Introduction: Aki No Ō

About: Self taught 3D and VFX artist since 2oo2

I'd like to share with you the work made on my last Halloween mask starting from scratch with a lot of geek skills.

Step 1: Design

I quickly draw some ideas around the same inspiration: a skull base with a three branches crown on top.
Inspired by the traditional German carnival costume I opted for a leaves hood on top of the head.

Step 2: 3D Scan

I first did capture my face the old way using plaster bands, painted the result with a sponge and dark acrylic paint to get a fine pattern resulting in a easier model to scan with Photoscan (now Metashape).

Step 3: Digital Sculpt

Once the 3D scanned model was generated I could use it as a base to sculpt the mask over it. You can use any 3D sculpting software as Zbrush, Mudbox or 3D Coat for this step.

Step 4: 3D Print

Then comes the time to print every parts, it took a few days for the main parts and only a couple of hours for the crown. This task was achieved on a CR10-s Pro from Creality. As I was running out of time I used rough settings: 240 microns for the skull and 120 microns for the crown parts but in the end the quality was here!

Step 5: Moulding

For this step I did 3 layers of silicone using Silicone RTV 181, the 2nd layer used a thickener.

Step 6: Reinforcement

Then, simple plaster bands were used to reinforce the silicone moulds.

Step 7: Clothing

While waiting for the silicone and plaster to cure, you can jump on the sewing process, the hood was covered with 155 leaves, all cut by hand, next time I’ll look after a smarter solution like using a silhouette cameo paper cutting machine.

Step 8: Moulds Check

Except a few leaks on the jaw part, the moulds ended up being awesome.
However, as I didn’t have enough time to properly sand the 3D models, some silicone went deep in the surface, producing tiny hair of silicone that would create small holes in the final resin model but looking at the style of the mask it was OK.

Moulding the crown parts in 2 parts moulds was problematic as I thought baby powder would be enough to avoid the 2 parts sticking to each other. WRONG.

Step 9: Resin Casting

The scary step. The shop I visited doesn’t have a lot of choice of fast curing resin therefore I chose the acrylic resin
solution. Coming in a 2 parts products, one of the cans contains powder and after manually mixing it with the liquid part it produced a LOT of lumps. Maybe using an electric blender would have done a better job but also more bubbles.

However after a few layers applied (3 or 4 if I remember well) and a few hours of curing the result was incredible, it captured fine details, showing the rough 3D print settings and lack of strong sanding ^^ When I took the jaw part to try it on my huge face, due to the thin thickness, I unfortunately broke the part in 2 pieces. Nothing dramatic, I did glue up the 2 parts together and applied a last layer or resin containing “verranne” cloth parts to solidify the mask.

Then I did cut the extra material with a rotary tool, teaching me I could have use less layers of resin. The final mask is pretty heavy to wear.

Finally, as I still couldn’t fit my own jaw in the resin jaw model, I had to cut off the back part and adjust the resin model. This explains the difference between the final mask and the original 3D model.

Step 10: Final Touches

Originally the mask should have been white with translucency crown letting violet light from led lights to pass through BUT as I couldn’t cast the crown parts I had to use the 3D printed elements on the final mask. After a quick paint of black and gold acrylic the mask was ready to get Velcro strips glued on and fishnet attached on the eyes parts + some foam glued at strategic areas inside the mask.

Everything hold on the head with elastic bands hot glued on the mask itself.