When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Is this fur real? We get to do this!

Well today was a fun day. We all got on the same page pretty quick as how the fur should be applied. Here Karen, a wonderfully talented artistic collegue of ours, is starting the fur. It's amazing how much hair is now in the air just from getting this far! These pieces are extremely tedious, as we cut them all into little strips and applied them individually. After this part, we will be able to start furring with larger, serrated strips. That should make this move along faster. While that was being taken taken care of at one end of the shop, I was able to start coating the face, chest and hands with a mixture of plaster of paris and white glue. This was used instead of our regular Urethane hard coat system for a couple of reasons. One was the expense of the Urethane vs. this method, and 2 was hardening time. Our Urethane coat requires a creamy, water based primer, and we didn't have the time to wait for this additional step to dry. Being that our Yeti really only needs to survive the shoot, and then be displayed high out of reach at the studio, the Urethane hard coat system was a little redundant.

 Being that we would never set our yeti up fully at the shop, it was very important that each piece be fiitted to the next one in the chain. As the day progressed, we made leaps and bounds on getting the fur and paint applied. We didn't really do very much air-brushing on this fellow. He would never have a close up in the final cut. Jody was able to apply a pretty cool mottle texture with 3-4 colours on the exposed skin, and then we air-brushed white translucent spots around the fur to skin edge. This helped blend the white of the hair to the relatively dark skin.

 After this step, we did the eyes and bleeding cuts (after all, he is attacking a 1960's era expedition) When it came to the teeth, I decided to just build by hand. Aspire would have easily taken this on, but there was no indents in the mouth for them. So it was just as easy to sculpt them and the gum portion together.
The tonque was also done by hand, as the cg file looked abit weird after we posed and sculpted the face in the computer. I suspect we will be here pretty much all night tonight as tomorrow will be the shoot day.
In a neat turn of events, Matt asked if I wanted to appear in the final picture as a Himilayan Sherpa! I'm not sure if it was my charisma, or my face that didn't get shaved this week, but I happily agreed nonetheless.
Sherpa Jamie........... I think I like it.


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