Sunday, March 11, 2018

Stop Motion: Hands and Mouths

  According to the book Maria got me for christmas, you don't make mouths for every letter of the alphabet, you make them to cover the word phonetically. That makes sense! It's also far fewer mouths to make. The hands don't need to be too crazy either. He only needs to hold a bag, open envelopes (which in the Rankin Bass special, the envelopes sort of "fall open") and maybe give vague gestures. I'm going to use the old muppet trick of having one hand pose per camera shot. That way I'm not screwing around trying to make tiny clay fingers move and stay consistent. We'll see how it works... or if it works...

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Stopmotion: Rankin-Me

   I was making incredible headway with this guy up until Christmas, but then I ran out of steam. These are old photos, he has an entire suit of clothes sewed out of felt. At this point, I need to sculpt all the mouths, a few sets of hands, make the hat.... and he's done!!!!

I thought it would be funny to introduce the Dasos story like it was an old Rankin-Bass Christmas special. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Doomsday Machine

I made my brother a Sculpt of The Doomsday Machine from the Star Trek episode of the same name. I started with aluminum foil and covered it in Apoxie Sculpt. I used a crinkled up piece of paper to press in the texture on the skin. The lights are from a 1993 Hallmark ornament, Santa's UFO. The original idea was to have the front section be able to separate with magnets to be able to better access the lights. However, when I skinned around the seam, I was unable to ever separate the two sections. Thus 6 miniature neodinium magnets will forever be encases inside. I used aluminum foil on the inside and the effect is amazing!!! I was happy with this relatively quick build! I built a black box for it and invented a fake 'Black Edition' Hallmark label for increased Christmas unwrapping fun!

2017 in Review!

I had a damn good year. One of the best I can remember, honestly. Lets review...

1. Finished Hammonds Cane Topper in Zbrush
2. Grew Pumpkins
3. Signed Petitions for the first time EVER
4. Started the violin again
5. Got a Porsche 911, my dream car.
6. Tried Crystal Pepsi
7. Went to a new airplane museum, with my brother no less!
8. Lost our dear dear little Bear. I'm not sure when I'll be over his loss but I'm making sure I       appreciate Stryder that much more because of it.
9. Took my Nephews and Niece to Universal for the first time ever!
10. Mastered some Dungeons and Dragons again
11. Started doing hand drawn animation
12. Went to my first Model Train Show
13. Rode Great Movie Ride AND Universe of Energy for the last time EVER
14. Saw an almost total solar eclipse
15. Went to Sanibel Island
16. Survived Hurricane Irma
17. Went to England!!!!
       A. Saw the rosetta stone
       B. Saw the Dodo skeleton
       C. Bought a first edition book
       D. Visited 221 B Baker street
       E. Walked on Abby Road!!!!
18. Did 'Inktober' for the first Time
19. Went to England AGAIN
      A. Flew business class for the first time.
      B. Was Driven around with a private car company for the first time
      C. Flew on a 747 for the first time! Walked UP STAIRS IN FLIGHT!!!!!!!!
      D. Saw hand written Beatles lyrics, Mozart Journal, Beethoven sheet music
20. Got my VW Bug Back!
21. Finished a third Bubo
22. Started getting ready for stop motion
23. Zbrushed a Giraffe skull, printed it and fully painted it.
24. Printed and assembled my first multi piece 3D printing
25. Finished Big Boy, the largest Zbrush project I've ever done.
26. Finished a custom sculpt for my brother.

Pretty incredible. If you were to take all these and divide them evenly over the year, something noteworthy happened every 10 and a half days! I feel very lucky to be able to live like this. Next year we plan on going to Hawaii again and Japan! The adventure is just beginning!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Dasos: Spirit of the Forest

   Here he is so far. I've got a hollow head of Shell Shock, nose and inner mouth of Apoxie Sculpt. The eyes will glow a frosted white. He'll have a translucent blue set of horns on top of his muzzle that get progressively larger the more forward they get. His antlers will be tree branches (I know, it's played out...) and the tips of the branches will be fiber optics. His eyes will have no motion. They'll be an even white glow (Think god mode on Wolfenstein), but he'll be expressive through his eyebrows and eyelids. 

   Here's the rub. He's too complicated. I'm utilizing every tool I've learned as a prop fabrication artist and this thing is pushing the limits. That's fine as far as IF he'll work. I'm not worried about the IF. I'm worried that this isn't what I should be doing for my quick and simple foray into Stop Motion. You don't start learning to paint by trying to out-do Rembrandt. 

But I have a plan! Remember the Rankin Bass Parody? Since it's Christmas month now, we've been watching a lot of Rankin Bass specials. The animation is actually quite terrible and the puppets are simple. So I started creating myself as the Fred Astaire Post man from 'Santa Clause is Comin' to Town'. It's easy and fast so far! I'll post photos soon! But I'm not done with Dasos. He's going to be amazing!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

PBY: Engines!

It's been a while for the PBY, but that's because I've been scratchbuilding two very detailed and complicated engines. They're 14 cylinder engines EACH!!! I sculpted one cylinder and made a tiny mold for it. I got 14 pulls out of it and was ready to rock, until one of my co-workers again pushed me to just make the other 14 and have them be complete engines. The piping and wiring on them really make the thing work. The black shapes on top are the oil coolers. Don't worry it looks all clean and good when they're inside their cowling. 

On a side secret note.... Eventually I'm going to build another 1:18 scale plane for a present. I can't say what it is, but I call it Project L-16. It also has a 14 cylinder radial engine, so I've technically started working on it!

Monday, October 16, 2017


Finally the third and final (for now) Bubo from 1981's Clash of the Titans is finished and off my plate!!! Now I can more fully focus on the PBY, traditional animation, violin and stopmotion!