Neoballs Insects – Sculpting & Stop-Motion (Extended Version)


So Zen Magnets have started doing monthly
contests once again, and this month’s challenge is to make an insect with 432 magnets or less. So I’m going to make six insects and do
a short stop-motion with each. Alright, I’ll be starting out simple with
a lady beetle, or ladybug, or ladybird or the official name which I’ll put on the
screen for you to try to pronounce. I started by making six of these subunits. Which start with a pentagon of radius two,
and then adding a radius one pentagon in the back, misaligned so that it creates a kind
of bubbly effect. I connected five red subunits and a black
one for the head to form a hemi-dodecahedron, or just a dome, whatever suits you. I then added spots by replacing some of the
red magnets on the back with black magnets in a symmetrical pattern. I then added legs in positions where they
would be least likely to connect to each other and also support the weight of the body. And with that, the first insect was complete
with 142 magnets. Alright, next up, a caterpillar. I started by making a cylinder with a diameter
of nine and a length of 32. I pressed in the loop at the end to make a
triangle. I did this for every second loop. Once this was done I could compress the tube
into a thicker more flexible form. I added three sets of legs in the front and
four sets of prolegs in the back, which aren’t true legs apparently. So still an insect. I tapered the end with a ring of six followed
by a ring of three. I tapered the head with a ring of six in a
different alignment and added a magnet to fill the hole. The second insect was now complete with 327
magnets. I could control the curvature of the caterpillar
by decompressing certain parts of the body. I then decided to make a simple tree branch
for the caterpillar to hang off for its metamorphosis. Now to make a butterfly. To begin with the wings I made a cylinder
of diameter six. I then split this cylinder into small subunits
of two rings each. I joined them together to make a sort of hexagonal
lattice. I used 14 of these subunits to make one wing. Using these subunits also adds a natural curve
that can be used to make a large sphere if you go for long enough. By doing the reflected design I made another
wing. They join together in the middle and still
allow for a flapping motion. For the body, I used another cylinder of diameter
six. But this time eight long. It attaches to the bottom of the wings, and
doesn’t restrict the flapping motion too much. I tapered the end with a ring of five followed
by a ring of three. The head is a tiny dodecahedron attached to
the front. Finally, I added some tiny legs that wouldn’t
stick to one another and help to keep the butterfly upright. The third insect was now done with 410 magnets. I then decided to make a hollowed out chrysalis
for the butterfly for to emerge from. Butterflies come from a chrysalis, not a cocoon. So the very hungry caterpillar LIES. Now onto a bee. Starting with the fuzzy part, the thorax. Although it’s a bit hard to represent fuzz
with magnets, so maybe it’s actually a wasp disguising itself as a bee. The abdomen began with a stinger of a four
layer square pyramid. Honey bees die after stinging because the
stinger has barbs that the bee cannot pull out. So it destroys its abdomen in the process. The head and the thorax were made in the same
way. With two pentagons with rings in between. I added a magnet on the top of the head and
a tiny square pyramid mouth. As well as the usual tiny leg stumps to avoid
them sticking to each other. For each wing, I used a radius two hexagon
with a flipped center, then squished the sides to make a wing shape. I then went back and added a lot of yellow
magnets to the head to give the outline of eyes. The fourth insect only took 298 magnets, despite
being somewhat complex. I then decided to make some honeycomb for
the bee to fill up with honey. I also decided to make a flower for the bee
to collect pollen. Now on to the ant. Ants have a similar body shape to bees. This is because they’re part of the same
order of the animal kingdom, along with wasps and sawflies. Many ants still have stingers and some, such
as fire ants, only bite you for grip so they can sting you repeatedly. Here’s the completed thorax and abdomen. The head began with a two layer square pyramid
with two extra magnets on each side to increase the length of those two sides. Two of these were made, and a ring of 10 was
used to connect the two sides of the head. Three magnets were added to the neck to help
connect it to the thorax. Two magnets were added to the front for mandibles,
and two were added to the top for eyes. I decided to make actual legs instead of stumps
like the other insects. So I had to use a metal platform to keep them
apart. I did some research on how ants and other
insects walk. One of their gaits is like two tripods waking
with three legs on the ground at a time. Now the ant was finished with 223 magnets. I propped it up on an angle to get a good
view of the legs. Alright, lucky last, a golden cricket. I started by making a cone with rings of five
through to 12 magnets. I then added 12 more rings of 12 to complete
the cylindrical body. I moved one magnet from the bottom of the
cone to the end. The head was two radius three pentagons stuck
together. One of the pentagons was slightly hollowed
out to save magnets. Each hind leg was made with two lengths of
12 and two lengths of 11 connected in this way. The leg was folded over and four more magnets
were added to the joint. After a leg was attached to the body, five
magnets were used on each foot. Single magnets were added for each middle
leg, and three magnets were used for each front leg. Finally, three magnets were used for each
antenna. Which unfortunately more closely resembles
a grasshopper as crickets often have antennae as long as their bodies. Which as you can imagine might be kind of
problematic with magnets. Although most of the emoji representations
couldn’t get that right either. And with that, the final insect was now complete
with 395 magnets. Click the link in the description to vote
in the contest or see the results. Also vote for your favourite insect in this
video by clicking the card. The sculpting and animation process for all
of these insects was live streamed. So if that sounds like something interests
you, subscribe to my second channel or Twitch for future streams. And I’m not restricting these magnet videos
to just contests, so leave your ideas for what I should make next time in the comments. And if I pick your suggestion, you might just
get some free magnets.

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