Saturday, December 31, 2011
These mosaics can also be found on flickr.
Also, I wish you all a very happy New Year!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I love the layering of elements to make a more detailed picture. Very festive!
Monday, December 19, 2011
I post this also to show different ways that LEGO creations can develop. A lot of times, a builder will think of what they want their final product to be, and then work on the techniques that they need to make it. Other times, a builder might learn certain techniques and then try to figure out what can be made using those techniques.
For example, the "Eye of Sauron" mosaic above originally looked like this:
I had been trying out different possible patterns that could be designed with cheese slopes. When I posted this mosaic, people thought that it looked a bit like the eye of Sauron. So then I re-did it with different colors and lighting. Thus the technique led to the product, instead of the product leading to the technique.
I suppose that most people use some combination of both methods. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. I usually find a technique and then see what I can do with it. This has given me the freedom to explore with a lot of different techniques and sometimes find novel ways of doing things. But I feel very limited in my ability to build a wide variety of different MOCs. It's not easy for me to have someone tell me to build something specific and achieve successful results.
What approach do you use?
Sunday, December 18, 2011
If you'd like to check out more exciting Lord of the Rings, There and Back Again/The Hobbit, and Tolkien Lego creations, be sure to check out Bruce N H's new blog, entitled TolkienBricks (and while you're there, check out his other great blogs too!).
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Milan Bikics' cathedral does this beautifully. It is very eye-catching, and one of its most striking features is the intricately mosaicked roof.
Some other good shots of the beautiful roof can be found here and here , and throughout the majority of his photostream. Last I heard, the cathedral is still a work in progress. Once Milan said that his goal was to acquire one of every kind of LEGO piece ever made and to use them all in his cathedral. While I tend to focus on a limited palette of pieces, I think the "more-the-merrier" technique is quite effective here.
(I am fairly confident that Casey hasn't posted about this already, but if he has, I will just say that it certainly deserves a second look.)
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
As part of his prize, he won a professionally designed and framed mosaic of his design, made to look like a postage stamp:
It's a MOC of a MOC. Now we just need someone to make a MOC of this, and we'll have nesting MOCs, just like the nesting piggy banks. Silliness aside, it's a lovely prize for a well-deserving entry. Congratulations!
There are apparently grand prize winners for the US and the UK, too. I'll have to look around to see if I can find those entries and prizes, too.
Monday, December 12, 2011
The first that I saw was this Rainbow Dash at BrickCon. I'm not sure if it's a mosaic in the strictest sense of the term, but it's definitely meant to be viewed as a two-dimensional creation.
According to the BrickCon MOC card, this was made by Dani Dougherty and Thomas Michon and "needs to be about 20% cooler".
Then there is this rendition of Derpy Hooves, done by Andrew Somers:
Andrew also used Derpy in a parody entitled, "Call of Derpy: Modern Horsefare", dressing her up as a soldier and re-writing the My Little Pony theme song. You can find that parody here.
I found a few more pony mosaics and mosaic-like creations, although the image sharing has been disabled for those photographs.
Natron77 made mosaics of Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle which he hung on his cubicle at work.
And finally, JK Animation made Rainbow Dash, Derpy Hooves, and Apple Jack, which you can see here.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I see that DJ Baggadonuts has come up with several interesting mosaic techniques. One of them is to stack headlight bricks into columns, and then stick jewels into the holes. Light will shine through from the back of the mosaic, creating an interesting effect. If the backlight is strong enough, it will light up, "sort of like a LEGO LiteBrite," as Mr. Baggadonuts says in his blog. (The blog archive is worth a look; in it you can find links to all sorts of entries explaining how he accomplishes his different mosaics.)
Here are two examples of this jewels-inserted-into-headlight bricks technique:
The stability of the mosaics can cause a problem, as they are made of columns of headlight bricks and have very little cross-bracing (which only occurs in the black sections). But with persistence, it can be done.
Mr. Baggadonuts has several other interesting techniques that I would like to cover in future posts. ;-)
(Yes, yes, I love to use smileys. I can't help it! Everything seems so very serious without them. ;-) )
He says it was based on the cover of A Clockwork Orange. You can read his discussion of this mosaic on his blog.
