Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Completed LEGO Batman Movie Costume

Hey there!

Not very long ago, I uploaded a video showcasing my newly finished LEGO Batman Movie costume, and I thought I'd make a blog post about it as well.

There really is not much to say, or at least not much to say that will not be covered in a (hopefully) upcoming video of mine which will go into a bit of detail about how I went about making the costume. This post is, more or less, just a means of informing my readers's done! Yay!

What would be really fun is to bring this costume to Comic Con or other events. I suspect it might be rather popular, considering The LEGO Batman Movie is going to be released in a little over a month!

That's it from me for now! School is about to begin once again and things are going to become much busier for that reason, as well as various videography projects in the works.

Take care!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ricky at Motor City Comic-Con 2016!

About four months ago, I went to Motor City Comic-Con and brought my custom LEGO minifigure costume named Ricky! I've been meaning to put together the video and upload it but really haven't gotten around to doing that until now.

At any rate, hope you enjoy! (The video is directly below-- should be easy to spot. ;) )

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Catch TranquilNova (Isaac Davis) on Flickr!

In case you haven't heard, I'm not (not, so double negatives actually means a positive) on Flickr!

I've been meaning to set up an account over yonder for quite some time now, and here we are! I have been and will be posting a variety of stuff. There are a few drawings over on my Flickr photostream as well as some previous photographic works, and even some behind-the-scenes photos of my LEGO Batman Movie costume so far!

So head on over if you'd like; I'm definitely more active there than here. :)

Update: Fixed a typo, and here's a link to my Flickr page if you were hoping to check it out. x)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

UPDATES: New Channel, LEGO® Batman, Podcast, & More!

It's been a rather long time in between posts so I thought I'd break that streak.

TranquilNova Productions

is my shiny new Youtube channel!

Unlike my brickfilming channel, TranquilNova Productions is going to be more of a miscellaneous channel that does not focus solely on one genre of videos. I'm still not sure what the main focus will be, if any, however, I don know I'll be uploading a few speed-drawings.

There's currently zero content on my TranquilNova channel as of now, however, that ought to change soon. I've got a speed-draw I've been planning to upload, so keep an eye out for that!

Feel free to subscribe and whatnot if you want. I may also upload any future vlogs there as well, perhaps in the form of speed-drawings!

LEGO® Batman Costume Upgrade

If you haven't noticed, I've been spamming my Twitter feed with progress photos of a new project I've been working on for the past two and a half days. It's, you guessed it, an upgrade to my already-existing minifigure costume, Ricky!

This past week, I was trying to decide what costume I should make. I'd decided I wanted to make either Kylo Ren from Star Wars or LEGO® Batman. I couldn't decide because they both sounded equally cool, so I put it up for a vote! It was a pretty balanced outcome, but I eventually chose LEGO® Batman because, c'mon, what are the odds of seeing more than one LEGO® Batman at comic con? (Okay, I have to admit... Such a rare encounter would actually be pretty awesome.)

I'm reusing parts of my first minifigure costume but am making a completely new head, as seen below.

Everything else is pretty much getting reused. Ricky's torso is easily customizable because all it is is an size XL t-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt underneath. The legs are already black, and I plan on making some sort of paper/Gorilla Tape glove that is easy to put on and off for the hands. Those minifigure claw hands took a serious amount of effort time to make, let me tell you...

Possibly with the popularity of the upcoming LEGO® Batman Movie this costume will attract a lot of attention, and if I do end up going to comic con again next year, it'll be really fun to wear.

Oh! And, this time around, I'm going to attempt to make it so I can actually turn my head in the suit and look around! Just this functionality alone will likely allow me to add an immense amount of personality to the costume. I'll hopefully upload a video and blog post once it's done to detail how I did it. :)

DIY Minifigure Costume Blog Series

No, I have not forgotten about the tutorial series for my costume. Okay, possibly a tad. However, that does not mean I have abandoned it. Fear not! I shall be continuing it soon, especially with the development of my brick-y Dark Knight costume.

Brick Talk Podcast

And last but not least, I will be co-hosting an upcoming episode (and hopefully more if things work out) of Brick Talk, a podcast which covers everything LEGO® news related!

Canaan May (the main host) and I are figuring things out for recording it, but until then why not catch up on past episodes?

