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.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Pucker Up!

Last week was borderline killer for us! We had both Anna and Ojars working on a commercial build that had 9 oversize props, and less than 5 days to do it in. I'll post that build when the commercial airs.

Right after that build, we had another short deadline for studio delivery yesterday. Not as grueling, but after the last job, I was pretty tired :)

I can't say what the ad campaign is, other than a still shoot. They needed 12 letters, that will be copied and duplicated in post to create a sentence, a set of lips, an ear, and a dimensional Facebook "Like" button.

After the mouth was modeled,
 I brought it into Aspire for further work. It's a whole lot faster and easier to texture a model in Aspire, so that's where i do it.
At the size of the lips (4"), I used a bark texture instead of a skin texture. This would give me a faster way of adding the deeper depressions, than physically having to sculpt the geometry.
Once I was happy with this part of the model, it was off to our Techno cnc.
The router time was pretty quick, and I worked on the next part of the file while it was cutting.

In order to get the teeth as clean as possible, I machined them separately. The lips were cut with a 1/16" tapered ball nose, and that meant that the mouth opening was going to have a small draft due to the cutter angle, just until the cutout pass though. It also meant that the teeth wouldn't get fully machined if I had kept everything one piece. The remedy was to extend the barrel curve that the teeth sit on, just to give me the most amount of machining room around the teeth, and cut them separately.

Once the model was machined, I used the mouth opening vectors to profile cut the teeth portion out.
I just wouldn't have gotten the detail in the teeth any other way. Without the length of the tapered ball nose, my other 1/16" cutters weren't long enough to do the job.
This also made the painting a whole lot easier!

Tomorrow I'll post the rest of the build!

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