A similar technique that I've seen is to use axles instead of light sabers, as Linus (minkowsky) does here:
Linus devised a mechanism to make the axles "wave" at him, as can be seen in the video here, with a behind-the-scenes glimpse here.
Friday, December 9, 2011
And since we're on the topic of Mariann's mosaics, here is another small one that uses five different shades of blue to create the impression of a Wyland ocean painting:
When Mariann writes about this picture in her blog, she talks about how she has to simplify the details in order to make it come out correctly. I hope she won't mind me quoting her wholesale here, but here is the paragraph:
"And here’s a Model Building Tip for you: Generally when I am doing a mosaic, especially when it is small like this one, I have to simplify the image and take away some of the details without losing the general look. Trying to do all the lines or shadings is almost impossible at this size, so you have to pick and choose what you keep in and what you take out. Sometimes that is easier to say than do. "
I'm not really sure how to accomplish these kinds of detailed mosaics like Mariann does; it might be worth asking her about sometime. ;-)
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I'm very impressed by the complicated techniques used to render this image. There are plates and bricks heading in all sorts of directions, which allows a greater amount of detail to be used. Mariann said this took her 100 hours to make this, and I'm not surprised.
I first saw this mosaic on Mariann's blog, Model Building Secrets. You can find her original write-up on it here.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
For today, I would like to share some mosaics Jason Allemann (True Dimensions) made entirely from LEGO flowers:
I find it very interesting how he's overlapped the flower petals to give the impression of solid blocks of color. You can also see how each row of flowers is elevated slightly from the one below it, so that the petals have room to fit next to each other (I would guess). I thought it was all very clever.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I'm proud to announce that mosaic master, Katie Walker, has agreed to join the blog as an author! If you weren't aware, Katie has designed the logo at the top of the site, she has been featured on The Brothers Brick Blog almost ten times, and has received an abundance praise throughout the community for her stunning work. Be sure to check out her flickr stream to see her fantastic creations, or you can check out the interview we did with her last year here.
Katie will be adding techniques and tricks & tips to the blog, as well as user creations, so look forward to her posts! If you're ever not sure if she has posted, or if I have (Casey), at the footer of the post, it will display one of our names. So, thanks to Katie for joining and thanks to everyone for sticking with us!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Now, admit-tingly I only received two entries. Which is fine, more prizes for them right? So there was much deliberation as to who to pick for the winners. So without much ado,
Concept: 4/5 - Picking a mosaic that is still relevant, while picking one that not many people would choose. Taking day to day objects and building them out of Lego, is always a great idea.
Execution: 4.5/5 - The mosaic looks spot on to the original design. Admittedly, some of the letters do look at bit wonky being sideways and all, but it's almost an exact copy (especially when you look at it from far away, or in a lower resolution).
Originality: 3.5 - The mosaic is not an original work, but is one that not very many people make mosaics of (day to day warning signs, etc.)
Overall: 12/15 - An overall, nice mosaic with bright colors and a great design perfect for applicable day-to-day use.
Check it out here.
Concept: 3/5 - If you were trying to describe this mosaic to someone, you wouldn't honestly know (Or I wouldn't, at least) what to tell them what it is other than, a 'picture', a 'pattern', or a 'design', without getting really technical. It's hard to put your finger on quite what it is, making it difficult to explain, unlike a brand logo, a portrait, etc. Not saying that the concept is bad, but is hard to put context to.
Execution: 5/5 - Now it may seem weird thinking the concept is, o.k., but saying the execution is phenomenal. But, it's true. The intricacies and techniques in here are really great and beautiful, really showing off Katie's skill as a builder.
Originality: 4.5/5 - Like I've stated previously, the 1x1s on their sides is really a great technique, along with the focal point's bold slope usage. I'm not an art aficionado, so I'm not sure if a piece of art that looks like this exists, but the mosaic is a pretty original idea.
Overall: 12.5/15 - Overall, a solid work of art. Techniques and choice of color is really superb.
Check it out here.
So who wins? Katie comes out on top by .5 of a point, but since we only had two entries, I decided to up the winnings!
Prize pack #1 includes:
- One (1) $15 Lego Store Gift Card (Also redeemable online).
- Two (2) Series 5 Collectible Minifigures
- One (1) 40005 Bunny
- One (1) 40012 Pumpkin
Prize pack #2 includes:
- One (1) $15 Lego Store Gift Card (Also redeemable online).
