Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Cotton, buttons and cute things galore

I've been working on my sentry gun for a little while now and I'm kind of happy with the direction it's going. I've made some mood boards and worked up some concepts using silhouettes from the images I've collected, which is a workflow that I have yet to get completely used to. I was pretty quick to decide that I wanted to do a sort of 'higgledy-piggledy' type sentry, and that made me choose to do something based on items you'd find in a haberdashery. I'd also hope to incorporate some mechanics from a sewing machine in there and have every piece something completely related to sewing.

I realised pretty early on that nearly all of the sewing materials I was collecting as reference were what you'd call 'vintage' or 'old-fashioned' and so it only seemed natural to base my gun on a specific time period. I chose World War 2 due to the big 'Sew For Victory' campaign that was happening at the time, and I felt a gun made of sewing equipment would fit quite well.

I then went on to take some silhouettes from my mood boards and turn them into a sort of kit of building blocks for some guns. I randomly placed the objects down until I got a shape that looked remotely like a sentry gun, until I had a fair selection to choose from.

I felt by doing this I really struggled to get many that actually looked like they could be working sentry guns, and also, I just found it difficult in general to come up with so many different ways to compose the shapes. This then led me to take some pictures of a sewing machine and make some more detailed silhouettes from those, which I then laid on top of my existing silhouettes to attempt to make them more interesting.

If I'd have had a longer period of time to complete the project, I would have perhaps tried to churn out some more silhouettes to come up with a more interesting bunch than I ended up with. Sadly, as the time is very limited with this project, I chose to move on quickly and just make the best of what I had, and so my top three were taken forward for more development.

To me, the bottom two look a little bit too modern for the look I'm going for, especially the bottom one as it looks like a needle full of chemicals from a sci-fi movie. I felt like the top one looked quite retro in a way, almost resembling a cutesie ray gun, and I quite liked the feel of it. My favourite design of the top three is the end one, simply because it is the most interesting of the three silhouettes.

It's been important for me from the start to make sure the gun is made solely from objects you'd find in a haberdashery, and so my next aim was to split the gun up into shapes that could all be recognised as equipment used for sewing. I found this more difficult than I had anticipated, and perhaps now I feel like there was a much easier way of approaching this rather than making silhouettes out of the shapes to then piece the shapes back into it. After two attempts, I felt like my second try was as successful as I was going to get, and I am eager to start the modelling process so I'm going to go with it.

Hopefully in my next post I'll be able to show you some progress regarding the modelling and texturing, I don't expect the modelling to take me too long, as I seem to knock things up pretty quick these days, it's the texturing I'm more worried about time-wise, as it's going to be full of lots of different textures and components, which comes with the very nature of the gun, and I just hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew. I can only try my best I s'pose, and I'm happy to feel like I'm pushing my technical skills a little.

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