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From my clip art library

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 8:53 pm
by esteeme1
When I first started modeling with Aspire I was always impressed by many of the scenes that were created. Well my library is getting large enough that I can do them a little quicker now. This was created form nothing but clip art from my library. I do have to give honorable mention to the dove that came from the Vectric clip art library.

This will be inlayed into the lid of a trunk. I will share the completed project later.

Any way thanks for looking and any comments. I know I haven't been posting as often as I used to but……

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 11:20 pm
by esteeme1
Here are a couple other models I reasonably completed. The Indian Warrior Face was used in both images. The large headdress was completed some time ago so all that needed to be done was the face. The feathers in the smaller headdress was distorted from a feather plucked from the larger one.

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 11:28 pm
by martin54
cracking work Jim, thanks for taking the time to share it with us, hopefully one day (if I live long enough) I will be able to produce something as good. :lol: :lol:

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 12:38 am
by esteeme1
Why Thanks Martin.

I'm not saying these models where easy by any stretch. I purchased aspire in 2010 and have been modeling with it ever since. I do have other software but for good reason I use Aspire. The first thing I Modeled was a Chief Anchor. It took me at least 20 hours everyone that I carved it for, loved it. I saw many distractors and have updated it over the years and don't cut my first one any more. I have just kept modeling and improving and experimenting with different effect. I think the best thing Aspire has going for it are the great tutorials and an intuitive user interface. Everything clicks for me and I am able to establish a method/approach to make sure I can reach my challenge.

I always have trouble working with intersecting angle and perspective views of faces and such. I don't think there is any other software that would work better in those regards. At least I haven't found it yet.

One of the main reasons I share my work is primarily to get my name out there but to also show those that are sceptic of there abilities that is can be done. I do have some artistic ability but don't consider myself an artist. I worked for a silk screen shop back in the 80's as a graphic artist but wasn't that good at it and moved on. I have no formal training or mentor that I turn to but always look at this forum for inspiration.

I think the point of the clip art is that you only need to start with something small and always try to improve on everything you do. The F18 took me over 25 hours or more ( I've lost track of time on many of my models) Some take me days to perfect.

There are no secrets with this software (Even though I have made a few functions work for me outside the box). Don't just watch the tutorials study them. They are invaluable. Apply one function at a time to something you want to create and you will find it addicting. Try to save all your work and reference it often. If you don't try to make the plate, or the spoon, or the fork, or the wine glass or the (you get the point)

Just give it a go and have fun with the results.

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 4:25 am
by esteeme1
Here are the final of the inlayed carving. Yes Neptune was a Master Chief.

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 12:03 am
by Pete Cyr
Sharp Trunks - look great.
What di the Vet say when they received it?

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 2:25 pm
by AndyPitts
Nice work!

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 8:04 pm
by esteeme1
Pete Cyr wrote:Sharp Trunks - look great.
What di the Vet say when they received it?


Thanks Pete,

It was a gift from his wife, a fellow US Navy Chief. She could not think of enough explanative adjectives but the main one was holy $#!@, holy fn $#!@, holy $#!@, that is freak en awesome.

I would like to think the the Master Chief would say about the same thing but add something like….."Where the hell did you get that done and what's the balance on my card??

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 8:43 pm
by esteeme1
Thanks Andy, It's good to hear from you. I would still like to meet one and if your ever in the area of Chesapeake give me a ring. I'm sure Pete would feel the same.

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:38 pm
by tom klass
outstanding work as usual Jim!! I was hoping you were going to make it to Jims this year I missed talking with you. Maybe next year.

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:24 pm
by esteeme1
Thanks so much Tom,

It was a good time at Jim's and good meeting with you as well. It would be nice to get down there again.

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:21 pm
by cac67
I'm a little late but I wanted to throw my $.02 in.

esteeme1 wrote:Why Thanks Martin.

I'm not saying these models where easy by any stretch. I purchased aspire in 2010 and have been modeling with it ever since. I do have other software but for good reason I use Aspire. The first thing I Modeled was a Chief Anchor. It took me at least 20 hours everyone that I carved it for, loved it. I saw many distractors and have updated it over the years and don't cut my first one any more. I have just kept modeling and improving and experimenting with different effect. I think the best thing Aspire has going for it are the great tutorials and an intuitive user interface. Everything clicks for me and I am able to establish a method/approach to make sure I can reach my challenge.


We started about the same time, and my experience with Aspire is very similar to yours. The first thing I modeled was a military emblem. My nephew was about to return from Afghanistan and I wanted to make a plaque for him. I got it figured out and cut it and it looked horrible because I modeled it as a small part in a large work piece in standard resolution. I learned from that and a few years later when I started my site I knew better.

One of the first models I did for my site was a buffalo (10th Cav). I spent weeks on it, mostly sculpting hair. Detailed hair that I doubt will ever show up in a carving since it would take a loooong time to carve it with a small enough bit to see it.

esteeme1 wrote:I always have trouble working with intersecting angle and perspective views of faces and such. I don't think there is any other software that would work better in those regards. At least I haven't found it yet.


Yep, me too, it's actually the hardest thing for me.

esteeme1 wrote:One of the main reasons I share my work is primarily to get my name out there but to also show those that are sceptic of there abilities that is can be done. I do have some artistic ability but don't consider myself an artist. I worked for a silk screen shop back in the 80's as a graphic artist but wasn't that good at it and moved on. I have no formal training or mentor that I turn to but always look at this forum for inspiration.


I consider myself a technician, not an artist. If I don't have a picture to work from, I'm not coming up with anything. I also turn to the forum when I have a problem. But you don't need artistic talent to model with Aspire, you just need the tutorials and time to practice.

esteeme1 wrote:I think the point of the clip art is that you only need to start with something small and always try to improve on everything you do. The F18 took me over 25 hours or more ( I've lost track of time on many of my models) Some take me days to perfect.

