August 30, 2015

Lemon Heads

Fresh 'designer' lemons from our backyard. Sienna and I used our own DNA to enhance these fruits. It's like eating ourselves!

I only doodled 'Alisa' while waiting on coffee. I left the kitchen for a bit and when I came back, S. had added the rest of the tribe. Not sure what's up with 'my' crazy eyes though.


March 1, 2014

Welcome to Catapult Air...have a nice fright.

Catapult Air has landed and you can board it right now. Watch the latest Brudders movie 'Scareplane' on our website and on Vimeo. (Coming to soon to YouTube.)

- Sgt M.

December 22, 2013

Wrapping up 2013

2013 was an incredibly busy year for us on the freelance front. Unfortunately, that means we weren't able to spend as much time on Little Green Dog projects as we originally planned. Many comic strips were written but never drawn, Pooper is still in production, and we have Brudders toys that we want to prototype on our Form 1 printer, but we've had so little time for any of this. Sigh!

This isn't to say the cats have been lazing about at Little Green Dog these past months. They've been busy working on a new short film called Scareplane, so keep an eye open for the official announcement. Here's a teaser pic from the film...

After Scareplane is released, Team Little Green Dog will be finishing Pooper (for real) and bringing out a batch of new comics.

So hang in there--we have lots of fun and surprises in store for 2014.

Oh, and today is Alisa's birthday. Happy birthday sweetie!

- G.

October 22, 2013

iPi Mocap Studio Update: Three Kinects!

iPi Soft recently added support for three Kinect sensors. iPi's 'triple threat' is experimental at this time but if it works, this new feature should improve motion capture quality by completely eliminating occlusion. According the to the official docs, this new configuration is comparable to using six PS3 Eye camera's. The 'downside' is that the capture space is limited to 2.5 x 2.5 meters (about 8 x 8 feet)--not a problem for us because we're used to shooting in an even smaller space.

Here's the full scoop: Getting Started with Triple Depth Sensor Configuration

Exporting the triple Kinect mocap data is available in the Standard edition only (you can try it out in the Basic edition but export is disabled.) Calibration for triple Kinect is similar to the system used for PSP 3 Eyes, using a Maglite in 'candlestick' mode.

We have a third Kinect here at Little Green Dog but sadly no time right now to try this feature because we're busy wrapping up a new cartoon short (this is a separate film from 'B2'--more on this new project later this week.) Next month we may be picking up a little contract mocap work so we'll be R&D-ing the new triple Kinect configuration soon.

Pretty exciting stuff isn't it? I'll report more about this new feature later as time permits.

Additionally, it appears the developers improved iPi Mocap Studio's spine tracking--glad to see this issue getting attention.


July 18, 2013

Our First 3D Print: Sparklepus!

We finally got cooking with our Form 1 and our first print is a toy prototype of Sparklepus from 'Happy Box'. If you don't remember what Sparklepus looks like, here you go...

"I don't get it."

This is what Sparklepus looks like in the Form 1's PreForm software.

How's it done? With lasers of course!

Fresh from the oven.

Ready for finishing.

Supports removed. Clippers come in handy for this stage.

 Cleaned up and ready for painting.

Detail of the mane and tail. Considering the overhangs, I was surprised that the Form 1 could print this without error. "No problem boss!"


Beauty shots!

Final observations: The original Sparklepus model was not created with 3D printing in mind--in fact, it was only meant to look good for the 3 shots in 'Happy Box'. The PreForm software evaluated that it would be fine to print it but the mane concerned me and I decided not to risk it.

For this 'print-friendly' version, I modified the hair pieces slightly by adding four more locks and reshaping some of the 'roots' to fully penetrate the 'skin'. The body shape was then used to subtract the intersecting volume from the two hair pieces to make them form fitting for easy assembly. Finally, Sparklepus was separated into three objects: body, mane and tail. This not only made the model more printable but it also made it a lot easier to paint. Other than that, it's the same object Sergeant is holding in the top image.

Once I got the model into PreForm, printing and clean up was mostly hassle free.

My one issue came during the finishing process: with the clear resin material, it was difficult to see how good a job I was doing until after the parts were painted. As it turned out, the mane is a little rougher than I like. I wonder if finishing will become easier once the gray or white materials becomes available. No worries; having done this once now, I feel I can do a better job next time with the clear resin.

Conclusion: considering 'Sparklepus' is my first 3D print, I'm thrilled with the results. The Form 1 is simply a wonderful and amazing addition to our studio!

Technical Notes
  • Material: Clear Resin
  • Amount used: 18.1 ml
  • Print Time: 7 hours (This time can be significantly improved. See Update #2 below for new info.)
  • Software: LightWave Modeler, 3D Coat, MeshLab, Photoshop (for waterslide decals), and PreForm 0.8.2.
  • Paint: Montana Black NC.Formula, Colors: Juice and Punk Pink.
  • Decal: Experts-Choice No. 119 for inkjet Printers
  • Finishing coat (not applied yet in pics above): Micro Sol Setting Solution (for softening and bonding decals,) Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Matte
Update #1: I can't apply the Micro Sol solution because the instructions state you need to apply it to the surface before applying the decals. Oh well, I'll get it right next time. Or, maybe I'll try it anyway and see what happens--if I mess it up, I can always print a new toy right?

Update #2: I just learned I can speed up the printing process by choosing the 100 microns setting. This comes at the cost of fine detail but since this model isn't particularly detailed to begin with, 100 microns might possibly result in a smoother surface too. Really should test this immediately.

By the way, this model was printed at 50 microns (the default setting) and the printer is capable of getting as fine as 25 microns. Microns, schmicrons, so what's does that mean in English? To put it in perspective, the thickness of human hair varies between 50 and 120 microns!


June 30, 2013

One Minute Preview of 'Brudders 2'

Here's a one minute excerpt from our next 'Brudders' short film, currently in production.

The full 3-1/2 minute music video is on track to come out later this year. Watch our blog for further announcements.

You can watch the video here in this blog entry or in magical HD on our Vimeo Channel.

- Sgt M.

Unboxing The Form 1 3D Printer

This week Greenlaw and Sienna recorded an unboxing video for their newly arrived Form 1 stereo lithographic 3D printer.

Little Green Dog helped fund the development of this revolutionary device last year through a Kickstarter campaign. You can watch the video here in this blog entry or in glorious HD on our Vimeo Channel.

- Sgt M.