I haven’t blogged in awhile, because it seemed pointless to blog about Tinkercad when it isn’t able to link from Tinkercad to WordPress directly yet…I have been extremely busy on the TinkerFront!!! If you follow Tinkercad activity at all, you’ll have noticed a new intensity in some of the designs. When a user named JoeChef created a perfectly curved wave with a Duplication Technique that I personally call ‘WaveDuping”, I went nuts, because I had been trying to make organic curvatures in my pieces with hole templates since Day One on Tinkercad. Although many users have used Ctrl D to duplicate pieces before, I have never seen anyone create a curve that scales down from start to finish to sub-atomic math values……This lead to some experiments and discussions among the KiwiKingofTinkercad,AndrewD,…JoeChef,Cat2,Javasmithhome,Speckman8, and myself….What ensued was an explosion of detailed server-killing designs that definitely stand out…..More on this later. I want to take this time now to salute Sarah and all the teachers and students of Kayamandi Township!!! I know I speak for all of us Tinkercad users when I say “Welcome to Tinkercad-Show us your designs as soon as possible!!!” I want to see designs based on the artistic visions of people half a world away. When you see a person’s art, you see their world, and I look forward to learning about that world. Here is a piece that I hoped would foster an artistic dialogue between our two parts of the world on Tinkercad…..
Hello! I’ve spent the better part of May trying to throw as many Tinkercad Designs out into the Tinkerverse as I possibly could. When Andrew Taylor of Tinkercad told me about MechaMay, I went into Mech- Building mode, and so far have put four Mecha-related designs out into the stream and I have a fifth one I’m developing. Along the way, I did a lot of experimentation and tried to create unique textures and cultural contexts for my designs. I also finally finished some non-Mech related designs that were challenging, and helped me gain more insight into the tinkering process.
First off, I spent a long time working on the WackyRaces’ Arkansas Chuggabug. If Tinkercad were to judge pieces and rate them according to what I call “moves”, and the number of moves in a piece, then they would have lots and lots of moves to analyze in any of the pieces I finished. I call the creation of a customized shape, a “move.” If an artist just uses the shapes that are provided in the Tinkercad toolbar and groups them together without modifiying them, there is not too much hard work involved. When every shape you use is a custom-formed, then you’ve had to do some thinking, and some experimentation, and have had to spend a lot of time on a project. The Arkansas Chuggabug had a ton of moves in it. I was worried about Tinkercad being able to render all the details, and the last time I checked the preview windows, the Chuggabug preview can’t render.
My treatment of the famous comic-book character, Elektra was also something I was glad to finish. I had hoped to be able to show that Tinkercad has the ability to render fairly realistic figurative art. The jury is still out on that, I suppose. When I put pictures of it out on Twitter, I got a couple of retweets, but in general I think people didn’t notice it or think it was that good. The general population has no idea how much work it takes to present something at that seemingly simplistic level.
The Japanese Woman you see in the pictures is called Lady Minako. She is the culmination of my efforts so far to represent the kindness and grace of an acquaintance from work, who to me looks like she should be in Feudal Japan, not here and now. One of the first works I ever did on Tinkercad was a piece called A Study of Lady Minako. It was the first time I had tried to do a realistic human face on Tinkercad. It’s not an easy task. The majority of real, tinkered faces on Tinkercad look like Mr. Bill or snowmen. I’ve improved, but I have a long way to go. I have deliberately made works to appeal to Female users, to inspire them to make female figurative art, and art that deals with culture, but I think that educators probably emphasize the technical/vocational aspects of Tinkercad, and have not conceived of its usefulness in teaching the Humanities. Look for many period piece designs from me, depicting both men and women in historical/cultural settings, with an emphasis on fashion.
Those people who are familiar with my work, would probably know me best as the ‘Guy who makes SuperHeroes and Robots’. Well, I’m not going to disappoint those people-I made two original designs for MechaMay and one tribute to the Defining Mecha Show of Japan, Macross Saga. I believe the term Mecha first came into the Japanese vocabulary with its association to that franchise. All three of these works were very time consuming, requiring lots and lots of “moves.” First came DonnaMafalda’s FerroFalco. Then came Lady Minako’s Cannoneer. I did re-poses of each, and then jumped hard into to doing the Macross Super Valkyrie Battroid. I haven’t put every single detail on it yet, because I don’t how much more detail the design can handle. I wanted to publish it in time for MakerFaire’15, so I dropped the work where it lay, and will try to sneak a few more key details into it later. I then got to work on Babe-A Fett and her Slave II Mech, which was partially based on Boba Fett’s Slave I spaceship. I tried to put tweets out on Twitter showing what Tinkercad could do, and hoped that I could interest more hardcore StarWars fans in using Tinkercad. Well, it was worth a try…It was also worth a try to make a name badge with the Krasherox name on it….Too bad my 3D printer broke down, right before MakerFaire! Murphy’s Law! I wound up sculpting my name badge out of polymer clay.
MakerFaire was a great inspiration to me. I want to support the Megabot movement with a couple of Tinkercad pieces of their Megabot Mark II. Also, seeing an organ that shot flames as it played inspired me to do another Mech piece which I call ‘Calliopus’. Imagine a mech with a pipe organ that shoots fire built onto its back. If only I could make one in real life! Who knows?