It's a nice, clean and family-friendly show, and I'd highly encourage you to check it out! I'm also helping him get the word out about it, so if you happen to enjoy it, a quick recommendation to a friend wouldn't hurt! :)

Other Stuff

There are also a few other things which will eventually get their own posts. For instance, I recently joined Flickr after months of, for some reason, not even thinking about joining! I'm not sure if that's the best reason in the world, but hey! I'm there now. :)

I'm also about to start doing paid minifigure caricatures of people. Right now I only have a Facebook page setup for it but eventually it ought to get its own Weebly site or something similar.

That's it for now. Catch you in the next blog post!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New YouTube Channel? (Also, Ads or Not?)

Hey there! It's me, yet again! I have two main things to get through with this blog post. Both of them relate to YouTube, however, I'll get the relatively minor one out of the way first.

I have recently been considering the possibility of monetizing some of my current brickfilms and most of my future ones by placing ads before each them.

For a bit of background here, I was checking up on my YouTube channel one day. It turns out that my my LES Animations channel has over 1,000,000 total views (I know; WHAT??). Basically, this is the grand total of all of my videos' views combined.

I then got to thinking.

What if I were to monetize some of my videos (the ones which contain 100% my content aside from royalty free music)? I might be able to earn a few pennies here and there and, who knows? Maybe this amount of money could become something substantial and help support my hobby?

Then I really got to thinking...

(Okay, this next part is probably why most of you are here...)

For the past several weeks, I have been considering creating a new YouTube channel, totally separate from my current brickfilming one. There have been many times where I wanted to create some sort of video or upload a pre-existing one but felt a sort of indistinguishable barrier holding me back from doing so. I've always wanted to keep my animation channel, for the most part, uncluttered by miscellaneous videos and contain mainly ones which were "on topic."

One of the only issues I have with starting a new YouTube channel (another being my track record of being very slow to keep up with content as part of a series) is I have, literally, no idea what its main purpose would be.

I thought about possibly doing a Minecraft singleplayer survival adventure ("let's play" series), perhaps a few vlogs scattered across several months, and maybe some other smaller, miscellaneous based videos. However, I don't think any of these would really define my channel. I mean, sure, they might provide some entertainment (so as long as I can speak clearly, heh...) but, if I were to start a new channel, I would want something to drive it; something that would set it apart from all the other YouTube channels which have the same thing; vlogs, gaming let's plays, etc.

Additionally, for it to be a success at all, it would have to be something that I thoroughly enjoy doing. Otherwise, my dedication to it might sputter after a few videos and eventually fade completely.

So my question to you, the readers, is this: What content would you enjoy on such a channel?

Also, do you think I should start serving ads on my stop-motion animations? (It wouldn't be for another month or two if I did.)

Please don't hesitate to let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How-To: DIY LEGO Costume (Lower Legs)

With Motor City Comic Con right around the corner, I thought it would probably be a good idea to continue posting these tutorials.

So, on with part two: the legs!

The legs are actually pretty simple. Just make sure you still have some of the supplies from making the torso and upper legs.

First thing I did was I wore the body and then held a measuring tape at my side to see what the ideal height for the legs would be. I also may have gotten a little carried away in Photoshop, mostly out of excitement...

NOTE: I am not the original creator of the hand and head graphics.
All credit goes to the respective owners.
Next, I cut out pieces of insulating foam board in roughly the shape of the side of the leg.

I then had an extra hand hold this up to the side of me and then took pictures, approximating how much I needed to cut off. Walking would be much more difficult if the tops of the legs were up tight with the torso piece...

I then made a few measurements for the width (I didn't want both legs together to be wider than the waist portion) and then cut out simple cardboard panels. These were then glued to the foam boards.

After quite a bit of waiting, cutting, gluing, waiting some more, and then cutting and gluing, both legs were finished. A neat little trick I used to keep the foam and cardboard together while the glue was trying was using a bunch of nails. I also used some pipe clamps to make sure everything stayed.

The final bit was to line all of the edges with Gorilla Tape. This way they don't get worn as easily, plus it helps make all of the edges look straighter and more clean.

And that's it for the legs! Stay tuned for the next part, in which I will be detailing how I went about creating the head!

Monday, April 11, 2016

How-To: DIY LEGO Costume (Torso/Upper Legs)

A little over a year ago, I finished my five-month-long LEGO minifigure costume project. I said something about hoping to post a series of videos or blog posts and this is the first installment in that series.

