February 17th, 2011

Cornwall 2

Trying to find gray or gray-blue fur.

Hey all, I'm trying to find some very good quality gray or gray-blue fur for making a head, a pair of gloves and a pair of feet to go with a body suit that I got from a friend of mine. The fur that I would like to get is on the right. The fur on the left is from some partial parts that my friend gave to me when I got the body suit. Either of the two furs will do.

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    hopeful hopeful

mascots

So been wondering what exactly one would change on a fursuit to make a mascot. it would have to be pretty durable, see that, but is there anything specific?Also, if possible, love to see some examples of mascots people had made for their school, skate rink, anything really.  Sudden inspiration has sadly struck again.
beast

Musings on Critique

Just a quick preamble to say this post is NOT aimed at a specific person. The astute among you may notice that it has been precipitated by certain recent (and not so recent, and occasionally legendary) postings, but it is aimed at everyone who has had this kind of attitude and is not in any way intended as a personal attack.

As it says in the community rules, in normal postings constructive critique is allowed and expected. ConCrit takes the form of criticism that addresses specific problems and, ideally, suggests ways to improve them. "I don't like it, it's rubbish" is not constructive critique. "It looks more like a dog than an orangutan" is somewhat constructive since it addresses a specific problem, "the long muzzle and black nose make this look more like a dog than an orangutan, you could change the nose to nostrils, make the muzzle shorter and widen it out to make it look more like the intended species" is good, constructive critique. Constructive Critique does NOT have to involve praise to be useful, though it's polite to say what you DO like and more likely to be taken as encouraging.


But the main point of this post is, as per the community rules, you are allowed to refuse critique on items. This is all well and good, but I think it's important to be aware of WHY you are refusing critique, and how it can affect your long term progress as a builder. I think if you choose to refuse critique, you should examine the reasons you are doing so

Why are you refusing critique?

I'm good and I damn well know it.
There are a few (a VERY few) makers who are legitimately able to refuse critique because they have the experience and skill to produce work of an extremely high quality, and most criticisms will come down to personal taste not a lack of ability or awareness on the part of the maker. While I personally believe that critique can be useful at all stages of ones career, I understand and respect the reasoning here. Off the top of my head, I can think of approximately 4 people in the community to whom this could apply. I do not count myself among them.

But it's finished suit! critique won't be any use anyway!
This one however, I don't respect. Critique of a finished item is often VERY useful. Maybe not for that particular item, but for future work. For example, things like wonky eyes or bad airbrushing will only really be properly visible on a finished piece and even if that piece cannot be changed. If there is an element that appears on many of your suits, like the way you indicate a smile, or the method you use for eyes, discussing the issues with the way you deploy that method can help you improve it. By identifying and discussing mistakes, you can avoid making the same mistakes again. Of course, if you know there are flaws and have already identified them, point it out in the post so those specific soon-to-be-abandoned bad methods don't dominate discussion.

It's a commission! if you point out the flaws, it will make the new owner unhappy where they originally liked it.
Think hard about this. If there are flaws on the final product, then there were flaws during construction. If they were picked up on the finished product, they probably would have been noticed during the foam work. Thus you would have been better off posting the foam work for the head, taking the crit, making the changes and then shipping a LESS FLAWED product to the customer. Why are you selling stuff that you know could be better? However, given that it is finished and already with the customer, you might be right, maybe it will make a once satisfied customer less satisfied. Even here, you can request that any critique is done via PM, or link back to a personal journal entry with screened comments. 

Bah, Critique won't help me improve anyway
yeah, chances are it will. Just having a fresh point of view can make a huge difference. Unless you are one of those rare few whose skill is so developed that you can take an image from your head and turn it into a perfect facsimile in foam and fur, critique is likely to be very useful. And if you ARE super skilled, you probably won't get many criticisms anyway so it's sorta moot.

I know Critique WILL help me improve, but I don't want to improve
I don't really understand this, but OK I guess. Even if you just make suits for a hobby, learning and growing as a hobbyist always makes things more fun for *me*, but different strokes I suppose. If you're selling them though, I think it's only right to do the best work you possibly can, and that includes taking critique and trying to refine and improve your methods.

I only accept criticism from makers who are better than me
This is the Kevin Smith argument, and demonstrably wrong. You don't have to be a chef to know when you're eating poop. I can't animate but I can see the difference in quality between a Disney classic and a cheap Saturday morning toy commercial. 

IT'S MY STYLE!!This might work for modern art. Fursuits are a lot more mundane and down to earth. You're mostly trying to reproduce a 2D drawing or a real animal in 3D. Of course there are stylistic choices, how toony it is, what shapes to use, how to do the eyes, all of that. Art is subjective, but beyond a certain point, remember a fursuit is there for an audience. If 99% of people agree the eyes on your cute toony puppy suit are creepy, then the eyes are creepy and it's not fulfilling it's intended purpose of being cute. if most people think your attempt at digitigrade legs look like knee tumours, they are not fulfilling their purpose of providing the illusion of dog like legs, and if most think your dolphin looks like a dog, it's failing at "looking like a dolphin". Likewise, wonkiness, asymmetry, roughness, choppy shaving and poor finishing are not a style, they are poor workmanship.

Critique will make me cry and give up!
Sorta hard to argue against, some people are super sensitive about their own skill and it's psychologically very difficult for them to take criticism. If you're doing this commercially, you should probably do what you can to harden up and separate criticism of a PIECE from criticism of you personally. No one wants to hurt you, they just want you to be producing the best work you can, for your sake and for the sake of your paying customers. If you have trouble doing this, you could try asking that critique is as kind as possible since you are very sensitive. Just remember, once the work is out in the world, people will be looking at it, thinking about it and maybe even talking about it to their friends, and it might not all be praise. Better that you get to hear some of that in the form of well intentioned constructive so you can produce better work in the future


I'd like to hear other peoples thoughts on this. Did I go too far? did I not go too far enough? how do you respond to critique? Should people feel obliged to be super careful when giving critique, or is sugarcoating and asspats an excuse for makers to stagnate?

latex problems

ok,

i have a niggling problem that occurs from time to time and im not sure why this happens, maybe someone out here has more knowledge of this:

when i cast my pawpads and i pull them, sometimes they crack..or a small crack will escalate to a bigger one.

First i thought it was because the latex i bought was too thin an it wasnt strong enough, but it also happens with the pre thickened latex too (but not so much)

too much paint and not enough latex maybe?
Or my house being too warm/cold?
or simply being too impatient and pulling them out too early?

if anyone has a theory on this, it will be much appreciated.
Or perhaps i should post an example of the cracks?

thanks
FACE OFF

Moving Jaws Without Elastic

I am stuck in a rut. A sucky rut.
Anyway, I found this video of Dr. Malison, made by Nikuu:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCGljfqzgsM&feature=related

I loooove the way this jaw moves and looks! I'm assuming from having peeked at the inside of one of her earlier suits that this is done without elastic, but it looks and moves great, and would appreciate it if anyone could offer adivce as to how to acheive something similar to this! :)

Also, any advice as to how to lift myself out of a fursuit building rut would be appreciated ;_;
Thanks in advance x3