Back when I was first getting into digital, I really enjoyed the creepy, mannequin-like, and mechanical character textures created by artist Samildanach over on Renderosity. Sadly, most of the characters that captured my imagination have been retired, as they were for 3rd generation Daz figures [V3 and M3], but the link shows that a few of her products remain.
Anyway, all of the above provides backstory for my link to this picture by Odilicious on DeviantArt. The render uses one of Samildanach’s unavailable characters, No, that I am kicking myself for not purchasing back when it was on sale. This particular concept has been bugging me so much that I’m trying to figure out how to recreate it for G2F.
Clearly it’s a set of non-conforming props, most of which can be easily constructed from cylinder, torus, and sphere primitives. The mouthpiece challenges me, though, because it’s obviously shaped, but not conforming. But maybe it should be conforming to fit on a variety of characters. I’m baffled, though, by how to keep that smooth curve on the mesh as it conforms to morphed figures. It would be easier to make it a non-conforming prop based on the default figure, but then it would be of little use to me because none of my characters are default G2F. Pffffft!
In the spirit of “How did this name end up looking like a strange combination of two unrelated words?”, I hereby present the surname Ghostlaw. Speaking of spirits, this word recalls the legislation of the dead, but did it originally mean what it looks like it means?
Typing words, place names, and surnames into search engines can often yield fascinating stories and sources for a word’s etymology, as it does for the previously discussed Braintree. Google’s results on Ghostlaw, though, come up pretty barren. Not until page 3 of search results on “surname ghostlaw” did I yield anything helpful.
Back in 2004, Amy Layton posted on the ancestry.com forums, looking for information on the Ghostlaw surname. She stated that she had been unable to trace this branch of her family tree further back than the Ghostlaw generation because she had been told that they had changed their name from something else. What could it be?
While no one directly answered her specific question, respondent Stephanie Beaver posted with information about her grandfather, Charles James Ghostlaw. She noted that both his and his father’s last names were listed as Gosselin on his baptismal certificate. She thus confirmed what I suspected, viz., that Ghostlaw never started off as “ghost + law,” but, rather, some surname that was changed to some vague homophone.
I like to think, in my unusual imagination, that the Ghostlaws and Braintrees are connected. Maybe the disembodied brains, fruiting from the braintrees, imagine counterfactual legal doctrine known as ghostlaws?
We missed seeing Barb Pitfido’s Lego layout at the Vermont Rails Train Show last month because her partner was sick. 🙁 Fortunately, she found this blog and invited me to come to her house to see the set-up that she had prepared for the event. I was privileged to attend a private, in-home showing of her latest work, “Paris in the Spring.” Photos below. Click to enlarge.
Continue reading Barb Pitfido’s Lego layout, 04/26/2015
I love this picture of the cat getting the man’s attention, then signing, “Food plz!” Not only is it a cute cat picture, but it also shows how the cat has adapted its communication style for its disabled owner.
I love how excruciating doll customization sounds to the uninitiated! >:}
After failing to find tutorials online about opening BJD eyes, I went after Thalia with an Xacto and no particular plan. The resin yielded easily to my impromptu scraping, but not so easily that I made a mess of the mods. Check it out below the cut. [Yes, I know her head is sitting on a toy horse. That’s to help her chin stay at the right angle for viewing. :p ]
Continue reading Gouging out Thalia’s eyes
I have long wanted one of the 105cm Dollmore Trinity 1:2 scale BJDs — a Klaire, to be exact — but I could never buy one on the primary market and directly support Dollmore. Also the fullsets are ridiculously expensive, even for someone like me, used to dropping large amounts on dolls.
Anyway, guess who just appeared on the secondary market for $2K [when s/h and insurance are factored in]? Yup, a Klaire. Bah! How frustrating.
Janna said that Jadeite, 5StarDoll’s incredibly cute preying mantis therianthropic BJD, would not gross her out. I AM GOING TO GET A BUG DOLL!!!
…When I have the money.
Well, that’s adorable. 5StarDoll [whence the resin 1:3 scale toddler bodies for Isabel and Carter to make them 1:6 scale fat adults] has recently released Jadeite, a preying mantis therianthrope.
Continue reading Bug doll!!!
Welcome to the Odd Planet, long-time home of my creative projects. Here’s what I’m currently working on.
- Powers of Creation. My general blog.
