Friday, April 8, 2011


I sanded and painted the mask and eyes. I printed some irises on glossy paper then cut them out and glued them to the eye. This really quick animation just proves to me that it works.

There are some modifications that need to be made, but I think all the parts work well enough to move forward with this build. The hair and mouth shapes are next.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My latest 3D prints arrived last night (7 pieces in all). Two eyes, eye holder, mask, back head, main hub, and clamp for neck wire. Everything is keyed except the neck clamp which has two nuts and bolts.

I glued in the little magnets so the mask clicks right into place.

This week I'll explore the issues and work on sanding and painting everything.

I have yet to finish the two hair pieces which will fit into the slots on top of the head, of course the little divots on top don't have the magnets yet.

Really fun!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lipsync with new faces


Here is the Youtube version
There are all the faces I used (just 8 because the "V, B" shape wasn't accepted at first) and a pic of the setup with my G2. The posts on the bottom did not work at all as a key for the masks. One side was too wide and the other was too thin. So I made a clay jig to register each mask using the forehead and eyes.
I realize now that you need to make spaces for magnets and have keys from the very beginning. I also think I need to learn how to animate in Blender so I can test the shapes first. My "A, I" shape is a little too exagerated for my character.
I finished this ahead of schedule and in doing that I sacrificed a few things like designing a skull with magnet registering, testing the mouth shapes in Blender and figuring out the eye issue, but with this kind of work if it's not one thing it's another.
The faces in the lipsync are are out of the box fresh - I didn't sand or paint them. One of them is a little brown from the clay I used as the key. I am going to sand and paint them and continue to work out how the eyes will work.
In the end I think it was good to quickly get these faces printed to just have them and learn from something solid and real.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Awaiting 9 replacement faces from Shapeways

I finally am back on track with my project. I just sent off nine files to Shapeways and I will receive the printed masks after Thanksgiving.
I redesigned the face so it has less detail on the cheeks (rounder and less gaunt). I also put a small post where the neck bone would be that should fit snugly into a 5/32 square brass tube.

The nine faces are in the following mouth shapes:
c, d, g, k, s, etc...
a, i
w, q
f, v
m, b
I'll certainly post when I get the faces.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I decided that I wanted to try the 3D printing thing so I downloaded Blender made a duplicate (tried) of my original head and got it printed up at It turned out pretty well for my first 3D face. I printed the same head in two different materials: White Strong & Flexible (WSF) and White Detail (WD).

WSF and a badly poured plaster original sculpt head on a stick.

White Detail verse White Strong Flexible.

WD is actually slightly translucent and smooth feels almost waxy. WSF looks and feels like fine sugar, you would need to sand it to get it smooth.

As far as the sculpt goes - I put too much detail in the face with the cheek bones and mouth area and frankly it ages him 10 to 20 years. The eyes ended up being too wide as well.

The next run I will subtract the round eyeballs from the mask and try to get my main mouth shapes I worked on for lipsyncing.
I'm not sure which one I will use. I'll test painting before I decide.
The costs are:
White Strong & Flexible $11
White Detail $18.29
These are Shapeway prices for my masks which are about 3/32" thick, but vary up to 3/16" at the forehead. The materials are also Shapeways names.
Fun stuff!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Change in plan

I decided to change the way I will animate my characters head. I was all gung ho about the silicon mask and poured one to test the concept. At first (this was back in Nov 08) I was happy - it looked great, there was an issue with bubbles, but looked good. Then I tested eyebrow movement and the whole eye moved including the eye shape deforming. So now I'm back to using replacement faces. Frankly it doesn't hurt that Coraline pulled it off fantastically. For now I'm sculpting mine by hand, but the 3D printer idea looks totally fun and well, helpful.