Bonelace, a dreamlike and digital universe.

Hello, fellow BJD lovers !
Today, Dolls Review is pleased to introduce you to a young foreign artist, who comes straight from the USA : Bonelace. After many trials shared with their followers, Bonelace recently launched their first fully completed BJD model, Miss Orc. The particularity of their creation ? She has been entirely shaped in 3D ! While many BJD artists sculpt from raw materials and prefer this traditional working method, others have embarked on 3D modeling to bring their ideas to life. As the style of Bonelace is very particular, with a striking and original aesthetic, we wanted to make you discover their achievements.
This is also our first post in english, as we are a french blog dedicated to the french-speaking community. So please have mercy if it’s not perfect 😉
Doll by Bonelace

How about you, and how did you get interested in dolls ?
I’m really just a basic b*tch who loves seeing pretty things and there’s so many pretty dolls out there.I got introduced via this digital artist on DevianArt. At the time, I greatly admired their art and they sometimes posted their own dolls. I started peeking at the rest of the community on DeviantArt after that, but when I saw the price tag, I was like ; “Yikes ! No way I can afford that !”After I got my own career started, I needed an art model I can pose and draw from and recall BJDs again. I figured I could finally afford them and picked up a Ringdoll & 5th motif to try out. I’ve since sold the Ringdoll, but my 5th motif is still a solid favorite for me

What motivated you to start making BJD ?A streak of complete masochism, clearly.During the waiting period between ordering my first doll and actually receiving it, I was looking over doll photos and in a fit of hubris decided it can’t be THAT hard to make my own doll.ANYWAYS I was 10000% wrong and it is actually a very hard art form. But I enjoy how I can physically hold my own art and have greater control over my concepts and ideas than if I were to just buy dolls alone.

It allows me to make weird junk without modifying my dolls !

Can you explain to our readers how your 3D modeling process works ?Start with a general idea in mind, and then I pull up as many references on the subject as possible. Photos are preferred over drawings and art, so I can understand the forms and volumes of what I’m modeling.I try to sculpt a full figure before moving on to focus more on the bust concept. I’ll go through a few bust prints first for every doll I make.I’ll make a lot of adjustments to the facial sculpt at this time, because my sculpting program isn’t actually accurate to the final print, so many models come out slightly more smooshed than I would like.Once I’m satisfied with the bust, I’ll go through and finish detailing the rest of the full figure before working on joints.Feet and hands are some of the last to be completed, because I typically sculpt every doll from scratch without reusing old models, and they’re just annoying to work on.
 What are the advantages and disadvantages of creating 3D dolls, in your opinion ?Symmetry is an obvious problem. Perfect symmetry is part of my aesthetic, since I like that it gives a bit of an inhuman vibe to my sculpts. But it does make it easier to make large changes and shapes really fast. And it has really good working time. Theoretically, I can create a new head sculpt every few weeks or in a month, due to the fast turnaround time.Conversely, it’s hard to get a feel for physical registration on the joints. I’m never quite sure how a joint will lock in actuality, and I’ll have to do several reprints. Prints are also much lighter in PLA so I’m never quite sure how it’ll behave in resin.There’s also a bit to understand on the materials front. I work with acid polylactic (PLA) prints due to a bit of a resin allergy. PLA prints tend to shear along the direction that the object has been printed, so I’ve had more than a few design changes to compensate for this.Similar issue for sueding. I always need to suede my PLA prints because I’ve never encountered a filament that’s not slippery.Pros :
  • Strength
  • Ease of changes
  • Fast turnaround time
  • Very little need to mess with physical media like epoxy, dremels, drills, etc
  • Easy to get into doll making

Cons :

  • 3D renders aren’t always accurate to real life
  • Sometimes the UI is intimidating (I use ZBrush)
  • No physical registration. Joint behavior unknown without extensive testing
  • Sheering issues along edges
  • Machine maintenance
  • PLA prints will always need to be sueded

Your first released sculpt, Miss Orc, seems to have been an incredible adventure. How did she come to life ?I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about Orcs, and had a massive crush on Miss Orc from Bayard Wu. Making an orc doll seemed fun and there was a lack of muscular female body types in the doll hobby.I’m pretty sad that so much muscle structure had to get erased to accommodate joints, but I valued mobility over muscle structure in this case. It took a few months of back and forth testing, and a good few hundred dollars in terms of printing plastic to finally finish prototyping her. I learned a lot of new techniques while working on her (installing metal bars, new faceplate mechanisms, etc). She’s been such a large project in every sense of the term, and I’m very thankful for all of the faceup artists and seamstresses who have reached out along the way.

She ended up being styled as an early hollywood starlet which is a completely different direction than I expected.

Do you have any other 3D projects ?I’m currently working on a reimagining of my first doll : Moonchild.I was frustrated with my first few full doll making attempts (back before I figured out that PLA is slippery and never behaves the same) so I decided to make the wildest doll I could and threw anatomy to the wind. Moonchild came out wildly unrealistic and intensely bendy. Now that I have a deeper understanding of joints and 3D sculpting, I’m taking the time fix up everything about the original that I wasn’t satisfied with
What advice do you want to give to people who want to experiment with 3D creation ?
Start with looking at tutorials online and trying to get a handle for some small objects like busts, rather than an ambitious full doll or fully designed head. It’s much easier to follow tutorials on how to make busts, and get a feel for the software first before making any actual dolls.
Same for 3D printing. A printer is a good investment and much cheaper than buying prints. I’d recommend getting a better printer rather than a cheap temporary printer that’s more trouble than it’s worth.
A first doll is not fast and it might not even be worth casting, but the practice is valuable and will speed things up on future dolls.

Thank you very much for this interview, Bonelace ! The creation of dolls in 3D is still relatively recent, and the way of proceeding evolving regularly, it is an interesting topic that should have appeared on Dolls ReviewWe wish you a very good continuation ^_~

Find Bonelace on Instagram !

And you, do you want to get into 3D modeling ? Have you ever tried it ? Tell us everything in the comment area !

Dolls Review.


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