Thursday, December 23, 2010

Corpser first sketch on paper (Scale 1:24)

I just tried a first sketch on paper with the monster i have to build up for my last sequences.  It's called a "Corpser" in the Gears of War's world.  It looks like a giant spider.  I was lucky enough to find someone (<  Profess >) on the Epicgames forum to send me some pictures of it from the game, with a human standing on his side. 

The point was to be able to build it with the proper scale, comparing it to my character that is 3 inches tall.  After some arithmetics, the results was that it needs to be 21 inches tall by 15 inches wide (without it's legs).  Kindda big...  I need to say that from begining of my project, the idea was to put everything on the same scale (1:24).

I didn't draw the eight legs on this paper sketch.  They fit in the six holes that you can see and two more comes from the sides.  In this position, the creature is leaning a bit forward.  The head isn't big enough by the way, and the point here was not to do a great drawing, but to get familiar with the proportions of each body parts.  I'm kindda shy to show this after digging all the afternoon Jeff Lafferty's blog :)    

I wasn't really sure that it's was a good idea to build it with Super Sculpty anymore...  Super Sculpty allows the creation of tiny details, but with a beast of this size, it would have had to heavy legs to animate them properly.  It would have also required too much material and would have end up too expensive.  My wife was joking when i told her about my problem, when she told me that i could use "papier mache" to built it...  It's not a very bad idea, but i don't think it would have fit very well with the all the other kind of materials i've use so far.  I also need to say that i only need this puppet in two sequences that are two and four seconds long, so i don't want it to be too expensive and too complicated to build.

I'm now more into the idea to sculpt it smaller, maybe at 6-8 inches high, with Super Sculpty and use clay for the joints.  For the armature, i'll use twisted wires.  Even if i'm not very comfortable with the idea, i'll shoot the sequence that includes both the beast and the character on two differents layers and combine them in post-production.  I'll probably use a green screen for that.

The final sculpt should look like that.

Putting LED lights inside the skull would be very nice, but i think that's a big challenge enough even if there isn't, so i'll probably pass on that.


  1. Make the beast full scale size. It will be EPIC!!! Have you considered using upholstery foam for the bulky parts? That would keep it light, and cheap. And if you dipped it in liquid latex a few times, it would create that plastic toy look. I'm currently making a 12" puppet this way (the head, at least). I'll post pics on my blog in the next few days. Good luck with the Corpser.

  2. Whoa! That's going to be one epic puppet! Can't wait to see what you come up with... this is going to be GREAT!

  3. Eek! That's a fearsome creature, can't wait to see wat the result will be when you finish it.

  4. Whoa! That thing is going to be huge!

  5. Yeah, that thing will be an awesome puppet if i can replicate it nicely. I have some doubts about it, but i'll do my best. It's my first experience as a sculptor. I'm still not sure what i'll use for building it. I'm still digging all your blogs and the internet to find the proper way.

    Dean: I'm not sure for the latex, but i'll still wait to see your tests results on your blog before doing anything.

    Jon: If you were doing it, that would be for sure an Epic puppet :)

    Ludo: I'll post progress pictures while doing it.

    Terrymation: I'm at 95% sure that i'll don't do it at a 1:24 scale. It's too big and i have to animate it on a set that will be bigger.

  6. Holy smokes man, your defiantly back with a bang! That’s some great concept work, can’t wait to see it moving around.

  7. Wow! This is big! It's a really big job! Maybe to safe a lot of energy and clay. You could do it in CG... (just an idea). Merry Christmas Vincent!


    love it man.....what a monster.


  9. Tight, mang, tight. I looked at your vids pre-rig removal. Got some clever stuff going on there.

    If your into animation cheats, here's one I use constantly;

    Note blue thread attached to spindle (spindle tightened down with a nylon-insert lock nut); can move things in tiny, easy increments. Stole the idea from an old Japanese stop-motion.

    You got any cheats, lemme know. I love cheatin'.

  10. depending on how the shot is framed you might be able to pull off the full sized puppet. Does the creature ever appear fully in the frame? If not you can build 1:24 pieces of the creature. If you need the whole creature doing some complicated movement, you could try a similar rig that you use for the running sequences. If you use an empty box, and/or mattress foam to bulk out the form, some twisted wire for the arms and sculpey for the details, the size of the creature could make it easier to animate because you are not fumbling around with tiny limbs. animating the two characters together, in addition to being epic from a visual/technical perspective, it will also make those shots look more consistent with the rest of the film.

  11. Alex: Yeah, big job but a nice challenge too.

    Jeff and Justin: Yeah, a very kewl monster and i also can't wait to see it moving.

    Andrew: Thanks for the spindle tip. That gives me a nice idea about using something like that.

    Benjamin: Your comment made me rethink about my first idea of doing at 1:24. Yeah, i could use a similar rig as used before and like you said, fumbling around with tiny limbs isn't really nice. I can tell you because, all my previous animations were done with my 3 inches character and animating something that big will be pretty much easier. Consistency is also a word that i like. Thanks you very much. You enlightened my way of solving this issue. I may also use latex for some parts as Dean suggested.

  12. You could definitely use a green screen
    with smaller scale puppet. I've done that hundreds of times. It will work very well if you just take care of the lighting.


  13. Just a note on the super sculpy...if you use foil to flesh it out the weight shouldn't be the problem...the real problem is that it is VERY brittle and cracks and breaks pretty easily once baked..which would be an issue for all the moving required...I look forward to the results!!!

  14. I was planning doing some baking tests before going on with the real thing. I've heard that after it's baked, it is rock solid... I will do tests with a 1/4 inch of Super Sculpty over hardened clay and on styrofoam pieces. I hope the styrofoam will resist and doesn't melt or get deformed. Thanks for the note Brine.