lim jia sheng,

.Intercultural Design


project[3]: Execution


  • Make our idea real.


Who do where & what how when. A question for the times. This time around though, it would definitely be a looser separation, as there are things, like actually coming up with a cohesively designed set of weapons, that can't really be split. We did however, mostly try to follow this framework for our operations:

  • Birthing the base mesh (modelling, printing, sanding, priming)
    Jia Sheng
  • Painting
    Tress Jo Yi Yun
  • Decoration
    Tress Athirah
  • Presentation
    Jia Sheng Tress




Oh boy, I don't know why but this being my first weapon out the bunch, took way too much time. I started off looking for reference images, eventually finding this of an Indonesian Keris:

Indonesian Keris, n.d

Figure 1.1.1, Indonesian Keris, n.d

You see those fabulous curves? Yeah I felt it.

There was no way I'm going to attempt to get something even close using Blender's curves. Thus, image tracing was the way to go. According to my previous research in Advanced Typography, After Effects's auto trace would be the best tool for this job (since I needed only the outlines with no shades in between).

Keris traced in After Effects, 7/2/2022

Figure 1.1.2, Keris traced in After Effects, 7/2/2022

After Effects, being the extremely wrong application for this function, understandably does not have an export method for vectors. Instead, I copied the path data & pasted it into Illustrator, further tweaking it there, & exporting it as an SVG to be consumed by Blender.

Keris split & tweaked in Illustrator, 7/2/2022

Figure 1.1.3, Keris split & tweaked in Illustrator, 7/2/2022

In Blender, I would start dealing with the consequences of my actions. Since instead of doing this properly & utilizing real hard surface modelling techniques, the resulting mesh created from the imported vector was, a mess to say the least.

What the industry calls, 'a bruh moment',  7/2/2022

Figure 1.1.4, What the industry calls, 'a bruh moment', 7/2/2022

Not knowing what else to do honestly, I simply powered through. This would then become an episode of me struggling with topography for 6 hours.

Extremely cursed topology, 8/2/2022

Figure 1.1.5, Extremely cursed topology, 8/2/2022

I don't know what to say man, if a mesh looks like that after it was remeshed, its issues go beyond skill & simply into the existence of inner demons. I blame no one other than Lucifer himself.

At the end though, it'll be run through a slicer (a program to translate mesh data into machine instructions for things like 3D printers), so it won't really matter.

Parts of Keris, 8/2/2022

Figure 1.1.6, Parts of Keris, 8/2/2022


I needed a reference picture for this too, but nothing that I'd need to follow too closely, as the variety of Saintie designs in the wild probably means I have some margin for error. I thus simply took the first image off Wikipedia.

The first image of a saintie on Wikipedia, 8/2/2022

Figure 1.1.7, The first image of a saintie on Wikipedia, 8/2/2022

As with any band, the most interesting one will be front & centre. I proceeded to basically copy it.

For how it went, I think this image shows it better than I could ever explain it:

Edit view of all meshes in Saintie file, 24/2/2022

Figure 1.1.8, Edit view of all meshes in Saintie file, 24/2/2022

The darker it is, the more vertices there are, the larger of a pain in the ass it was to make.

The keen amongst us may notice that δΊΊ blob in the centre. I just wanna dedicate this next section to my experience on making that.


It involved creating a spline shape thingy in Blender, moving it around in 3D space, bending it (!!), & finally filling it with topology that didn't ruin my life. I really need to get better at modelling.

Parts of Saintie, 8/2/2022

Figure 1.1.9, Parts of Saintie, 8/2/2022


Uh, yeah I simply did not model this. All credit goes to Battlefield 1, which is seemingly where this asset was lifted from, as well as Choloseg on Thingiverse. Is this legal? I, do not know. It lists it as Creative Commons on the Thingiverse page, but Battlefield 1 is very much not under CC. This is not something not for-profit either though. Eh, who cares, I'll pretend it's legal untill they send us a Cease & Desist.

The asset on Thingiverse, n.d

Figure 1.1.10, The asset on Thingiverse, n.d

Parts of Jambiya, 8/2/2022

Figure 1.1.11, Parts of Jambiya, 8/2/2022


This was through Taylor's 3D Printing service. It was, interesting, as Mr. Ahmad, the person in charge, was from the School of Architecture. The lab was also mainly used by architecture students, meaning that printing something, wonky for lack of a better adjective, like this was out of his expertise.

Adding onto that, was the tight timeframe of this project, requiring us to sorta uh, nudge & bump our ways to get it printed ASAP. This is the main reason why we have pride coloured prints, as each printer was configured with one colour of fillament, & we printed parallelly. It wasn't really an issue though, since we were priming anyways.


