Monday, January 30, 2017

The Great Firelight Stone

"The Great Firelight Stone"

While I had my camera out this evening, I took some pictures of Trill observing the kitchen table salt lamp. 

Trill's adventures seem to expand all the time as she discovers something new and intriguing during her travels around, and beneath the island.
I started off by experimenting with a dark light setting to capture that rich orange color of the salt, then I phased over into a lighter setting to show where Trill is within the dimness of the room.
 Many ideas for editing come to mind, and one day I hope to enlarge the series by getting pictures of Trill with the other two salt lamps in the house. 

The largest salt lamp will be the most interesting I think because it's white in color, making it seem more like one of the large light stones you see in the Bionicle series.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Snowbound Trill

"Walk Safely In the Light"
Trill will take the wisdom of a Turaga into literal heart at times. On a journey through the snow, she finds ways of walking in the sunbeams surround by shadows.
I took multiple pictures of Trill in the snow today, each one sort of telling a small story. Snow days always give me an opportunity to take pictures of figurines doing stuff in the land of white.
The collection I've shown in this post is of every picture kept basic with some adjustments in levels, and additional eye glow to bring out that robot look. 

I went through many stages in editing, even blurred some of the backgrounds for the scenes, but decided the blurred look wasn't quite what I wanted. Therefore I've stuck to showing each picture as is with the smaller touches of light.
Also, I experimented and got a little fancy with some of my favorite pictures in the collection. I considered editing all the images onto new backgrounds, but find I currently lack the motivation to go that far. I'm keeping the idea in mind for a later time when I may make a small comic out of the slightly random sequence of imagery. It's always an interesting challenge to make a story out of something that seems random, but can somehow pull together and become silly.
I already have a few ideas in mind for what story the pictures can tell. Trillahru has had her days of traveling the Mata Nui island for measurement and map creating of the land. At some point she was bound to travel across the frigid slopes of Ko Wahi.  
"Following My Shadow"

Sometimes Trill likes to converse with her shadow, and pretend someone is leading the way. She's probably also wondering what the odd circular indents in the snow are. I have a hunch some Ko Matoran had placed a portable telescope or ice launcher there.
 "Greetings From Afar" (right).

Trill sometimes uses her staff to greet others off in the distance, usually because she can't see who's waving at her, and tries to shield her eyes from the sun with the end of the stick.
The close up (left) of Trill following her shadow may be a scrapbook keeper. It seems cute in some way. She's probably asking herself, "Am I lost?"
"That's a big boot"

Sometimes there are mysteries that can't be explained. Trill can only wonder if a Toa saw what made such an impression.
"I can see the jungle from here"

Trill likes a good hike now and then, as long as it means staying on solid ground.
Most the pictures of Trill and her journey take place in one spot, these scenes being the beginning of that. Since my boots aren't waterproof, I couldn't journey further out into the snow, and sought ways of taking pictures from the icy porch instead. The best spot was on top of the snowed over recycling can.
I played with the fancy background concept for this one. Since the title implies she can see a great distance from where she stands, I figure she's on a very high cliff in the mountains, able to see the jungle of Mata Nui from there.
"Snow Relaxing"
Ones legs do get tired after walking far and climbing a large hill. Granted, sitting in the snow for too long can be just as agitating.  
"Snow Meditating"
Trill tries a balancing act, holding two handfuls of ice as she splays her arms out. "Toa Gali mediates, why can't I?"
"If I were an ice Toa, these snow clumps would come from my hand."
During this playful fun, she froze in surprise when she heard a low voice behind her.
Yes, where there is snow, there is Kopaka, and Trill got to meet him.
Took her a moment to break from a captivated stare.
I loved this scene specifically, and went fancy on all three. I find it really brings you into the story of Trill's travels and her training of becoming a chronicler alongside her map making job.

