Success and failure

It is certain that the definition of success or failure is determined by the initial expectations one has for a venture.

Coming from the perfect world of VR’s to the messy and imperfect world of matter is bound to be a difficult transition, especially if you are a bit of a perfectionist, as I am. Coupled with my eternal optimism I did tend towards the idea that if I could think it, I could do it. Well, life is somewhat trickier than that and I have had a few things to come to grips with.

Please don’t think that I don’t love the whole process, because I do.  The very self-educational process has always been the primary reason for doing arty stuff, the actual product I have always seen as a bit of a by-product of the process…. one reason why I have always held firm in the idea that the total number of visitors to a sim is no indication of anything except traffic.

So, with 32 components needed to make up my latest lampscape project it is only to be expected that some of them will cause me the greatest trouble while others will just appear, almost like rezzing prims.

My greatest problem so far is an egg shaped former I am planning to use as a former for the canopy. My idea is to cast a wax egg and form the canopy around it so that I can then melt the wax and leave a hollow canopy with no ‘joins’. This has proved interesting and frustrating.

Firstly, sculpting a perfect egg is a very tricky thing, it’s a demanding object as the eye can spot any deviations from the ‘true’ form very easily. Used to just rezzing spheres and stretching them a little in VRs has only enhanced my eye for imperfections. So… leaving that aside I decided to mould and then cast the more or less egg that I have sculpted. Here my poor mould-making skills have been shown up somewhat but I have sort of struggled though, knowing that by the 32nd mould I will be quite good at all this.

The egg saga continues, however, as wax shrinks on cooling and tends to pull the rubber inner mould away from the outer support mould. I read that beeswax doesn’t shrink, so I got some. The thing is, it does. Never believe what you read on the internet. Anyway… 2 moulds and 7 pours later I am still no nearer to solving this one, but I like a challenge… it is becoming a quest.

On the more ‘success’ side I have moved on with the base and the lilly pads and pitcher plants so that they may well be ripe for moulding next weekend. Below is my first test pour of the trunk in clear resin and my first trials with the glass paints which are a real bugger.

Glass paints are like nail varnish and you know what a sod that can be. A fair amount of trialling and experimentation will be necessary to come up with a respectable texture using something which globs up and runs and dissolves the underlying coat. Luckily cellulose thinners do give you the option of cleaning it all off and starting again.

This is a test texture for the rock too, but I have since come up with a much better one and I have successfully poured my first rock from my mould in resin, so that just needs a bit of repairs and is ready to paint, my first RL prim.

When I was making jewellery I came up with the idea that flaws in the perfect surface need to be removed “if they detract from the overall enjoyment” so, I guess that is my benchmark of success and failure. One is on one side of that line, the other not so.





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9 responses to “Success and failure

  1. A very inspiring post. RL art creation is hard…and interesting…and frustrating…but the rewards are greater. I am with you in spirit as you tackle this project. Keep on keepin on.

    btw, think of using plastic sheets and a heat gun to mold or hold objects together.

  2. Thanks Cecil … all moral support is thoroughly welcome. I have a lot of honing to do and I am more the ‘instant production’ type than a honer, so I’m flexing Patience Muscles that normally lie dormant.

  3. omg. trying to replicate your virtual builds in RL! i have attempted to make some of my things in paper origami and then painting them. they just don’t seem nearly as dramatic as they do virtually. /me is continuing to watch your progress with great interest.

  4. To get a good egg-shape, you might consider/try using a balloon – I had moderate success using one with plaster and plastics; just don’t have the wax TOO hot. It might stretch some because of heating the air inside the balloon (via the hot wax)… can only experiment. You might also try… *thinking* spraying the balloon in multiple thin coats of a varnish so that it is more rigid/stiffer for application of the wax…

    One suggestion for the glass paints (taken from nail polish/varnish): refrigerate the paints; it makes them smoother and somewhat more even and prevents drips and runs somewhat.

    Yes, I liked this: “the actual product I have always seen as a bit of a by-product of the process…. ” that is the way it is for me, often :)

  5. Juanita Deharo

    Real life can be a real drag can’t it? I’ve just spent two days out in the Australian bush in the rain learning how to project machinima and other video onto a wall of massive forest trees – very impressive and exciting- and I love the idea of creating a virtual world in a pristine natural setting, but it brings home to me the dull thud of reality that you are also experiencing – how dreams don’t always come true, how limited we are by the physical world, how our bodies are NOT avatars. It can be frustrating, but it’s also incredibly rewarding to see a physical manifestation of your virtual world dreams and visions. Stay with it Soror.

  6. Thanks friends..:))

    As often happens, today was better and things are steadily moving along. I don’t really mind the trials and tribulations, after all they are all part of the process, I think only that I hoped I was running a 400 meters and it turns out I’ve signed up for the full marathon.

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

  7. The shapes are pure soror! Really lovely and sinuous. Not so sure about the paint though, and I gather it is an issue for you too – it looks super-imposed. Would there be any way to get the color into the resin itself so that the whole lamp would remain transparent? Failing that, are there transparent paints – sort of like “clear” nail polishes?

    Quibbles aside, this is an inspiring effort! Onward!!

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