Friday, December 22, 2017

Doctor Who Chess Set Video

Am I pushing things just a wee bit too far with this thumbnail? Am I relying too much on my ability to make the educational defense should I get into trouble? Was I far too hasty in photoshopping those crowns? Maybe, probably, and yes. But I love it so.

Download and print your own Doctor Who Chess set:

It's interesting to me what videos I feel good putting the book bumper on the tail end of, and which ones I don't. This one? No conflict. Translating my Grandpa's wood cut nativity set to 3D printing? I'll admit, I waffled a bit before putting it on there, but it seemed to flow. But the Scripture Tree? I just couldn't bring myself to put it on there. And I don't know if it was so much out of solemnity as it just didn't flow with the rest of the video. Maybe that is exactly the solemnity of the project that is influencing me.

Again, this is another project with a lot of little pieces that I've been putting together over a long time. According to the time stamp on the render, I first released TARDIS Run with all the pawns in September 2013. When Capaldi came into the story I updated the set with some premium pawns, to see if there was a market for these things. With this chess set, I guess I'm unofficially de-premium-izing those pawns because you can get them here, plus Jodie Whittaker, Missy, the Empty Child, and the Brain of Morbius. Admittedly Whittaker has a crown, but who's going to want to remove that?

With this sort of project you're always trying to double dip your time so you're not reinventing the wheel with each piece, like setting up frameworks to build on. It just makes sense to keep things consistent. With the Doctors I was generally able to reuse similar techniques from Doctor to Doctor, but with the monsters I was all over the place. One would need solid object manipulation, others would need some sculpting. Of course the putting them all together with Boolean operations afterwards was a nightmare! Of all the pieces, Doctor and monsters, I think Matt Smith's hair cause the biggest problem with the Boolean operator. No matter what I did those locks just did not want to cooperate.

Whenever you pull open an old project like this there's always that moment of "yeech, how dumb was I back then." In this case I had separate source files for each of the Monsters. I also didn't know much about parenting objects back then. So I combined all the source files into one source file and put the individual objects under their respective parent objects to keep the object organizer clean. This was actually a technique I've never used before, but I think I'm going to make it a habit. I wonder what I'll offend myself by not knowing in a few years when Whittaker steps down and I have to update things again.

This leads me to realize that, holy carp, I've been using Blender for a really long time. I don't think there's anything I've stuck with consistantly for longer. And yet I still feel like I'm clumsily banging on a keyboard when I use it. I feel like there's this degree of elegance when using this tool that I am not achieving. Like I'm just barely getting it to do what I want it to. And yet it always does what I want it to in the end. And that's saying something. I've used other tools that I get to a certain point I discover it can't do what I want to do. That is never a problem with blender. It sometimes can'd do things the way I want to do them, the way other programs can, but it always has an answer. That's something.

I gotta dam this stream of consciousness before it floods us all. All I really wanted to say when I started was this; download this chess set on MyMiniFactory, print your own, have a very merry Christmas, and I'll hopefully see you on the other side with a 2017 year-end review before jumping with both feet into the new year and new adventures which will include a band new makerspace.

Oh yeah. Gonna just drop that on you and leave.

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