I decided to give my first [eventual] freebie hair model a name beginning with A. Here is Aliza [not named Jareth because Jareth, no matter what I’d like to think, is not a variant of my name :p ] so far:
We all have to start somewhere, right? Behold my first custom hair prop, Orszebet for Genesis 2 Female.
Continue reading My first hair model: Orszebet
Wow, Slate actually has an interesting article for once! On Outward ["expanding the LGBTQ conversation," whatever the hell that means], Miz Cracker writes a post on "Getting into Drag: The Many Meanings of Being a Queen." To answer the question of what drag is, the author interviews other drag performers. In bullet form, her findings are as follows:
- Drag ain’t necessarily about looking glamorous and fashionable. Nor is it necessarily about appearing unclockably feminine.
- Drag may be thought of as an acting job, performance art in which one creates and embodies a character.
- Drag usually has subversive elements in which the performers comment on and criticize society.
- Drag has an ambiguous relationship to trans identities. For some people, drag is a means to seriously explore alternative gender presentations. For others, it is not particularly reflective of their own gender identities.
In my estimation, Miz Cracker neglects some important aspects of drag. For one thing, she doesn’t really interrogate drag queening’s history as an art practiced by men, frequently in comic contexts. Thus it has an ambiguous relationship to the concepts of femininity and womanhood. In its exaggerated style, does drag reflect a loving tribute to women and femininity? Is it rather an over-the-top misogynist mockery? Drag is not inherently fabulous and therefore unproblematic, and I think a truly substantive inquiry into its nature should address its messy history.
For another thing, how does race play into dragging? Toward the end of her article, Miz Cracker refers to Kizha Carr’s treatment of racism in one of her routines. She also adds that drag "is the only forum where [she] can speak candidly…about the issues shaping [her] life," one of which includes racism. Right, so drag queens of color may take race as a subject for commentary, but how does race more generally inflect queens’ initial decisions to go into drag queening and then the development of their art in general? Drag queens from different racial and ethnic backgrounds probably have different reasons and philosophies, depending on their cultures of origin, that help them interpret their work, and we can’t have a full discussion about the meanings and goals of drag without that information.
Finally, how does socioeconomic class contribute to the discourse on drag? All the queens in Miz Cracker’s article, including the author herself, talk about performing in bars, dealing with sexual harassment from audience members, etc. In other words, the queens spend much of their time playing small venues and not earning tons of money. They work hard and depend on an uncertain income. Even though Bob TheDragQueen appears in the article with bling that says RICH clamped between her teeth, she and her sisters probably really aren’t.
What’s going on here? Aspirations to upward mobility? A proclamation of self-worth through looking richly caparisoned? I dunno, but I’d sure like to find out.
Well, I mean that I have finished her wig and faceup. I still need to make her "I BELIEVE [in Champ]" shirt and her customized wheelchair. Maybe I should take some inspiration from one of my digital models and give her a steampunk power chair!!
Continue reading Polly my little mermaid is done!
…check out the E-mail that landed in my box yesterday. For context, Daz produces digital models and ancillary content; one of their most popular characters is Aiko, a model with manga-inspired proportions and appearance [who, I might add, grows less manga-like and more realistic with each iteration 🙁 ]. The latest version, Aiko 6, debuted recently, and so has new content for her. Daz also recently released Lee 6, "an Asian-inspired character for Genesis 2 Male(s)" [their words, not mine], so content for this character has been appearing as well.
I finally sprang for PhilC’s Hair Designer, which is basically a hair construction kit, containing morphable straight and curly units of hair in various lengths, with which one can assemble one’s own digital styles, either props or conforming figures. The resultant products may be redistributed as freebies, if I ever feel like it.
I’m so very excited! I have many ideas for digital wigs to create, thereby filling grievous voids in the universe of 3D content. For example:
- the Goblin King’s hair from Labyrinth
- a decent Farrah Fawcett ‘do
- Pippi Longstocking braids
- a detailed mullet with lots of feathering along the sides
- a true Gibson Girl bouffant
- 1980s hair with bangs fixed into a fluffy wave with hairspray, sides held back from face with barrettes
- a center parted wedge cut, longer in front than in back, with bangs and a buzzed nape
- straight, shoulder-length, center-parted hair with sufficient volume, bangs and an integrated headband
- my hair 3 weeks after shaving it: sticking out straight and soft about a half an inch in all directions
- a fantastical pompadour-like ‘do that can rise and expand to truly comical heights and widths
I’m also excited just to play around with the hair units to see what sort of hair sculptures I can make. Amazing hair experiments appear, for example, both on high fashion runways and on the heads of creative women of color, giving me many ideas. The integration of props adds whole new avenues of possibility. I love the way, for example, that Neftis’ Wiccanya Hair Pack includes trees and horns. Hmmm…
At the suggestion of a Figurvore member, I added a local menu to the fridge. [I found it online and reduced it to 16.67%, then printed it out.] I also added a LOVERMONT sticker, since Vermonters really like to proclaim their attachment to their state.
