Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chris Test Sculpt, Part 2

The test sculpt for Chris is nearly complete.

This test sculpt has been held up for quite a while because I had a hard time finding a suitable eyeball. I have found the best material to be white Delrin balls, but the size of Chris's noggin is simply gigantic, and the eyeballs are just the same. Where in the world do you get such huge Delrin eyeballs? According to the research I did online, the closest place is Australia. Wow... that could take a while. So seeing as this is just a test sculpt and all, I decided to make some of my own out of bakeable Super Sculpey and leave the official eyes for future research.


Baked Super Sculpey, sanded it down to make it nice and round, then drilled out the holes, painted the whole thing, and filled the center holes with glue. Now remember, this is only for the test puppet. These eyes would not work on an actual puppet. Why? Mostly because they are very difficult to move around in their sockets, making animation almost impossible. But also because they are very prone to getting stained by the clay, the paint is very easy to chip off, and it's tough to get all the brush strokes out of the finished product from painting it - especially when you have to keep putting on a new coat every time it gets stained or chipped.

Let's see where we left off last time, and how Chris looks with his new set of eyes:

Perfect size! But he'll need some cleaning up, starting with a mouth.

I make a gaping hole, then bake some teeth to put in there (way easier than using soft clay), and add some eyebrows to give me a reference for his final expression.

Notice the paint on his eyes has already started to stain and chip off. We'll have to come back to that later.
Let's add some more detail and shape to the head...

And now, finally, the hair!

We have not settled on an official color for the hair yet, but I am going to take a stab at it. He seems like a blonde kinda guy, and being so skiddish, I imagine it will be closer to white than blonde.

It's great! Now I just need some finishing touches. We'll start by touching up those eyes with a fresh coat of white paint.

And here's where the story sadly must end for today. The only things left to do are put on his eyebrows and stubble, but his head is so enormous that the entire thing has started to teeter back and forth under the weight of it. It actually fell over, still bolted to the wood, and hung upside down for a second before I moved it back out to the shop and leaned it against a support. The lighting out there is very poor, so I don't have any pictures of the final touches yet. The final version of Chris is going to have a slush mold for the head (meaning essentially hollow) making it much, much lighter. He is also going to have fingers, eyebrows, and stubble, but I will have to post pictures of that at a different time.

Now the team gets to decide what we like about him and what we dislike about him and make adjustments. He may still be a long ways off from the official Chris of the film. Only time will tell!


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