"Invalid geometry"

This was a warning in the ideaMaker slicer, which Mr. Ahmad got quite pedantic about. It was simply solved by downloading ideaMaker on my own, & verifying everything was indeed, actually fine.

"Invalid geometry" was probably just caused by non-manifold geometry, which modern programs have gotten quite proficient in working anyways.

It is super understandable why though, that Mr. Ahmad would see this warning & be concerned, as if you're an architecture student, & you somehow manage to produce a model so very wonky with CAD, there's probably something wrong deep down.

Blender STL incorrect scale

Other than that, there was another small issue with Blender's broken STL (the format in which models are normally sent in, as they're readable in many programs) exporter which created files with 10% scale instead of the proper 100%. This was simply fixed by increasing models by 10x in the slicer.

Wrong exports

No excuses here, I just exported the same model twice under a different part name, causing one single double print.

Duplicate top sections of a Keris, 11/2/2022

Figure 1.1.12, Duplicate top sections of a Keris, 11/2/2022

; Besides all those, things eventually came out as swell as one could hope. Mr. Ahmad was even kind enough to squeeze in resin printing for one of our parts (the Keris handle, notice how it's super smooth without supports).

The final parts straight from Mr. Ahmad's bench, 15/2/2022

Figure 1.1.13, The final parts straight from Mr. Ahmad's bench, 15/2/2022

Not sure where else to put this, but we did also consult commercial options. They would've cost over RM100; God bless Mr. Ahmad's soul for coming through.


Nothing much to note here, other than I did it literally at 3am the day before I was supposed to head to campus (foreshadowing).

Primed models, 16/2/2022

Figure 1.1.14, Primed models, 16/2/2022


16/2/2022: Base coats

Uh, yeah I fell sick. Athirah, Tress, & Jo ended up at campus & I had to send the models using (a very pricey I might add) Grab delivery. If you notice that the weapons are not "straight" in the final pictures, just shove it up to us being geniuses & not the plastic warping inside the hot Grab delivery motorbike's storage compartment.

19/2/2022: Detailing

I made it this day! I uh, attempted to help paint; I tried my best & really didn't end up achieving anything of meaning oof. I did end up doing a lot of brainstorming for how the slides & presentation would end up being, as well as consolidation of our direction... but still nothing to actually show.

In my defence, I was never assigned to paint, but I thought I could help with the bits & pieces. Well too bad.


My role here was mostly consultation with Tress, as her blessed hands be built different. I can somewhat confidently say I had some part in the aesthetic of all three weapons, especially direction wise. The Saintie being red & black too, but I'll chalk that up to mostly Tress.


Yeah this was brutal. Mr. Vinod really set expectations higher than Snoop Dogg.


I really just, sat & stared at a wall, until the concept of "World" & using the earth struck me. I then remember I've already come up with this idea before... not for school though, so onwards I proceeded.

A client website was where I used this idea, which in my defence, is both different in vector & general idea.

Screenshot from the client page, 20/2/2022

Figure 1.1.15, Screenshot from the client page, 20/2/2022

How it worked was that it would scroll up, & thus I needed a (very) tall picture. However, finding such tall pictures is kinda hard, cuz they do not exist. Thus, what I did then, was use Photoshop's Content Aware Fill:

  • daniel-olah-HNkgPFBShSw-unsplash
  • earth

Figure 1.1.18, Original image vs expanded image,

Super cool photo though right, it's from Daniel Olah on Unsplash.

I then split this image into a few parts & used it as the intro, splitting the explanation of "Drag" & "World" apart, with the horizon being the title screen. Still super proud of this idea & how surprisingly well it worked out to be.


This was the first presentation I made executive decisions on (the last two I simply followed pre-existing conventions), so I took the opportunity & add my personal spin around. This would start immediately as I peered into the theme we were working on, discovering tragedy!

Red = old frame, pink = corrected frame, 20/2/2022

Figure 1.1.19, Red = old frame, pink = corrected frame, 20/2/2022

Our frame that we've been using the whole time, was not symmetrical on both the X & Y axes. I showed this to Tress & she was gave me an unimpressed response but I swear I'm not crazy, this is absolutely skin crawlingly mildly annoying.

Anyways I just corrected it & moved on with my life.

The largest shift from what we were working from previously is probably the removing of the (in my opinion) extraneous title bar that housed the page number, which appeared in almost every content slide.

