Friday, March 4, 2016

CNC milling: Stamp part 4

The day has finally come where I finished my stamp/seal project. Almost a year ago I decided to learn 3D modelling and start making it. Now it is complete.

(although I will add a handle later) 
I had put this project on wait until we got a laser cutter, but in the end the CNC mill is probably the better choice. 
In order to fit my logo design into such a small scale, I decided through some trial and error to make a second version of the logo. It is a symbol form of the original. I made 4 attempts to recreate it using different methods. In the end I settled on making the design with open paths (illustrator) because this assured me that no area would ever be thinner than how wide the drillbit might be.

First I drew the shape as a sketch, real size 2 cm wide. Above is an automated vector shape created with Adobe Capture. It makes messy paths. I tried tracing it, but was unhappy with the shapes I created. There is some appeal to the blotchy looking result above, but not for this purpose, where I wanted a clean look.

Above is the final version using set width open toolpaths. It wasn't what I had thought of first, but I quickly became fond of the symbol.

With the help of Nordvik we milled the seal in aluminium. I believe that the part being in metal helps disperse the heat from the wax fast, making it much more functional than other materials.

The part is 35 mm wide. The path is 2mm

Final results, testing with ordinary candle wax.

Here is a bonus picture of Yoshi at work taking pictures of the milling machine working. We milled at Bitraf.

Recursive photoception

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dragon egg project (wip)

WIP Project: Dragon eggs

(Note: W.I.P stands for Work In Progress. Posts tagged with WIP can be voted on here in order to encourage me to re-prioritize what to work on)

The Dragon egg project consists of trying to make a mould for wax casting cool fantasy candles. The first idea I had is of a simple candle wax egg, hence the name. 

First attempts at a dragon egg model.

First attempt at a mould
Mould with tabs to ease opening, holes to line up the pattern, and notch to see how the parts are oriented.

I expect the first version to have a few problems, mainly the pattern might be too detailed, and when trying to remove the candle from the mould I expect it to be stuck, I may have to print the model itself and do a latex cast of it instead of 3D print it directly. I want to 3D print and test it to be sure however, I won't know if it has failed before it has failed after all. Another problem is that it has overhangs and can't be printed in the orientation I wanted.

The next version I am working on will have arched legs stuck to a larger surface of the egg body, for strength and avoiding overhangs when 3D printing.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Post Game Jam Update

Progress update on Global Game Jam Oslo

GGJ went off to great start for us at Oslo, we all gathered in the auditorium, where two talks were presented by Sam Partridge of Failbetter Games and Tom Kail of Inkle Studios. Of course the keynote was also shown.

New this year: we were all split into random practice teams in order to encourage people to form teams with strangers. The teams had a few minutes to come up with a game idea on the spot and then present it. I ended up on team 5. Thanks to this, something funny happened:

During the "find your teams" chaos, we all held up our hands with 5 fingers, resulting in us greeting each other with high fives. This then spawned the idea that we could make a a high five game. It then evolved into a body language and symbol game. We were a bit unclear on the rules, but it goes something like this:

A gesture based game

2 people stand back to back. One person is Leader, and the other is Follower. The leader makes a gesture with their arms. A third person, the interpreter, looks at the gesture and tries to communicate it in 2 words. The Follower then has to mimic the gesture based on those 2 words. If the Follower manages, they win a point and become leader. The next person in the queue then takes a spot as the new Leader. If the Follower doesn't manage, the follower goes to the back of the queue and the next person tries to be Follower.

Forming the new teams

After the team excercise, we were free to form teams any way we liked. I and Tzer0 had agreed to work together, but we had no concrete plans and ended up teaming up with the two speakers who stayed back in the auditorium. As time progressed throughout the event, more and more people migrated to our team, to a total of 7 members! That is the biggest team I have been on in a game jam.

