This instructable is going to take you through the process for sculpting a figure named "Dirt", a video game character from the PC game Origin of the Species, developed by Nu Generation Games Ltd. in the UK.

Check out the official game site: www.dirtthegame.com

I hope you will find some insight into the long process that goes into the making of a prototype statue from start to finish.

When I first started on this project I didn't have a lot of reference art to go from as the game was still in development at the time. As you can see my figure was inspired by the concept art for the box art, which at the time, she was holding two handguns. Later on the art was changed with Dirt Holding the shot gun instead. In retrospect I think I would have preferred the shotgun but when the art was finalized the sculpture was pretty much done so there was no going back - oh well!

The story is about a teenage girl that gets kidnapped and experimented on, has to fight insect like creatures, rescue her friends, all the while gaining super human powers in the process:

"An innocent camping trip into the Nevada desert takes a deadly turn when military black operations test a new viral weapon designed to create battlefield infantry by mutating commonly found insects and parasites. When the test run goes horribly wrong, it's up to you to find and rescue your friends while discovering information and unlocking special abilities. To fight an array of mutated animals and black op marines, you'll have futuristic weapons, special combat moves, and the ability to mutate into a more powerful creature."

To me her fighting abilities were a very important aspect of the character to portray. Too often video game vixens are portrayed in a really cheesecake fashion and I didn't want to go down that road! I tried my best to make her cute and sexy, but at the same time strong and feminine without being cheesecake: I wanted the observer to believe she could kick some butt because it is an integral aspect of the game experience.

My idea was to capture an instant in time that could possibly occur in the game and that told a story or gave insight into a narrative aspect of the game. During game play she comes across huge monsters to fight against, so the art director and I chose to use the "Wherewolf" creature from the game as a victim for the base to compliment the figure and make it more interesting then a plain nameplate.

Obviously, due to lack of space, I couldn't afford to place the whole creature on the base since it was a large beast in the context of the game so I decided to decapitate its head as though it were the aftermath of an encounter with Dirt.

Also on the base I wanted to place several shell casings and other debris which I will discuss in detail later on...

Because of her small scale (1/8th so 8.5" tall roughly without the base) I decided I wanted to use toy wax as my finishing material to get all the details nice and crisp. At this scale I find it is the best solution for me as the hardness of the material allows me to hold small parts without too much worry about squishing something in the process.

Step 1: Roughing in the figure with Super Sculpy

You cannot sculpt with toy wax directly as you would with clay (it is a carving medium mostly and can't be pushed around, in fact, it is very similar to soap stone in that respect), so I had to make a "rough" out of a softer material, in this case Grey Super Sculpy, which would form my "blank", that I could mold, and subsequently cast in the wax for further refinement.

I used super sculpy which is readily available at most craft stores (usually in the pink colour) and works quite well because it is rather soft and easy to work with but then can be baked to a hard finish which can be beneficial during the molding process because it won't get smashed or easily distorted.

I start using the armature process as in the previous tutorial "Creating A Figure Armature For Sculpture" to create my armature. In this case I made the armature in 1/8th scale so roughly 8.5 tall or so. Once my armature was made and mounted on my wooden base I started to pose it according to the reference material provided.

Once I was fairly satisfied with the pose I started to add clay (using the bones out method) according to the major muscle masses and shapes. At this stage I'm just looking for general forms and basic shapes without any details and really paying attention to the dynamics and flow of the pose.

I like to look at the pose from all angles and determine if there are any views that don't work. As a general rule of thumb I think a sculpture is successful if at least 3 out of 4 views work. I strive to make all the views work but if one view isn't as strong as the others then it's not too bad.

Keep in mind that when you are working from reference, and are using a particular pose that is significant with respect to the character or considered the main focus of the work, make sure it is the strongest view because it will most likely be the position that will be displayed the most.

