Monday, January 19, 2009

A Long Overdue Medic Update

When you do something for the first time, usually it tends to suck. Most of the people who look at the stuff I make tend to not have the capability to do what I can do, and I think they are afraid to point out the flaws for two main reasons:

1) They can't challenge the result, fearing the dreaded, childish reply of "let's see YOU do better".

2) They don't know what to compare it to.

Personally, I welcome criticism, as I tend to not see some flaws right away, and like to know others actually see what I see as "obvious problems". Positive feedback doesn't do a lot of good when you're trying to improve. Anyways, to get back on point, the first Team Fortress 2 doll I created was the Medic. I've made a total of 6 head sculpts in my entire life out of clay before this:
  • My BC Calculus teacher, done with kneaded eraser (done during the class period)
  • My AP Physics teacher, also done with kneaded eraser (also done during the class period)
  • Two characters from the TV series "South Park" in grade school
  • Two characters from the Japanese anime "Dragonball Z" out of some really weird clay during grade school
Considering I've had about four years in between "attempts", I can't really say how much I've improved after each time. Not to mention, I spent about maybe less than an hour on each attempt. Well, the Medic head sculpt was my 7th head sculpt, and took about a good three hours.

Man, it looked terrible to me after I noticed what I did wrong. I've wanted to redo the head now that I have a better idea on doing these sculpts and what I did wrong. Let's look at the old head, and the new and improved replacement Medic head!

First off, the replacement one gets the glasses since he's now the "official" head I'll be using. It'll help for you to validate point #2 I made previously about not being able to compare it with the reference later. As you can tell, the new head is smaller, as I made the first one at roughly 120% the size. We have a reduced nose, more of a scowl, less beady eyes, and thicker eyebrows.

What the second one really improves on is the little details. The hair isn't flat anymore, but has a little curl as it should be. There's more pronounced cheekbones and facial lines. The main goal for me was to scale the head down to the right size; all these other changes resulted from reanalyzing the source material. Speaking of such, sculpting a head requires more than the basic three views needed for an engineering drawing. It needs quite a lot of views, actually.

This image compiles as many relevant shots of the head as I needed to complete the head sculpt. Side, front, top, along with some angled shots. The problem with sculpting the head for me was the fact that I can't easily see the flaws til after I paint the head. The shadows become more pronounced, and I can see what parts were done badly (eyes, nose, and those ridiculously pain do to ears...). Maybe the 11th time around, I'll figure out how to resolve that issue. Until then, I'll have to figure out where to store these extra heads. The wine glass on my desk is very crowded.
We're going to need a bigger glass.


Anonymous said...

My jaw keeps dropping at these amazing TF2 figures. Even if Valve did give in and manufacture TF2 figures, they could never compare to the quality and detail you've put into these. I'm very much an amateur with Sculpey and sometimes I feel like it's good for nothing, but stuff like this gives me hope. Keep going with these amazing creations!

CelebrenIthil said...

You are going to need more body...headbags.


Good job on the new head! :D It is indeed much better!