Bet you thought I forgot or quit, huh? Bet you thought I wasn't going to be bringing this back up again.
Ok, first of all, I'm going to explain the absence of work on this particular project. Right from the start, I needed a special needle. "Professionals" said I needed either a ballpoint or stretch needle. I went all the way down to Walmart, a store I hate going to because they suck, in blustering summer heat, got a sunburn on my arms, picked up a ballpoint needle, it didn't work. Later I went all the way back down to Walmart, still in blistering summer heat, only to find they have no stretch needles. I've decided I'm done going shopping here. I'm tired of making the 12 mile round trip only to come home empty-handed. This place sucks.
Once I got the needle, by ordering online, it was then all matter of splitting the old, flawed seem, and removing it. Not hard to do, just time consuming. I had a foot and a half of janky, messed up seam to remove and I just didn't have the energy to put up with it.
One morning not all that long ago, my computer was having one of its long startups. It does this thing where the Starting Windows screen just kind of sits there for a long time. I usually go make breakfast and by the time I get done, it's finished, but not this time. Sometimes it takes extra long, and this was one of those times. I took the opportunity to split the seam with my seam ripper, and then set it aside for sewing, later. That took a lot of working up to, because every time I thought about going back to the sewing, I remembered sitting there, unjamming the machine over and over and over and just how frustrating it was. So I put off getting back into it.
Fast forward a little ways to today. Both a really long startup, and a really, really long update configuring process. Even though I had to do a little extra work for breakfast this morning, my computer was still in the boot-up phase. So I decided I'd install the new needle and give it a spin.
Found out my sewing machine is crap.
Not only is it made of brittle, Chinese plastic, you see that metal part in the above image that sticks way off to the right? You have to loosen that to get the needle out. There's a little screw on the end. But want to know the best part?
I was trying to get the new one in, and couldn't quite get it up in there. I thought maybe the screw was in the way a bit, so I loosened it more. Turns out, the way in which you install and remove needles, that little screw on the end, it what's holding the whole part on. Loosen it enough, and the whole thing just comes off.
Singer Brilliance.... yeah.... brilliant...
I miss the Husqvarna Viking Lilly.
Anyway, having it come off like that helped me figure out that the needle was getting caught and that's why it wasn't going in. After installing it, (and getting the piece back on without the needle falling out) that's the end of my troubles, right?
Wrong. In accordance with the laws of "Nothing Can Ever Be Easy" the stretch needle (which doesn't look even slightly different from a ballpoint, I might add) still doesn't work. It's by the same exact company and everything. It might be that the needle is just too big, and I need a smaller one, but since no one in the area sells them, and this is the only size I could find online, I'm out of luck. Unless I want to take another 39 mile walk to the big fabric store. But considering I can't be perfectly sure they'll even have what I'm looking for, I'm not going to risk it, especially not in 100 degree weather. It's been an exceptionally hot summer. That's what happens when you live where I live. If there's a super cold winter, it's followed directly by a super hot summer. Early this year, it snowed harder than it's ever snowed in my entire life, so I have a feeling it's going to be breaking 103 to 104 frequently, this summer.
39 miles in 100 degree weather, on foot? I may be tough, but I'm not invincible. That trip's going to have to wait until later this year. Or at the very least, until my mom moves back down here. (Turns out she hates where she moved to and is planning on returning. And we used to have this thing set up where I help her out with certain things in exchange for driving me places. I once loaned her $300 at the drop of a hat, because she broke down in the middle of nowhere and needed money to send her car in to the shop, and couldn't afford it.)
Anyway, there is some good news, though. I fiddled with the settings on the machine a little, and I figured out how to get it to stop slipping every other stitch. It may not have anything to do with the needle, and everything to do with how garbage this machine likely is. I want to get it replaced, but state-of-the-art machines are ball-bustingly expensive. And if I had the money to drop $3000 on a new machine, I wouldn't be having to make my own Mocap suit.
But if it turns out this thing is really as junk as it's making itself out to be, I'm going to have to replace it eventually, because I've got so many cool projects I want to do.
I've got this one Vasto Lorde Ichigo cosplay I want to do....
And I'm not going to be able to do it well if this is a trend on all fabrics with this machine.
So I got it to stop slipping as many stitches. It does still miss some, but the seam does appear to still be strong and stretchy, and that's all I need. I doubt it's going to hold for long, but that doesn't matter. All I need, for the moment, is a prototype so I know where to put the markers, and so I can start testing cameras and finding some tracking software. I just hope I'll be able to do that part, or all I've managed to do is waste a bunch of time and money.
I don't need to get into 3D right now, but I do need to be able to motion capture as cheaply as possible if I'm going to do 3D at all. I hate 2D animation, I dread 3D animation. It's just too easy to screw up, and it will look stiff and poorly made unless you're willing to spend a lot of time puppeteering. I can't spend that much time working on one thing over and over, so that's not for me.
Hence the project. Anyway, my hope is little by little to get this suit sewn up. Unless something important comes up while finishing this, (like I can't do it for whatever reason and have to suck it up and buy a unitard) I probably won't be posting another update until I get finished with that step.
That might take some time, as this is taking a back seat to my current game project.