I have to make sure that my gesture is correct as it is very difficult to change later on in wax as the material won't allow major changes without having to make cuts with a hack saw. It can be done but it requires a lot of time and work so it is better to get the gesture down pat during the clay stage.
<p>What did you use to make the mold? Obvs, not plaster... and probably not alginate either? </p>
Amazing job. I myself am just getting into sculpting and have found it's far more expensive than I can do right now, but in time I'll get what I need. I've been painting miniatures forever now and feel the need to create my own as it were. Your tutorial is going to be a great help to me, thank you for that. Keep up the good work!
TEDDY!!!<br><br>Thats cool!
So awesome!! But do you have any photographic tutorials on how to actually do the wax and resin parts?? i have no idea how you do that from the sculpey figure O.o I would love to know!
Heya, thanks for the tut ;D, sorry, is there a way to do that without using super sculpy? because i can't find it in my country, can you please give us advice in other materials? is cold porcelain suitable for this? (thanks a lot ;D)
Absolutely - you can use any oil based clay. I would pick a firmer clay just because of the scale being small its easier to work with...
for the detail in getting astounding results with oil based clay a can of condensed air is a must. What you do is hold it upside down and spray your clay. The can releases ice cold air causing you clay to become rigid but still toolable. actually scrapeablicious!! you can get some great detail with this technique.
Is FIMO available?
An awesome work, really...&nbsp; congratulations!!<br />
Heh, most games that have female characters in it (mostly MMORPGs) make the female characters look like little girls with magic, and the guy characters always have overlarge chests,look like they are one of those guys with that self obsessed thing and look at themselves in the mirror all day when they arent at the gym and their arm is bigger than most of the female characters. Yeah and the female chars erm, always have alot of skin showing whether you like it or not. Especially mages.
Standard rule for female armor in games: the less you wear, the more it protects.
And what a good rule it is. . . When do they come out with a character that is "invincible"? ;) Great job, btw.
It exists. (It's the Yeti from Ski Free. That's the best picture I could find).
Oh god not the yeti, it still haunts my dreams.
My cousin claims he got past it once. I think he lies.
<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/xkcdian-SkiFree-F-key-pendant/" rel="nofollow">With the proper amulets...</a><br />
Clearly, anyone who can wear a leather bikini into a combat zone is such a fearsome warrior that they don't have to worry about protection. No enemy has the skill required to land a blow on them.
hl2 alyx vance...
you are awesome, btw
she is hot, I want one now does it get hard like plastic, will it break easily?
You rock! That's impressive work. How long did it take you, womb to tomb?
thanks a lot for this tutorial, i'm definately going to try out your technique(I make personalized wedding cake toppers)
Gonna try this right now as model Ezio from Assassin's creed 2
Although that is an awesome model, one question remains: What's with the teddy bear?
The answer to your question is covered in the instructible: The teddy bear bagpack is part of the game. It´s alive and reacts according to the happenings of the game environment(shootouts,attacks,...)
Truly nice. Do you make any other figures?
I'm not sure what this "cheesecake" factor is supposed to be referring to, but your strong female character has huge pigtails and a thong. Still, it's an interesting process, and you definitely have skill here. Nice work.
I did what I could with the character they gave me... cut me a little slack bud ;)
and thank you for the kind words... *sorry forgot to add the originally* :)<br/>
I was going to say something like "you did what you could with what you were given" but it felt like I was already going on too long. I'm a little surprised I wasn't attacked for being "rude" or something!
That looks just like her. :)
Thanks! The company was very happy with her... I try my best but you never know until it gets approved! lol! :)
They should be very happy. I think your sculpture has much more personality than the concept art. I like how she has a sassy ironic look (which works well with the backpack) as opposed to the straight badass look of the concept art. The only thing I would have done (if I had your amazing skilz) would be to make the creatures head much larger, maybe big enough that she could be standing on it as the base, but at least as high as her knees to have more of a beauty and the beast contrast.
It really does. It's cool they approved of it too.
Thanks for the information on sculpting with wax. I have struggled with the time it takes building a wax sculpture from scratch. The intermediate stage of using sculpty is a revelation to me.
You should probably add something about getting permission from the designer of the character you are making before selling them. Getting a cease and desist after so much hard work would not be fun. Other than that this is a great instructable!! I would really love it if from here you showed us the molding process from the sculpy to wax and then how you decide what pieces to cut off and molded individually. Thanks, really enjoyed it.
I have the license from Nu Generation games to sell the statue: everything is legit. If you go to the game (<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.dirtthegame.com/">http://www.dirtthegame.com/</a>) site they even link to our site (Martian Factory).<br/><br/>Yes- I plan on making a tutorial on mold making and the whole process from start to finish. This was more of an overview of the process really... it is what I had on hand.<br/>
Wow amazing you have inspired me to try out this type of sculpture... i also cant wait to see the tutorial on mold making... you really do an amazing job.
Thank you BTW for the kind words as well! :D
Wow, it is truly amazing. How many years did it take to get to this level? I hope the guys @ DIRT appreciate it. I am a FPS nut, I never heard of the game and now I am wanting to check it out. Blessings, Scott
I've been sculpting professionally for almost 10 years now. Like anything else it takes practice... my first pieces were pretty horrible! lol!
Cool. I saw your other Instructable. Very nice! I have always been a sketcher but that inspired me to give it a try.
is this game available in steam? If its not it should be. What is the gameplay about?
I'm honestly not sure... I should have mentioned that this is an old game. I did this piece 4-5 years ago or so...lol!
oh, haha. they should make a newer version and just rescan the same model with newer equipment to get better graphics
I'm not really sure... it is an older game like 4-5 years old. I never got to play it to be honest. :(
and now you sell it to the highest bidder on ebay who has fallen in love with dirt lol. Unless you gave it to the company.

About This Instructable


370 favorites


Bio: 3D Character/ Concept Artist
More by Setti Fine Art: Making a Female Game Character from Wax CREATING A FIGURE ARMATURE FOR SCULPTURE
Add instructable to: