Got back from studio at 8AM this morning.
I got templates for the helmet made and printed. Making templates for a sphere = suck. I thought about building the head in Maya then printing out the UV map, but then decided I'd spend more time trying to un-distort the map and just tiled out a flat image. Printing out life-sized templates on a letter-sized laser is also no fun. Lots of taping and registration lineup and dealing with laser-printer warmup issues. As a laser printer warms up, the heat expands the paper slightly, so early prints end up mis-registering.
Chris mounted and skinned in clay the fiberglass helmet. That dude can work clay like a mofo. Then at about 5AM we sat around with mush for brains trying to figure out how to find the precise center line for a sphere so that it also lines up with the neck hole. (If anyone knows an accurate process for future reference, I'm all ears. The internets just gave me math equations, which are fricking useless.) We ended up finding the center of the hole cut for the neck using the discarded slice and a 3'-long compass—which obviously wasn't intended for precision work, but for some reason we couldn't find a compass to save our lifes—and then using the right-angle formed from the center-finding process (yay geometry), lined it up with a level, and then measured circumference points with measuring tape and eyeballing the center line with pinstripe tape. A little convoluted but it worked.
Now that we had the porthole measurements figured out Chris made the porthole cylinder extrusion by screwing a circle of MDF to the dome slice from the neck hole, then filled the gap with plaster and squared off the edges. That way, the cylinder fits on the helmet's curvature precisely.
I worked out the brush gate pattern in two pieces of MDF and chamfered the edges with the drum sander and files so that there is an outer ring, then below that sits the gate. With the edges beveled and placed on the main porthole cylinder that Chris attached to the helmet, it looks like there was a separate piece of metal bolted on, which is how it should look. Then we drilled holes and slid in some bolts and it looks rather awesome.
Miracole stopped by early in the evening to test fit the leather corset (I did a little cross dressing. The shop tech was quite amused). We needed to make a couple alterations for structural support and to add some edging. I'm a little worried about this process and how it will turn out stylistically with the wet molding, but waiting to see how it goes.
Did some conference calls and picture emailing back and forth with Daniel, who's doing the lights. He's rigging up LEDs for the helmet ports, as well as the ADAM and EVE and mysterious green tubes on both arms. He's programming the lights to slowly pulse and breathe from about 50% brightness to 80% brightness. Then, when a momentary switch hidden in the glove is pressed, the lights will flare to 100% for attack mode. RAR!
He sent me some mockups to try to get the light to diffuse the way we want. Otherwise, we'll end up with a ring of Christmas tree lights. The trick will be to get the diffusion but still allow for visibility.
Then we debated on where to put the electronics and batteries. We were originally planning on putting them in the tank, but I think we have room to embed them in the fiberglass underside of the back plate. From there, we'll have to work out some sort of quick release plug for the helmet wiring, so the helmet can be removed. And then we have to consider heat and moisture buildup in the helmet. We picked up some computer fans that we'll mount inside and drill vent holes probably in the smaller portholes, so we can have one intake and one outtake to keep air circulating and hopefully vent some moisture as well. Daniel's going to rig a switch for the fans, so the person inside can turn them off to hear.
Back to studio in a few.