Endangered Animals — 3D Forms
Feb 25 | Research of Animal — Story
The Black Skimmer:
For my animal, I chose the Black Skimmer. The main reason I chose this animal was because it was a more interesting bird that spends time in Maryland where I live. I also think it could be really beautiful if I could make the wings spread and the beak have motion to it since they have this really interesting adaptation where their bill can skim the water for food. Their beak is a very prominent and easily noticeable feature on the bird.
For my story, I focused on talking about the features and patterns of the bird as well as the reasons why their populations are declining. This is mainly because of human destruction of their habitat’s.
March 2 | First Iteration
For my interaction, I was thinking of making the long beak open and close. When I talked to Conner at in person office hours, he said that the interaction I choose should be in the context when the animal performs this action. So, this means that ifFor my animal, I think it could be really beautiful if I made it so the wings were out and the beak could open and close. The form would be similar to the one in the pictures below.
However, when making it, I realized that I currently didn’t have anything at the scale I wanted to make the bird. A lot of the curves I found vital to the form made it so that the wings would have to a lot larger than I expected. So, for this rendition, I decided to stick with creating the form when the bird is on land and walking rather than flying.
Some problems I am seeing with the bird are the fact that the head is in a very different place than where it should be. There is also a hole between the head and the color curve. From an artistic perspective, I like how modern this, but I don’t think that this would be an appropriate decision for this project.
Two things that I really like about the form is the overall body shape and the tail (above grid bottom left and right). I think that these two shapes distill the form in a very clean and simple way. Moving forward, I might keep the body form, however if I switch to the in flight motion, I most likely wouldn’t use the tail part.
Two things that I really like about the form is the overall body shape and the tail. I think that these two shapes distill the form in a very clean and simple way. Moving forward, I might keep the
Reflecting on product:
Right now, I don’t like how the bird isn’t as dynamic as it is flying. Moving to the next iteration, I want to focus on making it more dynamic so that I can represent the beak in the forum which the bird uses it. I also want to make it so that the beak opens and closes.
Some of the things that I want to focus on for the next iteration are:
- focus on shape rather than the color
I think the most important one would be shifting the movement from being on land to being in the air.
March 3 | Variation 2
For this class, I focused on making the bird in flight. I like the system of creating the wings, and I think the proportion of the wings to body work, however the wings are not as stiff as I’d like. I think the movement is pretty interesting and I think it works.
Moving into the next iteration, I was a little apprehensive about creating the wings. They are very large in comparison to the rest of the bird, so I decided to use the body of the bird as a measuring stick to see how many bodies wide the wings are. It turns out they are about 4–5 bodies wide. I also wanted to see the different ways I could section off the bird, and keep some of the pieces I built in my first iteration.
I also think that my process has been very trial and error. Since this is a very hands on process where you have to keep adding, cutting, re-gluing, etc. I found that I am jumping into the process more than mapping it out or sketching a lot.
For this class, I focused on making the bird in flight.I like the system of creating the wings, and I think the proportion of the wings to body work, however the wings are not as stiff as I’d like. I think the movement is pretty interesting and I think it works.
Body: For the two main body pieces and the tail, I used this rounded square body wash bottle. I had to use a saw to cut this, but it had the exact shape and curves that I was looking for. The bottle also had a slight curve/bend to it that made the tail very elegant and graceful on the back.
Head: For the head, I used a mochi container. At the moment, it sits out past the head a little further than I would like, however I think that can be fixed in the next iteration. I also used a ramen container for the black part, and I am not satisfied with it at all. When I glued it down, it warped to the head a bit so I have to take this part off for the next iteration. It was also a little awkward the way it sat on the body of the bird.
Beak: For the beak, I used the bottom of a Hershey’s strawberry sauce. It was difficult to cut out because it got thicker at the bottom, but I managed to get this curve of the beak. For the clear part I used this very intricate shampoo bottle. It had these rounded bubble like curves that helped me get the nail like curved shape. For the bottom, I used the part of the bottle where the label sat.
Loose wings: Compared to the reference image of the skimmer, the wings have a lot less definition and structure.
Notes from Critique:
- Look at how the wings curve, convex v.s concave. Look at how they make some graphic shapes and use those as the form.
- Use the plastic so that it maintains the structure/integrity of the wings — wings are not as sharp as ones in the photos
- beak is a little bigger — doesn’t have a similar transition to the bird
- make it out of three pieces, how to divide it up so that it isn’t d distracting — logical
- three parts of dividing it up — look at the base, curves, and the plate
- Has volume like the rest of the bird
March 9 | Final Product
For the final iteration, I mainly put my effort into making the wings, beak, and black accent work better.
Beak: For the beak, I went with Margo’s advice where I made the pieces flush rather than overlap. I also made sure that the red parts of the beaks cut off at the same length so they were more even. I thought that this would be a little bit easier on the eye.
Black cap part: For the top of the bird, I wanted to have a slight nod to the little black colored feathers that sit on the top of the head. To do this, I created a small patch of black. I asked the TA’s if they thought that I should add more black, but they said that this amount was enough to represent the black. The type of plastic I used was a takeout black tupperware from a noodle restaurant. It had a nice bend to it that perfectly wrapped around the head.
Wings: The main area I put my energy was reinforcing the wings, and giving them more height and structure. To make them, I just used the same littler boxes that I originally used. I mainly focused on using the creases and the flat plane of this cat litter box, and then gluing that piece to the one from before to make it stronger. The folds/corners are the parts that helped me make the angles of the wings where the two pieces would connect. I think this gave the wings a more elegant and graceful shape that makes up the wings. When she came in, Daphne also talked about pinching the wings together on the back. However, when I looked at pictures, I found that the wings didn’t really connect and were more separated like they were in my iteration.
Body, Head, and Tail: For the most part, I just cleaned up these parts a bit, I re-cut out the head of the bird from the mochi containers to make the edges a bit smoother. I also loosened up the neck part so that the mochi container would sit tighter on the neck. For the tail, I just straightened up its positioning and evened up the cuts.
March 11 | Final Photos
During class, Q gave me the feedback that it would be best to shoot on a lighter background. I tried out a more cream colored background and I found that the white became a little lost in it. For the final photos, I just decided to edit the photos so that the background was a little lighter than the original ones so that you could see the black aspects of the bird. I also shot the bird from an above view so that you can see the structure a bit more and how the wings look from above.
I think that the only thing I’m still a little not settled with is the body, and I’m a little annoyed at the wings. I think they work and have a similar bend a curve to the Black Skimmer’s wings, but it is still not the same. I think that I was definitely limited by the scale of the wings, so I think I did the best with the plastic I could find.
I think that this project really helped me to use the material to guide the process and to be patient in my search for plastic. It also made me look closely at the pieces of plastic I was using to create each shape, and really consider how they could add to the form. I found this project really fun and I am excited to keep working with the Black Skimmer!