I love both Silas and Artemis, don't get me wrong! But I'm also really entertained by the difference between these two, especially considering that they're built on identical resin bases, with identical resin and silicone parts.
Here we get a little peek under the skin, as it were. For Artemis (and her brother Garm) I extended the top of the head back and made ruffs out of foam, made the ears out of Varaform and felt instead of Foamies, and used the ear vents as bases/supports for the ears instead of sewing the vents in afterwards. The ears are glued onto and supported by the foam instead of the resin base, which allows more flexibility with their size and shape. I got this idea from Stuffed Panda Studios, and the designs of the ears and ruffs are adapted from her designs. Credit where credit is due!
Process pics. Ears freshly assembled, being inspected by the Feline Assistance and Cat Hair Distribution Department.
Foam added to the top of the head, ears partially glued on. Does this dude look weird or what?
Cheek fluffs added, and approved by the Feline Assistance Department. The triangular part under the chin helps with patterning the neck later on, and is cut off afterwards.
Brother and sister with ears and foam added, ready for patterning!
Photographing my first partial "Silas" for sale presented new challenges. I have an indoor tabletop setup to take pictures of smaller things, such as masks, eBay sales items and (not so) occasionally model horses. Unfortunately, the basement where I have my setup is too small with too low of a ceiling to be able to photograph an entire figure. My first thought was the great outdoors, but the lighting can be hit or miss, especially with a dark object like Silas.
The advantage of an indoor setup is that you can play with the floodlights until you get the lighting exactly the way you want it, and you don't need to put on the mask until you are happy with how the lighting looks. (Plus you don't even need to get dressed to go outside!) The backdrop material is fairly thin, and in these practice photos above and below you can see a square of light from a window shining through. We waited until dark for the official photoshoot, though as it turned out it wasn't difficult to edit the square out either.
Above, my daughter mugging it up, and the first attempt to remove the green screen with GIMP. The urban backdrop on the right is one we cut and pasted from online to give this all a whirl.
And, TA DAAAAH! The original greenscreen photographs with the finished pictures on the new backgrounds.
All I can say for learning GIMP is, GIMP Workshop baby!!! These videos were very easy to follow and the guy's voice was very calm and soothing, which helped keep me from freaking out and throwing my computer out the window on more than one occasion. Especially helpful were these videos- this one on how to remove an object from its background and this one on how to remove a furry object from its background. This one, in addition to being about removing an object from its background also had info about how to make simple shadows and remove colored reflections (like the green on Silas' fur and jacket).
Below, images made with this second background photo. And more GIMP workshop videos that were helpful: These three on the Path Tool, a basic operation on GIMP, video one, video two and video three. And a video about how to make shadows, though this one turned out to be more elaborate and complicated than I really needed. The shadows underneath Silas in these finished photos were all created with GIMP.
I decided I wanted to do a collage of all my photos for Silas' auction. The photo below was meant to be the background for the collage. In it I learned to do a cool new thing called the Orton effect, a somewhat blurry, dreamy, and light-filled affair.
And TA DAAAAHHHH!!!! Finished GIMP photos. I'm very happy to say that Silas' auction was successful and he has since gone on to a new home.
Geez, I had no idea it's been so long since I've updated my blog! But I have been working steadily and hope to have a new mask to auction soon. Part of the holdup was having a place to paint.
Above, the top for the booth. (Check out how dirty the filter got after only a few uses!) I made the top out of 1/4" plexiglass, not the insulation as in the Fine Woodworking article, as I wanted to be able to get as much light as possible in the booth. Portland Glass cut a piece to my specifications for around $30. I made a "lip" out of the insulation and hot glued it to the plexi to help keep it in place.
And, ready to rock and roll! Let's get this party started!