Friday, December 04, 2009

Who does your taxes?

Finished it. The motivation behind me wanting to learn to sculpt was to have something to send to the "Hey You Guys" art auction. Now that it is done, however, I decided not to send it. This sculpt was a huge learning process and I would like to have a bit more practice before sending these things off into the wild. I learned a lot of good techniques from a lot of helpful people and I learned a lot of what works and doesn't work from this experience so I will apply that to the next sculpt. Here are some final shots.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I used to have a roomate, but my mom moved to florida...

Haven't touched this for over a month, but I need to get this done. I went through and added some more detail to the hand, the face and I began to smooth out the pack. Had some good tips from some people. The biggest things that have helped have been:
  • keeping the clay cold to make it easier to get corners. The fridge works, or if you are pressed for time, I recommend using dust buster for keyboards
  • the exact-o knife has become my favorite sculpting tool
I also remembered that we had a "Lazy Susan" that was going to the Goodwill, but instead I ripped it apart and created a little turn-table to work on.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Latest progress on the sculpt....

It is going much better. I tore off most of the clay and thinned down the armature a lot. The sculpt is less bulky now and that is more in line with what I had originally designed. Sculpey is very pliable and my sweaty hands make it even more so. That makes it difficult to work on the non-organic parts like the proton pack. Any time I make a hard edge I end up mushing it up. I was told that throwing it in the fridge for 10 mins. or so it will harden up enough to work on the details without smooshing the rest of it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Learning as I go....

Oh, trial and error: You teach me so much. I was not satisfied with how bulky the maquette got one I added the clay so I ripped most of it off and slimmed down the foil thickness underneath. There are some important things I will not forget the next time I try one of these.

* Don't go for the complete silhouette in the armature. Get the pose down and some slight foil thickness so that the clay has something to grab, but definitely leave plenty of room for the clay.
* Make sure to keep the wire away from the surface. It is easy to compress the foil down when you need more room to work with but if wire is hitting the surface then there is a problem getting around that without adding a lot of clay. As you can see above, I tried to remedy by cutting pieces of the wire that stuck out. It mostly worked with the exception of the piece I cut out of the torso that was holding the leg on. Whoops.
* Mind the anatomy that you will have to build. Elbows and Knees have to be higher on the limbs than I would expect. I think my eye forms the implied contour of the design when I am just looking at the wire and that throws off the proportions. What I mean is, I bent the wire of the elbow to be about where I would expect the elbow bone to be protruding. Once I added the clay it made the upper arm about 1/4 inch longer than I wanted it to be. I did a similar thing with where the legs connect with the pelvis. I didn't leave any room to sculpt up the muscle of the glutes and how the pants hangs around them.

I will try to fix as much of these as possible as I go, but boy it will be nice to start fresh on the next one.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


I've got the basic shape all blocked out. It's not quite going how I drew it up, but there is a lot I would do differently if I were to start over. Tomorrow I'll start refining some of the shapes. The hardest part so far was foreseeing how much the design was going to change from armature to clay blocking. In the current state the sculpt is a lot bulkier than I had drew it up. I built up the armature too much. I was so bent on getting the pose and silhouette right in the armature phase that I didn't leave much room to layer the sculpey. Oh well, now I know.

Learning process...

Taking up a new hoby...

Trying out sculpting. I've never done it before and I now wish that I had taken the Character Design class back in college so that I had more knowledge of how to do this.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Camping: mustache style...

(Me being mustach-tic. I was surprised that I
could even grown one of these)

(My stache was nothing compared to brother Adam's)

(Brother Matt is more in my league when it comes to facial hair
growing, but he forgot that mustaches were requried for the trip. If you
zoom in really clost you can see the faintest dirt-stache)

(Sister Sarah was exempt from growing a mustache for the weekend)

Traveled back to PA for the yearly trip home. The Suroviec clan just keeps getting bigger so my time was spent (as usual) visiting relatives. My brother Adam planned a camping trip for us at Red Oaks campgrounds. We used to go there all the time when we were kids. My Papa had a hunting cabin near the campgrounds, but unfortunately they sold it several years ago and no one in my family was able to buy it at that time. We got to visit the cabin though. The folks who own it now were very friendly and gave us a tour of the inside.

(Chloe, Scooby and me in the canoe and Adam in the Kayak)

The whole weekend was a trip down memory lane and a great opportunity to just sit, cook, eat, drink, chat and relax with all of my siblings. We even had time for several games of teather ball.





The family is growing so big. I have all of these beautiful nieces and nephews, and another niece on the way, all made possible by the beautiful in-laws.

(Reba trying to tell me to stop taking picutres of her)

(Norma deep in conversation)

(Joshie trying to get everyone to smile for the camera)

I can't wait until next year. Hopefully we can go camping again.

4Mations Contest Runner Up

A month or so ago I submitted my short film "Furnick" to a online competition at I just got back from my time off to discover that I was a runner up in said competition. Woo!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Comic-con 2009 Highlights...

-Lots of people
-Bought a Beaker action figure
-Had dinner with Charlie from Mighty Ducks, Syler/Spock, and the Steward of Gondor
-Brit and I ran into Elijah Wood... went something like this:

Friday, February 27, 2009


Haven't posted in a while, I've been very busy at work and very busy at home working on personal projects. So back in Nov., the game I spent 2 years working on was released, Tomb Raider: Underworld. Since then I have moved on to another project, where I have been able to start working from a nearly clean slate. When I started at Crystal, TR:U was nearly finished with preproduction, and it was my first job ever so needless to say, mistakes were me. I was trained in film, and as an animator and I felt I knew that pipeline pretty well from my schooling, but this was a game studio pipeline that I knew nothing of when I started. I learned TONS of priceless lessons by going through that experience, and two years later we shipped a game with a functional pipeline. It's great to take what I have learned over the past two years and start fresh from the beginning of a project. My co-workers and I have accomplished so much so far and I am excited for what we have in mind down the road. Meanwhile, many of the people who worked on TR:U are still plugging away to bring the fans some download-able content available on the Xbox 360 which is looking good.

Meanwhile, when I'm not watching Brit work on her paintings for WonderCon, I have been trying my best to help out with Joe's project. He is making a trailer for a concept he has been developing called Star Fish Ninja. I have been helping out with the rigging, and I can't wait till you guys can see it.

I also have been passing the time teaching myself how to model. I haven't modeled since my Sophomore year when I just shoved cylinders and spheres together.

It has been really helpful as a Rigger to do some modeling. I have learned a lot about how to model for good deformation, and it has also been good practice for translating someone else's design into 3d. Brit was kind enough to let me work on one of her Hawaiian god's Kane. Here is the painting and my work in progress.

Anyways, that is what I have been up to. Learning lots and being greatful for the opportunity to do so.