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my first moc, part 2

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re stuck at home, and maybe feeling a little anxious about the world around us.

Many, (most?) of us haven’t been in a situation like this before and we’re all just trying to get through it best we can.

So if you’ve got some free time, dig out the legos, and spend a few minutes with the kids, or alone as an adult, (there are a lot of adult lego builders out there) building something. Then try and recreating your lego build in Studio. It’s a lot of fun and easier than you might think.

This is the second part of my story about creating my first MOC (My Own Creation.) You can read part 1 here.

Adding Color to Bricks in Studio

Now that I had my model built, it was time to add some color.

It’s as simple as selecting a piece then choosing a color from the sidebar palette. Studio warns you if the color you’ve selected isn’t available for that brick. (If you don’t want to keep getting those warnings, you can toggle the controls so that the colors available are only in those provided by Lego.)

Generating Instructions in Studio

The process for making the instructions is a little more complicated.

When you first look at your instructions, there is only the one step.

I had to backtrack step by step and brick by brick to create all of the steps for my little spaceship, (which I’m now dubbing the ‘Escher’ an interstellar passenger ship with twin rotors that spin up wormholes to travel through interstellar space, and landing and retro thrusters for planetary visits. Not only is this ship capable of creating its own wormholes to cut down on interstellar travel time, it can also land on a planet with an atmosphere. Take that Enterprise.)

Once I parsed out the steps, Studio makes it easy to select different layouts for each page. I experimented with a few different layouts, ultimately settling on a six panel first page, a 4 panel page two, a three panel page 3 and a two panel final page. It’s also possible to select and move the individual elements of the instructions to make sure that they’re all visible to the reader.

To meet the requirements to upload to rebrickable, I’ve got to create a pdf of my instructions. More on that in part 3.

If you have any questions about working in Studio, feel free to drop them by in the comments. I’m by no means a Studio expert, but maybe we can puzzle through it together.

building my first moc part 1

Little Guy is in to Lego, so now I’m in to Lego.

And I’m probably more in to Lego than he is.

All of this began with me watching his sets that he had gotten for Christmas or for birthdays, and we had so carefully built together, slowly disintegrate back into the box of all the Legos. I wondered if there were a website where you can enter in all of the sets you have and find out what else you can build with your Legos.

Thankfully there was, because it is a fantastic idea and I am not the man to build such a thing.

Rebrickable is a near magical site, where you can do exactly that, enter the sets you own, and where hundreds (maybe thousands) of Lego builders worldwide upload their designs, or MOCs (short for My Own Creations) and you can see all of the marvelous designs that you can build with the Legos you have. They even provide instructions.

It is like making new toys from the toys you already have.

And these MOCs are brilliant. Go look at them. Now. I will wait…

Did you go visit them? Aren’t they marvelous?

So inspired by these MOCs, I wanted to create a MOC, too.

Of course, you’re creating a MOC every time you freebuild with your pile of Legos, but I wanted to take it to the next step.

I found Studio 2 (and it is free) by bricklink, which allows you to build Legos digitally, and creates step by step instructions for your build.

This weekend, while freebuilding with little guy, I built a little mini spaceship, shown in the photo above.

It seemed like a good candidate to recreate in Studio for my first build because it was only about 15 or so pieces. Perfect.

I dove in to Studio, (which does have a helpful tutorial) and built this little guy from the ground up.

This is my little spaceship (with twin interstellar rotors, of course) before I’ve added brick colors.

What took just a few minutes in real life took me a couple of hours to build in Studio, mostly because of my lack of familiarity with how it worked. (Don’t be daunted. Studio is remarkably intuitive, and you are much smarter than I am. My saving grace is a willingness to be bad at things.)

More on the instructions and brick color selection in part 2 of my first Moc, coming just as soon as I have a bit of time to write it.

legos, writing, and a lego selfie

Right before bed last night I started thinking about Lego.

Thinking about how following the instructions and building the sets with my littel guy is a lot of fun, and an exercise in patience, for both him and me.

Of course, freebuilding out of the big box of random legos (that all of the sets eventually disentegrate into) is a lot of fun, too. (For some reason I find myself building a lot of vehicles when we are in free building mode.)

Then I started to think about how building from the sets with the instructions can inform the freebuilding. Not only do you get a lot of great pieces from the sets, but you get to see interesting ways those pieces are used. You get new techniques.

Building from the sets nourishes the freebuilding.

This year I’ve vowed to write 500 words a day. (More accurately, 540 a day, since I didn’t start right on January 1.)

I hope some of that writing will make it’s way to screentone, but a lot of it is really awful, right now.

Not only that, but those 540 words are a lot more difficult to write, it takes a lot longer to hit that word count if I don’t get in any reading that day, or if I don’t manage to do anything but go to work and take care of little guy.

Just as building the lego sets provides nourishment for the freebuilding of Legos, reading, and doing these provide the nourishment for writing.

And on some days I really have to closely examine my day to find something to write about. I really have to notice things to find that nourishment.

First Post and an Indy Fan Shirt!

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to a website. There’s a lot of interesting stuff out there, and I’d like to share it, but doing so by email is tedious. Screentone allows me to pluck my notebook from my pocket and share it with the world. Or, at least, the select few who are in the know.

The other thought behind having a website is to show what I make, and websites like myspace and facebook, which seem to do that sort of thing very well, don’t seem to be my sort of thing.

So, here I am. I picked up a copy of WordPress for Dummies, and have been reading it, and it’s been great, but before I dive in; try to design a website proper, select a web hosting service and attempt to do a bunch of other stuff that I have no idea how to do, I thought that this; quickly tossing together a blog on the cheap, might be the way to go, while I continue to learn about everything else.

This first post will also give me the opportunity to unveil my Indiana Jones fan shirt, in honor of the new movie (which I’m afraid is going to suck, but which I’m going to see on opening day, nonetheless) and in anticipation of Lego Indy for Playstation! I think the design for the T may go through a couple of minor changes before it sees print, but you get the idea…

Also, the header image is a photo of a stack of my clean dishes. I’ve also got to try and figure out how to move my blog title from the middle of the header.

I hope this works, and be sure to check back tomorrow…

oooh….the white may be even better…