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TaleSpinner

Double Barrel Critiques

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I apologize for my slow response. Work has been busy. I'll try and get to both of these tonight. 

@ketil 

First barrel: You have great control of the clay! Your lines are clean, clay is smooth, and the wrinkles are both sensical and at a good depth for casting/painting. There is a nice balance between a sense of action/movement and stagnation in the clothing as well as smaller details vs. larger areas of visual rest. The figure feels well posed and naturalistic, really solid piece!!

Second Barrel: I really only have three critiques to offer. The first is that the ratio of head/hands/feet are not uniform. You have a medium sized head, small hands, and oversized feet. This ends up feeling a bit disjointed. Depending on the company you are pitching to either the head out the boots are properly sized and the others would need adjustment. 

 

Secondly, and less importantly, as polished as the clothing as a whole is, the belt seems rushed and less well defined. 

 

Lastly, the composition in the inspiration image is stronger as the spear mimics the angle of the figure and creates a strong and steady A shape. This draws all your attention to the head where we typically want it. In your sculpt the spear moves away from the body and points directionally forward. This alteration along with the implied line of his eyesight, leads the viewers eye up and out of frame as opposed to circling back through the piece. 

IMG_20190708_201802.thumb.jpg.49107aa34660890862c1fe869d430036.jpg

 

To resolve this issue I would suggest either repositioning the spear to an angle closer to the inspiration image or displaying the piece in a diorama setting with the actual "focal" character being whatever it is he's looking/pointing at. 

There would be some casting issues with having that back arm away from the body but I did not list that in my critique because it didn't seem like you intended this piece for a casting process. If you'd like to discuss casting as a seperate issue just DM me and we can go into that. 

Overall really fantastic piece, I think it's completely marketable as is but some more fine tuning could really take it to the next level. Look forward to seeing more of your work!

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@CivilDungeoneer

I'm going to focus on Aldin because I feel it's the stronger of these two pieces.

 

First Barrel: Solid character concept well communicated with clothing choices, body type, and posing concept. Facial features and beard are well textured and executed. I also appreciate the difference in texture between the head and beard hair, that tends to be a newbie mistake you avoided. Head/hands/feet are well proportioned for Reaper style figures. 

 

Second Barrel: My main critique on this figure is body positioning. You have a good idea of what you wanted out of the pose but there are some anatomy issues which are leaving the figure with an awkward air.

The use of reference photos can't be overstated enough for things like this. If I were to tackle a big guy like this I would direct my husband or son to pose so I can photograph from main angles. If I'm posing for myself I pay attention to where my weight is being held, where the tension is in my body, and what feels balanced/natural vs. not. If someone else is posing for me I ask these questions to better inform my piece. 

 

In your sculpt the knees and feet are not facing the same directions. This is a super unnatural/awkward way to stand. 

(Forgive my crappy photos, just trying to illustrate the angle of the feet to knees)

IMG_20190708_205130.thumb.jpg.f099cae849dff84c552b5b1247a1d2d1.jpg

There is a similar issue with the fist direction. They would naturally be pretty parallel to each other but you've got one turned a different direction which doesn't feel quite natural. 

 

There are some areas which could use some bulking up. Mainly the butt, thighs (right specifically), and forearm. 

The clothing reads well, a bit shallow in the upper pants wrinkles, but overall solid. 

I hope this helped for future projects. My biggest piece of advice is to gather reference photos, either online or take them yourself to really get a feel for posing and weight distribution. 

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@Rainbow Sculptor

 

Thanks so much for both the affirmations and criticisms!

 

Your encouragement re: reference photos is definitely heard. The feet were a sure goof, but the hand orientation and unnatural pose were intentional if not well executed. He's supposed to be contorting a bit in his rage, with the left shoulder and elbow moving back behind him and opening the chest - as I tried to mimic the pose while working, it's more of a strain to keep that left palm facing the shoulder as I move my elbow back than allowing it to turn forward. That doesn't mean it's good for a mini or translates well, and the piece shouldn't require that amount of explanation either. I'll keep all that in mind too.

 

Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, CivilDungeoneer said:

@Rainbow Sculptor

 

Thanks so much for both the affirmations and criticisms!

 

Your encouragement re: reference photos is definitely heard. The feet were a sure goof, but the hand orientation and unnatural pose were intentional if not well executed. He's supposed to be contorting a bit in his rage, with the left shoulder and elbow moving back behind him and opening the chest - as I tried to mimic the pose while working, it's more of a strain to keep that left palm facing the shoulder as I move my elbow back than allowing it to turn forward. That doesn't mean it's good for a mini or translates well, and the piece shouldn't require that amount of explanation either. I'll keep all that in mind too.

