Monday, 23 February 2015

Finishing the Trickers

Before i talk about the painting and last touch ups i would like to quickly show you some brief pics of how the hands were put together. Sadly for this part of the process I didn't have the chance to photograph most of the hand sculpting.

Here are the steps for how I made the hands quickly. I began with fitting the armature constructed into a wooden hand palm. From there I could figure out how big the claws would end up becoming.
I baked the claws out of sculpy but before i had them fitted, I added small sections of K&S tot he fingers to bulk them out before i finally added the baked claws and had the whole load primed for painting later.
So hear are both Trickers all primed and ready for the final phase. PAINTING!!!!

I gave both Trickers a base coat of brown paint. Once dried I applied 2-3 more layers to make sure that the Trickers looked wooden.
I had to be careful though not to paint over the hair i had stuck down. over all though th job was a successful one. I added the masks to see how they sat on the faces... they look beautiful :')
So here is the Tricker looking rather surprised at what i have done to it but fear not little Tricker as it is for the greater good. 

 I added the hair which i discussed in an earlier post, along with the string that sits behind the mask to create the look of the mask elastic.
I used a number of greys for the claws on both the hands and feet before lightly dabbing them with orange to create the look of stains from carving the pumpkins.

 I tried out all the masks to see if they fitted correctly. They all work just fine and to show you, I decided to include a few examples of the Trickers wearing their masks.

 Trickers are now all done... Now back to Bloody Mary!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Sculpting little feet

 So right now this is how the Trickers look. But whats missing?.... Of course! The feet!

I began by working on the back half of the feet. 
the blocks of wood shown below were measured out to scale in comparison to the Trickers. They have very large flat feet.

 I then drew a rough outline of the how i wanted the back half of the feet to look before cutting it to shape with the hack saw and then sanding it down with a Rotary tool.  

I then went over it lightly with sand paper to smooth out all the edges.
 Now that the back half was finished I set those aside for now. Lets move onto the toes for the Trickers.

I wanted to cast the toes out of resin so that they would be strong and withstand the amount of movement I will be applying to them. 

I sculpted a mock up for the toes with the wires included as well. 

This was then set into a small box I had quickly crafted and then laid the sculpt into the box. Vaseline was applied so that the mold would be removable once cast.
 Below is the silicone mold now set and ready for casting. Needs a major clean up though which will include trimming up the edges and removing all the plasticine from the edges.
TIME TO CAST TEENY TOES!! I had to do a cast four times so that both Trickers would have a pair of feet each. Each cast has three wires and a washer inside as this will allow it to be held down by magnets while animating. 

 Here are the toes now attached to the wooden back half that I had constructed earlier. The wires that were cast into the resin were slid into the back half of the foot built and then primed for later painting.

Above is the Tricker puppet now put together and primed along with the feet. The next step will be to paint everything and add details including wood textures, masks and hair.


Trickers part 4 - Hair day

 Trickers are meant to have very messy and matted hair that resembles a tail. To do this I used a sheet of ginger fur like fabric to resemble the matted hair style.
 I measured out a small rectangular sheet of fabric before cutting it out. I then trimmed the edges so that it was longer at the end that would eventually be attached to the Tricker heads. 

 I then used matching thread to stitch up the fabric to make a cone like shape.
 The fabric was stitched inside out so that when turns the right way round, the seam line would be hidden and would make the hair resemble a more matted like shape.

 Below are the hair pieces now turned the right way round. I stitched up the ends so that the hair didn't open up. 

Below is the armature that would eventually be fitted into the hair already made. I padded the wire out with a lot of foam so that the hair looked all fluffed up.

 The wire sticking out the end of the hair is what will be fitted into the Trickers head. This will be glued around the opening so that it is attached properly to the head to prevent any seam lines or gaps from appearing.
 To help create the look that the Trickers hair is actually growing from the head, I cut out a small triangle of hair which was glued onto the crown of the Trickers. Since the hair was really matted it would all blend together really nicely. 

 The hair will be attached at a later date when the Trickers are prepped and painted properly. I will be discussing this process along with final details for the Trickers in my next post so stay tuned people :)

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Trickers part 3 - Popping the legs on

 For building the legs I applied the same technique i used for making the arms earlier. I made a series of hard card outer shells that would give the Tricker legs their shape. 