- Shoezies Showroom. All the information I’ve been able to find on the late, lamented Hasbro Shoezies line of small-scale footwear.
- the tacky trove. Digital freebies for 3D artists.
- Vermont Doll Lovers [off site]. The doll club I run, free and open to all.
- Zombieville. 2014-present. A serial melodrama starring customized 1:6 scale articulated dolls. Thrill to the tale of Isabel, your average sarcastic feminist, as she adjusts to life on the edge of death.
If you’re interested in previous 1:6 scale melodramas, my older endeavors appear here and there online:
- Me and My Muses [off site]. 2012-2014. A Web comic of 1:6 scale ball-jointed dolls (BJDs), following a young queer woman, Ellery Langrock, and the various magical and sexy characters in her head.
- Love Has Fangs. 2008-2010. Revamp and improvement of (Un)Real Life. If you really have to read one of my early vampire stories, read this one.
- (Un)Real Life. 2006-2008. Vampires! Melodrama! Pink hair!
There are also some sites here that I no longer update.
Wow, I haven’t done a census of the small populations in about a year and a half. Time for another.
Continue reading All my dolls, 04/15/2015
I bought two 1:6ers from Andrea recently, one of which, Jun, appears below. She’s a Takara Cy Girl CG04 [Cutey Honey/Jun] headsculpt on a Takara CG 2.0 body, with a custom reroot by ???? and a custom faceup by Andrea. The dress and bloomers come from Lyrajean, who brought to VTDL a few months ago some miscellaneous doll clothes that she had unearthed somewhere. [They’re most likely for 8″ child dolls, from some time in the latter half of the 20th century. I picked them up because I thought that some of my fat 1:6ers might be able to fit them. Most of the dirt washed out, leaving me with some sturdily made mystery garments.] The feet are Hasbro Shoezies with Takara CG ankle pegs sunk in. Black tac gloves not shown amidst flouncy skirts!
There is probably a Japanese technical term for this kind of style, but I do not know it.
I feel like she might need some headphones and a mike and some sort of wearable computer. Every time I see it, her silver facepaint screams “cyber.”
Continue reading Frankly, Jun is unimpressed with your bullshit.
Unfortunately, digital hair doesn’t really translate well into reality…which is a shame, as I’d like real-world versions of the following:
However…if I do want to make those hairstyles as wigs, I have some thoughts:
- Xandy’s pompadour seems like a prime candidate not for a fur wig, but for a paper construction over a wooden frame. Not sure exactly what to use for materials, though.
- Polly’s antigrav hair could probably be achieved with mohair supported with strategically placed wired ribbons emanating from the cap and twining around bunches of curls.
- I think I can modify my standard fur wig pattern to make TGK hair for Timonium. Basically it involves the inclusion of some pieces of fur at the crown of the wig in which the grain is pointing up to make the sticky-uppy section.
In related news, Araminthe could really use some new hair. I tergiversate between trying to turn her current dusty rose mohair into an updo or getting her a new updo wig. I think an updo would help, as her face is rather compressed vertically. Also I can’t see her ears!
EDIT: Wonder what she’d look like with my blue/pink bob or my blue/pink mohawk…
…that my *next* serial melodrama is going to use plastic action figures with resin heads. That probably means I should make an action figure body for Isabel, just so she’s poseable. I would also love to have swappable hands and feet for her!
Things I would like to do with some dolls:
- Get Cutey Honey a red bob [style: Pinky] from Facets By Marcia.
- Improve Polly. Maybe some bubbles in her faceup? Definitely different hair.
- Gouge out Talia’s eye sockets. I haven’t found any decent tutorials on the subject, so I’m just going to start scraping with an X-acto knife.
- Better wig for Timonium!
- Redo Mellifer?
- Redo Araminthe’s faceup and wig?
Araminthe, Jujube, Beth, and Death attended today’s VTDL meetup. Photos on the VTDL blog.
Just got purchased my Asus G10AC-US010S desktop today. With s/h, it was $1102.71. Specs follow:
8 GB RAM, expandable to 32 GB
1 TB hard drive
DVD R/W drive
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 graphics card
Intel i5 quad core processor
10 USB ports
I also set aside some money for another 8 GB of RAM, for a total of 16, so that Daz Studio doesn’t kick my computer’s ass. I want to consult with my result IT specialist [Jannabear] before purchasing, though.