Well, I shut up my blogging mouth for awhile and have been working up a storm on many projects simultaneously. Some pieces are just the results of going on a ‘Shaping Safari’, where I’m just trying to make something happen by trial and error. My piece that I call the ‘PescaFant’ (Pesce=Fish in Italian + Fant for Fantasy) was a lot of fun to put together. I got a lot of surprise shapes out of it that I can use, and I think I captured a little bit of Marine Mojo in a stylized abstract package. Then I went back to my Wacky Races Garage to hammer out a more deliberate project, Lazy Luke and his Arkansas ChuggaBug. I think it will turn out nicely, but I haven’t even started on Blubber Bear, or finished the MoonShine Still engine. Way back in 2104 I asked Andrew D and The- Artist -Formerly-Known-as- Chase if they wanted to start making the WackyRaces along with me.
They went on to do fantastic work and gain the coveted ‘TinkerStaff Favorite’ moniker with their WackyRacers. My Penelope Pitstop and her Compact Pussycat raced alongside them. I envisioned a piece that would finally have all our Wacky Racers together in a road race, but we’ll have to see how many artists still want to contribute to that. It’s a tough project, and to make the figures of the drivers makes it even tougher. Speaking of figures, I’m still trying to refine Elektra, who you can see is practicing her “Rock On” salute up above. I plan on making her do that gesture after defeating Bullseye(instead of getting impaled on her own sai by him..that never sat well with me.)
The shaping of the RockOn hands was done with the thought of making SpiderMan and getting his web-shooting hands done in advance. I am working on another template SuperHero body for men, and am always trying to make a better female version. I plan to make a Daredevil holding the body of lifeless Elektra with the newest body templates. And I started my research on making Medusa of the Inhumans…wanting eventually to make the whole team, with Lockjaw. I wanted to drop a surprise design of Medusa fighting Deadpool and Lady Deadpool-thought it would be cool to see her thrashing Deadpool with her giant tentacles of hair! But that’s going to be a major project.
And then there’s Gundam! I’m having a great time watching S-Gundam materialize. I’m very pleased with how the Gundam aesthetic is translating to the TinkerVerse. (I’ll have to post another blog on the topic of Tinkercad’s unique graphic qualities later.) I had always wanted to make Gundams, but was too busy learning how to use Tinkercad to approach it seriously. My garage is 3/4 filled with Gundam kits, so I’m uniquely qualified to attempt the task at hand. I chose S-Gundam, because I wanted to throw a haymaker, and do something challenging, that would give the ScanFans something to think about. I also wanted to provoke more people in Japan to start using Tinkercad. (I am also planning a Harajuku fashion design series to that end…)
My impression is that Tinkercad is relatively unknown, and taken for granted as a children’s tool. I will do everything I can from my little corner of the world to change that perception. My next blog will be about my perceptions of Tinkercad, how I think it compares to traditional sculpting, and how I think it compares to other programs I have tried.
I totally missed the Megabots Contest….because I never, ever read the Tinkercad Blog!!!! Do you think I could have provided a Mech? I was born to make Mechs…All that has been on my mind since the age of three was this one thought…”MUST MAKE ROBOTS!!!!” Cruel are the Fates!
Oh well, at least Mech-A-May is on the way, so here’s a sneak peek at what my main entry will be based on…The Claudian War Ox, which I made about 5 months ago before I had developed a workable skill level on Tinkercad. I’ve looked at the prize-winners of the MegaBot contest, and analyzed what it will take to stand out and be different from the rest of the Mecha…
Today was a day where I had to prepare traditional Italian Easter season food so there wasn’t enough time to do much on Tinkercad. Kids grumbled about the smell of Baccala, the Italian Salt Cod dish, filling the house, and luckily I distracted them by introducing them to Tinkerplay. I wish I could just Tinker all day, but in the outside world I’m known for cooking a lot-and it was time for me to make my Calabrian Power Sauce. It cures cancer and saves bad marriages. It’s very, very hot!!!
Anyway, here I am, after work trying to get some more time in on Elektra and S Gundam.
Ciao, Ci Vidiamo!
If I were to have a blog column it would have to be called. “Word from Out in Left Field.” Unlike most Tinkercad users I am not very tech savvy, and when I tinker, I do so from the heart, not from the neck up…I barely know how to use any of the tools. Alignment Tool? Don’t know what it does, so I must not need it…A real Cad user could break down any of my designs, and say ,”why isn’t this perfectly symmetrical? All he had to do was plug the numbers in….duh! ” What I do have is insight gained after years of sculpting…the ability to visualize what kind of template I need on Tinkercad, based on the templates I would use with clay. I’m that kid in the classroom, who’s daydreaming in the corner, making his math sheet into an origami robot, not the one diligently adding up sums, and so I go on a lot of tangents. I experiment with shapes, just for the heck of it, all the time. I have to stumble around and see what’s possible by sheer trial and error. So, if you don’t hear from me, just realize that I’m out in Left Field chasing butterflies! And I hope to drift in with a net full of really cool things I’ve discovered!
Today I published an experimental session entitled “Der SkumpyWuffle”, which was an attempt to see what it would take to make a seamless mass out of grouped ovals. I enjoyed getting a sense of flow in the shark/dolphin-like SkumpyWuffle’s body. It’s basically research on how to make Dinosaurs that appear to have less obvious seams between body and limbs. Well, I’m going back out there to Left! See ya!