Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chris test scuplt

Alright, I have been meaning to post this pictures for a while now but have been wrapped up in our little figurine "side project" for the past coupla' weeks and haven't had time!

One of my first tasks with this project as head armature fabricator is to make a "rough draft" of each character so we can all decide on a final design for each. It may sound like an extra step, but it really saves a lot of future headaches to get everyone on the same page now!

To see the steps, click "Read more"

To start, here is Chris, our main character, from start to almost finish:

I made a basic armature out of some extra wire I had laying around. Keep in mind, this is not the type of wire I would be using for the final characters, but is just for the rough drafts (I think it is an extra roll of galvanized steel I had lying around, which would be much too resilient for an animatable character. Perfect for a rough draft though). For the final copies I will be using either aluminum or annealed steel, with epoxy putty for the 'bones' between the joints.

Next, I melt clay around the armature using a double-boiler (if you are following along, be careful. The stuff is hot and sticks to you as it burns the flesh away from your bone. Yes, it is that dramatic)

Now comes the sculpting! First the basic shape.....

That's looking pretty good. But to get any more detail, I am going to HAVE to have this guy bolted down. Unfortunately, I don't have any wood....

After a quick trip to Home Depot, I have some good 2x4's to bolt these suckers down.

Much better! Good thing I bought a clamp while I was at Home Depot too:

Now that I have his basic shape, it's time to start adding some details. I am dying to see how those bunny slippers come out, so let's start with those:

After making these, it occured to me that I want the ears to flop over about half-way up the ear, and I also want them to move as he walks around. For the final version of Chris, I will stick some wires in the epoxy of his feet so I can shove them through the ears and control them. Until then, they will just jut out awkwardly like they are now.

Rusty thought the chin needed to be much narrower than the concept art showed once he saw him in 3D, so I chopped it down. Sorta looks like an alien, but all that will change when the eyes get put in.

I am going to begin putting on the layers of clay now. Always start with the lowest first, which is almost always skin:

Then the shirt...

Now the pants....

I like it, but it still seems a little boring. Let's try a pattern....

That's pretty cool, but I don't know what the rest of the team is going to think. Guess I will have to get their appoval before we make this decision final.

So this is as far as I can come so far! I need to get big enough eyeballs to fit in this guy's head (they are huge, just so you know). When I get them, expect some updates!!


  1. great process documentation !


  2. Hey there,

    Just started reading your blog, what did you use to make your clay so shiny?