This entry is probably relevant to exactly zero people who read this thing, but I’m keeping it for my own reference, as the thread on the Daz boards accumulating this information seems to have been eaten.
One of my favorite digital content makers, petipet, produces a vast array of fanciful land, sea, air, and space vehicles, along with a few structures, available at the Daz site. I have been collecting them [starting with Resort Lagoon last year] because of their low price [I got most as Platinum Club freebies], their meticulous sculpture, and their sense of humor. This person also clearly takes inspiration from recent and classic vehicles in movies and history, so identifying sources of inspiration is fun.
In no particular order, here are the influences I have discovered:
List will be updated as warranted.
EDIT: Oooh, I found a thread on the Daz boards identifying a few more inspirations!
As I mentioned, Daz had its annual March Madness sale from the last weekend in February to the first in April. Very excited about the following things I have acquired:
- Marshian’s Kaleidoscope is a set of reflective props and render settings that let users multiply scene objects. I have only used it so far to create an infinite castle hallway, but I’d like to tinker with it some more to create endless, dreamlike architecture as shown in the promos.
- ForbiddenWhispers and Sabby’s FWSA Keshi is just beautiful, especially when I crank her face morph up to about 1.25, thus rendering her features stronger and more distinctive.
- I was not in the market for a hot dog cart, but, when I saw Hole’s, I had to get it. The modeling is accurate, detailed and gorgeous. Plus I couldn’t resist Pavlov’s Dogs!
- I got the Girl 6 Pro Bundle for free as a promo, mostly because I wanted the latest Girl. Everything else beyond that was just icing on the cake. I particularly dig SWAM’s Loyce Hair and Neftis’ Lady Florence Hair, as I’ve seen hairstyles of this type a lot in real life.
- Nikisatez and DarkStarBurning’s Urban Metro Outfit for G2M jumped right into my cart because of the puffy down vest, a fixture on Vermonters in mud season!
- SickleYield’s Big Beautiful Genesis 2 Females fulfills pretty much all my desires for a variety of realistically fat women.
- Aeon Soul’s Fantasy Ornaments for Genesis 2 Females are impractical and silly…and therefore awesome, especially at 50% off!
- While known more for her hair models than her character morphs, AprilYSH also does nifty characters like Milen M6 Promo Guy. He is the sole reason I got Michael 6, the morph of Genesis 2 Male upon which this guy is based. I like the morph, mostly for the smirk, but, as a bonus, I discovered recently that the very pale texture works great for Jareth when he’s in his “regular dude” drag.
There are some digital pose collections that I regularly use in making my scenes. In no particular order, they are as follows:
- Body Talk for Genesis: Arms and Body Talk Genesis: Hand to Mouth. Both of these freebie pose sets, while not based on my preferred model [G2F], nevertheless appear in pretty much everything I do, either because I’m using the poses by themselves or using poses I have made based on these.
- While we’re talkin’ arms, FeralFey’s Hand Details for Genesis 2 Females is a great balance of value, volume and quantity. Again, they appear everywhere.
- Khory’s Easy Going Poses for Michael 5 contain some of the most realistic neutral/casual walking and sitting postures I’ve seen.
- I almost always default to one of Sedor’s BWC Runway Poses when someone needs to walk or stand around with hand[s] on hips, which my characters do a lot. They’re a bit exaggerated, as runway struts and stands are, but I like their asymmetry, which I think gives them a lot of character and realism.
- Here’s an oldie, but a goodie: Xpression for Victoria 3 by Schlabber and Cascarda. These partial and full poses translate remarkably well to G2, and there are a few highly specialized ones — mostly variations of “Tah dah, look at me!” — that I refer to often.
I’m pretty well stocked with standing, lying, kneeling, walking and running poses, but I recently discovered a sore deficit of sitting poses — more specifically, the type of loungey sitting that people do in upholstered chairs. I’ve got plenty of stool poses and desk/table poses, but not really hanging out poses. My people do a lot of hanging out — dammit!
Fortunately, this weekend culminated Daz’ annual March Madness — a.k.a. “ridiculously deep discount” — sales with almost everything in the store 50% off, so I got Tako Yakida and Wee Dangerous John’s ARTYficial Furniture and Poses and blondie9999’s Sitting Pretty for Gia. The former contains modern upholstered furniture and poses developed specifically for the pieces, so I sure hope it works out. The latter has poses demonstrated with a dining room chair, but a little over half can easily be transferred to upholstered furniture. I hope that they work well, without too much fiddling, for my characters.
