(results from survey below)
This photo shows 60 new armatures getting ready to be shipped (legs are up because I’m in the process of adding the blades to the shoes). I expect to be shipping out 60 new kits by this Friday which will leave only 60 more left to do the week following. Then after that I'll be moving onto kits+ family extensions and hopefully have those done by the end of the month! Which would only be one month behind schedule. Not bad! smile emoticon
SURVEY RESULTS ARE IN!
First, off, it was great to read through everyone's responses to the survey. I must say, I'm so impressed by the thoughtfulness and time you guys put into your written responses, even the optional ones! I'm humbled to know I've got such a smart and savvy group of people using this product... and I'll admit a bit intimidated. I was also very happy to learn about the ways in which you've already been using the armatures and how it's been helping with your art production process.
Last week I visited my in-laws and finally delivered to them the kit they ordered through indiegogo back in December. It was a great learning experience for me to witness my mother-inlaw's user experience as she opened the box and posed the armature. The first thing I noticed, is she was really afraid of moving it because she thought it would break. So heads up folks: It's not THAT fragile smile emoticon So I did tell her she could apply much more strength to it and so she did and was able to pose it with ease. She eventually put it in a standing pose, left it on the kitchen table and it stayed that way throughout my entire five day visit with them.
That said, there is clearly work to be done and improvements to be made so below are things I'm going to try to address based on your responses from the survey:
Question #2 & #3
Out of 33 responses, 27 said they were satisfied->super satisfied with A9-11
Out of 36 responses, 29 said they were likely->super likely to order more A9-11
Out of 37 responses, 25 said they were likely->super likely to get anatomical variations and enhancements
Given these responses I came to the difficult conclusion that I need to abandon the 5.5" armature design. By focusing solely on the 11" armature, it will give me the time and energy to focus on the product people care about the most (A9-11). Those of you that ordered it through indiegogo will still get it in your kits, of course, but it won't be for sale anymore.
Out of 39 responses, 37 said they were likely->super likely to use the armature as visual aids for 2D art
Very few people showed interest in using the armature for sculpting, therefore as I work toward finalizing the 2013 design I will not be targeting this demographic anymore. I will be producing a different design entirely for sculptors.
Interestingly a vast majority of people that filled out the survey said they haven't attempted to coat their joints. This tells me that a) I either need to provide some clearer instructions on how to do so, or b) that the joints are performing well enough that coating has not become necessary.
Out of 40 responses, 31 said the cosmetic quality of the print was unimportant->somewhat important.
With regards to the essay questions (and I should have seen this coming) a large number of the crits had to do with issues that I've already addressed in the newer designs (such as the arms falling off of clavicles), but someone that clearly got my new clavicle design pointed out that the new design, while more stable, actually limits some of the range of motion. This is a major finding and thanks to whoever pointed that out. So while the older design was more flexible, but less user friendly, the new more user friendly design, has imposed some limitations. I've looked into this and I've figured out how to address it.
The other area that people had suggestions for was for greater plantar flexion in the feet. This is a tough one to solve, because all the weight of the armature is on the ankles, and if they were able rotate freely, the armature would have a hard time holding its own weight. I have some ideas on how to solve this based on some joint designs I created for the quadrupeds and I'm going to prototype and explore. An alternative might be to have the armature suspended at the waist, but I really want to avoid that design. Part of me wonders though if what people really want is a toe rotation rather than more flexion at the ankle. Our ankle doesn’t' really move a whole lot unless you're a professional ballet dancer. The pronation and supination of the foot are quite realistic in the armature as is.
It is through this feedback that the armature has continued to evolve throughout the last three months its been in production. It's gone from the 2012 model to what will soon be called the 2013 model. I'm hoping to unveil this next Month at an art show I'll be doing in Redmond.
I really appreciate the way with which you've all communicated with me and your patience with me as I gradually develop this product further. A9 has come a long way since I first did that crowd-funding campaign on indiegogo and I look forward to showing you side-by-side comparisons of the on screen model I used back then and the soon to be 2013 model.
Thanks again guys!