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SplotchyInk

Cartoony Dragon Head Help

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Alright, I'm still new to sculpting but I wanted to replicate something a friend of mine drew.  Unfortunately after several failed attempts I haven't made too much progress.

What I want is "this"

post-13965-0-85208700-1432096558_thumb.png

 

What I made, is "this"

post-13965-0-26655800-1432096525_thumb.jpg

 

I'd like some pointers and words of wisdom and maybe some instructional pictures to help me out with this project.

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The art looks rather goat-like ... but it is supposed to be more of a chinese dragon look?  ... it is the downward turning, curled over ears that really sell the goat look.  :unsure:

 

 

The sculpt seems to be longer and thinner than the art. The sculpt looks kinda bird/dinosaur/archaeopteryx. You have missed the nose bump. The art has a nose bump. Also the eyes on the sculpt are big huge manga eyes but the art has more squinty eyes.

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Yah, I tried making smaller eyes but they blew up massive when I tried blending everything.  Same with the nostrils, it became smoothed down too much when I was attempting to blend everything.  Actually, everything kind of started taking a downward turn when I attempted to get rid of the seams.

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Yah, I tried making smaller eyes but they blew up massive when I tried blending everything.  Same with the nostrils, it became smoothed down too much when I was attempting to blend everything.  Actually, everything kind of started taking a downward turn when I attempted to get rid of the seams.

 

I don't sculpt, but I do pay attention to what the sculptors around here say when they describe what they are doing and how they do it.

 

You are trying to do too much at a time. You need to BUILD up slowly (over a few days). Start with the armature, put down the bulk, let cure and then bulk it out further, let cure and further. If you don't, you end up with trying to fight the sculpture rather than get it to what you want.

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I actually already went through that trial and error earlier today.  Attempted doing it on the armature wire directly but it kept slipping, so I just added a glob of green stuff and had it cure for the rest of the day, attempted it tonight and did better... ish...
Also, I've been doing the step by step build up process on the body though, I'm just working on the heads separate so I don't screw it up when I sculpt the head of the dragon critter.
CFUj96KUMAEOqPD.jpg

Here's the body of the beast currently.  (added the little eyes there for fun knowing it's going to be covered up)

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Translating the drawings to 3D is going to be tricky no matter what, as the art is stylized and a bit "flat".

 

Try to imagine the head as a solid. The main mass of the head is roundish, and the shape overall is kind of a curved teardrop shape, with the snout as the tip of the teardrop -- maybe more like a gourd, with the snout being the stem.

 

The eyes are smaller, yes, but they are also forward facing, not on the sides, so that the dragon's faces have much more human expressions. The ears are also in approximately human-ish positions, too. And the horns and mane roughly fall along a human hairline.

 

You might be best off trying to model it as an exaggerated human head, wearing a crocodile snout and goat ears and horns.

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Do you remember the painter Bob Ross? "Twenty years and twenty minutes.." It takes a long time to learn how to sculpt like a pro.

Trying to create the 3D sculpt of a 2D cartoon is difficult because cartoons rely on human imagination to fill in the blanks, and I think some of the imagined shapes and planes may be impossible to reproduce to 100% satisfaction. If you look at a typical 2D animated cartoon that's not 3D modeled, they "cheat" by changing the shapes of characters' bodies and faces from different angles; the back of a characters head may be a different shape when viewed from the side than from the back.

 

The eyes in your first sculpt aren't wrong, but what you've got there is the ORBS of the eyes; you need to add the eyes over the orbs if you see what I mean. You might take a look at Skylanders figures for inspiration; they may be toys but a lot of artistic talent went into translating the 2D concept art to 3D sculpt.

 

Experiment with the amount of Greenstuff (or whatever medium you use) that you add; sometimes it is best to add only an almost ridiculously tiny blob so as to preserve the tapered parts of the figure such as where the leg calf meets the ankle (oh and pay very close attention to ankles, they are as tricky as hips) but you may also sometimes find that adding more GS gives you more to work with.

 

If in doubt, I first check that I haven't already made a mistake that needs removing with a craft knife - I do that a LOT - and then add a tiny amount, almost like I'm adding a layer of paint to a part of the miniature.

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Yah, I tried making smaller eyes but they blew up massive when I tried blending everything.  Same with the nostrils, it became smoothed down too much when I was attempting to blend everything.  Actually, everything kind of started taking a downward turn when I attempted to get rid of the seams.

 

I don't sculpt, but I do pay attention to what the sculptors around here say when they describe what they are doing and how they do it.

 

You are trying to do too much at a time. You need to BUILD up slowly (over a few days). Start with the armature, put down the bulk, let cure and then bulk it out further, let cure and further. If you don't, you end up with trying to fight the sculpture rather than get it to what you want.

