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ManvsMini

Help request for making putty seamless

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Hi everyone,

 

Since having to lay off on working on small models for a bit, I've been trying to keep myself active by fixing some broken yard decorations / figurines for my parents. One I'm working on is a cat that had shattered into several pieces, and was missing many of those parts. I've been having to sculpt back what was missing, mostly just so I could practice sculpting. But I've had an annoying issue that I'm to get some advice from those more experienced.

 

Real quick background on my ability: I've done a lot of gap-filling, so I'm not a rank novice with putty, but I am still learning the do's and don'ts. I have tools and colour shapers. The putty I am using for this piece is a 50:50 mixture of Procreate and Magic Sculpt. I also use petroleum jelly to lubricate my tools.

 

The issue: I'm not used to working on pieces this big (it's bigger than a reaper dragon), so I've had to work the putty in stages, considering how their were large gaps. Once I lay down one bit of putty, then let it cure, I come back the next day to lay down more putty, but I can't get the fresh to blend in smoothly to the already cured layer. For example:

 

sculpt_help.thumb.jpg.1b9394f36b600d2d32911ac30a9beb5f.jpg

 

And now a close up:

sculpt_help_zoom.thumb.jpg.60d1b5e6328b5bb784c57f50992c6cff.jpg

 

Hopefully you can see that horizontal "seam". That one is probably the worst on the entire figurine. There are a few other places where if I look closely I can spot where work stopped and the continued the next day. I've smoothed the putty over and over with my tools, but I always leave some form of seam.

 

My question is for any advice on how to make seamless transitions between cured and uncured putty? Luckily, this is fur, so it's not a huge deal, but if I tried to do this on a more organic/smooth shape (i.e. skin) seeing those seams will ruin the effect. I know if I had worked in one piece of putty for the area above, it would negate that pictured seam, but that still leaves the issue joining cured and uncured together.

 

Any tips is greatly appreciated.

 

-MvM

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From your description of your current process, I'm not sure whether you are trying to gap-fill AND add texture in a single step?

 

If you are, I'd suggest the following:

1. Fill the gap with putty. Don't worry about any fur or other texture, just fill in the gap so it's the right approximate shape.

2. Let that cure.

3. Mix and roll out a thin sheet of putty that will cover and overlap the gap you filled (so if the gap is half an inch wide and two inches long, roll a sheet of putty at least 3/4 inch wide and 2 1/4 inches long). This sheet only needs to be as thick as the texture you're going to apply, and keep in mind that making dips in the putty will raise ridges as well, so the sheet can probably be thinner than you realize.

4. Spread the sheet over the gap and add texture.

 

Since the putty is only workable for do long, this won't get rid of seams entirely, but it should reduce them. Where you are going to have a seam, plan your work so the seam will run parallel to your texture, so it will be less noticeable once it's all done.

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Thanks for the reply. No, I am not trying to do both in a single step. I filled gaps first, then try to do texture. Essentially, I do what you just said. Same when I do a gap fill/texture match on a mini, where I avoid a seam because it's such a small area.

 

This is a big piece though, and I only mix up as much putty as I know I can use before it becomes unworkable (I spend a lot of time smoothing and sculpting until I am satisfied). This area happened to be a case where I didn't mix up enough putty to cover an entire area, and so I had to come back when it had cured.

 

*Note for anyone who wants to use Procreate/Magic Sculpt mix: the work-time is shortened than if you used each one pure.

 

Planning to place a seam in an inconspicuous spot is a good idea, especially with fur or a texture that can camouflage it. But I can't see how it would work on a skin texture. How do the greens by those pros end up seamless?

 

If I cannot solve the riddle of putty, Crom will cast me from his mountain...

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On 6/30/2017 at 6:30 AM, TaleSpinner said:

Yes.  It is fairly easy on a textured surface because you can get it close and then just reapply the texture.  On a smooth surface, it takes a lot of patience and work.  In this later case you apply the new putty to the cured putty and get it as close to perfect as you can with your normal tools.  Then using a burnisher (curved or cupped tool, almost like a mini spoon) you tease the new putty into ever thinner layers over the old.  Then smooth it all and reburnish.  Smooth and reburnish.  Smooth and reburnish.  (Unless you haven't guessed, this can take a while to get it perfect).

 

Picture1.thumb.jpg.82dda126a9d2e1716dcdb62a3572ade6.jpg

 

You can also scrape seams after cure to smooth them using the edge of a sharp scalpel held 90 degrees to the surface and scrapped along to remove a small bit of GS, smoothing things. 