These were then glued and let to dry so that they could be fitted around the armature built for the legs.
 Above is the armature for the legs next to the card shell I made for them. The armature would be placed inside and attached with o more nails adhesive to prevent the card from falling out and to strengthen it.
 Once glued in place I hung them up on a fan' to help speed up the setting process.

 I then crafted the upper legs pieces out of card to make the legs resemble the initial designs made in pre-production. At this point they now resemble the designs I did but only on the outside.

I needed to make the legs resemble the design on the inside as well.
 To do this I filled the inner side of the leg with sculpy and cooled it in a fridge to make it a bit more solid. I then slowly removed these from the armatures and baked them for about 8-10 minutes at 160 degrees. This way I know that the sculpy won't over bake and burn. 

I then glued these in place and then filled in the surrounding gaps with mulliput. 

The last step for these was to sand them down with my rotary tool to give them a smooth finish.

So here are the legs now attached to the rest of the armature and setting. The legs slot into the K&S section in the lower half of the puppet I made earlier. 

Next step is to work on the hands and feet so stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Trickers part 2 - Making Masks

 Onto perhaps the most creative part of the Trickers, the Masks. This was a reather exciting part of the process as this was the first time I would be utilising Plastic resin for my mask molds. 

To begin with I produced a basic silicone mold for casting the base of each mask. Above is the mold I used. Pink is a manly colour so why not???

I mixed my resin 1:1 to make sure that the mixture would cure properly. The fascinating part was being able to watch the mold slowly take on its solid shape before your very eyes. MAGIC!!

Below area pair of the mask bases already cast and ready for priming.
 Now to repeat the casting process... 16... more... times.
Now we can move onto the stylizing part. I used Mulliput to sculpted on extra features for the masks including such things as ears, longer jaws, cheek areas and other features that make each mask stand out individually.

 Above are the masks with all their accessories carved and sculpted in. I let them slowly set over night to make sure that the Mulliput had thoroughly set before priming them all for painting.
 With painting I started with the base colours for each one and then slowly added more and more detail to each one. Probably the quickest and easiest one was the Scream mask as that simply required the eyes and mouth painted in a simple Matt black.
 A few days later, along with a few brushes and tubs of paint and e have a finished set of masks ready for animating with. 

I tries to keep the styles as close to the original ideas as possible.
 Each mask has its own details that are meant to reflect different cultures of the world and pay tribute to traditional horror characters and films.
The msk in the centre of this image for example was inspired by Silent hill. Other masks pay tribute to such things as 'The creature from the back lagoon', 'Scream' and 'The Mummy'.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Trickers part 1 - Getting into shape

 The Trickers are the minions who do the heavy work in Marys domain. They are meant to resemble wooden puppets so I thought why not make them in the material they are meant to exist in.

I began by cutting plywood into the basic shape necessary for the body. The hip joints are K&S Sculpted with Mulliput and then sanded into shape. I used a bead for the joint connecting the hips with the upper half. 
Marking out what to remove on the Trickers, I used a combination of sanding and cutting with a rotary tool (Drimmel) to get the bodys into the shape needed for the Trickers. i then used a sanding block to smooth out the sides and edges.
 Once this was done, I realized that the neck sections were too short so I added some more wire before applying some heat shrink tubing to help strengthen it.
 The heads were sanded down from a block of plywood which I made by sticking 4-5 layers of wood together using no more nails to prevent them from coming apart while cutting and sanding. 

Once shaped, I added a magnet to the face section to allow the masks to be detachable for representing different Trickers.
 The arms were made from sections of plywood sawed to the length required for the upper arm and forearm dimensions. These in turn were sanded and cut like the body to resemble the shape needed for the puppets.

PROBLEM!! The arms for some reason became deformed slightly so I had to figure out a way to keep them the shape necessary but without using plywood as it was proving too tricky and fiddly to cut to the right shape.
 I experimented for a few days with different materials to try and figure out a way to keep the angular look of the Trickers but also keep the build simple. I chose to utilize a technique which involved paper folding to create an origami like shape tht can be fitted around the arms.
 Above are the sections I eventually came up with after looking at different shapes and sizes that would give the look required.
 I coated each piece of card with glue and then attached them to each other before bending it to shape to they would fit snug around the arms I had already built.
These were eventually attached to the armatures made and helped to give the Trickers a much more angular shape. The more jagged the better.
Here are the arms next to the body Both have the shape I was looking for but now comes the challenge of making the rest of the body as well as making the body look like wood.