Monday, November 23, 2009
This was a colossal effort, and just like the original display of the piece, several hands went into making it happen. Much thanks to my friend Kim and Jay for getting up at 5am to come with us and be our handlers, to the Georgia Aquarium staff for this amazing opportunity, and to Matt Nicholson (and his fiancée!) of Dim Horizon Studio for doing such fantastic photography and editing.
Big Daddy is currently for sale! Check this eBay listing, which ends on 12/03/09 - just in time for the holidays! Nothing says "I love you" quite like a hulking murder machine.
I hope you guys enjoy these photos as much as I have been.
Edit: 11.24.09 - Select wallpaper sized files now available for download!
For those interested, these pictures were taken in the "Ocean Voyager" and "Tropical Diver" sections of the Georgia Aquarium. They do offer private photoshoots for individuals and businesses, and they take place before business hours so you can have a crowd-free session. Our photoshoot took place between 8 and 10am, so we didn't disturb the normal flow of customer traffic. If you want to contact the Georgia Aquarium about doing a private photoshoot of your own, check out this form.
There were divers cleaning the insides of the tanks when we first arrived, and as we began our shoot, some of them started to crowd around and look at what was taking place. Definitely an odd experience when you're the one being looked at from the inside of the fish tank.
Its easy to see the biggest change in the suit: LEDs! I added light diffusion panels to the dome of the Big Daddy for this shoot, and I'm very glad I did. I also added foam padding around the shoulders, hips, and knees in order to fill out the suit a bit more and prevent that stick-like effect that showed up in some of the photography from DragonCon.
As with before, I owe all the sewing credit to my fiancée, Emily. She's also the creepy-as-hell Little Sister in these shots.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
WOW! I have been getting a TON of requests/inquiries about the Daft Punk helmet. Most of these emails have very similar questions, so I figured I'd make a quick Q&A post that I can reference which will hopefully answer everyone at once.
If you don't want to read all the copy below, I don't blame you. I do tend to ramble.
Summary: I don't build things for money. I enjoy the process, the creative output, and the feeling when a new build comes together. This is the primary reason you see me decline so many offers for Portal guns, Daft Punk helmets, and anything else I've made in the past. I already have a 9-to-5 job that offers a multitude of repetitive tasks. I have absolutely no interest in turning my hobby into the same thing.
Due to this, I only have intentions to build a handful of the helmets, then step away and let other people try their hand at creating these glittering buckets.
A: No, this helmet was built for a client of mine and was constructed specifically for him. Unless he wants to sell it (not likely!) it is not available for purchase.
Q: Will you make me a helmet/are there other replicas you're willing to sell?
A: No. Many people have noted that in the background of several shots you'll see multiple helmets and blank castings. Some of these are even chromed. Over the course of this build, I've taken orders for blank copies in order to fund the remainder of the project, as it is an expensive piece to finish. The rest of my money goes towards rent and bills, so this hobby needs its funding from somewhere. As for the other chrome ones, those are duds from the chroming process. They're deformed and therefore unfit to sell.
Q: Will you make/Have you made Thomas' helmet?
A: A Thomas helmet is currently in the works, and you can use this FAQ as reference for that project as well. There are only a handful being produced, and they have owners.
Q: Can I buy a raw cast from the mold to make a helmet on my own?
A: Currently, no. I'm hesitant about taking on a lot of "blank" orders, as I do not own reproduction rights for these pieces. As I said before, helmets are only sold when I need funding for the project. Due to this, they are few and far between.
Q: Can I have your schematics/plans/illustrations/research notes?
A: On some scale, yes. My schematics are included in my client's budget; this is the case with all of my builds. Their payments cover the time in research and drawing of these plans. If you like, I can provide you with hi-res .eps, .pdf, or .ai files to help you in your build for a small fee. Keep in mind that typically these blueprints are the result of several hours of research and planning, then even more time drawing. The electronic boards and diagrams are not for sale, however. This isn't due to any proprietary thing, they're just a huge mess and very specific, and I don't have time to run tech support for people that want to buy them. To save us all some headache, I've just decided not to release the files.
If you're interested in the Arduino code used to generate the patterns on the helmet, please check out James Moss' website here. James is a programmer and web developer in the UK, and the extraordinarily talented guy responsible for the illumination control of Guy's helmet. He's released the code for public download to anyone who wants to take a crack at it!
I hope that answers some of the questions I've been getting about the helmet, and I truly am appreciative of all the attention its been getting. If I had the ability to make one for every person who has asked, I would! However, I am only one guy, working in his spare time at home. I can't possibly take orders for dozens of replicas, and I'm just plain uneasy about booking out time way too far in advance. To everyone who has asked me about these replicas: Thank You for your interest and your support of my work! Again, I really wish I could help out all the people who have sent me inquiries, but one guy can only do so much.
Finally, because I hate posts without pictures, here's a few images to tide everyone over until I can send out some finished shots of the helmet in all its blinking glory:
And one teaser video...