Introduction: The "Wise" Creature

Picture of The "Wise" Creature

first off I would like to state that this was not a solo project. there were 3 others that helped to bring this creature to life and one very awesome model to put it all on. I would like to thank them for all the hard work and all the dedication that was put into making this creature, which we just refer to as the wise one. I led a team of talented people to make this, I took up the role of project manager to over see and make sure that everything works out as we had initially planned. the order in which you must go when creating something like this is design, model, sculpt, mould, cast and finishing touches (paint and clothing). 

so the first step you should take on is the design phase come up with some concept art or even just rough sketch so that you know where to head with your next step

I would also like to take this time to mention this is a very difficult process and takes months of hard dedicated work but if you are so incline you to can make something like this.

Step 1: Finding Your Model

Picture of Finding Your Model

once you know the design and the over all look you wish to achieve its time to find a model

for our design we wanted a short petite woman so we found a model to suit our creature

thanks again to our model

now we must make a body cast so that we have something to sculpt and create on. if you dont know how to make a body cast you can find more in depth methods online and maybe even on instructables but its fairly easy to learn. here are some progress shots of the process.

we did our arms seperately in alginate .

Step 2: Sculpt It Up!

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the main bit of sculpting was done by myself and a close friend of mine it was a long process as we made a few changes along the way but overall it went over very well ... i concentrated on the head and the back and portions of the front she focused on the front and shoulders. the hands were done in a separate clay called chavant. while the main sculpt is WED clay ... an air dry clay. so there was alot of wrapping it in damp paper towelsand bags over nights.

the pictures show the progress we made

our creature was meant to be an earth bound creature that has been living in harmony with the earth for so long that the earth is now becoming part of it.

Step 3: Time to Make the Moulds

Picture of Time to Make the Moulds

once you are done and happy with the sculpt you have created it is time to mould it up and get to cleaning it out so that you can put in whatever you end material will be... in our case we were going to be using foam latex. we moulded the entire creature in a fibreglass mould called aqua resin. this is a water based resin so there is no smell and no harmful chemicals really, however with this great benefit comes some drawbacks ... it isn't as strong as traditional fibreglass cloth and resins and it is also pretty pricey. find what materials will work best for your projects, i can't stress this enough call around and do your homework when looking for materials get to know everything about them to make sure they will not counter act anything you are currently working with.

the way this mould was made is by taking some thin metal strips called shims and placing them very close together along the seems that you will need to make in order to pop open your mould. the big thing here is to avoid undercuts of any sort as they will make taking your final product out a nightmare.

here are the pics of the moulding process

Step 4: Casting

Picture of Casting

once your mould is cured and finished you can pour in your final product. in our case we used alot of foam latex ... i would also like to take this time to mention that if you plan on using foam latex or any other product for that matter. be sure to make the suit as light as you can .... in our case we made the back section solid foam latex which makes it very heavy and uses up alot of product i would suggest making a frame to keep up the size portions of your build and keep it as light as you can.

once we poured in the foam latex or in most of this case we injected it with a giant syringe the entire mould was put into a large oven specifially made for heating foam latex ... if you do not have access to something like this ask around in forums and you can find people willing to rent out there ovens for projects like this (remember DO NOT put any foam latex into an oven you intend to use for food.)

once the foam latex is cured its time to carefully crack open the mould remove the shims and reveal the final product.
be warned it smells!

Step 5: PAINT

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now you can paint and finalize your creature the way you want it. painting foam latex requires layers of adhesive before adding layers of latex paint, either that or you need paint made specifically for painting on latex masks. i like to do a full paint layer by hand and blend a few colours that way. but once that is done i use airbrushing to add fine details. 

i used fake plants to make a hair style worthy of a wild creature in woods

i vacuum formed some real rocks and painted the plastic shells to make it appear as real rock but has it as light as a feather. 

its important to has as much of ur creature ready to paint at the same time as you can. this way u keep colours consistent 

for the eyes I ordered taxidermy eyes the largest albino eyes i could find. i feel they give it a good look, 
you can make your own eyes but its a hard process to make good ones. (maybe i will do an instructable on those one of these days)

when its done it looked like this.


Step 6: Applying It to the Model

Picture of Applying It to the Model

finally once it is all done we have the pleasure of putting it all together and seeing it move .... 

the only snag we really hit was creating an transition between the hands and the upper arms but we made a really kool makeup in between and the paint saved the day.

all the shots we have are in front of a green screen because are final presentation of this creature was meant for a digital final copy but it worked just as well out and about .. throw a clock around it and u have a creature that Jim Henson would probably be proud of.

enjoy the pics and hope you enjoyed the process

once again thank you everyone who was involved with this it was awesome fun!

Comments

squee2088 (author)2013-04-26

The first thing I thought was... Ooooh "The Dark Crystal"! (A definitely good thing) This is really cool!

poofrabbit (author)2012-11-13

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!

Honus (author)2012-11-02

That is really impressive! And yes Jim Henson would definitely be proud. :)

jessyratfink (author)2012-11-01

Wow! I love seeing how you make these amazing builds. Keep them coming. :D

McNopants13 (author)jessyratfink2012-11-01

thank you, I will do my best to keep them going. nice ears.

fungus amungus (author)2012-11-01

Freakin' great

scoochmaroo (author)2012-10-31

Great build! I was just asking around the other day if there was a water-based fiberglass around. Seems like a great alterative to doing a silicone mold, esp if you aren't making multiples!

Did you use the model's plaster bust as the core mold inside when injecting the foam, so that it fit to her exactly? Or did you use something else to create more room inside the mask? How was she able to see from inside?

The process is so intense, each one of these steps could be broken out into its own Instructable entirely. I have a handful of projects like this where it's just way too much to explain every step. I appreciate this as a great reference for people who already have some understanding of mask/model making, as well as inspiration for those who want to get into it!

McNopants13 (author)scoochmaroo2012-10-31

thank you,

yes the aqua resin is a pretty awesome product but ya if you only intend to do one or maybe a 2-3 good pulls fro a mold its a great option, if you intend on multiples to last a long time then i would go with something more durable.

as for the core, I used the models body for the core however i also split the entire head piece sperately and made its own core to allow for alot more space and weight reduction in the top there. her sight lines are the mouth and nostrils ... not much to see through but enough, i wore it a few times and its not to bad form inside and its almost impossible to see from the outside in so it worked out really well.

thanks for the comment scoochmaroo hope all your projects work out for ya. any questions just gimme a shout.

poofrabbit (author)2012-10-31

That is intense and completely awesome!!! Great instructable!