Team composition:
Programming: Samuel Partridge (@SamuelPartridge), Tom Kail (@tomkail), Jan Anders Bremer (, Eivind Hyldmo
Art: Christina Lewis (@SkyfishArt), Martin Joakim Ulstein (@Howlstone), Jonas Nordby,

The new game

Theme: Ritual
The game idea we attempted also came from the practice team session. It is based around a time loop where some cultists are trying to perform a ritual, and other characters are trying to stop it. Since there is a time loop, the player controls all of the character, one turn at the time. (or you can play multi player) The first round there is only one character on screen, the next round there will be two, but you only control the recent arrival. Different goals will be displayed on the screen, so if you play as the knight, you might want to kill a cultist. Or if you are the sheep, you may want to run away.
I don't know much about the coding but it sure looked like the programmers were busy, and we didn't quite finish it. It was playable before the deadline however, so I consider it a success.
Additionally, Tzer0 (Jan) made a fully functional audio system involving fading in and out of synchronized tracks, that would turn in and out from the menu, making  sure the audio was never interrupted. 
That means my goal of having "a game that does not sound annoying to someone not playing it" was halfway met. (the sound effects were still haphazard and the baby literally explodes)

Personally, I contributed to the art. I wanted the game to be set in space but I was overruled, so a lot of my work was made redundant. I wish I had understood sooner. Still, the tiling floor, altar slab, and background were made by me, as well as the blue cuthulu alien character. I had issues taking screencaps near the deadline so they are brutally blurry. I used "Sword & Sworcery" (game) as a style guide for the other artists to make the characters with.

Things I learned:

  • Use images with pixel ratio dividable by 4 because something something programming something unity.
  • How to pull, commit, and push art into game with git, using sourcetree. Will git again.
  • How to open project in Unity. There is a first for everything.
  • When something is bothering you, just say it. There is no time to be annoyed and the consequences are probably tinier than you think.
  • Don't assume you understand what anyone meant. You never understand what anyone meant.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Global Game Jam Oslo

Global Game Jam is this weekend. 29.-31.January

Global Game Jam Oslo is being held at Westerdals.

I'm participating with my programmer buddy Tzer0 but we might have to look for more team members. We are gearing up for a potentially 3D VR experimental project this time, though I'm woefully under prepared with my mixed noob 3D abilities. I'd place my bets on a simpler game for the jam and the VR for later. See you there?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dream Bestiary project (wip)

WIP Project: Dream Bestiary

(Note: W.I.P stands for Work In Progress. Posts tagged with WIP can be voted on here in order to encourage me to re-prioritize what to work on)

Dreams are a core interest of mine that I never tire from talking about. I document, study, and draw inspiration from my own subconscious dreams. In order to do something concrete and perhaps commercially viable with the subject matter, I'm thinking about embarking upon a quest of documenting all hopefully most of the strange creatures that form in them. This project is in it's early idea phase, with some sketches and paintings having started. If I were to make a book, I'd either select a simpler art style and redraw the creatures clearly to communicate their designs more easily, or perhaps just select art styles that suit the individual creatures. The original sketches seem too raw and messy to make sense to anyone but me, I fear. I'd like to self publish the results eventually, if I do take this path.

Older examples of unprocessed dream sketches below.
To see dream sketches as I upload them, or to see my dream folder follow me on Deviantart. (That is where all my art images are hosted)

dream sketch: masked characters

Dream sketch: infant bird mole with chains?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Trying fusion 360

Thought I had enough having attempted to learn 3ds max, blender and mudbox? WELL YOU THOUGHT WRONG!

My new crush is currently Fusion 360.

Fusion 360 looks very enticing.
I haven't abandoned blender of course, I'm sure they have pro's and cons. Fusion is more of a full scale product design creation tool. But I won't find out for real until I have tried them both sufficiently. I am hesitant to learning new programs before I even know the others, but the user interface was just too smooth and the built in tutorials are super alluring.
Neither Adobe programs and 3DSMAX can compare to such a intuitive UI and pleasant look. Besides, fusion is free for small business and students.
Unfortunately I'm getting bugs trying to import my vectors so I have no idea where I will go with this until I find a work around.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

WIP Project: Ugly Duckling 1 (recycle art)

(Note: W.I.P stands for Work In Progress. Posts tagged with WIP can be voted on here in order to encourage me to re-prioritize what to work on)

Sometimes I like to try and reuse things for other things. It is environmentally friendly and can be quite interesting and satisfactory.

