Friday, March 6, 2009

Dragon Skin Tests #3 - 3D object

Just a quick update - along with scripting I've been doing more DS tests - this time in a 2 piece mold of a 3D object (a cute little Sculpey turtle). The airbrush compressor has been delayed so the pigmenting is ground pastel powdered between 6 thin layers of silicone.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dragon Skin Tests #2 - Pigments

More tests - now with pictures! I was very worried about pigmenting Dragon Skin given it's picky reputation, but so far have been pleasantly surprised. This is 5 test strips, made from a plaster mold. A bit of white remains on the surface from treating the mold cavities with white acrylic paint to act as a release. It worked, but took some of the paint with it.
Details below 1 & 2.
1 is: thin coat DS brushed on, baked (1/2 hr 150F), layer of black acrylic paint and DS mixed, bake, layer of red acrylic and DS mixed, fill rest of cavity, bake.
2 is: Thin coat of DS brushed on, baked, layer of soft pastel scraped off with a blade and mixed with DS, baked, repeat, fill, bake.

Details below 3 & 4.
3 is (my current favourite) thin layer of DS brushed into mold, soft pastel sprinkled on, baked, layer of DS, sprinkling of soft pastel, bake, fill, bake. Smaller shavings will result in a finer detail for the future.
4 is: thin layer of DS brushed on, baked, thin layer of DS followed with red FW Acrylic inks (brushed on very lightly), bake, thin layer of DS followed with green ink, fill, bake.
Details below 5 and closeup, 3.
5 is: Black Liquitex paint mixed directly into the DS, baked. Small white flecking on top is the acrylic paint pulled from the mold; for two things that aren't supposed to get along the paint was very successful and the only material change was increasing the stretch of the DS and making it slightly tacky; talc would be needed.
Closeup 3 details a small diagonal red line where too much pigment fell and the DS didn't stick to itself properly; after rubbing the surface the top layer slightly peels.
The setup - a chocolate milk container and popscicle stick were used to mix the DS, oversized eyedroppers to measure.
Hard to make out (bit of motion blur on the first) this is 100% DS and 70/30 DS/Slacker in the second.
Same pieces, stretched. Hard to see much difference from the pictures but the Slacker mixed piece stretches much easier and has a more organic feel.
As all pieces are holding up well this is very encouraging for colouring!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dragon Skin Tests #1 - Slacker

Today was the first day of playing with the Dragon Skin silicone. Pleasantly surprised by the lack of odor, but what a sticky mess! I used eye droppers to dispense, which was still drippy and sticky but far less worse than if I'd tried to just pour it... can't imagine. Getting thin layers to paint between should be interesting.

Pictures to follow - I made a simple plaster mold with 6 channels in it (cut pop bottle in half, fill with plaster, use spoon to make channels). I mixed a batch of Dragon Skin (carefully avoiding all of it's sensitivities, I went with half of a chocolate milk carton, worked like a charm) and used 20ml of parts A and B. Mixed with a popsiscle stick.

I put some Dragon skin in each channel, then mixed in increasing amounts of Slacker, channel 1 being pure DS and 6 being approx. 60% Slacker. Then threw in the oven for 1/2 hour at 150F.

The results so far are very promising! The pure DS is nice and stretchy, but a little tougher than I'd like. The last two continued in the oven for another hour to be sure, but are too sticky and unsolidified to use for animation - as fits with this writeup:

The 20-30% Slacker tests show the most promise, having a nice mix of stretch, compress and solidity. I'll try to fine tune the ratio, and begin tinting tests as well.