Thursday, December 10, 2009

On my Own

So class was cancelled for this past Monday, but it gave me the opportunity to begin my preparations my final project. Basically the last class we are given the entire 3 hour block of time to utilize all the skills we have learned to present a special effects make-up design of our own creation. I want to turn my girlfriend into a zombie.

To accomplish this, I need to start with the fundamentals. Life casting + sculpting = success ?



Here she is, in all her Kojak-like glory, my love, Eva. She was kind enough to put up with me casting her face and coming in for my final class for the application of the prosthetic I hope to build. Be sure that your model has no make-up or acne treatments on their face. Some acne treatments can have an adverse reaction to certain chemicals and cause a burning irritation. This is also said for skin that has recently undergone a chemical peel or similar procedures.

I applied a bald cap and glued down around her ears and forehead. I marked with a sharpie where her hairline is so as to not sculpt a piece that goes beyond that. She's a trooper for putting up with me. Be sure to apply ample release agent a.k.a petroleum jelly to the eyebrows and eyelashes with a small brush.

I used an equal parts mixed silicone called Body Double. One part is bright pink and the other is electric blue. Mix equal parts of each together in a separate container and stir until it's a nice purple hue. This means it's properly mixed and ready for application.

This stuff is a bit sticky, so if you get any on clothes or other surfaces, wait until it's dry and you can peel it off, rather than smearing it about in its wet state. It works best to apply in small patches and smooth out with a small spatula to decrease air bubbles. It takes less than 30 minutes to cure, and once it wasn't tactile anymore I applied several layers of plaster strips to create my supportive Mother Mold. Once that was dry, I was able to pull the mold from my model.

I then mixed a batch of UltraCal 30 and poured into my mold and let it cure. Once it was dry this is what I pulled out. A few spots are needed to be chased out, but over all a very solid pour. I had a bit of difficulty with Eva's nose. Basically her left nostril became slightly obstructed, very similar to what happened with Carl in our first lesson with life casting. I pulled it make her more comfortable, remember your model is always more important than your mold.


I used the flat head end of a screwdriver as a chisel and a hammer and chased away all the excess areas of my face cast. I used a small nail file to smooth out certain edges along the eyes and nose.


Here I began my sculpting using an oil based clay. It works a bit better once you roll it in your hands and heat it up a bit. There is nothing quite as meditative as just sitting and creating with your hands what is in your head.


I want an almost skeletal look to the face. This means building out the eye sockets in particular and sculpting a slightly slanted forehead coupled with narrowed temples. I also hyper-extended the cheekbones.


To fix the problem with the nose I sculpted a grizzly socket of where one should be. I built up the nose to where it would be on her face and then added a bit more clay and sculpted it from there. The idea is for it to fit directly over her nose like a cap. And I made sure to exaggerate the nostrils to ample breathing.

The chin I sculpted as a separate piece. In my design, I want Eva to have full range of movement with her mouth, which latex and other materials would slightly hindered if this was one solid piece. This will lend to awesome chomps and snarls for future photos. Ideally if I had enough time and training I would also sculpt and cast teeth. One day soon, perhaps.

I decided to add a bit more of an under bridge to the base of my eye sockets. This draws the eye to the mouth and works in the rule of 45 degrees. You want your character to look evil/scary, position their eyebrows/eyes at a 45 degree angle. Works every time. The chin is almost to a point, with a Bruce Campbell like bulge. I will then blend the two pieces together with liquid latex and make-up once cast.

But the first thing now is to cast a mold my sculpt. Don't put the cart before the horse or more appropriately, don't congratulate survival when there's zombies still out there.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, this is going to be awesome! Looking good so far/

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