Producer "assigned" nephew to sculpt hero head. Two days left, all detail work needs doing.

You are pacing around the studio, worried that the producer’s completely inexperienced nephew has spent an extra month on sculpting the primary forms (which aren’t perfect, not even close). It's ThursdayThe shoot is Monday. You tell the kid that this weekend needs to be spent on the detail work. 

To your horror, the little brat starts spouting all these texture ideas—easily hundreds of hours of work, at his pace. The lad is insane, completely divorced from reality. There's no time for any of it! 

You can’t just abscond with the head and bang out the details yourself, or you're fired! The producer will run you out of town! You'll never work in this business again! You've got to let the little shit do it himself, but you can offer suggestions. 

Desperate, you think to yourself: what textures could he even pull off in 48 hours?

That’s the situation I find myself in. Sort of. There's no fat cat producer, no studio, not even a real deadline. But it's a pretty accurate analogy of where I'm at and what sort of advice I'm looking for. (How's your heart rate? Slowing down or climbing even higher?). 

I had a lot of momentum going among my friends for a short horror film--everyone was super excited for the shoot, then—nothing! Because I've spent way, WAY too much time slaving over the primary forms of my first sculpt. My little short horror movie is easily a month behind schedule now. I have to move on. So I’m imposing a deadline of 11 PM this Sunday to get the sculpt finished. I'm going to post the specifics in a second post since this is already a wall of text. I hope you got a kick out of my lead in, and that I didn't trigger any flashbacks! : ) 

Comments

  • Could you recommend any "simple", "novice-friendly" textures that are fast-ish to bang out? 

    The wall of text below is more detail / background in case you're interested or it informs your suggestions. I appreciate your time and any advice you can offer.
     
    So this monster is supposed to look like a human / boogeyman from a distance... but up close, it is really a giant spider! (The chelicerae are separate pieces; they'll "wrap" around /  under the jaw, almost like a bulbous double chin with a cleft in it... until they spread wide and reveal knife-like fangs).

    I'm casting the head in silicone, the eyes in acrylic. 

    This is my first attempt at sculpting. While I have learned a ton working on primary forms and symmetry, I really need to move on to detail work. Self-imposed deadline of Sunday (three days). The head ain't gonna be perfect but that's fine, the next one will be better, etc.

    I experimented with some detail textures last night and wasn't too pleased, so I felt I should ask for suggestions. 

    Everything above (and including) the upper lip, as well as below (and including) the lower lip, is supposed to be spider carapace. The teeth are also the same chitinous material. I want to drive home the uncanny human-like qualities by having the carapace be soft, slimy--like a soft-shelled crab. I think this would allow me to do some wrinkly textures, like pruned skin, rather than a more obvious scratched-up hard armor look. 

    The flesh between the lips / behind the teeth is supposed to be a fleshy membrane. Like the soft, puffy meat between a crab's joints. I tried doing a beaded slug-flesh pattern last night but it came out lousy.

    Thanks again for any advice!




  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    As far as fast textures go, it depends on what you are looking for.   Texture stamps are a good way to save time if you are in a crunch.  You can make them by casting up interesting textures from rock, bark, fruits, etc. or just find an object with interesting texture and see if it'll work as a stamp for you.  

    For skin textures I find Don Lanning's "Power of the X" technique to be pretty fast and yields great results.  You can use a thin tool to carve elongated X shapes (picture an X stretched super, super wide so the lines are almost horizontal).  I typically do this through a thin layer of plastic (sandwich bag, etc) to soften the edges of the lines, and then you can burnish it down with a brush/solvent/etc. depending on the type of clay you are using.

    For rougher textures you can melt some clay down (or use solvents to liquify it, or both) and try splattering it on the surface with a short bristled brush (tooth brush, trimmed down chip brush, etc) to build up roughness and irregularity.

    I also find adding little irregularities to skin (moles, warts, freckles, etc) as different textures can help break up larger areas and make things feel a bit more organic.

    When trying new techniques like this I like to use a test piece of clay, as not to risk damaging the final sculpt.

    Your sculpt looks great and I dig your character concept!  

    And there's nothing like a deadline to help make some progress.  I have a personal sculpt that I've been working on for around a year because it has no deadline.  

    /Chris
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