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stampedemag Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 06-2004
Location: Under a full moon
Posts: 2033
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Sculpting Advice


I was wondering if anyone out there could spend a few minutes doing a small sculpting how-to.

I am talking about something simple. Just to show different techniques so us out here who are floundering could get some help.

Thanks!

Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 3/25/2006, 4:16 pm
8/28/2004, 6:59 pm Link to this post Send Email to stampedemag   Send PM to stampedemag
 
Blackwood Bat Profile
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Registered: 02-2004
Location: ummm...the Batcave
Posts: 6009
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


Unfortunately it would probably take more than a few minutes and a couple of paragraphs,but is there anything in particular you want to know?
Are you talking about small scale figures or some type of object?
Personally,I specialize in people/characters,but I can sculpt other things as well,so maybe I can help.

John :flapbat

---
"Wile E. Coyote is my reality,Bugs Bunny is my goal."

8/28/2004, 7:50 pm Link to this post Send Email to Blackwood Bat   Send PM to Blackwood Bat
 
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 06-2004
Location: Under a full moon
Posts: 2033
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


I want to get into sculpting, but I can't seem to find any good books on the subject. The people on these boards are excellent at what they do.

That said, just do whatever. I am like a sponge. I absorb knowledge and use it for my purposes.

Unlike some in the craft I would rather go the noble way of making my own sculpts and not doing impressions. The problem is I am not real good at it yet.

Sculpting off of a lifecast is not too much of a problem but doing free-form sculpting is. Doing something as easy as a batarang is giving me real problems.

Don't worry if you only specialize in one type of medium. I will take that knowledge and use it when I start to sculpt those things.

Thanks again!
8/28/2004, 8:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to stampedemag   Send PM to stampedemag
 
evilgenius Profile
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Apprentice

Registered: 08-2004
Posts: 264
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


I would say if your scuplting things like batarangs use a solid medium like MDF or a piece of styrofoam or styrene... these are much eaiser to make technical devices and props out of... use sanders, and other such tools to make what you want... if your doing more organic things such as scale figures etc.. work off a wire armature. Either make your own fom armature wire, or buy one at a good sculpt supply store...

hope that helps.

cheers

---

From the twisted mind of your friendly neighbourhood Evil Genius!!

www.evilgeniusproductions.ca
8/28/2004, 9:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to evilgenius   Send PM to evilgenius
 
stampedemag Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 06-2004
Location: Under a full moon
Posts: 2033
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


Thanks for the info. I am trying to do a small scale Pred figure using an armature. The only problem is how to sculpt the outside!!

I just can't seem to get it to look right.
8/28/2004, 10:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to stampedemag   Send PM to stampedemag
 
GOBBY Profile
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Sidekick

Registered: 02-2004
Posts: 327
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


Don't try to duplicate the creature itself, but work on sculpting a medium build male figure first, and then add the things that define him as the predator. If you're working small scale it's best to work with a harder clay. It will hold its shape much better, not to mention the fine detail you can get.

If you want to try a different route try super sculpey. You can start with a head,get it to look the way you want, bake it, stick it on an armature that is to scale with it, and work your way down. It may help with visualizing the way your finished piece will look when you stop.

You do not need a sculpting book. Go to the library and check out anatomy books. How muscles fold and bulge and how the skeletel structures of a body show beneath the surface. Once you have an understanding of the organics of a living thing it will get easier. And look at your own arm or leg and see how the muscles twist and stretch underneath the skin.

Just remember a sculpture is never finished,you just stop. Just do as much of it as you can and you will get better with each piece. Take a pic of your first sculpt and compare with a later one and you go holy crap!

Hope this helps some. :)

Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 3/25/2006, 4:14 pm


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Blackwood Bat Profile
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


What type of clay are you using? Super Sculpey is favored among many for figure sculpting.
Also,what scale? Usually the smaller it is,the more difficult it will be.
When you say the "outside",I'm assuming you mean the finished details. First,you'll want to make sure it's proportioned correctly and the overall shape of the figure is how you want it. A pose you're happy with,the thickness of the arms,legs,torso,etc.,and have everything shaped correctly. From there,I personally start at the top and work my way down. Each figure is different,so it's good to have a wide assortment of sculpting tools. Micheal's,A.C. Moore and art and hobby shops will ususally carry them. Micheal's has a nice selection of metal,plastic and wood tools with various tips for different shaping applications.

I've never done a Predator,but I can tell you it's not an easy one to start with. I basically started with Vampirella for female and Batman for male. The reason being these are not very complicated because you're sculpting just the human form without alot of details like clothes and various textures or even weapons and armor like the Predator. These things are more difficult to accomplish on a small scale.

Really the best way to do it is get some clay,some tools and practice. As you're sculpting make sure you look at it in every angle possible. Sometimes it looks really good from the front,then you look at the profile and it's not quite right.

Do you have any pics?

I'll give it some thought as to what little advice I can offer,but I hope this helped a little bit.

