Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monsters For Lovecraftian Computer Game 2

My work for Rolando Gutierrez' computer game is almost over: I built three more puppets and I have some animation left to do.

One of the more striking scenes in the game will feature a transforming woman, realized as a stop-motion puppet. I sculpted a twisted torso based on the likeness of an actress from the game's live-action portions. From the shoulders up I made the plaster mould in two parts.

As I usually do I sculpted a flat piece of skin and made a plaster mould over it. I prefer to have a bunch of plaster mould skin textures on hand to cast small and big pieces at my leisure when I build up my puppets.

The puppet is a mishmash of cast latex pieces and parts built up with latex and cotton over foam shapes. My idea was that this lady would undergo a transformation inspired by the final revealed appearance of Wilbur Whateley from Lovecraft's "The Dunwhich Horror". I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about.

The finished puppet was painted with acrylic airbrush colours and decorated by tufts of crepé hair.

A monstrous worm puppet was also required. I had a design mailed to me, but for some reason I strayed a bit from it. Here's the head sculpture for the cyclopean monster.

The legs were aluminum wires with a cotton/latex mix applied over them.

The mid-body section was a cast originally sculpted for another puppet monster; the blunderblat (see my earlier blog posts). The spine of the puppet was braided aluminum wires, with Friendly Plastic thermoplastic added as support.

The skin for the rather long body was sculpted flat in clay with various details.

All the latex was tinted black using Kryolan tinting powders before being poured into the plaster moulds. This isn't the final colour, but it's a fairly good base colour, and automatically creates deep shading in hard-to-get-to spots.

Some simple foam padding was added before covering the puppet's body with the cast latex skin pieces. Liquid latex is the bonding agent.

And here's the little bugger with its finished paint job, and a plastic lens eye fitted into its head.

Don't ask me why I can't post this image standing up, ask Blogspot!
It's a pretty nice monster, if I may say so myself. However, this wasn't really what Rolando had intended for his game, so it was back to the workshop.

I started building another version, and this time I stuck exactly to the sketch I was given. The belly and back parts of the monster's body was sculpted in clay and cast as two separate latex skins.

The skins were wrapped around a foam padded aluminum wire armature with lots of legs.

The finished terror attached to my animation stage using a tie-down nut in its belly.
The first version of the bugworm will probably be used in another project.


BlacknickSculpture said...

Great work Richard! I enjoyed seeing your wip photos!

Richard Svensson said...

Thanks! This project has been moving so fast I've barely remembered to take any photos.

Mads said...

God I am blown away, these are incredible! What fantastic realism! Do you ever have any problems with metal fatigue in the aluminium wire?

Richard Svensson said...

Thanks; glad you like the result :) I've been using braided aluminum wires since 1998, and I actually haven't had any problems with it.

McTodd said...

What brilliantly horrible thingies!

David P. Geister said...

Richard - very exciting work here!!!!

The build up on the twisted woman is particularly intriguing. I have been thinking about a stop-motion puppet of myself in 19th century explorers costume, and you have my mind spinning.

Thanks for the inspiration AND nightmares as I doze off tonight . . .

David P. Geister said...

Richard - how are you tinting your latex? It looks quite dark when it comes out of the mold.

Amaco said...

Thanks for using AMACO's Friendly Plastic. It's always amazing to see how this product is used. I must say - this is a new application I'm seeing!

Richard Svensson said...

David: I'm very happy to hear that I manage to inspire others with my work! I'd love to see your mini-version of yourself.
I'm using a tinting powder by Kryolan. It's quite expensive, but it lasts forever. You only need very little of it. I prefer this tinting medium over liquid ones because the powders won't change the consistancy of the latex, which can happen with liquid mediums.

Richard Svensson said...

Amaco: I've been using Friendly Plastic for over a decade now, and I've created everything from props like sword hilts to these puppet skeletons. Most puppet builders and animators prefer to use plumber's epoxy for the "bones" or the stiff part of the puppet's skeleton. I prefer Friendly Plastic, since it maintains a slight, slight bit of flexibility. This helps preventing the aluminum wire joints from breaking. When I've used a completely rigid substance for the "bones", the joints may break after a while.

David P. Geister said...

Richard - I am sorry - I realize you already mentioned the tinting powder in the description!