After seeing Radiant’s write up on his collection, I felt inspired to do something I’d been putting off for a little while. It’d been awhile since I actually took stock of what was in my collection and collected it all in one place (read: never). For the most part, my figures are organized by series, character, and type. There are a couple shelves that I can only label as “miscellaneous” since they have figures that don’t really fit in with any others.
After some success at creating a Photosynth of upstairs area, I decided to try my hand and doing figures again. With the newly installed flooring downstairs, I think I’d created the perfect backdrop for good synthing potential. First up, a quick reminder of what Photosynth is. It was created out of the research done at Microsoft Research as a method to use information from photos to generate a virtual environment. In essence, it is a tool to facilitate “photo tourism.” From photosynth.net:
What is Photosynth?
Photosynth creates an amazing new experience with nothing more than a bunch of photos. Creating a synth allows you to share the places and things you love using the cinematic quality of a movie, the control of a video game, and the mind-blowing detail of the real world.
How Does it Work?
In simple terms, Photosynth allows you to take a bunch of photos of the same scene or object and automagically stitch them all together into one big interactive 3D viewing experience that you can share with anyone on the web.
Photosynth is a potent mixture of two independent breakthroughs: the ability to reconstruct the scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the technology to bring that experience to virtually anyone over the Internet.
Using techniques from the field of computer vision, Photosynth examines images for similarities to each other and uses that information to estimate the shape of the subject and the vantage point each photo was taken from. With this information, we recreate the space and use it as a canvas to display and navigate through the photos.
Providing that experience requires viewing a LOT of data though—much more than you generally get at any one time by surfing someone’s photo album on the web. That’s where our Seadragon™ technology comes in: delivering just the pixels you need, exactly when you need them. It allows you to browse through dozens of 5, 10, or 100(!) megapixel photos effortlessly, without fiddling with a bunch of thumbnails and waiting around for everything to load.
We deliver this immersive viewing experience to users on multiple operating systems by tapping into the power of Silverlight, Microsoft’s rich web application technology.
Without further ado, a few synths I’d recently created. First up, the synth I’d done last week showing off my upstairs area. There’s quite a bit to explore here, from the keyboard on my desk to the shelf of manga and DVDs. Unfortunately, I didn’t do too much in terms of closeups with the figure displays, something I may revisit in the future. Click the image to view the synth!
My first attempt tonight featured working with a recent acquisition, 1/6 scale Yoko Littner by Kotobukiya. This is the first time I tried using the floor as a background and am very encouraged by the results. In addition to the floor, I also grabbed a wood cutting board to provide more background complexity…
My second attempt tonight featured Dollfie Rin. I achieved slightly better results with this synth (100% synthy) since I didn’t try to do any odd-angled close ups. I will probably revisit this one later to do some more close up detail shots for a better “tour.”
In addition to these, I had done quite a few others in the past (with varying success). Check the rest of them out here. I’ll continue to do other figures and may expand on to doing some scenes. Such a cool little tool, isn’t it?
Today, my long awaited Kotobukiya Yoko arrived in my mailbox. I’d also recently received Ban Dai’s rendition of Yumemiya Arika in the past few weeks, so let’s take a look at these newcomers. Rin is also new to my family this month, but since she already got her own post, I won’t talk about her here.
I wasn’t expecting to get anything else this month, but imagine my surprise when I came home and saw the above on my doorstep. Two boxes from HLJ and one big flat package from RedOctane. What did the postman bring me today? Keep reading to find out!
After setting up my new lighting table, I decided to give it a workout by taking some nicer shots of the Belldandy figure I picked up at Katsucon. Compared to the initial photos I took of her, the new ones came out much nicer. The new lighting has smoothed out some of the shadows and gave an overall warmer color to the figure.
Old vs. New
With that out of the way, on to the review. This figure started life as a resin cast kit released by Kotobukiya back in 2001. From the look and style, she appears to be roughly styled after the movie rendition of Belldandy. Six years later, a preassembled and painted figure was released. Quality and detail is very high (as expected of any Kotobukiya figure), however there are a couple of visible flaws.
Visible seams in the gloves and flaws in the hair
Despite the little flaws, overall quality on the figure is excellent. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for a good and well priced Belldandy figure for my collection so I’m really happy to have picked this one up. Now it’s just a shame a real one won’t come out of my mirror to grant me a wish… ^.^
Additional photos (pre and post lighting changes) can be found here.