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  • Evolution

  • An action figure trading game

Spring 2024 - Capstone
10 weeks
Explorations:  Blender,  SLA Printing,  Packaging Design,  Keyshot

“Kids need to learn that they can’t always get what they want.”

  • Evolution

    is an animal action-figure trading game designed to teach kids how to communicate with each other, make friends, play, and learn how to react when others tell them no. 
  •        The idea for the characters came from my love of learning about animals and seeing how technology has affected social cognition and behavior in young kids. We live in a day and age where giving a child a game console when misbehaving is a frequent tactic to get a child to stop throwing a tantrum, and we do not realize the consequences of this in their development. 

  •         Evolution aims to create an array of characters with interchangeable parts that allow kids to trade with each other and create their characters or “monsters”.With this product, parents can purchase a box for their child where they will get 1 out of 6 of the characters, blindly, and the child could then go to school and trade parts of their characters with their classmates so each kid has their own unique action figure.

  • Box 1 Characters

Meadow the Cow
John the Sheep
Seline the Cat
Rose the Rabbit
Frankie the Bear
Monty the Mouse

  • Box 2 Characters

  • Box 2 characters are meant to adhere to a seperate audience of kids than the original model. Kids who maybe are not fond of the bright colors or see themselves as matching the black characters more. This black edition is also an example of how this brand could easily and cheapily create a second edition of these characters that have a completely different vision.

Rose in Black
John in Black
Frankie in Black
Seline in Black

  • Packaging


  • How to Put the Pieces Together

  • More From the Characters

  • Process

To begin I started to teach myself Blender. I knew that for what I wanted to achieve with this project, I was going to need something more freeform than SolidWorks, where I would be able to sculpt out the head and details and hands and fingers. 

This is my first round of characters. I started by sculting the heads first starting with the mouse and continued to use that model onward to test different ways that I could make and pose the characters.

A lot changed between the first model and the second. Originally, each character had a separate shaped body, but I quickly realized that that might be a challenge to do with the modular parts. I also originally had the characters have no necks, which, in hindsight, looked very off. 

To create the separate poses of the characters, I acted as if each part was not connected to the next and used an armature. This was the hardest part of the design, as things never moved the way I thought they would move. All of the bodies, hands, and legs are the same between models and just posed separately which helped ease this process. 

The final step in this was creating the friction fit between the pieces. I did this by adding a tapered cone to the ends of all of the pieces that attach from the body. This method worked fairly well, but if there is anything I would change about the characters this is what I would re-design. 

The next thing on the to-do list was to export my characters to the right sizes and print. At the time, there were no working resin printers available on campus, so my shopkeeper ended up taking out a retired model from the closet and helping me reconfigure it to print again. 

In the beginning, I printed way too big. Then after a few trials, I had to figure out how I should size up the body to make sure the parts would fit correctly(tolerance). 

Each model took about 5 hours to print. Between rounds sometimes pieces would fall back into the tanks or reprinting would have to happen and the machine would need cleaning. At the end of the day after using up all of the available resin, I had ten working models and a few extra pieces. (adding up to somewhere between 50-70hrs of printing).

Each part then had to be wet sanded by hand. This became a very labor-intensive process, as I spent about 60 hours sanding.

Next, I worked on packaging design. I wanted to leave ample time to make sure the design fit right on the box I designed. I worked in Illustrator to create the in and outside design and the cards. 

To begin I had to go back into Blender and color-match the characters to the Tamiya paint that was available online. I wanted the colors to be as close to the final products as I could get. After some trial and error, I decided to render in Keyshot instead of Blender, as Keyshot is the better engine and I have more familiarity with it. 

The biggest thing about the design was that I wanted the packaging to be able to be saved so that kids could use it as a home for their character. 

Printing the final designs was a beast. I did it in-house in our lab with the photography professor. We bought special paper that could be printed double-sided and spent hours getting the front and back sides to print lined up.

Once painting began it became a very manufactured process. I started by giving each character a spray of base coat. This was the hardest phase because I was concerned about mixing up all of the pieces as they looked very alike. 

To paint them as evenly as I could, I ended up attaching the pieces to glue sticks so that I could rotate the objects as I sprayed them. 

To get in more detailed designs, I taped off certain parts, and when it came to the eyes hand-painted.

Between layers, I sanded off bubbles and smoothed over drips.

  • See More Work