Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Nigel: maquette progress

Hello everyone,

I did a little write up as to how i did my maquette so far. Since cameron went over the armature wire, im not going to get too into it. This is just how I did it. There are many alternative ways, so feel free to do it how ever you want.

step 1: draw out a diagram of your pose, and also a neutral pose of your character. On the neutral pose, you can plan out your armature wire and the proportions to bend it into. I left mine to be 9.5 inches, so it would fit into my little oven.

step 2: You really can skip this step, but I normally do it since it helps me figure out forms in 3d since my character does not have realistic proportions. I did a quick clay sketch of the face and how it would connect to the body. I did this with oil based clay, which is alot harder, easy to mold, but cannot be baked.

step 3: i built the armature wire using 3/16's soft aluminum wire. You can find it at arron brothers right next to all the sculpey supplies. I filled in the loose things with plumbers epoxy. Then i posed out the figure, and filled in the big spaces with tin foil. This way, you can use less clay. (dont fill it with anything though, only things you can bake.) I then wrapped it with a smaller wire, to make sure that the clay has more to hold onto when i apply it to the metal:

step 4: I filled in the form with some clay to get the basic shapes down. Make sure to make it smaller, since you are going to be putting clay on top. This is just the basic under shape of my character:

step 5: Once you got that, use a tool and cross hatch the clay. it fine for it to be messy. this also lets the clay you are going to put on top something to hold to.

step 6: I baked the figure at 200 degrees, for about 35 mins. This doesnt bake it all the way, just hardens it a bit. took it out of the oven, let it sit for about 10 mins to cool. then took a towel to wipe off any little bit on top that were loose. Now im going to put clay on top of that for my sculpture. it helps to have something solid underneath, since the sculpey is really soft:

Hope this helps everyone out. I can post my next steps once i get to it. And i will bring my pasta maker to bfa friday, for those who want to mix the color of their clay. I believe amie is first in line for that, so whenever she is done. Goodluck everyone.


step 7: start adding clay to the baked shape to define some form. use silohuettes of the character, because the blocking in part is essential to make your character look like your character. almost think of it as modeling in maya...

step 8: I baked some eyeballs and a tooth in white sculpey. 200 degrees for arround 45 mins. I had more than one set of eyeballs cause i wasnt sure which size worked better.

step 9: choose the right size eyeball and just push it a little into the clay to put it on.

step10: I put the tooth in, and filled in the form of the eyelids and cheeks very roughly.

step 11: added a scarf and ears, and refined a little proportions. also added a rough placement for the walking kane. i havent done the hands because i was not sure how to attach it on yet. Maybe one piece with the kane, maybe seperate.

thats what i have so far and should get most of you started. any questions, dont hesitate to ask. Im not very good at this, but just wanted to share what i learned from cameron. for those who know all this already, sorry!



Saro Orfali said...

thanks dude for posting that up on the blog. I think these maquettes are really going to be very challenging for all of us, we can use all the help that we can get. Good stuff man...

Nigel Li said...

no problem saro!

Dela Longfish said...


Thanks for putting up all your steps. I,m sure, as I can already see it is helping everyone.

Jaime Ramirez said...

Thank you very much Nigel for posting your progress on your character and giving us tips. It is a lot of help and your maquette is looking great.

Lauren Reeser said...

Wow, thanks for taking the time to post all this! It's a huge help! And it's looking really good :-). Thanks so much! --Lauren