I am in the process of switching jobs right now, and my now ex-employer decided to release me two weeks early (on full pay). So with a new job to look forward to and with christmas around the corner I have the leisure to post something for you guys and ladies.
Y U no make?
Since the basement in the flat I've been living in this past year is even damper than the one before that, and because my father's upcoming über-workshop isn't quite done yet, I mostly didn't build anything and instead mostly played Diablo 3. A further excuse could be my long commuting hours (not anymore!).
Can we has new sculptz?
I decided to finally tackle the voted-for immortal. Because I kind of don't like the initially chosen ice-green soap stone (color-wise), I thought I'd do something for my dear readers' amusement and do it in EFFING MARBLE. Yes, the white, classic sculpting stone of antiquity. This is going to be some fun, since marble is also about an order of magnitude harder than alabaster (not to even speak of soap stone). The upside is that it's absolutely drool-worthy once it's done and polished. The immortally enshrined Immortal!
In the tradition of documenting my steps, I'm sharing the initial planning stage today. I literally just took the screenshots and pics you're about to see.
Let me remind you of the immortal. It's that Protoss siege and anti-siege unit, somewhat expensive. Viewed in the SC2 map editor, its model looks like this (360° shots, scaled roughly to same size):
A little problem with the map editor is that you can't really pause animations (at least I couldn't figure out how), so each of the screenshots was taken on separate animation cycles - hence the small deviations from frame to frame.
My next step is to check out the raw stone. I bought this beauty a couple of years ago when I visited my favorite stone shop. Just out of curiosity I asked for its price (thinking snow white marble would be expensive) and they told me 10€. I bought it without thinking twice about how I was ever going to work on it.
This row of pics shows 360° shots corresponding to the immortal angles. They're sized roughly to the same scale, but it's not quite that easy with perspective and foreshortening. I usually use vertical scale markers on edges in the foreground of the pic (colored lines) and scale those to the same height. Close enough, usually.
Once that's done, I superimpose the model shots over the stone shots and scale the model up so that it will just fit into the stone (with a bit of margin).
This feeds right into blocking out the sculpture. I'm a computer person, so I usually block out on the screen before copying that onto the stone. Blocking out means to roughly sketch what parts of the raw material can be removed without damaging the areas needed for the sculpture.
Regardless of what the screenshots show, I have now decided to have the front right leg of the immortal extended (it's retreating toward the rear left) because that fits into the stone better (longish outcropping). Originally I planned a retreat towards the rear right, but hell. I flipped the shots where I could and ignored the rest. Also, the Immortal will be facing in the direction it's retreating from and aiming up some degrees (red lines; I don't mind they can't shoot air units. Mine can. Or maybe it's facing a Gigantolisk.)
When I'm somewhat satisfied that my virtual blocking out has passed my sanity checks and the pose sufficiently tickles my fancy to spend a few dozen hours on the project, I copy the blocking out onto the stone with a crayon.
Note that this is a bit problematic, since you usually have to remove stuff from all directions: You can't draw all blocks onto the stone and use them as guides, since if you start from the top view, you will have removed the right, left, front and back parts that you drew the other views on. I usually draw them on anyway to help improve my internal 3D model.
In this pic I'm holding up a piece of paper (folded to the correct size) as a gauge. Was actually a bit tricky to take the pic at the same time without jittering too much for the bad lighting conditions ;-)
The areas hatched red will be removed. The horizontal line marks the separating line of upper and lower half of the sculpture.
I decided to start top down, so the sculpture has a solid base to stand on while I clobber away at it. The immortal model looks a bit top-heavy for its legs and the thin "hip" area, so I might have to cheat some with the proportions. Starting with the torso, I can remove most material from the top and first reduce the weight that will have to be supported by the legs later on. Maybe, if the weight turns out to appear too great to risk breaking the legs off, I might install a metal support to rest the weight of the torso on, so the legs won't have to carry much. The same support could be used to hold up the shield that's still intended to be translucent blue alabaster.
I have resolved to use my ten remaining days of pre-christmas vacation at least partially productively and intend to work on the immortal for some hours every other day or so. I'm totally out of training and my arms and shoulders will probably kill me on the off-days ;-)
I'm considering to take a mold of the original and make a small number of numbered and signed casts. Those could go to caster-hosted tournaments with a sign-up fee that would then go to a charity. Maybe, just maybe, I might actually part with the original. Any casters interested?
Comments or questions so far?