When Kotaku made a call for gaming pumpkins I thought about what I could do that would be unique and interesting. My kids really love watching me play LocoRoco on the PS3 so I wanted to use that game. Then I thought about creating a scene from the game that stretched around the entire pumpkin. And so the 360 degree LocoRoco Jack o' Lantern was born.
I took pictures all around the final pumpkin and stitched them into a movie. Link here for feed watchers. The movie does three quick rotations and one slow.
Here's the original pumpkin before carving. It was slim
pickings at the grocery store due to my procrastination. Still, the one I found didn't fall over and was reasonably smooth. This was the best side.
And of course I had to cut the top in the shape of a LocoRoco :)
Here's some shots after doing the initial carving pass before actually removing any of the shell.
Removing the shell required cutting it into small bits so as to not risk breaking off important pieces.
Then I started detailing it by removing the skin on parts I wanted to allow the light to shine through. I eventually had to go through another pass to remove more of the pumpkin flesh on the inside to make the light show through better.
The most difficult part was lighting the darn thing. With normal Jjack o' Lanterns the candle light reflects off the back wall of the pumpkin to shine through the carving. In my case, since the carving was all around the perimeter, I didn't have a back wall and so couldn't just take photos normally. I had to add some tissue paper around the inside of the pumpkin so you couldn't see through it. And naturally tissue paper and candles don't mix so I had to use a battery operated tea light, which wasn't too bright.
Here's the final pumpkin.
Here's a couple final lit shots. Click for larger versions.
So many things went wrong during the process.
I ended up accidentally breaking off most of the Roco's sprout/antenna things. That's why I had to make it so most of them are upside down or on their side. One of the big Roco has toothpicks in place of the sprout.
It took me about four days to complete this working an hour or two each day. Naturally by the end the pumpkin was looking rather ratty. You can see that the vine spiral things started to droop due to the pumpkin "wilting".
It was also very difficult to get the light to shine through even the parts that I had skinned down pretty far. The big Roco in the pile doesn't show his eyes and mouth very well. Nor does the Moja (tentacle bad guy at the top).
Due to the nature of the carving the pumpkin was naturally very weak around the middle. I got careless and picked it up from the top and the thing broke in half. You can see the break in one of the flowers and along the slope that the two Rocos are rolling down. The break turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though, as it allowed me easier access to the interior so that I could carve away some of the inside wall. If I were to do it again I would intentionally build in a breaking point.
Still, I'm proud of it. I met most of my goals for interesting things to include. There's a sleeping Roco, two hanging Rocos, a Moja, and a Roco squeezing through a crack. I wanted to include a stack of Rocos, but must have forgotten to include them while carving. I also wanted to have an entry at the top where the Rocos would have come in, and an exit at the bottom where they escape. I covered both entry and exit with flowers to keep them from ending abruptly. I especially like the Roco that's falling out of the entry hole.