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    This year for halloween all to many of my friends and family were getting excited about costumes. I offered to have some of them come down to the studio after hours and work on personal costume projects. A good time was had by all. Over the course of a few weeks (2 nights a week) we put together some pretty creative projects. Many still aren’t done. Including my personal project, “Carl”.

    Like many, I’m a huge fan of all things animation. I earned a degree in computer animation in college and it was set to be my profession, until I started to understand how much you have to sit still, and work on almost the same thing every day. I have a lot of respect for those that can do this, and I’m a huge fan of anything animated. But it wasn’t for me. I needed to be creating something new, always, which is a big part of how I got into doing what I’m doing.

    This project is one I’ve been wanting to do for years. There just wasn’t time to work on it, and if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right. I still had to cut a few corners because of limited time to work on it between actual paying projects. But so far, it’s looking great!

    To start, I took some reference images of Carl Fredricksen from the Pixar Animation “UP”. Then I sculpted Carl’s head from an oilbased modeling clay. I’d never worked with oilbased clay’s before in this fasion, so this was a new experience that I enjoyed very much.

    Here is the finished sculpture with some simple paper glasses to verify scale.

    After the small scale sculpture is complete, we did a 3D scan of the entire head.

    After scanning, some post scan cleanup to smooth out areas can be done.  This saves time after machining but we always have a little bit of handy work that must be done after the machining is complete anyway.  Then the file is scaled, and setup for toolpathing in Vectric Aspire.

    This makes for an easy routed file and the Shopbot CNC has no problem sculpting the foam with the same precision I did with the clay…Only much, much larger.

    After some manual sculpting and cleaning up the seams left from piecing things together, the sculpture can be hardcoated and painted.

    More detail and real hair and eyebrows were applied to the sculpture (now a mask) to make it more authentic.

    My dad stopped by the studio to try it on last night.  Looks pretty authentic.  And the costume might need less padding than I originally thought.  – (Love ya Dad!)



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