 

 

 

Ding, ding, we have a winner!  Ub3r's been listening!  :poke:

 

What Uber said is exactly right.  When doing an animal head, I do it as follows:

 

1. First get really good reference art (in your case your drawing may not be enough, find animals that have similar features to look at):

 

post-140-0-75697800-1372043333.jpg post-140-0-43192300-1372043333.jpg

 

2. Ensure that your armature supports the head almost to the tip of the nose:

 

post-140-0-96313900-1372044706.jpg

 

3. Sculpt the skull, ensuring that is is about a mm smaller than the final head dimension:

 

post-140-0-10700600-1374200315.jpg post-140-0-82300400-1374200314.jpg

 

4. When cured, add the eyeballs and let them cure:

 

post-140-0-52126600-1374200312_thumb.jpg

post-140-0-95832700-1374200312_thumb.jpg

 

5. If teeth are showing, add the lower jaw and teeth (smoothing and texturing the lower jaw).

 

6. Starting with the muzzle, add a thin layer (about a mm) of putty up the muzzle to the eyes, sealing it and smoothing it, forming the lower eyelids and nose detail, and finally adding the texture detail.

 

7. While the muzzle is still soft, do the same for the upper head (no ears or horns), adding eyelids, eye brows, and wrapping around and down to cover the whole skull.

 

8. Blend the two areas together with clay shapers and then texture them as appropriate.

 

Outcome of 5-8:

 

post-140-0-05083100-1374724951.jpg post-140-0-36318700-1374724951.jpg

post-140-0-68464700-1375762924.jpg post-140-0-82526900-1375762932.jpg

 

 

9. When cured, drill holes or cut a channel for the ear and horn armatures and insert the armature:

 

post-140-0-37236800-1375762940.jpg post-140-0-19120400-1375762946.jpg

 

10. Set the armature as needed and sculpt the ears and horns:

 

post-140-0-63580900-1376537049.jpg

 

11. After that is all cured, attach the head to the body, sculpt the neck muscles/skin, then, when cured, add the long hair/mane.

 

 

I hope this helps.  You can see the whole WIP that these were from here.

 

Andy

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This is all amazing help.  I was feeling a bit anxious and defeated before but I see now that I had no reason to be .

I still need help with blending but I take it that comes with practice.

 I'll post up any updates on progress made.

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Andy is a frickin' rock star! Happy he came in here to show all that to you (and the rest of us), I remember that dog WIP he did along with a few others.

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What this experience has taught me that patience is required in this kind of project, and that miniatures painting and sculpting go hand in hand as, while you wait for one to dry, you can work on the other.

 

That, and planning very much ahead, something I've not been very good at but have been thankfully lucky to this point.

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Well, finally starting the head again.  Because this is a practice head I'll be making it a bit on the big side to start off with.  As demonstrated in the tutorial above I have made the 'skull' before adding eyes and the 'skin'.  Also, because I'm still impatient for my own good, I used a blue heavy greenstuff mix.

 

CFj6CSlVEAAqWHg.jpg

 

Looking at the tutorial photos and stuff, I'm curious how the seams are blended so well.

 

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Added the eyes to the dragon.

Zombie dragon ;3

 

Got a convention tomorrow so hopefully by then it will cure solid and I can start on all the other details to it when I get back.  Also used some extra putty to create a few tiny hands for a pear shaped anteater character so that it would be easier to attach.

 

CFkrUooUMAE_-zZ.jpg

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I was thinking about what TaleSpinner said about using good reference art, and I'm finding that the easiest wire skeletons to work with are ones that are in a fairly dynamic pose because a dynamic skeleton more clearly describes the final shape of the miniature than a neutral-pose skeleton.

 

Of the dragon sketches, I would use the top-right one as the main source because his arms are visible and in half-raised position. I would actually prefer the first one (top left) because his head is turned to one side and his wrist is bent, but for ease of reference the top-right one is easier to follow.

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Looking at the tutorial photos and stuff, I'm curious how the seams are blended so well.

 

A lot of practice, to be honest.  

 

When I have a seam where wet putty meets wet putty, I pull back and forth across the seam with my metal tool, dragging a little putty from one side into the other and then back the other way, kind of like a zipper.  So if this was the seam:

 

 

||

||

||

||

||

 

It would now look like:

 

 >

<

 >

<

 >

 

(I hope that makes sense.)  

 

Sometimes, I do this on a nearly microscopic level, just on the surface of the putty.  

 

Then take your finger (if there is room) and smooth the area together.  If not, use a clay shaper.  After the finger, I usually do any fine touch-ups with a clay shaper anyways.

 

At this point, the seam should be blended.  You may still see a visible line because of differences in color, but the form will be one.

 

I hope that helps!

 

 

Oh, and I love where you are going on the head.

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