Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Portfolio: TItle Page

I took a break from sculpting to work on my portfolio last week. I am happy to say I am done compiling it and I'll be taking it to the printers tomorrow. Here is the title/intro page done in Photoshop.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Maquette Sculpt: Nothing Is Precious

Take a shot of whiskey and have at it...

Its better if you do it in one motion like ripping off a band-aid.

Plumbers Epoxy worked into the wire, Now its ready for Magic Sculpt.

This past week I was wracking my brain over the stability of my armature. It's been a while since I built a maquette from scratch so I've had to relearn things as I go along. One of the difficulties I ran into was with the rigidity of the legs. Guillermo has really thin legs and ankles which means the armature also has to be thin, but a thinner armature means less stability and it is near impossible to sculpt on a flimsy armature. The week before last, I stopped by Douglas and Sturgess in SF to purchased some Magic Sculpt. I had never worked with this product before but I heard that it works wonders... Well, it does and it doesn't. Magic Sculpt is definitely rigid when fully cured, but it also needs support (unless your wire armature is already stiff). I was so eager to work with it that I applied it to the legs thinking it would be rigid enough to stiffen the armature underneath but I soon realized my mistake. I applied it too quickly, failing to work it in the nooks and crannies of the wire so when it was fully cured, the armature underneath was still flimsy; much too flimsy to add clay weight on top. This was very distressing since I had already sculpted detail for the socks, but as with anything creative, one must be willing to destroy work in order to set it right. Last night, determined to let go of the precious detail, I stripped the magic sculpt off with a pair of pliers. Just as I thought, the epoxy clay came right off. I had worked it too quickly and had I continued the sculpt, it would have ended up a disaster. I took a few pieces of steel reinforced plumbers epoxy and worked it in to the wire. It set in a few minutes and then I was able to carve and sand away the excess. While its still not as rigid as I would like, once I add the Magic sculpt on top, it should be rigid enough to withstand the weight of the clay without cracking. The rest of the sculpt (aside from the neck, legs and feet) will be done in Super Sculpey. It can definitely be a bummer when things don't work out as planned but I learned from my mistake. Stay tuned for more! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maquette Sculpt: Guillermo's Armature

Guillermo Armature: Front

Guillermo Armature: Side

Despite being very busy with the short, I am still managing to fit in some time to work on my sculpt. The front and side (pictured above) are of the armature as it looks now. I will be bolting the feet to the base tonight and building up rigidity with plumbers epoxy and magic sculpt. The armature does look like more than I need for just a sculpt on a base, but I am learning a "short hand" to armature building which I will use for my next sculpt, hopefully of "Britannicus." You will notice that he doesn't have hands. I usually sculpt those separately and then plug them in towards the end before I do a final bake off. Here is the armature for the hands:

And something to show a bit of the scale:

As far as the Calamity project goes, I just finished designing props yesterday and I am on to color tests for the two characters as well as designing foreground and background elements for compositing. The stagecoach framework, (based on the shapes in my stagecoach design) was completed by Tyson's Dad and it is a work of art in and of itsself. You can check it out at the production blog by clicking on the pic below.

The Deadwood Stage: Framework and Animation Rig

Next stage on the Guillermo Maquette is to actually get sculpting. :) I am so excited to get that ball rolling, hopefully I will have it done in the next couple of weeks. That's all for now, thanks for looking and check back soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Art Of Calamity Jane: Team Effort.

Ball and Socket Armature in progress (Machined/Constructed by Alex Yee), placed over my front orthographic drawing of Calamity.

For the past month or so Calamity Jane has been keeping me busy. At this point it takes priority over my other projects, though I have found that working on it has helped me organize my time better so I can work on my own personal projects intermittently. Working on this also inspires me tremendously. While I am allowed a good amount of creative freedom, what really inspires me is the team work. It's the first time I've been part of something bigger than myself or my work. I am so proud of it and proud of the progress we have made in such a short amount of time and with such tight deadlines. The group of guys I am working with are very much professionals in their craft. Talking shop with them is a pleasure and I am just thankful that I have this opportunity to learn so much more than I could have ever learned on my own about designing characters for animation. At the moment I am designing props. I just finished mouth shapes for Calamity to aid in the lipsynch and there is much more work ahead.

In other projects, I started working on my maquette armature for Guillermo and I should have it finished by the end of this week. I've decided to sculpt him in Sculpey instead of NSP. It's for the best since I may want to paint him when I am done. I will post a few pictures of my progress soon. For the time being, click on the picture above and check out the work being done on Calamity Jane. Thanks for looking.