Thursday, 21 March 2013

FMP progress

I've managed to churn out two finished boarder designers for my current and final project of the year. I'm part way through my third - I intend to stop at four and begin the process of adding in the content and experimenting with my animation techniques. If time allows I will be able to return to the boarder stage and make a few more but otherwise I think four is a good number.


Progress on Maleficent and more info can be found here


I've also experimented with the tones a little but this will remain a possibility as I don't want to take too much attention away from the actual content.
I'm happy with my progress so far but really need to step it up a notch.

I've also been sketching some imagery for the villains themselves. The general idea I have is to animate them switching between the forms. Beautiful to crazy or truth. 
I also intend to do some sample pieces that show the villains in their 'natural habitats' when they're not fulfilling the bad guy role. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cosplay | Wilykat

Photo credit | Chi

WilyKat | Thundercats Reboot 2011

My latest costume venture! 
This was like nothing I've done before - facepaints - wefting lacefront wigs - resin casting.
All round more focus on makeup and add ons than the actual costume itself!
It was actually really exciting to work on and I've come away from it a lot more knowledgeable especially in terms of wig construction which I can hopefully apply confidently in my future costumes. 

I had the task of making Wilykat for the February convention. I bought a lot of my base materials - such as the base lace wig in advance due to needing to be shipped over from the US. I ended up having about a month to work on the actual costume. 

The leggings were the first thing I made - for obvious reasons - pretty basic pattern

The tunic caused a bit more of an issue than I have first thought due to it's straight hanging seams and pattern. 

But the wig was the real part that I kept putting off - my only experience with wigs was that of buying, cutting and styling them. I attempted to dye a wig once - and it ended badly
 I have personally never ventured into dicing and slicing wefts so I started searching for tutorials - which there is no shortage of - however none of them covered what it was I actually needed to do to replicate Wilykat's unique hairstyle.
So in the end I took the basic gist and made it up as I went along.
I recorded my method and made my own tutorial as I was instructing another member of our group on how to do his wig and the two characters had very similar hair styles. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find it no where near as difficult as I had first imaged it to be - despite having no clear guidelines on what I was doing in the first place.

[before fringe pieces and darker wefts were added]

The bags were a literal nightmare. He has a total of 10 smaller bags on his body and one larger backpack. 
I made a functioning bag to begin with but even when padded out with cardboard it looked flimsy and unlike the reference so I found some blocks of polystrene and sawed them into measured blocks which were then covered with the material pattern and a lot of hotglue. 

I have no fingerprints left. I swear
They were a lot more true to the block style of the animation. 
The clasps were recycled from some left overs from a previous costume. They were made by gluing two different buttons together and then spray painted to shade. 

The 'boot' covers or leg warmers ended up taking all night, I wanted to match the reference again and his are rather baggy almost padded. So I used a base of foam and built around it. The orbs for the belts were the only part of the costume that actually failed. We originally made some moulds out of clay which were then use to cast resin in. I had a lot of incidents with the resin and ended up casting about 7 gems but due to complications the moulds didn't survive and thus I ended up using a papermache top I found in hobby craft which I sprayed with red paint and painted the bases silver.
I made two as I was responsible for another member of my group's orb since the characters had the same design - in return she made both tails - this ensured we matched. 

Photo credit | Foxy

We trimmed the wigs and styled them on the morning of the event to ensure they were fresh. It took several hours to paint ourselves up - we used a mixture called PAX or prosaide which is a professional based catalyst you mix with acrylic paint that when dry gives it a sort of chewing gum texture. You have to then coat yourself in talc powder to smooth the paint out. 
It then does not come off.
There is a remover fluid that you can use to aid you in scrubbing - but you do have to scrub the top layer of skin off to remove it. On the other hand it means no smudges on the day.
We used snazaroo and sealed it with hairspray for our faces as pax is a no go in that region. 

Photo credit | Nert

And here we are! Not the full group as that will be debuted in May!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


I've been working on some small cameo's for some of the re known female villains from Disney. It has the potential to be animated with small blinking actions and swaying etc and so I'm taking care to keep my layers throughout construction. 

I also have ideas to create shadow [blacked outlines] versions, using just iconic imagery [aka a spindle] within the character boarder or a piece of text with alternative life/interest and hobbies of the villain. 
I've been reading some texts as backup theory on my work and found an interesting article that talks about the other side, splitting the individual into two sections - the evil and normal side. I'd like to work with this concept a bit more. 

[mock up]

Gotham Villains 3MT Life Drawing

Last friday I attended a life drawing session in Manchester at the 3 Minute Theatre with Dr Sketchy. It was very close packed, a literal full house and very exciting to be at - there were 3 models, Cat woman, Poison Ivy and The Joker. It was really beneficial for my work as my FMP is based around villains. The atmosphere was great as was the entire session - they used tracks of music to time each pose and experimented with lighting and props throughout. As usual I started out slow but managed to get the hang of sketching the further in I got, however due to the lack of space I found myself unable to experiment media wise - maybe next time!

Poison Ivy started her section off with a mini performance showing the transformation,  her outfit was really interesting as it lighted up

There were also a number of competitions throughout the night that involved coming up with comic and film titles and compositions. 

I really enjoyed the session and would definitely participate in another one