 

Thanks again!

 

I think I understand what you were going for. I'm not sure exactly why it isn't reading well. Maybe the shoulders are too even in height or too squared to read the twist? I'm sure someone else can jump in here with some good observations. @TaleSpinner is the king of proper anatomy lol 

I'm glad you gleaned some helpful bits. ☺️

Edited by Rainbow Sculptor
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On 7/5/2019 at 7:32 PM, CivilDungeoneer said:

I'd love to get in on this, if I may? I dig it if I'm too new around here.

I've got two in this post, only because I'd posted them both together. Totally cool if you'd like to focus on one - it's great that y'all are willing to spend time on such critiques at all and I don't want to abuse your good nature.

With the battlerager dwarf, Aldin, I tried to capture his expression and full-body tension as he goes into a rage.

Albrecht, the human, is a haughty divination wizard who masquerades as a fortune teller and uses that role to his own ends. I aimed for aloofness in his pose and bearing, and hinted at his chicanery with crossed fingers behind his back.

I've got other angles I can post if you'd find it helpful, or progress pics.

Thanks!

Original Post: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/87100-my-first-two-finished-minis/
 

 

 

Let's do this.  Sorry for the week delay, been traveling and working a lot.

 

For now, I am talking about the battlerager as it is the better of the two.

 

First Barrel:

 

1. Anatomically speaking, things are quite good, especially from the waist up.  He's beefy.

2. I like your face, nice expression, though I can't really see the eyes well in the photo.

3.  The clothing, especial the shirt and suspenders are well done and look natural.

 

Second Barrel:

1. Pose issues.  @Rainbow Sculptor is dead on about the feet and knees, so I won't elaborate further there. Furthermore, if one is going to hunch over like that, the butt needs to be thrust more rearward with the lower spine curing up to the upper back to buttress the upper half of the body leaning forward.  In the following crude illustration, the figure on the left shows the spine and pelvis in the correct position, with the center of gravity over the feet.  The right figure is approximately what yours is doing (which I suspect is why you turned the feet forward, even subconsciously, to bring the feet under the center of gravity.

 

Untitled-1.jpg.89a8084649c3b7143cc52e269bd2e52a.jpg

 

2. He needs bigger thigh, calf, and butt muscles to support his amazing upper body physique.  

3. The cloth work is pretty good, but could be better.  The wrinkles in the drapery should be deeper and more pronounced in a mini to really sell it. Also the edges need to be crisper, especially on the sleeves.

4. The boots lack definition, like they are in low resolution.  Put more time in to defining each piece.

5. Hair, this needs work.  It really doesn't read as hair to me.  When doing hair, you want to do it in stages,  First apply the putty and get it smooth over all.  Then define the major hair areas and shapes, keeping them smooth.  Then with a pointy, semi-sharp tool, lightly inscribe/pull in the hair details from the bottom to top/back to front.  This is very hard to describe (I should do a hair tutorial sometime as this keeps coming up; @Morihalda and I have had the exact same discussion several times, maybe she has some insight for you).

6. The hands could also use more details and sharpness.

7. Anatomical structure: this mini doesn't read as a dwarf to me, more 49'er.  The limb to body ratio are still within the human ranges.

8. Finally, why the stick coming out of his thigh to the elbow? Not really needed for casting, and if it was, the caster can add it, typically as a cut in the mold that would run from the slot tab to the elbow, thus not messing up the detail on the thigh.

 

Things to work on:

1. Pose.  Study your anatomy especially as it pertains to movement of the human body. I recommend Anatomy for Sculptors by Uldis Zarins with Sandis Kondrats.  It really brings it home.

2. Keep and make things smoother and crisper.  This will mean taking more time to sharpen up edges and such. 

3. The rest I commented on in the second barrel.

 

So, I just re-read your post.  Did I read that right that these are your FIRST sculpts?  Frankly, I am impressed then, for they are very good for your first ones.  Have heart, it usually takes getting several sculpts under your belt to really get the finer points of how much time and work will be needed for the more finicky parts of a mini.  I would recommend that you step back and tackle something less daunting than a human figure, something with nonstandard anatomy where you can work on controlling and smoothing the putty without having to worry about the precision needed for the human form. Perhaps consider working through my BMPC tutorial (I designed it to teach several principles that new sculptors need to work on).

 

Most of my comments also apply to the mage, crispness of detail and such.  I will note that his pose seems odd, like he is fencing, not reading.  Also his head is small for a mini.  Most minis follow 6 to 7 head proportions instead of the classical 7.5.  This allows us to see the facial details better and brings the eye in to that space.

