|Halloween Headpieces [message #21676] Wed, 15 December 2010 18:27 UTC
During October I made a few 3D printed hats for Halloween. My entire head was scanned to ensure a snug fit and optimum use of materials. You can see similarities between some features where the same selection of faces were used. The intent of that is to illustrate part of the process where design decisions made in one stage can branch out to drastically different results in later stages. A completely different form and theme was applied in each case. I went to a few Halloween parties to show them and used the opportunity to explain what I do and how they were made. I received a few pictures from one of the parties, but they were blurry and lit by a flash, so not very illustrative.|
The Cranial Net is a fairly straight forward use of the mesh. It was converted into a frame that followed my head so precisely that it has a "melted" appearance. The color scheme was hot red and orange on the inside and cool blue on the outside, so I could describe the piece as looking like a futuristic organic heat exchanger to cool an overactive mind, or an alien therapeutic device. This was the first one I completed, and since my head was still freshly shaved for scanning, the overall look had a clean, clinical vibe.
The Lava Dome was the one I wore the most, since it is pretty solid and projects the farthest from my head. It looks like lava exploding out of pools separated by faceted paths. There are some unintended checker-like features in the coloring due to a conversion problem, but they actually added visual interest to the design so I am happy with the with the result.
The Blade Hawk started with a Boolean intersection to define a central stripe. I modeled a single saw-tooth and arrayed them in continuously changing scale and angle to get a smooth sweep. I wasn't able to see the hairline on the model and made it one tooth shorter than I would have liked. I gave it away at one of the parties since I knew I'd make another one, so unfortunately I don't have a real picture.
Microcosmic Head Village
The Head Village has an obvious symbolism that would be hard to miss. The theme is creating a world in your head and bringing it into reality. This is very literally illustrated by placing an entire little world on the head. It is also a lot of fun to make little scenes like this and surprisingly fast once you develop the technique. The whole model was created in about six hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon, though I later spent more time to get the colors right. These are so much fun to create, I'm considering making a tutorial so other people can make mini scenes too.
Other than just having fun making some 3d designs for Halloween, I wanted to use the opportunity to introduce some people to 3d printing and get responses. Peoples immediate observations tend to be more honest since they haven't already had a viewpoint presented to them or had time to reflect, so I gain a lot more raw insight that way than by tracking sales and internet traffic.
One of the bigger parties I attended was at the House of Love in Connecticut, with about 500 in attendence at any given time and pretty high turnover rate. They always have a great Halloween party and this year was no exception. Live bands, fire dancing, etc. I printed customized Time Keepers Bearing the text "House of Love - Halloween 2010" and had the go-ahead to sell them there at a table along with the glass, T's and other craft, but it was past midnight by the time I arrived. While I was still feeling enthusiastic, I was not very interested in completing transactions and selling things. There were almost 50 custom pieces and I couldn't imagine I'd sell that much, and wouldn't want leftover stock, so I just gave them away. People were very fascinated- I gave out plenty of business cards and got a noticeable sales spike along with some very useful feedback. While many people will remember the experience well enough to come away with something, realistically it was a party fairly late at night so I did get a good share of perplexed looks. I gave away all the custom Time Keepers and a few of the generic ones, although I'm not sure I should call them that since they are all unique!
I later did a little more work on the Head Village, carefully applying Meshlabs cylindrical unwrapping tool on each axis to unroll the dome into a flat sheet. I used Blenders sculpting tools to correct mild distortions, and created a VRML file of the result. All the navigation data and lighting has been added to make it a fully interactive little world, and it's available for download at the end of this post. It can be viewed using A VRML viewer. The free program View3Dscene, also known as the Kambi VRML game engine, is very well supported and is what I used to record the video here:
After opening the file in Kambi, press ctrl+M to point the view with the mouse, and press the f1 key to hide the scene info.
This is a lot of fun and is also an interesting concept. Using VRML, the same file that can be an interactive game can also be directly turned into a real object. VRML has tons of potential that was never realized mostly because of the lack of development tools. Looking back over 15 years, virtual reality was over-hyped, but the ideas were sound, it was only the designs that were lacking. I hope to do my part by showing some of the possibilities that were enabled by the technology, and demonstrate the value of the software environment that so much effort was put into yet never materialized in the way we expected. The concepts were later implemented to great effect in MMORPGs, but we are still lacking a generic interface to a 3D cyberspace. It may not have been planned, but VRML may be further ahead of its time than it's creators anticipated.
I hope you enjoy these wearable sculptures, and of course you can buy them at my shop.
[Updated on: Thu, 16 December 2010 11:50 UTC]
Aaron - 40westdesigns.com/blog