- Two (2) Series 5 Collectible Minifigures
- One (1) 7606 Frog
- One (1) 7871 Whale
- One (1) 1999 McDonald's Chicken Car (Not sure set # or name)
Both are now virtually the same, and both will receive a $15 gift card, perfect for a large PaB cup, or anything else your Lego heart desires. If any of you two have questions, feel free to contact me. Katie, you win by just a little bit, so you have first pick on said pack! I will be contacting both of you to get these sent out. ;-D
Thanks to both the competitors! Hopefully next year's will be grander, and more well organized, but that's a while away from now. I apologize for being so busy, life and school really have gotten in the way of every hobby that I want to do. Look around here more often because I'm really really trying harder to get school done faster, so I can do what I love. But, no promises. Thanks,
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Nothing like some pixel-y goodness!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
It reminds me of Rivendell (Lord of the Rings), although I'm not quite positive as to what it quite is. All I know, is...it's stinking awesome! By the way, This was found by Bruce on Lego Monster's flickr stream.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This effect was first done with Chris Doyle's Portrait of Dorian Bley using "cheese slopes" put next to each other. Looking at the image strait on will make it look really weird, so using this, you get some very cool transforming creations. Now, it's been copied and re-done all across the community and I only suspect it to gain more traction:
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Check out what he's done on his flickr stream to see all the great photos!
*** Note: I'm back from vacation. (obviously!)
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Special note, thanks to Bruce N H of Classic-Castle, Brick Tales, and too many blogs (hehehehe) as well as rjg173 for identifying a mosaic in the Legoland Discovery Center post as from "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. Check out the post for more details.
Be sure to read our latest interview where we catch up with Ben Caulkins, despite being not all that mosaic related, it was fascinating a ton of fun talking with him.
Anyway, See ya later people!
MB: Ok, so, it's pretty much been a year since last "talking" as far as an interview goes. Catch us up on what you've been doing. In what ways have you seen your building, or your Lego community experience change and improve over the course of a year?
BC:"Well, the greatest change was made through a recent creation of mine: my Master Chief costume. Before I had even finished, it brought me a great deal of attention from the internet and LEGO fan community, and, I dare say, gave people a reason to take me seriously as a MOCist. But that just stemmed from another change, namely my tendency to build exclusively Halo MOCs. In my last interview I mentioned several MOCs that I wanted to build, yet none of them involved Halo. Unfortunately I never did actually build any of the MOCs I listed, but rather built several new Halo creations. I'm not sure why I became addicted to Halo: maybe its the angular look of the UNSC vehicles, and the contrasting smooth and reflective look of the covenant craft, but either way, it stuck with me. I don't regret it either,
otherwise I might not have ever built the Master Chief costume."
MB:Yeah, I've certainly made claims of MOCs I'll build and then never build them, and build something else. I find though it also shows me where my building priorities are.
(Moving away from Lego for a bit) Since you build heavily in Lego Halo, would it be safe to assume you grew up with the Halo franchise on the classic Xbox? Or did you not start playing it 'till later in life? Have you never played it? Overall, When did you encounter the games?
BC:"My story with the Halo franchise is actually a strange one. I never had an xbox, and I never even knew what Halo was until a few years ago, but I can remember the first time I played it. I was so young, I didn't even know what I was doing, who the bad guys were, or how to operate the controls, but I remember what it looked like: it was the level in Halo CE where you have to reenter the covenant's flagship, of course I didn't figure that out until many years later. After that, several years later, I met a guy while on vacation in Maine who I'm now good friends with. He had an xbox and Halo 2 with him, so we played that. We never actually played it to win the game, we just sort of played it. I was still pretty young, and I payed no attention to the storyline, so I had no idea what was going on. Fast forward to spring of 2010. That same friend from Maine was at my house, and we were on the floor building, and I told him, "name something you want me to build." He said, "a warthog", so that's what I did. From then on, I started to delve deeper and deeper into the Halo franchise, and then, last summer, I was again on vacation in Maine, when I went over to my friends house, and as usual, we played Halo 2, but this time we actually played to win. Its not as if we had literally agreed to play it to the end, but rather there was now a determination to finish that hadn't been there before. Sure enough, within the two weeks I had been there at about one hour a day, we beat Halo 2. Then over the course of the last year, I bought Halo CE for my computer and played Halo 3 at a different friends house, so now i can finally say that I've played the essential trilogy."
