Wire Surface Treatment

Cabling Effect, EVA Tube Foam

WIRE SURFACE (Explorations)

  1. ABS Rod and Zip Ties
  2. Masking tape ¼ inch even weave
  3. Tan EVA 1inch foam Outlining wire frame
  4. Fill will fabric (scrim)
  5. EVA Flat Foam curved shapes
  6. Red “Licorice” small tube lining
  7. Grey EVA tube foam outlining ABS Rod
  8. Grey EVA tube Foam woven like a basket (Single strand)
  9. Grey EVA tube Foam in flat clusters (4-6 pcs like Muscle/Tendons)

LIGHT SURFACE (Explorations)

  1. EL Wire following wire frame (Head)
  2. EL Wire Following ribs
  3. EL Wire Following Tendons (Distribution drawing/ map?
  4. LED Lights (Outside)
  5. LED Lights (Inside Structure)

First off, we had to clarify our story telling. These raptors are supposed to look like “new computer technology of 1999/2000’s” We had to make this raptor look like computer hardware and not a scrap metal monster. Because each team had to use such varying materials to create certain functions for this dinosaur I knew we would need to add more consistent visual transitions to the surface finish to unify the overall design. In addition, we needed to allow enough variation to show all 3 dinosaurs are not only versions of each other but show progression in amount detail in skin, wire and lights on each.

Wire Frame

Originally I was hoping our ABS and Rattan structure would be skeletal enough to serve as our first raptor but the masses of each appendage were so varying on places like the neck and foot that it needed the surface to coalesce with another material. Also, places like our head had so many small line details that when looking through the hollow structure – it was difficult to understand what this creature was even supposed to be.

Small Red Tubing

Outlining in 1″ EVA Foam








I started with varying dimensions of materials – leaning towards smaller more intricate designs but the lines just became more confusing. Ultimately, I was able to see that the scale of the line work needed to increase not only in diameter but in bundled width. By creating flat arrangements of EVA tube foam we gave more visual planes of the raptors body by alluding to muscle/tendons. This larger surface coverage and length of line made it feel like a more solid menacing creature.

When we played with lights the EL wire followed the ligaments naturally and highlighted the wire webbing. At first we laid the chasing LED lights on the outside – as they have a nice detail with graphic on the tape but as JE mentioned, anyone who knows what LED wire is – will just see it as that. Cristina had a brilliant idea of putting the LED chasing lights on the inside of the structure and magic was made. We stood there gawking at the giant beast, which had these moving lights inside of it like an animatronic demon and I couldn’t stop smiling. It now looked like it had a pulse a heartbeat and living presence. The chasing lights on the interior gave it a more organic and mysterious electronic vibe that the lights show of it being on the outside.

Our next goal will be figuring out how we polish all of our style lines and shapes. The head has been the trickiest for me as it’s so important for the face to read as menacing and the style lines have to be just right with the layers of EVA tube foam in the proper direction. I don’t think it’s quite there yet and the nose/snout has been the most puzzling attribute. I’m really excited and relieved to see some elements of the finished ideas for us to move forward on and can’t wait to continue playing with the shapes to enhance our fierce friend. Working on it is super addicting and reviewing the lists of how many ways I’ve tried to apply a wire surface only reminds me how important it is to have TIME for exploration. These raptors would never have made it this far without the time to explore and refine our ideas, tools and materials.

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