So happens Kopaka is looking for something, and Trill is willing to lead the way. This is another scene I really liked, so I placed it onto a new background as part of telling a possible story (right).
Kopaka takes a moment to listen for any anomalies in the area.
Plus the sun was making it hard for him to see, but he wasn't about to admit that. Oh Kopaka...why do you have to go and freak out Trill like that.
These could one day be made into actual illustrations as I did with the Admiration ones.
Evening comes and Kopaka joins Trill to warm his hands in courtesy. I wonder what stories Kopaka would tell if one could get on his good side.
As he lounges, he tells Trill he's looking for his other shoulder pad.
"Is this yours?"
So happens Trill found that during her journey, and she offers it to Kopaka after pulling it from her bag.
"Thank you."
It's an honor to help a Toa, and I think Trill hit a soft spot in Kopaka's cold heart. They shook hands.
Kopaka actually looks kind of spooky in firelight. Trill doesn't seem to mind though...or maybe she's just not saying anything. I actually had forgotten to add glow to his right lens for all the pictures save the last one (left). I'll just say the scope was closed half the time.

There's a bit of fact behind this story. Kopaka actually was missing his shoulder pad, and I didn't realize it till after I took pictures before evening. When evening came and I wanted a firelight scene, I took the chance to make sense of why Kopaka only had one shoulder pad in the other pictures.
This added a twist to the photos, and gave me a reason to get more silly pictures of Trill.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Trillahru and the Rope Machine

(Jan. 4, 2017)
Here's Trillahru using the newly invented rope machine. Rope is a great thing for sailing, but also for other things like book binding, garland making, multi colored embroidery, all that good stuff.
In the rope hut they have a hook or clamp hanging from the ceiling by another tightly pulled rope attached to a crank. One end of the rope is attached to that, then the other strands hook to the machine, and like any rope maker, you crank the handle and make rope.
Okay, seriously, what this is is a miniature rope maker created from 2001 Bionicle parts, mostly from creatures like the Rahkshi and Bohrok, but also a rahi and Toa set. 
It really works, and is friendly for both play and actual use. I spent about half an hour or so engineering it, most of that time spent looking for the right parts to make it work.
This idea came to mind while I sat at the craft desk feeling tired as I twisted a few strands of gold and white thread together for a book. This task done by hand seems to take forever, and gets terribly boring after awhile. This is when I asked myself if there was a way to make a hand crank device which could speed up the process of making variegated cording like bakers twine. After a moment, the idea sank in, and I knew just what I could use to put this idea to the test. This is when I went to my Bionicle parts and got to work.
First try, and I discovered it worked wonderfully. I learned a few things along the way too.
In order to get the perfect rope I have to remember that first I need to twist all my strands counter clockwise, pull them taught and attach them one at a time to the device, then crank the machine clockwise to get rope that doesn't unravel.
First test was done with black and purple cording, which Trill so happily displays above.
I think I can use the machine to twist the thread counter clockwise too, just have to attach each thread as I go.
Here's a basic view of the machine. I wish I could make a second component that spins the thread counterclockwise while the one end is spinning clockwise.
I knot the one end of the threads, and attach it to a magnifying clamp clip to keep tension. The end of the thread could be tied or hooked to anything, but I find the clamp easiest to use. after that I just have to attach the other threads to the loops or hook of the device, and crank the little handle. I'm in love with this thing.

The basic pictures of Trill cranking the machine and holding up the final product seemed decent enough as illustrations, but I added some eye glow to the scenes for extra interest.

The rope hut is located nearby to the thread maker of Ga Koro. It's a small hut with a bamboo mat floor and woven bamboo walls. The hut is, in a sense, portable, and it's roof is woven bamboo just as the walls, then covered in lily pad leaves for waterproofing.

Trill occasionally comes here to make herself rope for personal use, and at times for selling or exchange.

I did make versions of these images with green tinting to add that lily pad roof appeal, but decided I liked the warm light of the originals best.

The Matoran light the rope hut the same way they light their homes, using warm light stones or bioluminescent lamps.