The extraneous title bar, n.d

Figure 1.1.20, The extraneous title bar, n.d

There were also a few smaller things I wanted to be able to do:

  1. Go beyond the frame
  2. Dynamic title locations
  3. Have text be on a background to stand out from images
  4. The grid layout that I always do because it looks satisfying

With no one to stop me, they were all implemented.

Diffuse assets

I needed some way to show weapons, without actually revealing the final look of the weapons. Lucky for me, I already had them modelled, so I just fired up Blender, set up a simple environment, & rendered everything with the default diffuse material.

  • diffuse
  • drag diffuse
  • jambiya diffuse
  • keris diffuse
  • saintie diffuse

Figure 1.1.26, Bunch of assets rendered, 21/2/2022


  • 23/2/2022
    • Typesetting: please use left align or allow hyphenation (avoid rivers at all cost).
      • Solved via left/right aligning (slides doesn't have hyphenation).
    • Islam: I would advise you against bringing it up, why? Because you are not scholars and most of you don’t live the religion — thus it may seem a bit to strong to accuse an entire religion. This is my view, if you disagree you may continue as is. I would suggest under the slide title “Why?” To just state that that "the countries mentioned are all countries that prescribe the death penalty for homosexuality" that’s should suffice, no need to go into practices of islam, the hadith etc else it might seem more like Islamaphobia. In replacement you could state instances of such deaths being meted out (or something else). You can also mention in cursory that, they are other countries that are very hostile to homosexuals like Uganda (and more) which prescribes life in prison but since it does not involve a death penalty it was not included…
      • Added clarification about how the stated countries are not the only ones who do it, but standing by that part since it reflects our data collection.
    • Change in content slide, change “working title” to title.
      • Check.
    • Research Objective: “& spread drag culture” hmmm… maybe substitute the word “spread” to acceptance might require a rewording.
      • Changed to "& further Drag’s acceptance".
    • Do we really need to use the word “fuck” πŸ˜‚
      • Heh, changed to "mess" instead
    • We should reword the "Dragification" part to sound more powerful. Tie in how death penalty = weapon (object that brings death) = toxic masculinity. Then state how you intend to turn this on its head (so to speak) with dragification.
      • Reworded to push harder on the masculinity part of our motive.
    • Well done kids.
      • Goo goo ga ga


Figure 1.2.1, Final slide deck, 23/2/2022


My experience for this, was still mixed. The keen, & probably lecturer amongst you (hi), would've noticed an omission in contribution from a certain member for this part of the project. We definitely tried our best to spread the remaining work around so everyone could bake a piece of the pie, but there's only so much that we can do with a main-delegate model. Other than that, I think this was generally the most fun part of the project. We got an excuse to actually meet up like friends in a group, which went as well as five almost strangers cramped in a room in ADP could go. I'm also very super proud of what everyone managed to output at the end; you can't deny it's absolutely sick.

Switching to things I've learned from this, I'll start with practical skills. Have I gotten marginally better at modelling? Oh very much yes. Have I gotten significantly better at modelling? No, but that was never really the goal. All three models were made in a day, so improvement & using new technique was never possible; I did get better I feel, at filling things. The use of "Grid Fill" is definitely then, something I will continue in the future. Another thing I feel like I picked up which I did not expect, is slide design. Perhaps I've just never put this much thought into my slides, but I think I've used layouts & elements that are worthy of bringing over to new endeavours in the future.

Soft skills come next. Group management in real life I found is definitely a lot simpler. I guess that's just what happens in an environment where communication is efficient & encouraged. However, the logistics involved, whether it was moving everything from one place to the other, fetching people around, telling people where the toilets were, cements this form of group execution, as mid, like every other form. Even with all that said though, I don't know how to explain it, but I think I can do all that again, but perhaps handle myself & subsequently others, better now in the future.

Lastly, this project being the stage which pulls the two other stages — proposal & data collection — together, I feel it warrants a note on how this type of stage separation contributed as well. I feel like this project was overall designed like a research module because it required research to be able to be executed, however its results, being not research, would've probably held up better if we'd flip the process around. Right now the ideas & the research topic are linked together, causing such problems as us needing to do both visual & data research upfront to get a good proposal going. I feel like, if we were to separate them, & instead go with a process like below, there wouldn't have to be such a struggle in conceptualizing valid & creative visual ideas.

  1. Find a culture.
  2. Do primary data collection.
  3. Come up with an idea.
  4. Do auxiliary data collection.
  5. Do proposal.
  6. Do idea.

At the end of the day though, even if it was a tough time to get to this point, but we made it. I learnt many things that I will carry forward into the future, & hopefully my peers that fought beside me have as well. I just know if for whatever reason I'll need to offend a culture & create weapons again, I'll be more than ready.