Once I was happy with the sketch, the next step was to set up a cardboard mock up of the room to get the forced perspective worked out, as well as the size and spacing of the characters.
This was the angle I wanted the final piece to be.
The table was going to be one of the largest and most difficult pieces, so I started sculpting that first. Not only did it dictate the position of everyone, it also had to hold the weight of all the food and three of the characters standing on it.
This was the first attempt with the room. All the walls are cardboard with a thin layer of sanded bondo to make them perfect. The Florida air quickly turned them into a warped mess, so I had to redo it all with another material.
I found that masonite was very sturdy, easy to work with and within my budget. This is the same room completely rebuilt.
I then started sculpting the figures based on the sizes of the cardboard mock ups. I of course had to start with the Cap'n!
Here's one of the first lighting setups we did. The paper in the foreground is to reflect a little light up to the front of the setup. We ended up doing a three light set up: one light directly above the center, one fill light on the right side, and one light to light up the background outside the windows.
Normally, I do two extra angles in addition to the main portfolio angle. These extra angles would have been the 3D stereographic angles..... but I FORGOT!!!!!