Sunday, January 05, 2014

Building a Bust Maquette of Elsa from "Frozen"

Last semester I wanted to have a better example of a bust for my character design class - but as usual there was never enough time. With a bit of down time as class if off - time to get caught up. 

As I wanted this to go fast and I wanted something that I could hand out that was not one of my designs but still be challenging - I went with Elsa from "Frozen".  (Disclaimer: I DO NOT WORK FOR DISNEY - this is purely for my own fun and to be aid in teaching character design)

Baked, sanded, and painted.
Original sketches by Jin Kim

I started by cutting together a bunch of Jin Kim's amazing drawing (his blog: of Elsa. 
My own build up of Elsa to act as my road map.
I then did my own work up from Kim's drawing. During this I both flipped the drawings (via Layer Comps with hot keys in Photoshop) and measured features so that I could have as much clearly nailed down as possible for sculpting. 

Beginning phase.

Here is the initial stages of the build. If you notice I put in a measured scale for my drawings so that would roughly know how tall the bust of Elsa would be. This was also a chance for me to try out Super Sculpey Firm. Normally at the Academy we use just the normal Super Sculpey (largely for ease of use and since this is the first time students will sculpt their own characters). There had been some talk of switching material to Firm, and I wanted to use this as a chance to explore the material more than I had in the past. 

Roughing out the features.
As I was going I tried to keep reminding myself to take pictures of the process. Too often I have students jumping the gun and getting into detail. Getting everything measured out - either by eye or by rule is what you have to do first. A bit later I pre-baked the the eye balls and put them in. That way I sculpt around them - for details like eye lashes, etc. are hard to do otherwise.
Here was the state of the bust before baking. 

Baked! At this point I had to do a lot of sanding with a high grade sand paper (250). In some ways I should have kept sanding but I only had so much time even during the semester break. Afterwards the sanding had dis-colored the sculpey so I had to still spray paint the whole bust. 

Surprisingly, in total, this did not take a lot of time - about three full days - probably because I was lucky enough that so many of Jin Kim's concept sketches of Elsa have been floating around on-line. 

Next up - Anna! Though I may save that for my actual class demo for this spring semester.