…is already the most popular character in Zombieville. >^-_-^< Maybe I should take up Janna’s suggestion to do some Mugginsville side stories…
This month’s Figurvore prop challenge was to construct something kitchen-related and to provide photos of dolls using the item. Originally I planned to make a popcorn popper, though I had no use for it, but I turned my mind instead to one of the gaps in my set collection that has long frustrated me: the lack of a 1:6 scale refrigerator. Sure, I’ve got a stove, a sink, a microwave, a coffee maker, a table and chairs, a toaster, a blender, cooking utensils, silverware, plates, bowls, a hutch, crockery, a colander, etc., etc., etc., but I wanted a fridge dammit!
If all goes according to plan and I purchase PhilC’s Hair Designer and start generating my own digital hairstyles, I have decided that they will all be called by permutations of my name.
I don’t know if I still have it, but, in my youth, I collected variants of my name. I got well north of 60, I think, before I moved on to other pursuits. Some of my favorites include the following:
- Wiz [a former coworker’s nickname]
Special mention goes to Zibber, my brother’s name for me when he couldn’t pronounce Elizabeth. This once irritated me to no end, but now I find it hilarious.
Thanks to melopoeia who sent me this link, I just now learned about Kaylene Kau’s prosthetic arm designed for people who have amputations below the elbow. Its tentacle-like design simplifies the usually complex design of manual prosthetics, resulting in an appendage that requires fewer parts and motors than most arms of its type. Though Kau conceptualized this prosthesis at least as far back as 2010, it’s news to me.
This is so cool! I definitely need to make one of these in 1:6 scale so that someone in Zombieville can use one!
In one of Weird Al’s recent parodies, Word Crimes, about a prescriptivist’s rant against supposed language misuse, he sings:
Saw your blog post
It’s really fantastic
That was sarcastic
‘Cause you write like a spastic
When I heard this part of the song, my esteem for him immediately plummeted, as "spastic" is, in my world, a derogatory, dismissive term for a very energetic and/or clumsy and/or forgetful and/or fidgety and/or unintelligent person. It derives from "spastic" as a description for people, particularly those with cerebral palsy, because of their muscle spasms. Said spasms, which cause uncontrollable contractions and may cause involuntary movements, may cause a person’s limbs, head or core to shake. Speech may also be interrupted. People who didn’t know any better interpreted these spasm-induced movements as signs that disabled people were overly excitable, clumsy, forgetful, fidgety, uncoordinated, etc. It became a shorthand insult, which then itself was shortened to "spaz," a term most prevalent in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Let me tell you about muscle spasms, at least from my secondhand experience. My sister Jill, who has cerebral palsy, regularly experiences them. My ex-wife, who also had cerebral palsy, had them. Janna regularly has them as well. In all their cases, their muscle spasms manifest as uncontrollable twitching and jerking in the affected body parts. In all cases, the spasms cause them pain and sometimes keep them up at night. In none of their cases do their muscle spasms have any connection with their overall levels of energy, coordination, excitability, forgetfulness and/or fidgetiness. In none of their cases do their muscle spasms limit their brain functions. To take an adjective for disruptive, excruciating pain and transform it into a dismissive term for a silly person is a prime example of rank ableism.
This is why I object to Language Log’s discussion of Weird Al’s use of "spastic" and subsequent apology. Ben Zimmer, author of a post discussing the term, claims that "spaz" and "spastic" have "become innocuous playground slang in the U.S. but a grave insult in the U.K." He asserts that Weird Al apologized for using "spastic" primarily because it offended British listeners.
NO! You are wrong wrong wrongity wrong, Ben Zimmer. "Spaz" and "spastic" have always been derogatory and insulting because they transfer terms for disability into the realm of insult, thereby turning disabilities into insults. Weird Al should not have apologized because "spaz" is an insult over in the UK. He should have apologized because ableism is nasty and harmful in general the world over.
Anyway, even though he apologized for his ableism in Word Crimes, Weird Al’s ableism remains on display in his song Lame Claim to Fame. STOP USING "LAME" TO MEAN "PATHETIC" PEOPLE!