 

Well done, I can't wait to see what you make next.

 

 

@ketil: I haven't forgotten you; I'll try to get to yours later today at lunch.

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Hiya! I'm a newish sculptor too, so I won't have pretty examples for you, but they'll be accurate for "work in progress." ^_^ 


Left: This is a bust I sculpted a while back. I want to learn more design stuff before I make more of them, but she has definitely been my favorite size to sculpt, even if I hadn't learned faces yet! I'm using her here since it might be easier to see the "major hair areas and shapes." First, I made large, wavy shapes for the locks of hair and smoothed it on the figure. Then I added wide noodles as a base for the braids. After I was happy with the placement, I added lots of little line indentations of varying width and thickness to make hair details. Wavy hair is super fun!!!

 

Top right: This is a griffon tail I was working on last week. "Then with a pointy, semi-sharp tool, lightly inscribe/pull in the hair details from the bottom to top/back to front. " I don't have a walkthrough here for this, but I start on the extremities of the body. I started at the end of the tail and slowly worked my way up. If you look where my green stuff ended, you can see where I pulled the putty away from the body and out. It's okay that it isn't perfect at the top because once that's cured and I add the next section of putty, it will be covered up -- just like how every "row" of fur before that was covered by the next. I probably won't keep it all fuzzy like this, but it's fun to practice!

 

Bottom right: This is one of Talespinner's kitties. Very short fur with very subtle waves to add variation and follow the fur pattern on the body.

 

1863457091_moriminis.thumb.jpg.f6c573119a8c029890e10aa26d53f1f9.jpg

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@Rainbow Sculptor

First off don't worry about response times, I'm just grateful that to you and the rest of the critiquers for taking the time to do this.

Thanks for the kind words, it has helped a lot and shown me where I need to concentrate my efforts. I realise that composition is not my strongest suit and I need to put more thought into it, on that note do you have any suggests for reading materials on that subject?

 

I'm probably not going to cast this guy, he's will most likely end up on the shelf of "things I should do something will". Although I am interested to hear about how he can be prepared for casting, maybe in a separate topic. To keep the signal to noise ratio of this thread high and I feel this is a subject that there isn't a lot of info about on the Intertubes.

 

Agen, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone participating in this thread.

 

Ketil

 

Edited by ketil
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21 minutes ago, ketil said:

@Rainbow Sculptor

First off don't worry about response times, I'm just grateful that to you and the rest of the critiquers for taking the time to do this.

Thanks for the kind words, it has helped a lot and shown me where I need to concentrate my efforts. I realise that composition is not my strongest suit and I need to put more thought into it, on that note do you have any suggests for reading materials on that subject?

 

I'm probably not going to cast this guy, he's will most likely end up on the shelf of "things I should do something will". Although I am interested to hear about how he can be prepared for casting, maybe in a separate topic. To keep the signal to noise ratio of this thread high and I feel this is a subject that there isn't a lot of info about on the Intertubes.

 

Agen, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone participating in this thread.

 

Ketil

 

 

You know you're right. There really isn't a lot of talk about composition and it's component elements in discussion even in groups/forums like this built around artistic endeavors. That is certainly something to remedy. I'll do some searching and thinking tonight about resources I could link here on the subject and if I don't find much maybe i'll write something up myself. A sort of Composition 101 for anyone who'd be interested. 

As far as casting you want to think about how you're figure could fit and pull out cleanly of two separate parts. If you had play doh and pressed your figure into it, then squished play doh on top of that like a sandwich, would you be able to pull it apart without it catching anywhere? Now, that's a very simplistic way to think about it but it's a good starting point. For you're figure (if you wanted to keep the spear pointed/placed where it currently sits) you would need to break the sculpt at the shoulder and cast both pieces independently. This typically involves creating a male/female socket joint for your separated piece to fit back into when it comes time. I hope that gives you a starting point on that topic and I'll try to post some composition stuff here or on a new thread soon!

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On 7/12/2019 at 5:35 PM, Rainbow Sculptor said:

A sort of Composition 101 for anyone who'd be interested. 

 

 

If you do, post it as a separate thread and let me know; then I will pin it.

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@TaleSpinner

 

Thank you for time and thoughts as well! 

 

Much of your commentary on smoothness and crispness, I believe, relates to my frustratingly hard reorientation on sculpting method. When I sculpted for work (decorative mouldings) it was a lot of pattern repair/recreation done with body filler and fiberglass resin. Add, roughly shape, cure, carve and smooth, repeat until complete.