Yesterday’s purchases also included HilligerMedia’s Fool Around Poses because, when my people aren’t standing around talking, lying around talking, or sitting around talking, they’re hanging around making faces at each other.
“And I wasn’t having very much success figuring it out because a) I was only sixteen years old, b) I was the youngest of seven kids, and c) I was already three people, none of which I liked very much.”
And so begins my Jupiter Challenge…
More accurately, mud season in Vermont.
It was like 24 degrees F this morning, and it’s currently 54 degrees F. Tomorrow we anticipate a high of 65 degrees F, followed by 1 to 3 inches of
snow four-letter word on Saturday and a high of barely above freezing on Sunday.
The truism that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb doesn’t really apply in this state. March might come in like a lion, but, at some point around the middle of the month, it turns into an ornery goat who won’t stop taking ludicrously high jumps and deep dives, all the while swerving between moments of deceptive mildness interspersed with biting nastiness.
Continue reading Spring time in Vermont: see screencap
There are a few linguistic errors that I encounter with such frequency that I really think that they will eventually move into standard, accepted use:
in to signify possessives.
- Quotation marks as a means of emphasis.
- “I” replacing “me” as a direct object, but only in conjunction with another pronoun. I encounter this exchange pretty much daily, in which people of all educational and socioeconomic backgrounds will say something like, “Let’s find some time for you and I to meet.”
As a result, the following sentence will eventually be perfectly acceptable:
Let’s find some time for you and I to meet “really” soon about your proposal’s.
After that, all the prescriptivists’ heads will explode!!!! :p
Actually, I think that the third item will gain ground much more quickly than the first two. People are “extremely” picky about punctuation mark’s!
While I’m talking about words, I should mention some that I don’t like to use on principle, mostly business jargon:
- “Issue.” At some point in the recent past, “problem” disappeared as a perfectly acceptable word to be replaced by “issue.” I mostly see it in the wild as a snide, judgmental term for “difficulties.” For example, our upstairs neighbor throws temper tantrums, complete with stomping, banging and yelling, despite the fact that he’s in his twenties. He clearly has “anger issues.”
- “Liaise.” A back-formation from “liaison,” this means “to act as a liaison.” It sounds, though, like a chronic skin condition…or maybe a rancid condiment. I prefer “connect” or “coordinate.” However, in my capacity as the vice president for the Friends of the Winooski Library, I am the liaison between the library board and the Friends, so I always use “liaise” to describe what I do because it cracks me up.
- “Bandwidth.” This means “something akin to time/energy/availability.” Interestingly, I mostly hear it in a negative context, i.e., people insisting that they do not have the bandwidth for more work. I find other terms serviceable for the same concept, and I don’t wish to use a technical IT term.
- “Contact” and “reach out.” These terms are useful because they cover a variety of means of communication [E-mail, phone, in-person]. I still prefer “talk to.”
- “Pushback.” This, of course, is a synonym for “resistance.” This one really irritates me, as it seems to reflect a euphemistic tendency to avoid calling out conflict and disagreement for what it is.
In other news, I’ve gotten over my revulsion for “webinar,” if only because of its ubiquity. I’m also much more of a descriptivist these days.
At my job I have encountered some [new-to-me] business jargon: “value-add,” “moving the dial,” and “down in the weeds.”
A “value-add,” as far as I can tell, is either the essential point of something or the usefulness of something. The term most frequently comes up in my workplace in questions such as “What is the value-add for this ask?” Translation: “What’s the point of this request?” [Implied answer: “This is a worthless request, so we are going to ignore it.” :p ]
To “move the dial” means to cause significant change. For example, in a performance improvement project, the participants dig around to determine what changes have the greatest effect. These changes “move the dial” on the project, driving the improvements.
“Down in the weeds” just means in amongst the fine-grained details of something. People around here refer to getting “down in the weeds” to find out what will “move the dial” on something they’re working on. I find this an odd term because, to me, weeds connote unwanted distractions, so I think of “down in the weeds” as an undesirable place. However, in business jargon, it just appears to be a value-neutral term in contrast to, say, a bird’s-eye view.
The moral of the story: If you have to go down in the weeds to find the value-add of an ask, it’s probably not going to move the dial.