As the next ep of Zombieville will be set in Isabel’s bedroom, I needed to complete the interior decoration thereof. Isabel, because she dislikes her grey hair, shaves it short and wears a variety of meretricious wigs. In a natural extension of her interest in dolls, she has customized her wig stands by repainting them, renaming them and giving them personalities.
Isabel sees herself in the cemetery of her dreams.
Well, I didn’t really discover it. I’ve always admired Robing over at Roville for her meticulously crafted interiors and her mastery of clear, even lighting. So finally I asked her what her lighting techniques were. She reported that she used overhead light + 2 inexpensive studio umbrella lights. Clearly I need to acquire some of these, even though I have very little studio space. I’ve been putting up with crappy lighting for as long as I’ve had a camera, and I’m really sick of uneven, washy-outty, dim, supersaturated, etc., etc., etc. shots.
Here is a complete two-light set that’s relatively cheap. I’m considering its purchase.
This tutorial on portrait lighting gives tips on best positions for the umbrella lights.
I’m deeply saddened that I find this noteworthy, but I have to say that, in my albeit limited survey of Queen’s music, I have found remarkably little in the way of condescension, objectification and misogyny directed toward women in their songs. I’m still waiting in dread for the inevitable sexist stereotypes to crop up and drop my opinion of them, but so far they seem on a level with Men Without Hats. That is, they care less about slagging more than half the population and more about doing what they love: making music!
Take, for example, Queen’s Killer Queen. It’s a character sketch of a rich, powerful woman who has expensive tastes and an indomitable will. After an enumeration of her expensive preferences in company and cuisine, the lyrics describe her as "Dynamite with a laser beam / Guaranteed to blow your mind / Anytime" — i.e., she’s attractive and sexually powerful, but she doesn’t threaten, piss off or annoy the speaker. He calls her "dynamite," in the sense of "highly skilled at what she does," "sexy" and "explosively awesome." He wants her to blow his mind!
Even the verse in which she’s compared to a cat comes across as laudatory. While woman:cat similes tend to connote peevish competitiveness [cattiness] and sexual objectification [qua pussy cat], the simile here calls the woman "playful as a pussy cat." The verse describes how she pursues the speaker avidly, then suddenly stops, "temporarily out of gas." The speaker recognizes that she’s playing a game — "all out to get you" — but doesn’t think she’s a cocktease or playing hard to get. No, he goes along, happy to play with the woman. The song ends with an acknowledgment of the woman’s irresistible effect on the speaker ["Recommended at any price"], as well as listeners ["Wanna try? / You wanna try…"]. It’s very obvious that the song Killer Queen is sung as a tribute by a dude who desires, respects and perhaps even loves a woman for traits that other people would probably deride.
…People like, for example, the Rolling Stones. The Stones’ analogue to Killer Queen would have to be Stupid Girl, in which the singer sketches a character similar to the Killer Queen. The woman in Stupid Girl dresses expensively, values material goods ["…she digs for gold"], pursues men aggressively ["…she grabs and holds"], etc. The singer even trots out a feline simile: "She purrs like a pussy cat / Then turns round and hisses back." Heck, the Killer Queen and the Stupid Girl are probably the same person, just described from different points of view.
While the speaker in Killer Queen thinks that the woman is the best partner he’s had, the speaker in Stupid Girl absolutely loathes the woman. It’s right there in the title of the song! Finally, the comparison of the woman to "a lady-in-waiting to a virgin queen" implies that she’s close to power, but actually lacking it, really just a glorified servant. Furthermore, the virginity of the queen in the simile passes by association onto the woman, connoting sexual inexperience, coldness and inaccessibility. The speaker clearly can’t stand the fact that he desires this woman, so he projects all his hostility onto her and vilifies her for being interested in people other than himself. [Gee, I wonder why? He’s such a catch! :p ]
In my imagination, this is how the story goes: There’s a young woman — let’s say her name is Regina 😉 — born into wealth and power. She’s neither particularly good nor particularly bad, neither particularly selfish nor unselfish, just a person of average character. She really enjoys her material privileges, though. She knows that her wealth and attractiveness give her a certain license, so she exploits this in her active, assertive search for romantic and sexual partners. She always has the flashiest and latest and best and most expensive of everything, and she carefully, deliberately cultivates her status as trendsetter. She holds meetings with her staff, for example, where they go over long-range ramifications of, say, choosing vegetarianism. For another example, she has a panel of people who critique every outfit she wears, looking not only for high quality, coordination, fashionability, originality and daring, but also for rip-offs, appropriation, offensiveness, copyright infringement, etc. Regina has a reputation for being somewhat mysterious and reclusive, but this is mostly because she spends so much time analyzing every more in private before she makes it in public.
