Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Head and Neck Sculpt Part 1

Hello there! Next I'll be talking about... the hard part!

The head and neck sculpt for the main character of my film 'Mirror Image'
To start, I first took made an eye socket shape in silicone by originally sculpting it in Super Sculpey Firm and then making a plaster mould of it. I removed the sculpey from the mould and replaced it with silicone
(Which is what you see below)

I then sculpted the neck around the boy's armature to get a nice neck and shoulders for shrugging!

 Just like with the eye sockets, I made a plaster cast of the neck, using the same methods as my previous post on this blog (but a one part mould rather than two) I then replaced the Sculpey sculpted neck with silicone, waited for it to cure and there you have it (however the neck pictured was too pale for the skin colour needed (as I needed it to match the spray can I will be using on the faces.) So all I did was re-cast and the second neck was fine!

Now, to make the head, Firstly, I created another eye socket, but a solid one this time, as the silicone one didn't work too well, I then built up around the socket with balsa wood to give the head a light core (as apposed to a heavy sculpey head that would put more strain than necessary on my wire armature)

 I then roughed out the shape I needed for the boy's head. this needed not to have any detail, but just be a guide to make replaceable faces on op of, so above is the head in progress, and below is the head baked and sanded.

To make fancy replaceable faces, I borrowed some knowledge from the brilliant Flynn Twins, and their brilliant bloomin' blogs:

 being inspired by both their blogs, I layered some vaseline on top of the pre sculpted head core and mixed some two part epoxy putty named 'Milliput'. This was then pressed on to of the vaseline to create a mask, that was then separated to create a replaceable brow and a replaceable mouth section.

I then waited for the milliput to harden (up to 3 hours, but I like to leave it a little longer) and then went on to sculpting the face and hair!

 On to of the Miliput mask, I applied even more sculpey and sculpted the boy's features in a neutral position. Shown above...

The eyes were created by creating a silicone mould of a bead and then pouring polyurethane fast cast resin into the mould to make an endless amount of eyes!
To get a nice clear pupil and therefore a better performance when animating, I decided to digitally paint a pupil, and then print them out on matte photo paper to the right size and stick them to the eye.
The front of the eye was sanded down with a dremel first to make a flat surface for the eyes to stick on to.

I came up with this method by myself, but it does have its disadvantages, such as on the side view the eyes can look quite flat and strange, and sometimes the light can catch the pupil and just be a massive shine, so when animating, I'll just have to make sure I angle no harsh light onto the face and position the puppet in a position that wont effect the eye

Shouldn't be too much of a problem!

 Here's what the head looks like without the replaceable faces. minus an ear

It snapped off

I cried


 Replaceable faces, Top and Bottom!

That's enough for one post :)

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