“Hmm, I need a distinctive face. One that would be somewhat easy to capture in my first sculpt. Who has a distinctive face?”
“Oh man is that what his son looks like? Clint’s got some genes!”
[Several minutes of distracted scrolling.]
“Hmm, no let’s do someone more distinctive. Maybe someone with more wrinkles?”
“How about Peter Cushing? You know, Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars?”
[Googles. Encounters images of a wonderfully unique-looking man. He looks as if he’s eaten a a bag of lemons AND the bag the lemons came in.
Begins timidly pushing a sphere around in Mudbox.]
“Steph, you gotta get in there and just hack at it, fast! And it’s good if you start looking at his face from many different angles for reference. Create a page in Photoshop and just grab as many pictures as you can of him.”
“And make sure you look at him from other angles with the camera in Mudbox, instead of just trying to sculpt from one angle.”
“Alright now start scratching the surface with a textural brush, give the sculpt some roughness. And don’t be afraid to cut lines into the thing. Look at Michelangelo’s sculptures. Check out David’s eye! He cut a line into the marble to define the iris. Your eyes don’t do that, but he made a decision to cut in so he could make distinctions in a naturally smooth surface. Pretty crazy.”
After several tweaks, I ended up with:
“Wow Steph, it’s well good for a first try innit! Proper mint!”
Big thank you to Will Preston, our 3D generalist at Alt.vfx for showing me the ropes while experimenting with my first sculpt. You can check out Will’s awesome work here.
NOTE: The dialogue is a rough recount of some the conversations I had with Will. Also he’s English, so he may or may not actually say stereotypical things like “well good” or “mint” but you get the gist. Regardless, please imagine the dialogue in blue with a wicked English accent.