Regina’s work pays off. People wear what she wears, eat what she eats, travel where she travels, support the causes she supports, While not an actor or singer or model or fashion designer or hereditary titled person, Regina hangs out with all the coolest of all these groups, or, more precisely, they seem to hang out with her because they want her awesomeness by association. In short, she has become one of the most powerful people in the country. As a style icon, she has enormous influence to shape the most basic aspects of people’s lives, from the contents of their closets to their moral considerations. Regina shamelessly enjoys this power.
There are two people — let’s call them Freddie and Mick 😉 — who represent the divergent opinions that the public has about Regina. Freddie recognizes Regina’s achievements. He understands that people in Regina’s position are neither inherently sexy nor glamorous and that Regina has carefully crafted the role of style icon for herself. He realizes that the creation and maintenance of such a status requires a lot of time, money and energy, and he’s impressed by her ambition, acumen, intelligence and hard work. He notes that, while she does not have a traditionally defined profession, she has turned "style icon" into her own demanding, full-time job. And, of course, like many people, Freddie feels the effects of Regina’s glamour. Her quick movement through dating/bed partners just proves to him that she’s admirably lusty, playful, fun-loving, probably "dynamite" 😀 in the sack and exhausting to anyone she moves on from. He lusts after her; he has a huge crush on her; he thinks she’s amazing and really enjoys their friends with benefits hook-ups. If anything, he has a little hero worship going on that keeps him from seeing Regina as an imperfect person, like him.
On the other hand, Mick contemns Regina as an airhead heiress who does nothing and is famous for being famous. In his eyes, she wastes her fortune on trivial tokens of femininity, like clothes and cosmetics. Her assertive pursuit of sexual and romantic partners makes him think that she’s a slutty whore…and also a frigid b***h because she declined to date him after having sex one night. He hates her because she’s a woman who has the temerity to be happy without him in her life. It goes without saying that Mick is, of course, a miserable, wretched excuse for a human being. :p
Freddie Mercury and Queen doing Another One Bites the Dust. I love Freddie Mercury. He has just such an amazing amount of irrepressible JOY in his performances. He moves with such grace and poise and control — everything he does on stage is dancing!
Goofin’ off with We Are the Champions. So caught up that he starts air guitaring with the mike stand again. ^_^
That song always gives me chills, forever and ever, and it gives me further chills to hear Nirvana cover it.
And here’s DB himself, covering it acoustically, probably during the Earthling years [aka The Time of the Nasty Nasty Soul Spot].
He covered it live at the Beeb a few years later in 2000 [the Neo-Scrawny Years] with that unforgettable Bowie smile.
I had a few inquiries on MWD about the cemetery set for the latest episode of Zombieville, so below I’ve collected some notes and photos that I created during its creation.
Again, in no particular order.
- maclean. In a commercial field dominated by skimpy clothing and pseudomedieval architecture, maclean concentrates on utilitarian basics. His Home One series of models, for example, contains an apartment interior, a house interior and various rooms. I recently purchased the Home One Bathroom and Home One Kitchen. They both reflect the bourgeois residential interiors that I regularly encounter and feature everything from the basic fixtures and appliances to the little details such as silverware and toothpaste. All that for $12.95 a set! How can you go wrong?
- petipet. I first encountered his creations in the form of Resort Lagoon, a houseboat/raft offered as a Platinum Club freebie sometime in March. I found it so unusual, opulent and entertaining that I wrote an entire mini universe story around it [which my computer then ate grrrrrrr!]. I then discovered his sleek neo-retro vehicles like Bus Maxis and Bus
Totally Not Postwar GreyhoundPegasus, and I was hooked.
The topic of recast BJDs continues to provoke heated discussion; witness the entire Tumblr devoted to pro- and anti-recast people slagging each other under the cloak of anonymity. The creativity with which pro-recast persons justify their unfair and illegal actions boggles the mind.
Zombieville is back with Chapter 1.1!!!
Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 1.1: “The Cemetery of Her Dreams”
Years after attempting my first octopus therianthrope in Daz, I have made another one. Meet Lauren, a minor character in the mini universe. She last showed up conducting the orchestra at the Christmas party. I don’t know very much about her except that she’s a cheerful extrovert, very sweet-tempered and outgoing. Pretty sure she’s trans too.
