Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recovery Update...

Ok, so its been a bit over a week since I lost my hard drive.  I've managed to recover a handful of files. Most importantly I recovered some older master files for my female star marines.  They were the most daunting thing to have to rebuild.  The older masters are missing a lot of revisions from the feet and neck line but are otherwise fairly well intact. I'll have to do a lot of work if I decide to make new poses but it will make revisions easier having something to start with.

Also recovered were the masters for most of my older weapons.  This includes the originals for my powerfists, swords, and glaive designs.  Unfortunately the last revisions of both of these is lost.  However all of these designs were already uploaded to shapeways.  In theory to reproduce them I can just download the STL from shapeways.  The time consuming issue is that I use a lot of modular parts.  Without the master files I have to reproduce these parts before I can make new models in the same line.  For example, the Glaive designs I recently uploaded all used the same handle.  This handle was a uniform element I designed once and then copied into each model.  If I want to make a new type of glaive or other pole arm that uses the same handle I'll need to either duplicate the handle or recover the handle from an existing model.  Obviously recovering the part from a model is much easier for simple models like weapons. For complex models this doesn't work very well.  For instance, my female marine's leg armor is a single piece of the leg model. It rests like a pant leg over my posable female model.  Because the leg armor clips over the base model's leg it becomes difficult to seperate the geometry of the two.  This is made even harder because the leg models have thousands of polygons compared to the few hundred on the weapon handle.

So basically what this means is that a lot of my simplier models are recoverable though it will take some time.  The more complex models are not recoverable. I'll have to redo them mostly from scratch.

Using this method I've already rebuild my shoulder pad template.  I had previously loaned copies of my shoulders masters to another shapeways designer and he was kind enough to return copies of the originals.  I still had to make some scratch changes but was able to make a new master file to work with. I've already uploaded some shoulder pads using this new master. I'm also well on my way to rebuilding my arm template.  I unfortunately lost all of the mark 2 arm masters along with my mark 1 template for the artificer arms.  The basic arms though I was able to recover.  Using modified versions of the basic arms I've been able to rebuild a basic master of male and female arms.  Once a master containing all the essential arm parts is complete I'll be able to pose the arm and generate sprues from a variety of poses.  Along with the mark 2 arm sprues I lost I had been working on new powerfist designs.  I fully intend to use the new sprues to create my next generation power fists.  So with luck and time I'll be able to complete some of the new fists as well.

Unfortunately there are a lot of items I can't recover.  My upgrade sprues are almost entirely lost.  I had been working on them off and on for ages now.  Because I hadn't finished I had never uploaded them which meant my only copy was on my computer when the hard drive failed.  The only upgrade I can salvage for sure is the crusader upgrade which is still poorly scaled.  I'm still digging through backups to try and find my death cult assassin upgrade sprues, I already uploaded the weapons at least.  My Adeptus Arbites upgrade was nothing more than a shotgun and a head but the head is lost not so i'll have to start that one over too.

Along with the lost of my upgrade sprues my new bolter models are gone.  I'm not particularly worried about the classic bolters I had already uploaded.  I can recover them from the models on shapeways. However I'd like very much to have a copy of my advanced bolter designs. I had intended to make a storm bolter design to go with the set and probably a heavy bolter.  Unfortunately they are gone.  As with my legs scenario the advanced bolter is a pretty complex design I might not be able to recover.  Only time will tell.

The worst official loss is my exo armored terminator.  I've been able to recover an unfinished torso version that I scrapped a long time ago.  However the current incarnation of the model is lost.  I will have to pull it down from shapeways to work with it.  Unfortunately the shelled model on shapeways is to complex to salvage individual pieces.  As such I won't be able to make new leg poses for the model without scratch building the leg template again.  This is a daunting task that i'm not up for at the moment.  I'll instead stick to recovering the easier models at this juncture. 

My hope is to have the worst of the losses replaced and back on track to take requests by the end of May. Until then I'm not going to be revising models.  I do intend to adopt a workflow that uploads models sooner. this loss has reminded me of the importance of backups. As such expect to see a lot more models in the experimental category on my store.  Most of these will be kept there for a while in order to iron out bugs and prepare them for a final release. Hopefully between this and the new external hard drive I bought I wan't loose any more precious master files.  Time will tell.

For those interested checkout the new World Eater (Planet Devouerer) shoulder pads I put up.  they turned out nicely for the work I had done on them.

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