Second Out of Shape column, you guys! Get excited – this one’s a fun/disturbing one.

After hearing lots about Tinkercad, it was the program I used for my very first official foray into 3D design (aside from my sassy pendant project).

As predicted, a lack of inspiration/purpose proved to be kind of a design roadblock so I was just aimlessly creating — which led to this weird bird (rocket?) thing.

The 3-axis trickiness really challenged my brain when trying to move the beak onto the body, and I couldn’t figure out why it would end up completely off the body while looking like it was attached from certain angles. Remember when I said I’d only ask for help if I “really, really, reaaaally” needed it? This felt like one of those times, so my colleague Seth came to the rescue, basically reminding me that I was 3D designing instead of just designing on a flat plane. This led to the creation of BirdRocket, which I shared with my best friend (hi, Leigh!) because she’s my #3 cheerleader (my mom and dad are #1 and #2, but they’re not really online much). Her reaction was favorable because she’s a wonderful human.

Feeling like I wanted to explore my other 3D modeling options, I downloaded Sculptris because Chandler Rowland from Things You Want To Buy had recommended it. It’s like virtually sculpting clay. Chandler’s shop is a collection of hilarious creatures with brilliant names like Vjorm Loh the Tunabear and Lobgoblin so naturally had to ask how they were inspired. Chandler said, “I get ideas from everywhere and sometimes nowhere. I’ve been inspired by an alternate meaning of a common phrase, the name of a podcast I listen to, and random ideas that just pop into my head. I also often get ideas from nature, mythology, and other forms of fiction, which I try to combine in new ways.”

Because I didn’t have any ideas in mind, I pulled inspiration from the Omnom Paperclip Holder I’ve had on my desk for ages. It’s from Wondercat, a shop full of figurines that are full of personality and cheekiness (like Soul of a Burnt Marshmallow, OMG). In my attempt to recreate this cute ‘lil’ bunny, something went horribly, horribly wrong — leading to the creation of BearPig (model screenshot below). It’s probably an indication of some deep, undiscovered inner darkness of my psyche but that’s okay — especially because Morgan, the designer behind Wondercat, said, “People tell me my toys terrify them all the time, so don’t let that stop you.”

Upon showing them, my colleagues were on Team Terrified and Seth has petitioned to “kill it with fire” (stay tuned for this Facebook Live). I printed BearPig in white nylon. It was the first design of my own that I’ve ever brought to life (again, not counting my Pitch, Please pendant adventure). The resulting print was a pretty solid ball of nylon (I guess I should have hollowed him out a bit more) with tiny, razor-sharp teeth. Here’s a photo of PigBear hanging out with the source of his inspiration; Wondercat’s rabbit looks aptly upset to be doing so. I think I may paint him at a later time, but that’s a whole different skill that needs mastering if it’ll look halfway cool — anyone wanna tackle that with me?

So, onwards and upwards from BearPig. Per all of the great advice I got on my last blog (thank you all for the awesome comments!), I wanted to earnestly find some design inspiration that would guide the next step in my journey — while also hopefully discovering some less sinister designs. So, I reached out to Alex, the creative genius behind WebComicName, a bunch of comics featuring human (and animal) blobs in awkward, hilarious, and often relatable situations. Alex has given me his blessing to 3D model the characters gracing the panels of his comics, like this one:

All of the characters are these amazing little blobby shapes that should be basic enough to be an accessible 3D modeling project. And, worse case? Look at how cute Alex makes failure look!

Okay but seriously, now I have some questions for you guys:

  • What’s the best program I should use to bring these little WebComicName blobs to life? Someone here suggested Sculptris but I’m worried about a) trying to form these characters starting with a sphere and b) it resulting in BearPig II.
  • How should I design these characters to stand up/lay? Should I give them a base? Design them to lay flat? I tried to flatten out the bottom of BearPig but did it in the wrong place/not enough so he kind of rolls and settles on my desk facing upwards (probably roaring at the sky, but it’s cool).