During E3, we found out during the Microsoft conference that they will be releasing two new games. Halo 4 and Halo:CE Remastered. Are you excited about these new games? Do you think they will inspire you to create more Halo MOCs? Do you think they will inspire other Lego community member as well?
BC:"When I saw the Halo 4 trailer, I was very disappointed. To me, Halo ended with the Chief floating towards that distant planet. What made it so cool was the mystery, the lack of knowledge of the Chief's next adventure. Now that there making a Halo 4, that mystery is lost. Plus, 343 industries is known to handle the expanded universe side of the Halo franchise, publishing the novels and stuff. What worries me about their taking over of the project is that they're going to try and force a personality onto the Chief as they do in the novels, to try and make him into a different character than what we all imagined. Part of what makes Halo "Halo" is that we know so little about the chief so that we can imprint our own personalities onto him. Also, how can you make a Halo game without the covenant, which is exactly what Halo 4 is going to have to do. 343 better have some big tricks up its sleeve, otherwise I'm going to pay this game no mind. As for the Halo CE re-release I am very excited. Still though, all there doing is giving the old Halo a spit-shine, nothing really all that special. As far as inspiration for MOCs goes, will just have to wait and see what new surprises Halo 4 has in store for us."
MB:(Back to Lego!)What led up to creating a full body suit of a Halo spartan? When did the idea start the project happen?
BC:"The root for the idea I guess could be my first attendance of Brickworld last year. The things I saw there really heightened my standards of building and I realized, if I was going to get any attention at all, I was going to have to go big! It was on a walk when I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that I really thought of a specific thing to build: a Master Chief suit made entirely out of LEGO. Why not? Simafol had done it. Of course, it took a lot more thinking before I actually thought it would be possible."
MB:So once you had the idea, where did you go from there?
BC:"I knew I wanted to start with the helmet, so that's what I did. It took me three weeks and was an instant hit with the blogs, but that only lasted for so long before I was back to work. From that point on it was months of work constructing all of the different segments, and as I progressed I gained more experience, so some of the pieces of armor that I finished later in the process are actually of a higher quality than some of the earlier pieces. But in the end, it all came together beautifully."
MB:So, walk us through how you would put on this contraption.
BC:"I put it on from the ground up, so naturally the first that goes on are the shoes. The legs can crack in half so I can snap them on over my legs. The thighs don't form a full circle, so those are pretty easy to put on. The belt can separate into two halves, so I put one on usually which sticks using Velcro, and then attach the other half to it. The next part is pretty difficult: the torso. Those thing that loop under the armpits can come off so I can put the torso on over my head, then the armpit loops reattach. Its a pretty tight fit, but it works... mostly. Next is the most hazardous part, the upper arms. I never really thought them through all that well, so the only way to put them on is to slide them up my arm, which is difficult because they're covered in Velcro, and my entire neoprene suit sticks to Velcro. Also, I made them to small, so whoever is helping me has to push really hard in order to get them far enough up my arms. Once, in fact, one of them exploded because it couldn't fit on my arm...oops. Then the most irritating part: the forearms. They can crack in half similar to the legs, but there is a very precise place to put them on, and most of the time it ends up attached wrong, so I have to make my helper take them off and do it all over again. Afterwards comes the gloves, and finally the helmet. In the end, I feel very satisfied, and my helper is pissed at me for being so bossy, but I think he's a little satisfied too."
MB:Oooooh! So it does require an extra person...I was going to ask that. Ok, so let's move on to BW'11...
How did you like general vibe from Brickworld? Was it better than last year's or about the same?
BC:"Its difficult to judge this years Brickworld. My personal experience was very different as I was part of a group layout for the first time, so I got to meet some really awesome people. Also, I got a lot more attention from attendees due to the suit. But, as a person just visiting Brickworld, I'd say it was about the same. There was no serious leap in the total size of the convention or the quality of the MOCs in general, but I should say that the quality of the MOCs is probably beyond improvement as many of them are superb. Now that's not to say I didn't enjoy Brickworld, I did very much, but it's just more of the same from last year, which is a good thing because that formula works."