 

You can't really do that with Procreate and Greenstuff, or at least not as well. Body filler tools and smooths really well after cure. I've found Aves does tool much better than aforementioned putties, but haven't spent too much time with it yet. I will give the BMPC a run-through, for sure, to help me retrain my brain and work on better habits to address what you've identified.

 

On some of the anatomical points, I looked back through my process pics and you're right, I did turn the feet in. He's not supposed to be hunching forward, more of a squatting back onto the left foot. The (wire) feet do follow orientation of the femur. As I bulked up the armature, the mass didn't really follow my original plan for the pose and it looks like I reworked them to face forward. I'll try to anticipate these issues on my next go-round, as well as adjusting proportion.

 

Thanks for the book recommendation - I've browsed for some and haven't felt confident they'd suit my purpose. A recommendation from someone doing this kind of work feels more reliable.

 

On the boots, I see what you're saying. Aside from issues in execution, part of why is they're supposed to be a specific item this character wears and they're fluffy:

 

winterlands.jpeg.9ad5000b3225790ed828f48631610537.jpeg

 

I do wonder what's up with my photography, because neither the fur nor the hair translate well compared to what I see on the figure in person. I used a similar technique as you described in the hair comment, but I'll work on that too. The laces are for sure just poor.

 

Re: the mage's pose - you saying "fencing" means I hit my mark. He's reading aloud and stepping forward as if giving an enthusiastic reading of a poem or play. The only reason his other hand isn't out and gesturing is because of the hidden crossed fingers, a detail borne of conversations with the character's player.

 

Re: the stick - I'm the caster, so I added it! :) I was in a rush for the application deadline, and hadn't done any two-part molds or 3D casting in years (my molding/casting was all 2.5D for the moulding work, so I didn't need vents). I was pulling at old wisps of instruction and that was the form it took. I have since remembered some alternatives, so it's gone now. I made some other goofs with the mold for the dwarf anyway, so now I'm in process of making molds for both figures.

 

Thanks again. Having these direct insights from folks such as yourself is so great. I'll do my best to integrate it all on the next attempts.

Edited by CivilDungeoneer
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On 7/5/2019 at 9:36 PM, ketil said:

Hi all.

 

This is an amazing idea, it is always hard to find good criticism and good criticism is how we get better.

 

So a little bit about this sculpt, I had been doing almost all 28mm and decided that I would like to do something a bit bigger, this guy 54mm to the eyes. In my wanderings around the internet, I collect artwork that I think looks cool and would like to sculpt. I found this picture by ZsoltKosa and as Sculptember was coming up I thought I would try and do it in 30 days. 

 

It's done in polymer clay, I can't remember if it was Beesputty, Supersulpty, Fimo or a mix of some of them. I was going for more of an art piece, as opposed to a wargaming one, that would be fun to paint.

 

I'm looking forward to hearing what you guys think.

 

Ketil

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Sorry about the delay, I've been slammed lately.  It's summer house project season and a month before ReaperCon, so I have no free time right now.

 

First barrel:

This mini is fantastic.  Frankly, it could be sold to a mini house as is.  Your putty work is nice and smooth, the fabrics all flow nicely and look realistic.  Your buld on the spear is excellent.  Frankly, you should be very proud of this piece.

 

Second Barrel:

I'm not going to comment on the composition at all.  Frankly, I liked it as it is, but @Rainbow Sculptor is the queen of composition, so listen to her on that, not me.  Heck I run a lot of my own armatures past her just to check.

I have only 2 issues.  The gloves and boots.  Really is it the same issue, they have no seams or details.  Basically they look like molded rubber gloves and boots, which don't really fit the desert theme.  Also as Christine said, the feet are a few sizes too big for the model and thus detract from the amazing face and head you want us all to be looking at.

 

Over all, very well done.  As I said, I think you could produce and sell him as is.  

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@TaleSpinner Sorry Im realy bad at replying, I think the first barrel from you and @Rainbow Sculptor may have freaked me out a little bit.

 

With the boots and gloves, I was trying to go for a heavy polished lether feel, but I never thought about seams. Its amasis me how much of a diffrenth these little detalys  make.

 

And agen thanks to @TaleSpinner and @Rainbow Sculptor for taking the time, you have rely helped.

 

Ketil

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@ketil, I didn't want to say anything, because I'm no sort of sculptor at all. But since I didn't see anything from the people who are:

 

It looks to me like your figure's arms are not the right proportion (or maybe it's the torso?) At any rate, human arms with the hands folded into fists don't extend as far down the leg as here when the legs are basically straight.

 

That said, the good parts of this figure are absolutely excellent (I include the stance, which I think works very well to evoke an attitude). With the proportionality issues fixed, I would happily spend money for this figure.

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