 Seam scraping in detail in next quoted post.

 

On 6/30/2017 at 10:50 AM, TaleSpinner said:

 

OK.  First the putty needs to be fully cured to do this.  

 

Second, you need a VERY sharp blade.  X-acto knife blades are not good enough, you need scalpel blades. I use 

Feather 2976#11 Feather Sterile Surgical Blade, #11 (Pack of 100) blades I get off of Amazon.  A box of 100 will last you years.  I insert them into my round X-Acto knife handle and clamp down on them with the blade parallel to the handle to give me the most control (scalpel handles tend to be flat and do not let you rotate the blade enough as you cut).

 

Third, for this technique, you need a very light to no pressure on the blade, letting its own weight lightly scrape the surface. It takes a lot of patience. See the blotchy area on the second dolphin behind the dorsal fin to the tail.  I smoothed that area after sculpting by scraping with a scalpel. It was similar to your thigh when I started.

 

03726_g_1.jpg

 

(Funny, you can tell the difference between when I have smoothed putty with my fingers/burnishers vs. scraping later by how shiny it is.  Dull finish was scraped.)

 

^ The image here is gone, so I'm linking his final post on the dolphins so you can see how nice and smooth they are. I suspect that might be what you are searching for, but it's going to be a challenge smoothing out funky areas without some planning ahead of time.

On 1/11/2016 at 5:31 PM, TaleSpinner said:

Now that Reaper has announced them, I thought I'd post a few more pictures of the greens for my dolphins:

 

post-140-0-73367000-1452555015_thumb.jpg

 

post-140-0-29038600-1452555016.jpg

 

post-140-0-79719200-1452555016_thumb.jpg

 

post-140-0-28234000-1452555017_thumb.jpg

 

post-140-0-05573700-1452555037_thumb.jpg

 

 

I should note that I found these to be more challenging that I had expected.  Texture like fur or scales can hide small flaws, but a smooth skinned creature has to be perfect.

 

Andy

 

 

I like what you are doing! I think you're on the right track with gap filling first and then texture. 

 

Since I am a super slow sculptor, I tend to do my details in layers. We'll take fur as an example since you've got a rather fluffy sculpt there.

Here is a good kid:

Image result for wolf standing

 

After I've sculpted the whole body, I'd add the fur. I would start by the paws and work my way up each leg. If you look closely, you can see how the layers of fur rest on top of the layer below it. So once I've finished the legs, those weird seams would be covered because I'd be pulling putty down over the seam with the next layer of fur.

 

This might be a little too close to help much, but you can see here how the person is lifting up some fur and you can see more below. The parts where some fur starts is covered up by the fur above it.

Image result for wolf fur close up

Edited by Morihalda
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Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. I think I have a good enough sculpting tool to achieve this, though to be honest I really tend to use my colour shapers for 90% of my blending work (they just feel better to me). I'll give the metal tools a try, and if they don't satisfy after a few runs, I'll look into getting some extra firm colour shapers.

 

I really hope to get decent at the smooth and seamless, because the next piece that needs repair is a smooth rabbit that is missing about 60% of it's skull...

 

Thanks again!

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Good luck! I'm sure you'll get it after a few tries. I'm glad the info helped - I'm just here to pass around info I learn from bugging the good sculptors. :lol: 

 

The metal ones feel a little weird at first, but I liked them a lot more after a while.

Edited by Morihalda
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16 hours ago, ManvsMini said:

Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. I think I have a good enough sculpting tool to achieve this, though to be honest I really tend to use my colour shapers for 90% of my blending work (they just feel better to me). I'll give the metal tools a try, and if they don't satisfy after a few runs, I'll look into getting some extra firm colour shapers.

 

I really hope to get decent at the smooth and seamless, because the next piece that needs repair is a smooth rabbit that is missing about 60% of it's skull...

 

Thanks again!

Mori's got you. I'll just add that Rainbow uses clay shapers for 95% of her clay work, She loves them and hates metal tools.  That said, this is one of the few things she will use a metal tool for.   As I once heard rainbowsculptor yell from the other room while trying to do what you're doing with clay shapers,  "THIS IS !@#$ING IMPOSSIBLE!!!!..." *Sound of something being thrown across the room*

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 It really is all about the constant smoothing and blending over and over and over and over and over again, lol...

This is one of those cases where it's absolutely essential to keep your tools well-lubricated at all times, so that the really thin edges won't catch on the tool and stretch or tear.