Continue reading Lauren the octopus therianthrope
[Remember those?] Anyway, they never capture the subtleties of human face-making the way that indiscriminate use of animated GIFs can. Today, for your viewing delectation, here’s a completely decontextualized GIF of Frank giving exactly zero craps about your big song and dance number:
"I think I left my curling iron on…"
Because it’s been too hot to go outside and do her torso/abdomen mods, I have stayed inside and brightened Yamarrah’s faceup. What’s shown below is pretty much done; I just need to even out the color on her tongue and regloss it.
I’m pretty sure she’s trying to decide her favorite creemee flavor: either vanilla/chocolate swirl or black raspberry. ^_^
Melface mentioned at the last CCDC meetup that she was getting an IOS 80cm body with a custom head on it. This news perked up my ears because IOS is the maker of Infernale, aka Tonsil Hockey Part Two, aka Put A Sock In It [Or Maybe A Ball Gag], a wonderful vampiric headsculpt with squinty eyes, open mouth and not one, but two [yes two!!!] tongues.
With Melface’s incoming IOS hybrid in mind, as well as my current open-mouthed, tongue-showing doll, Yamarrah, being modded, I naturally turn my thoughts to Tonsil Hockey Deux. I still want that headsculpt, and I really, really, really want to make a kinky vampire with a ball gag in her mouth. In fact, my desire has rekindled to the point where I put up a Wanted to Buy thread on DOA, hoping that someone will sell me an Infernale head. Well, I can dream, right? :p
I really like dolls with closed eyes, open mouths, protruding tongues and pointy teefs. My ideal BJD headsculpt would therefore be a vampire with closed eyes, magnetic swappable tongues and a big, lopsided, smirky grin.
Daz Studio only
Tested only in Daz Studio Pro 4.6 64 bit.
Based on my experiments with putting stripes in hair, this is a trio of material presets for the Glam Ponytail for HiveWire3D’s Dawn figure.
After installation, you will find Stripey material settings in My Library > People > Dawn > Hair > Glam Ponytail > Materials > ModernWizard > Stripey.
This freebie uses a modified seamless hair texture tile, created by MSTene, available at Renderosity.
Use for whatever purposes you like, commercial or non-commercial. Just don’t repackage and call your own. Have fun!
You can see my digital artwork, as well as my other creative pursuits, at my blog:
If you do use any of my freebies in your work, drop me a line [ModernWizard at the Daz boards and ShareCG, ModernWiz on Renderosity], as I’d love to see what you make. Thank you.
After languishing in pieces for over half a year, Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!!! Today I took her new torso [specially cast by Mirodoll to match her Iplehouse realskin head] and modded it to accept her original Domuya arms. I filled in the large shoulder sockets with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt so that they would more snugly accommodate her shoulder balls, which were on the small side. I managed a snug fit by layering Aves Apoxie Sculpt on the inside of each socket and then, after letting it stiffen for about 45 minutes, rolling the shoulder ball around in the Apoxie Sculpt to create a new socket, perfectly shaped for her shoulder ball.Continue reading Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!
Flower came to work a few weeks ago to take advantage of the wonderful natural light there. Here he is in the window. I tried to frame shots so that they could include him, as well as the flourishing trees and Lake Champlain, but he wanted the camera to focus on him alone.
Continue reading Flower in the window
In no particular order:
- Underwear. Using Daz’ Map Transfer Utility, I down-converted my standard texture from V5 to V4, then stuck some of Lululee’s Lacey [sic] Lingerie on various parts so my digital dolls are always wearing underwear, especially under short skirts. Happily I have learned that multiple UV sets can coexist on a single figure, thus allowing me to maintain the V5 UVs for Jareth’s makeup, for example, but use the V4 UVs to give him some underwear. Thank God…I hate it when they go commando. :p
- Lighting. I’m slowly figuring out how to light my scenes to give them more realism and sense of dimension. I refuse, however, to do shadows, as they take too damn long. So my people look like they’re hovering above the floor, but at least they don’t look like paper dolls anymore.
- Finally some good basics. LilFlame, one of my preferred vendors of kinky stuff, is having a 40% off sale at Renderotica, which I am not linking to because I dislike their landing page. I took advantage of it to purchase the cuffs, collar and corset shown below.
- Advances in hair texturing. I figured out how to put stripes and patterns in hair! Mwah hah hah hah!
Just to illustrate my stupendous accomplishments, here’s Jareth, being a gleeful dork as usual. ^_^Continue reading Recent significant developments in the digital realm!
The ones I currently use [because they’re free] don’t have any texture, bump or displacement maps. I also think they’re too shiny. I’d really like a set that includes polished and unpolished, new and creased, rawhide, etc., etc.