly saccharine TV morals, but the collective skills of the cast really bring the conceit out of cleverness and into something memorable, even occasionally resonant. All major characters have lost something — Ned his mom, Chuck her dad and her normal life with her aunts, her aunts their synchronized swimming careers and an association with the outside world, Emerson any sort of semblance of normalcy in his life. In a show that’s all about an endless cycle of losing and gaining, I hope that the makers have the courage to explore both the light side of rebirth and the dark side of death. But I doubt they will because, like I said, the show will either turn too ooey-gooey for its own good, or it will be nixed for being too inventive.

So far, Pushing Daisies compares favorably with many shows and movies I have seen… For just a few… The tongue-in-cheek narration and Technicolor brightness reminds me of the movie Amelie. The clean suburbia populated by shining caricatures of people and sneaky gallows humor recalls the movie Beetlejuice. Chuck’s struggle to with the end of one life and the beginning of another reminds me of the premise of Dead Like Me. The carnivalesque view of characters as lovable freaks reminds me of some of Ray Bradbury’s fiction for young adults, especially Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Life expectancy quiz

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 Oh rapture, joy and ecstasy unabated…I found the BASIC life expectancy quiz I used to mess with on my Commodore 64. It’s in an out-of-print book of BASIC programs that have been all scanned and made available online. Isn’t that great? I really have to find a BASIC emulator so that I can do simple programs. Then I can make silly questionnaires and revel in the nostalgia.

New TV shows

New TV shows published on 4 Comments on New TV shows

Well, I wanted to watch the Moonlight premiere last week [about the tortured cliche vampire falling in love with a stereotype human woman], but I missed it. Maybe I’ll catch it this week, although I see that Pushing Daisies, another show about a human/undead relationship, is premiering tonight, so I might want to catch that. Furthermore, season 3 of Supernatural begins this Thursday, but I don’t know if I will be able to catch that, which is tragic, given my current VIOLENT crush on Jensen Ackles [who plays Dean]. Dammit…so many walking dead, so little time.

My hair is fabulous, and the rest of me is naked.

My hair is fabulous, and the rest of me is naked. published on No Comments on My hair is fabulous, and the rest of me is naked.

I’m purchasing two fake fur wigs from Wicked Wigs secondhand. One is a patchwork of black and orange, the other a twist between white and blood red. Will’s wardrobe may never progress beyond leather pants and a black tank top, but he’ll have hot-rockin’ hair.

Elfdoll Halloween Hana witch and wizard

Elfdoll Halloween Hana witch and wizard published on 3 Comments on Elfdoll Halloween Hana witch and wizard

GODDAMMIT! Just when I have no money, Elfdoll releases the little Hanas again, this time in pale white, with witch or wizard costumes and POINTY SHOES!  Since they are limited editions, I will probably never get one.

I like the wizard version, not because of the faceup [too much eyeliner], but because of the hooded robe. The special “holding hand” looks like it would be useful to grasp very small items, and I think the POINTY SHOES, being larger than the bare feet, would look more proportionate AND provide better upright support. 

These are extremely cute dolls, and they make me really [sniff] miss [sniff] Submit. I had such fun with her character, even though I didn’t have her for long. She was sacrificed to a good cause, though [moving expenses].

My wife says, “Well, Sardonix came back into your life, didn’t she? Maybe Submit will.” Assuming I get a RAISE at the end of this year…  

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