finishing the prints

Once I had the prints of the story I worked more on the 3d models, using the print as a texture.  I tried a lot of different poses and wanted to come up with one that looked nice and conveyed the emotion of the story.

I had three different prints to try, one was very clean but cut off two of the characters on the right side.  Another was slightly messy and the third was a bit faded.  I was interested in how each would look.  I tried texturing one of the poses with each, and then chose the clean version.

Clean:

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Faded:

e-frame-faded

Messy:

e-frame-messy

 

I also tried a few different poses with the model before printing.  I ended up choosing the above pose because I felt it conveyed emotion and was sort of pixar ish but not too much.

 

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screen print tests

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While Ray was helping me burn the screen he suggested that I come back the next day on Thursday night to do some test prints before printing at home.  He said Gary would be there and he would be able to help me the most.  Ray was always going on about Gary as though he were some kind of screen printing god.  So the next day I went over to Abc No Rio as soon as I got back from teaching in New Jersey.  When I got there there were a few people I recognized working on some prints and a older guy with a grey pony tail turned away from me.  I said Hello are you Gary and he didn’t move or turn around or anything.  I waited for a bit and eventually he turned around and looked at me.  I was in my teaching clothes, slacks and a collared shirt, so I didn’t fit in at all there.  He didn’t say anything so I explained that Ray had helped me burn a screen the night before and I wanted to test it a few times before making prints at home.  Gary was pretty intense but probably a nice guy in some way.  He was super rude but in like a curmudgeonly old man way and he helped me make a few prints.  They turned out pretty good.  I had some black ink left over from another project, so I used that, but I still intended to make purple prints.

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That Sunday I set up in the apartment for the first time to try some prints.  The first run was pretty awful, I didn’t mix enough water into the ink and I forgot to clean the screen off between prints.  This was especially a problem for me because I am using a liquid mask to cover the digital art when I print to block the ink from that part of the negative.  The mask is sort of like glue and its bumpy which makes the ink run onto the other side of the screen a lot.  I have to be careful not to forget to clean it off before each print.

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preparing to burn the screen

Once I had decided on the basic design/process, I needed to recreate the text for the print and texture.  I started by refining the symbols I had adapted from the Levi’s project.  Eventually I will have a pretty cool symbol language if I keep doing this.

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I also spent some time, while commuting from New Jersey and before going to bed, writing a new story for the characters, whose name is Carf.  I was going to name him Barves until I found out that’s a meme.

I decided to write the story directly on acetate, the material I was told to use for the print negative.  It was kind of hard but I got the hang of it.  Ironically, it would have made more sense for me to just write on paper, which would have been more natural, because the sharpie color on the acetate wasn’t opaque enough.  I went to kinkos and photocopied it.  I could have rewritten it on a piece of paper, and kind of wish I had, but it took over an hour to write this out by hand, though I had all the symbols memorized, so I didn’t really have time to rewrite given the window for working at Abc No Rio.

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mockup prints

After printing out mockups of how this will be set up, I think the screen prints will actually make this way cooler than it is now.  I also think the abstract symbols work better than a representational texture, at least for the fact that I now longer have to worry about how to deal with the wireframes not being in the texture after they’re printed and drawn on.  Here are the four digital prints I made, hopefully will have test screen prints in the next few days.

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digital mockups

I made a new 3d character with Teddy3D and Blender and did some drawings for to print mockups.  I tried a bunch of different things in Photoshop first and then printed a few of them.  I decided I’m not that into drawing the texture as like a literal texture for the models, its just kind of boring and hard to execute.  I thought about using a cool pattern like the ones you see in a lot of block prints or textile prints, but then I thought about using my weird symbol alphabet that I’ve been developing since the Levi Strauss project and my Beware the Cat project.  It took me a couple of hours to redesign the symbols but it was actually a really fun process that I hadn’t had time to do before — I think I need a few more revisions, but its in a much better state now.  Here’s the paragraph I wrote in “cat script”, which is “translated” from a random blog post I wrote:

characters

 

I also did a drawing for the texture that was very simple/rushed (since I spend so much time on the symbols):

drawing-scan

 

Using those, plus the wireframes, I made a whole bunch of different mockups, some of which looked cool, some NOT, and then printed my four favorites.  I’ll post the prints after I photograph them (and by “photograph” I mean, iphone).

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more thoughts

I’ve done some more thinking and drawing for my printing process.  I have some 3D models but I’m still waiting for the perfect character.  The next step I think it to get a screen and try to do some lost cost tests before investing in a more elaborate printing process.  Here are some random drawings from my notebook where I was thinking through the process:

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early tests for mixed media prints

These are some early tests for the prints I will be making for the Recession Art Printmaking Exchange.

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This view shows the test model I created in Teddy3D superimposed over the vertices generated for the texture map by Photoshop and my drawings.  Here’s the process:

I draw the model in Teddy3D:

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