If you want to make your own costume or are looking for possible inspiration, hopefully this series of how I made "Ricky" will provide you with an idea of how I did so. :)

This "How-To" series of blog posts will be split into five parts as follows:

  • Body
  • Legs
  • Head
  • Hands
  • Finishing

This part details how I made body, so let's get to it!

The Body

I chose to split the costume into manageable segments where the upper portion of the legs were actually attached to the torso. There are other ways of going about making the legs, however, I chose this method because I knew I was capable of making it more maneuverable than had I done it a different way. This tutorial covers the way I did that and not really any other method

  • Cardboard (preferably the extra tough stuff, double-perforated)
  • Strong tape (I wouldn't use duct tape as it peels off quickly over time and tends to lose its stickiness. Gorilla Tape is awesome; even after a full year, it's still holding strong!)
  • Foam insulation boards (this stuff is available at hardware stores like Home Depot)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Marker, pencil, or ink pen (for marking down measurements)
  • Patience ;)
  • Water-based super glue (Make sure it's not quick-drying glue as that can dissolve your foam! The big bottle of Gorilla Glue works because it's water-based, but make sure you double-check before buying/using.)

First things first, you will want to take measurements. Lots of measurements...

I would give the measurements I used for my costume, but the thing is that everyone is different which means the shoulders could be two inches off, the height might be wrong, etc. So, what I did, and something I would highly recommend you do first for the body is, if you have any extra, cheap cardboard, make a few quick measurements, cut it out, and create a prototype torso.

I started by creating the top and sides first, then I found an angle which seemed right and just measured how big to cut the test front and back. This also gives you an opportunity to test out your tape and the integrity of your cardboard.

Once it's all looking like a minifigure torso, you can try it on and see how it feels. Mine ended up being a bit too wide for my taste, and the cardboard I used was much too flimsy, so this happened overnight...

Just another reason why I would recommend using something other than duct tape. However, the chose is totally up to you. :)

With my new measurements, I went ahead and began work on the real prototype. This was before the other body collapsed in on itself.

Something you may want to do right now is cut two little square holes on the top along with the main hole. I did this so that it would be much easier to have an easily attachable head without it falling off.

I cut the holes then lined them with Gorilla Tape so that they wouldn't get worn down after continued use of the costume.

Once you have all of the panels ready, I found that the easiest way to assemble them is to lay them out flat and then tape the center piece to all the others (make sure there's enough gap in between so they can fold down!) and then tape the edges one by one.

The next section is the belt portion. I took a picture of myself wearing the torso with a piece of cardboard taped to the bottom of it and then penciled in a line where I thought the curve should end.

Get your water-based glue ready! This is the part where you will need the foam boards, unless you decide to use extra sturdy cardboard.

Also, before you start gluing pieces to each other, you might want to do a test sample and make sure the glue is strong enough and doesn't dissolve your foam.

Going off of your measurements, cut some peaces as shown below. Be sure the curve is equal on each piece of foam, then cut out a piece of cardboard and bend it so that it roughly matches the curve.

For cutting the foam, I used a steak knife. It did an OK job of cutting, however, the edges were still pretty rough.

Now you will need to glue the pieces together. It helps if you have something that can keep the pieces pressed up against each other.

When glueing these, you might want to use a board or something to keep the distance between the boards equal. Otherwise there might be a problem with alignment later on.

I used small roofing nails to hold the curved part together evenly on each side, as seen below. However, if you do not have any nails lying around, anything that can clamp or that is moderately heavy ought to work.

At this point you are ready to try it on the torso! Just go ahead and line everything with tape so that the edges aren't as rough. I also went ahead and hastily taped it to the torso just so I could see how it looked (mostly out of excitement). :)

As seen below, I lined the edges/corners with tape and secured the upper leg section to the torso.

I would not recommend painting/finishing any of this stuff until at least the legs are completed. Just to avoid any inconsistencies.

Also visible in this picture are the legs; those will be covered in the next part.

Hopefully this provided you with some insight of how I went about creating the costume! I may go ahead and include the blueprints I created for this costume with the final part, however, the reason I am going to wait is as I stated earlier; everyone's body is built differently and so measurements that might work for me might not work for you. :)

Stay tuned for Part 2!