This time, as I was dusting off some really old Easter decorations, I found myself suddenly urging to do something fun with them. The decorations were, to me, meaningless. Anybody around had forgotten they existed. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, so I just started doing something, for fun. 

The subject:

First I covered the thing in gesso primer, then to contemplate the next step. Adding on strange bits? Just plain using it as a canvas? Painting it into something contrasting to what it was? Many options.

Next I covered it in blackish watercolour paint to simulate an oil spill. While I like the contrast between "cute Easter duck" and "oil spill" I felt the message was too predictive and forceful. I decided to keep going.
Here is the beginning of re-skinning the duck into a sort of wolf or monster skin, giving the impression that the duck is either wearing a wolf skin or being eaten by one. It is a bit undefined right now but you can probably spot the eyes on the top of the head.

Want to affect where I go next with this WIP? Comment on this post with your ideas.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Work In Progress - Decide what I do next

Want to affect what I do? Now is your chance!

WIP stands for Work In Progress.
I have got many ideas I would like to work on in the nebulous "some day" time. Most of my projects start off enthusiastically before I forget them in a corner somewhere. In order to complete more projects I have now decided to keep a little directory here with projects that have gone on ice. If you want to see me work on that project, all you have to do is comment about it, this will be sufficient external motivation to rejuvenate my enthusiasm and re prioritize (within reason).

This post will be updated to list blog entries tagged with WIP as I document and upload them.

WIP: Aquarium sculpture

WIP: Fantasy wax candles

WIP: Ridiculous Dreamcatchers 

WIP: Dragon Bestiary

WIP: Masks

WIP: Dream Fakemon Bestiary

WIP: VR experimental interactive gallery

Monday, January 11, 2016

Post December darkness resolve

The dark half of the year sure drains my energy. So I decided to take up sun worship (appreciation), because why not? Traditions and rituals are fun and enjoyable, so increase happiness and excuses to do fun things. But I felt the traditions I inherited were tainted by extremism religion, my lack of belief in them, as well as abuse by capitalism, granting more stress than joy. It put a damper on Christmas spirits.
What better thing to do than celebrate our friendly giant fireball in the sky instead? Yule traditions port back well to sun worship. And we owe our life to it. So I keep a Tree indoors decorated with "Suns" (stars) and planets (circular ornaments). 
Now I just need to invent my own rituals to go with it. Perhaps some thinking with friends about things we are grateful about while lighting a lot of candles.
Maybe jul is a good time to eat more vegetarian food as well?

My tiny potted tree got to wear some "planets".

I'm not taking away my decorations before late February or whenever spring hits. Whatever comes first.

My new traditions:
Make sun themed ornaments near equinox (to remember the nice light)
Eat vegetarian food (through photosynthesis of course, plants are nearer the sun than meat, metaphorically. Besides its good in other ways.)
Get together with friends on the equinox to appreciate things that increase happiness. (Happiness is the core of my new traditions, the sun is really just the mascot and bringer of happiness.)
Light candles and lights when possible (to increase light/happiness)
Keep up other traditions with low apparent bond with religion, like Eat gingerbread figurines (because they are tasty, see "happiness", bonus for sun and moon shapes)

Sun shaped dreamcatchers.

Now that snow has finally began falling, I can really feel a strong motivation and energy I haven't felt since last spring. It's a great start for 2016! Learning new software, started a bazillion new projects, reviving old ones, toying with trying some VR... I wonder what comes next. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Commission: Dragon Chomping Moon Cheese

First artwork of the year!

It's based on a funny photo of the commissioners pet rat and his dragon character (who is based on a ferret).


Want to commission me? Send me an email.