What was the public's reaction to the Halo armor?
BC:"The public's reaction to the Halo armor was overwhelming. Everywhere I went I was followed by a crowd of people trying to take pictures. I ended up not moving for long periods of time as parents took picture of me with their kids over and over again. Also, I even had a few attendees following me who I had never met, so I guess its akin to stalking. If it wasn't for Nick Jenson (Nick Brick) I probably would have been trampled by a crowd of people, as he was the one made holes in the crowd for me to pass through (also, here's a bit of shameless plugging: check out Nick's Halo weapons, they are sick!). As the man in the suit, I was constantly giddy with joy. Sure it was difficult to walk in and the crowds did get pretty annoying, but still, it was awesome to be noticed like this."
MB:You (and I) attended the advanced mosaics workshop by Roy Cook. What did you think of it? Did you find it helpful, inspiring, or interesting in anyway?
BC:"Although I don't plan on making mosaics in the future, I found the workshop very informative. I found his discussion on how he made his Halle Berry mosaic especially interesting, what with all the unique techniques that went into it."
MB:Did you attend any other workshops or presentations from this year, and if so, which ones stuck out for you?
BC:"My favorite workshop was presented by Jamie Berard (LEGO Creator designer) on what life is like as a designer in Denmark. Not only did it reveal some pretty interesting facts, but it also answered some questions that I had about LEGO product design. Plus it didn't hurt that Jamie is a really nice guy."
MB:So at one point, you were given the epic privilege of destroying this cylinder of Brickworld 2011 made entirely of 1x8s. What was that like?
BC:"To be honest, I was actually kind of nervous. I was mainly concerned with looking like an idiot in this big bulky suit. Secondly, I was worried the suit would break, which of course it did, and I have yet to fix it. When Nannan posted the video of me knocking it down, I was worried that I would look really stupid. But when I watched it, I actually think I did a pretty good job considering the limitations of the suit. The only real problem is that you may notice that part of my knee armor is missing."
MB:Overall, do you plan on attending next year?
BC:"Absolutely, although I don't know how I could possibly top myself next year considering the standards that I have now raised myself to. But my goal is to win some kind of award, because the last two years have been teasing me with two nominations per Brickworld, and I thought I had it this year with the suit, but Ryan McNaught's massive Loveboat bested me at that. Anyway, I can't imagine not going to Brickworld again, because getting to talk to people who genuinely get this obsession with LEGO is such a treat, and how one forget the hundred of awesome MOCs populating the display tables. Yup, I will definitely be going."
MB:Ben Caulkins has certainly made himself a name for himself. How does he top this? Got any grand schemes?
BC:"At the moment, I've got nothing. Or at least nothing on the same scale as the suit. But what I am working on is the first minifig scale Halo 3 Pelican, and I hope to follow this up with a similarly scaled Halo 3 Phantom.
To see Ben's fantastic MOCs, visit his Flickr photostream, here or visit his MOCpages account here.
Many thanks for the interview, Ben! It's always a pleasure. ;-D
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
So first up we have a lot of castle pictures...
These sheild heraldry mosaics were at the beginning of the dragon ride and were pretty sweet. Following with the dragon theme...
...these were mosaics that were found during the dragon ride. The first photo turned out really nicely while the other one is not so great, as you can tell. It was quite difficult to get them while riding. =) I think these were my favorite ones. The glowed quite nicely in the dark.
We also found this cartoony mosaic and was pretty neat.
Moving on away from Castle...
All these mosaics were found by the bathrooms. There were 2 day camps eating lunch at this time I took them, so they didn't turn out exactly like I wanted them to, but I'm hoping they're still easy to look at.
Across from the bathrooms by the "Model Workshop" section, we had some more "artistic" mosaics.
Now I'm sure that second one is Van Gogh's Starry Night, but I can't tell what the first one is. (If anyone knows, leave a comment or email me at email@example.com). The one below is the Mona Lisa, but didn't turn out that great due to a TON of glare.
*** Note, thanks to Bruce N H and rjg173 for letting me know the first one is "The Scream" by Edvard Munch.
So, yeah! There you go! There was one extra mosaic, but it had even more glare so I figured it wasn't even worth it. The interview with Ben Caulkins is coming up soon. Thanks for reading!