Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Raygun VII.II

The CAD has been fighting me. I always love tutorials from the people bankrolling the software; it is extremely rare when they openly admit they are only doing the kinds of shapes the software wants, and letting it make their design choices for them. A luxury I mostly do not have, as this project has proceeded through a careful series of pre-production sketches, concept models, and so on -- with client approval at each step.

In any case, the surface detailing is basically done. I've also been struggling -- pretty much, throughout the design process -- with balancing the sleek menace of a "real" looking weapon, with the kind of playful, puffed-up cartoony look we are after. I may have been looking at this model too long, but right now frankly I prefer the mock-up:

It has a sleeker feel to it. Some appears unavoidable consequences of the tooling up; the client requested the "donuts" be larger and more prominent, for instance (which felt like it required a larger dish as well). The setting knob has to be bigger in order to get fingers inside it (although I suppose I could use a knob with a knurled outer edge instead -- or even go with a chicken-head instead of the 1970's television dial style recessed disk). And the new direction of the cuts in the grip was an accident, but I think it looks better. It does, however, pull away from the strong horizontal flow of the prop.

Even the fin almost looks better as a flat slab, instead of the sculpted airplane tailfin I had originally envisioned.

But there's only seven weeks until delivery. That's already far short of my original target of having a month for the client to show it off and maybe inspire some friends to purchase their own. So I can no longer afford to do a lot of second-guessing. Including with the software; I have to accept the ways it is forcing the shapes to go and live with that.

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