John :flapbat

Last edited by Blackwood Bat, 8/28/2004, 11:47 pm


---
"Wile E. Coyote is my reality,Bugs Bunny is my goal."

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youngbat Profile
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 02-2004
Posts: 1182
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


To give quick advice on a chat board on a vast subject as sculpting that you could just plug into and see immediate and guaranteed results, well it'd be tough. But let me try to give you some broad advice.

1. Study the human form like mad. Every time I see some sort of costume sculpture, I can tell immediately how much experience, or thought the sculptor has had in human anatomy. It shows in very subtle ways.
 
2. In conjunction with 1. the most important thing is overall form. Overall form is what sells what you are trying to sell. If the overall form ain't getting it, ain't no amount of detail, or smooth surface,or skin-like detail gonna save it.

3. Sculptures that are too "stiff". Detail may be nice, form ok, but the overall piece looks like a wooden indian. One area is a result of the next area, and on and on. Good art is like a house of cards, each piece goes to supporting the next, take away one card and it all falls down. All the best art is like that.

4. In conjuction with 3. things to avoid: Areas that have nothing to do with the rest of the sculpt. Let me give you an example you can relate to quickly - The Batman Begins suit. Torso comes from one design concept while the cowl looks like it came from a different concept. In contrast the sonar suit all looks like each piece belongs together, stylistically. The key word is: continuity. This may be why a large part of the fans here can't make up their mind if they like it or not.

Putting in detail just for the hell of it. Try to make your piece seem to have purpose, like the detail is there for a reason, in conjuction with it's surrounding area. You want your sculpture to tell a story in a sense, have an effect, connect with the viewer.

All it is, is another form of communication, so try to communicate your concept as straight to the point as possible. (eg. Is this a weapon? A dangerous, serious weapon? Or something you might see in an action spoof?.

5. Don't expect every sculpture to be killer. There is an aspect of hit or miss when it comes to design. Think of it like having a hit record. This pertains mostly to orginal concepts, or interpetations of say, a comic book design. When they design stuff for action flicks in hollywood they do lots of different takes on the character in sketches, and in clay, trying to capture that magic. Keep 1 - 4 in mind, and it will show.

6. Make sure you are working the form 360 degrees. Make sure it looks good from every angle, not just the front.

7. Overall form first, detail second, fine detail third. Imagine if you were painting a landscape scene, and you concentrated on one little corner of the canvas, got the little plant down just perfectly. Took days. Beautiful. Suddenly you step back 5 feet only to realize it's WAY out of proportion to just about everything else in the picture. Bummer.

8. In conjuction with 1., everything these days has an organic feel to it. Cars, cell phones, everything. Also another pitfall is OVERSCULPTING. Lines too deep, certain areas over done, thus making the piece look fake. or forced. like an action figure vs. a real human.

Keep checking to see if the piece is following the laws of physics. Are you cutting into where a bone should be? If it's a cowl, is there room for someone's own ears behind there?

One technique they teach when sculpting a human form is to first sculpt a skeleton, followed by the rest, like building a house from the ground up. This keeps you thinking realistically.

A charicature exaggerates, bends the laws of reality and physics, usually for comical purposes, while the serious sculpture adheres to it intensely.

9. A goal for doing original works, or interpetations of familiar character costumes: Developing a style that's all your own. The value of this, in my opinion: priceless.

This is something no one can take away from you. You are the inventor, and if anyone starts copying your style, everyone will know it immedately, and it will be a form of flattery to you, more so than stealing from you.

This is also what separates the copyist from the visionaries. Doubtful you will ever see Alex Ross trying to draw like Gieger. One of my favorite designers, Steve Wang, when he does his own creatures they're my favorite pieces in the world because he has such a style that's so much his own (ex: his guyver). A flavor. His own voice. You have gold when you have this.

Well this is the short story. Obviously there are many secondary levels to this. But hopefully this will give you some overall things to keep in mind. I see a lot of talk on boards about how to use some type of clay, or tools, or tricks, but rarely do I see a lot of discussion on these topics.

Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 3/25/2006, 4:12 pm
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Caped Crusader

Registered: 06-2004
Location: Under a full moon
Posts: 2033
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


That is all great stuff guys! ALOT of food for thought.

Here are a couple of pics of a pred I am working on. This is real rough but mabye you can see what direction I am going in. The head is deformed due to my 6 year old trying to help. (He stuck a tool right through the top!) :doh

ok... well I would but my computer is freaking out.... :banghead
8/29/2004, 10:01 am Link to this post Send Email to stampedemag   Send PM to stampedemag
 
Blackwood Bat Profile
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Registered: 02-2004
Location: ummm...the Batcave
Posts: 6009
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Re: Small Sculpting How-to


no pics :pics


John :flapbat

---
"Wile E. Coyote is my reality,Bugs Bunny is my goal."

8/29/2004, 10:30 am Link to this post Send Email to Blackwood Bat   Send PM to Blackwood Bat
 


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