setting down roots

I've abandoned this blog for quite awhile. The allure of tumblr with its quick clean posts and instantaneous outpourings of love and affection proved to be irresistible. I've forgotten how nice it is to write. A lot has gone on since the summer. I have to say in the interim I've failed quite spectacularly in ways I never would have fathomed possible. My fourteen year old self hidden somewhere in my brain writhes in overachieving agony and despair. In certain places though I have found serene patches of quiet (well one case of loud excellently lit runway) success. I've fallen in and out of love, purchased new large glasses, finished two sketchbooks, perfected my Japanese cooking skills, and managed to dredge the last bits of myself from the overwhelming stress and unhappiness that was carnegie mellon and reassembled them into a curious level headed human capable of all the functional human things.

I promise to start filling in this empty space with some of the projects I've finished in the time being (I have to beat my portfolio website like a rug to get some random horrible creatures out that I never noticed snuck in) and will return shortly.


Valiant in gif form

So I haven't posted here in forever, I've fallen down the dark bottomless hole of tumblr I'm afraid. I will rectify this shortly, but in the meantime, here are some gifs my friend Max Hawkins made of the collection I've been working on as of late



Oh yeah! I forgot to post it here, but this horrible monster of a project is finally finished!

I don't know if you remember, but a few months ago I submitted this storyboard to my animation class. We all voted, and the top five were chosen to be made into animation. I was assigned/placed in a team of six (soon to be five) and we had roughly three months to create this animation.

We did all of the physical animation in Maya, and I either created from scratch, or had a hand in finishing/texturing, all of the models for the exception of the wolf, Skoll, who was created by Paul Miller, and textured by Katie Nestor.

Paul and I both wrote code for the world tree, but Paul ended up creating the final geometry, since OpenFrameworks is much more powerful and able to create more complicated geometry than my Processing script. I sculpted in the root details and rearranged/cleaned up the branches using ZBrush.

We broke up the actual animating by scene. I personally animated the fight scene, (since really that was the one least fleshed out in my storyboard, and I was excited to work on it) which starts around 1:28 and finishes at 1:44.



So this was a bit of a stumbling first start at a comic. I scripted the thing after very little sleep in a stroke of inspiration at around 3 in the morning, and I sat back on my heels and thought to myself, "Hah! This will be both brilliant and hilarious!". 48 hours later after pencils and the inking, I realized that ...this wasn't the case. I'm not sure if the lack of dialogue after the first two pages is jarring or not either. I actually like telling stories without it much more, and I think the piece gets much stronger without it.

I'm still missing pages here and there (I might post the sketchy progress work later), but I really like the sort of cartoony art style, and the way guard 2 looks a lot like my very old and very good friend Jon, who was visiting me that weekend.

a Hair Timeline

This is a very ridiculous doodle I made while battling some existential dread. This is of course is most easily dealt with by doing something drastic to your head, taking a deep breath, and then sucking it up.



This was my final comic for my graphic novels class, about a little old lady who dies and ends up being taken to Valhalla.

Oh man, this one was on the tightest deadline ever, I had a notion of what I wanted in my head and then whipped out the pages after doing some quick character design and figuring out how to draw old ladies. I didn't get terribly far story-wise (and for someone who likes to write quite a lot I have a really hard time with comic dialogue (to be honest, Kiera Wolfe always collaborates with me on the successful ones)), but I was really happy with the art style and all the crazy different things I got to experiment with. I was really looking forward to having Granny interacting with the Vikings/Valkyries, and maybe this will end up being one of the projects I slave on for the summer.

Valhalla does not agree with Granny, and she ends up leading the Einherjar against raving frost giant hordes so she can't get to a proper afterlife, with tea, scones, and her husband.

Waterbomb | A kinetic dress

Mechanical System

Once we had the waterbomb fabric, we looked at different mechanical systems that we could use to actuate it. We finally decided on monofilament truss system that we threaded through eyelets that we laser cut and hand sewed onto the vertices of the waterbomb valleys. We used these to control the movement we wanted from the dress via 3 cords made up smaller connections from the wiring in the dress. One string controlled the front vertical movement of the dress, the other the back vertical movement and the last one controlled constricting horizontal movement.

Electrical System

Mahvish and I are both software kind of girls with experience in small scale robotics, so we were super excited to jump in and …learn some basic electrical engineering. We designed the system to be relatively straightforward with that in mind. We anchored most of the heavier elements to the incredibly sturdy zipper of the dress so we wouldn’t need crazy boning/corsetry to hold it up.

(parts from top left clockwise: diy continuous rotation servo with bobbin, battery packs x2, diy voltage regulator, breadboard prototype for the breath sensor, slightly more buff diy continuous rotation servo hot glued to laser cut mount)

One of the most exciting elements of this project for us (and ultimately, the key to our doom), was the fact that we built the key elements of the electrical system ourselves. We hacked some basic hobby servos Mahvish had for continuous rotation by removing the pentometer and replacing it with two 2.2kohm resistors. We also built a voltage regulator so we could power our initial design, which required 5 normal servos, off of a single 9volt that we ended up scrapping, but were immensely proud of. Lastly the breath sensor built into the collar took advantage of the thermochromatic paint. When the wearer breathes on it, the paint changes color which is picked up by a light sensor and sent to the Lilypad.

(hacked servo on left, removed pentometer on right)