There are no secrets with this software (Even though I have made a few functions work for me outside the box). Don't just watch the tutorials study them. They are invaluable. Apply one function at a time to something you want to create and you will find it addicting. Try to save all your work and reference it often. If you don't try to make the plate, or the spoon, or the fork, or the wine glass or the (you get the point)

Just give it a go and have fun with the results.


I agree with everything you're saying here. And I admire your work. I've made over 300 models since I started my site, and my customers seem to be happy with them, but I doubt I've made anything better than your work.

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:54 am
by esteeme1
Chris, Thanks so much. I have been following your work ever since I joined the forum and have been most impressed. Just the shear volume displayed on your sight is a testament to your abilities and popularity.

I have sold a few models but prefer to help others with their models. In turn it helps with my modeling. The main reason for not selling my models is that I rely so much on them for carving plaques and enhancing my work. If I sold them then everyone would be cutting my work and I would loose exclusivity. Sorry for being so selfish. Maybe when I stop cutting so much I will start selling. I have sold I few models but the ones I won't share are my anchors.

This is not in response to any of your work but you might find this a strange and obvious pointer. Someone suggested to me when I first started sharing my work, it was to make my models deeper/higher. Since then I feel my models have improved drastically. It helped with my sculpting (along with a wacom pad) tremendously. Most definitely helped show more definition between all the various components and provided less stress while modeling and more latitude to manipulate the piece. I typically work with a material block twice the size and gage the depth accordingly. The large material block (once again) most definitely helps with sculpting. I find the most important part of working with a larger material block is to consider the actual height of your final cut and proportion that to the size. i.e. twice as large twice as high.

Again thanks for your reply, accolades and $.02.

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:01 am
by cac67
esteeme1 wrote:Chris, Thanks so much. I have been following your work ever since I joined the forum and have been most impressed. Just the shear volume displayed on your sight is a testament to your abilities and popularity.

I have sold a few models but prefer to help others with their models. In turn it helps with my modeling. The main reason for not selling my models is that I rely so much on them for carving plaques and enhancing my work. If I sold them then everyone would be cutting my work and I would loose exclusivity. Sorry for being so selfish. Maybe when I stop cutting so much I will start selling. I have sold I few models but the ones I won't share are my anchors.

This is not in response to any of your work but you might find this a strange and obvious pointer. Someone suggested to me when I first started sharing my work, it was to make my models deeper/higher. Since then I feel my models have improved drastically. It helped with my sculpting (along with a wacom pad) tremendously. Most definitely helped show more definition between all the various components and provided less stress while modeling and more latitude to manipulate the piece. I typically work with a material block twice the size and gage the depth accordingly. The large material block (once again) most definitely helps with sculpting. I find the most important part of working with a larger material block is to consider the actual height of your final cut and proportion that to the size. i.e. twice as large twice as high.

Again thanks for your reply, accolades and $.02.


I'm right there with you. I help people with their models too. There's no secrets to what I do, I learned 99% of it from the tutorials and the rest is just practice. At least one of the people I help occasionally is probably going to be competing with me for the Canadian military emblems. I'm not losing a seconds sleep over it. In fact, I'm a little relieved. Some of the commonwealth emblems are nightmares. :D

As for modeling, I work in 36"x36"x3" material size. I started off smaller but quickly found out that people want to cut big stuff so now I make my models big enough to use for a sign and let my customers shrink it to fit their individual project. As for height, I just don't worry about it except when I know my customer is using a carvewright which has a max z of 1". Other than those I just try to make it look right. If it looks right at 36" it will look right scaled to 6". However, if I were doing what you were doing, where you know how big the final project is going to be, I would probably be doing it the same way you are.

I also have a wacom pad but haven't used it in a couple of years. I do very little sculpting, mostly just smoothing seams between components and dragging a brow ridge down over an eye here and there. I make what I see in the image I'm copying, and they rarely have the detail that would necessitate the tablet.

I do break the project down into parts, and I re-use parts from older projects. Once you've made the Air Force occupational badge wreath there's not much point in re-making it every time. I have a collection of my own clip art that I go to frequently. Since I'm selling the models I can't use Vectric's clip art, or anyone elses for that matter, but in 3 years and over 300 models I've accumulated an assortment of useful pieces. I have 21 different wings, for instance.

You know, I wasn't aware that you sold models at all. I have a list of three people from this forum that I recommend to people looking for custom modeling when I don't have the time to take it on, usually April and August when my queue goes nuts. Do you mind if I add you to that list?

Re: From my clip art library

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:35 pm
by esteeme1
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the thought. Of course I would consider any referrals but my back log gets pretty full as far as modeling goes. I can't make any promises that I could schedule extra work.

This may be a good time to bring up pricing. I know this has been discussed for machine time but I haven't seen to much considering modeling. (Vectric please don't think I'm trying to horde in on your great work but this is a modeling software) My free lance charge may not reflect yours. I get a lot of silence on the line when I quote my pricing. Considering the time involved in the modeling I just try to stay away from it. I don't think it's beneficial/cost effective to charge reduced rates for free lance. I don't mind incorporating it into my work and feel the modeling offsets the price of the piece. Most of the time I have repeat business as well. I'm not sure what your charging but personally feel that charging $25 an hour is not out of the question and I normally place a cap around $200 to $300 dependent on the details. I always reserve the right to reuse my models unless it's copyrighted but then the price would be more.

I find most everyone comes in thinking there going to get a model for $50 and never consider the time involved.