 

It's one of those things that takes a lot of practice to get consistently good at.

 

Edited by Mad Jack
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7 hours ago, emmagine said:

I'll just add that Rainbow uses clay shapers for 95% of her clay work, She loves them and hates metal tools. 

 

Does she prefer the extra firm ones (black-tipped) or the regular (grey-tipped)? I got the regular ones years ago for a steal at Hobby Lobby, but haven't seen them since. They work pretty well, they just bend a bit too much at certain times.

 

7 hours ago, emmagine said:

As I once heard rainbowsculptor yell from the other room while trying to do what you're doing with clay shapers,  "THIS IS !@#$ING IMPOSSIBLE!!!!..." *Sound of something being thrown across the room*

 

Sounds like Rainbow and I would get along quite well...

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1 hour ago, ManvsMini said:

 

Does she prefer the extra firm ones (black-tipped) or the regular (grey-tipped)? I got the regular ones years ago for a steal at Hobby Lobby, but haven't seen them since. They work pretty well, they just bend a bit too much at certain times.

 

 

Sounds like Rainbow and I would get along quite well...

Probably!  Are you coming to reapercon this year? @Rainbow Sculptor will have to answer the question about what firmness she likes for what.

Edited by emmagine
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14 hours ago, emmagine said:

Probably!  Are you coming to reapercon this year? @Rainbow Sculptor will have to answer the question about what firmness she likes for what.

 

I have barely touched a black shaper. I don't like them because they're are usually much too firm for what I like to use them for and ,depending on the brand, tend to be the worst quality. I primarily use grey for the bulk of the work and then refine with the white ones as things start nearing finished quality. 

 

That said, for what you're doing I would not worry about layers underneath. Just bulk it in and make sure the gaps are filled sufficiently. Then do a final surface layer paying careful attention to smoothing. Using Apoxie will allow you to sand once cured and can get really smooth surfaces that way. You could also mix Apoxie with GS to add some of those qualities to your green. Don't be afraid to sculpt over existing texture so that you give yourself something to blend into. 

 

Hope that helps, I'd love to chat if you make to RC!

Edited by Rainbow Sculptor
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14 hours ago, emmagine said:

Probably!  Are you coming to reapercon this year?

 

8 minutes ago, Rainbow Sculptor said:

I'd love to chat if you make to RC!

 

Wish that I were, but it isn't fiscally possible this year. I am hoping out to make it at some point in the coming years.

 

I'll keep that in mind about the shapers. My grey ones have served me well, honestly only a few complaints when I really need some extra stiffness. I have never seen any white-tipped shapers before, are those softer than the grey?

 

I use the Magic Sculpt instead of the Apoxie, it's practically the same thing. And it does sand really well, even when mixed with the Procreate. I may end up sanding some of the blemishes out now that you mention it.

 

Thanks for all the help, it's greatly appreciated.

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Yes, the white ones are the softest clay shapers. I've heard MS and Procreate are really similar so you shouldn't run into any issues. Sorry you won't make it, maybe another year! 

 

Here's an Amazon link, I haven't ordered these online before but I haven't found too much inconsistency in quality with the white ones. 

 

<TaleSpinner Edit: Removed commerce link>

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For what it is worth I tried Procreate a couple of times over the years because people seemed to really like it. I always went back to green stuff or green stuff/ Apoxy Sculpt mixes because I found that I was fighting with smoothing out seams in Procreate a lot more than I was with green stuff. YMMV of course, but that was my experience.

 

My clay shapers are the grey "firm" ones. They worked well for me but to be fair I never tried any other kinds. I learned on metal tools so even the "firm" clay shapers were pretty soft to me!

 

But I would agree with the advice already given for smoothing out seams- patience, repeatedly going over the same spot over and over smoothing in the same direction, and a progressively lighter touch. I have also found that a too-well lubricated tool sometimes won't "catch" the putty enough to drag it out to the point of smoothness. Sometimes you may need to stop and wipe off your tools and possibly gently wipe down your model with an alcohol pad. As putty sets up you may want a bit of tackiness! Tackiness like your tool slightly sticks to the work surface, not tackiness while wearing black socks and sandals while you sculpt...

 

Besides scraping with a knife you can also gently file some cured putties with small model files or sand it with very fine polishing grit sanding cloths. I know this works with green stuff, I don't remember it working quite as well with Procreate, and it worked better with green if you did add some Apoxy Sculpt to it.

Edited by GHarris
Added more info
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