Majora's Mask

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MrGreene

Well-Known Member
With the upcoming re-release of one of my favorite games ever made, I decided now would be a great time to start one of my 'holy grail' projects: Majora's Mask.

No Zelda game has ever affected me quite the same way as Majora's Mask, most notably because of its extremely dark and serious atmosphere.
To those who've played the game, the mask itself evokes a sense of dread and unsettling creepiness, but let's be honest, the official game art doesn't quite do that creepiness justice. It just looks a little too clean and happy:
majora__s_mask_by_kaminekro-d532iet.jpg
I wanted to capture the sense of dark and gritty terror that the mask is supposed to evoke, and while there is lots of non-official art that accomplishes this, there's one design that captures it perfectly - the cover art for Theophany's Time's End reorchestration soundtrack (which is absolutely stunning, by the way):
majoraskmaskalbumcover_full.jpg

So, after figuring out some dimensions and compensating for the perspective shift in the image, I started CAD modeling the base features. A few hours' worth of lofts, cuts, sweeps, and curse words, I ended up with a pretty good base shape:

SWbase.jpg
(That reference geometry, though)

With that done, I imported the model into Zbrush for some ultra-high-poly tweaks and hand-sculpted details.
I really wish I could have recorded a sculpt timelapse, but the learning curve for this software is damn near vertical, so I didn't have time to document much of it.
Suffice to say, the model is about 90% complete, with a couple of the spikes finished and ready for prototyping.
Some detail shots:
detail1.jpg detail2.jpg majorasample.jpg

I really liked the idea of the eyes being focused around natural knots in the wood, as though they were the reason the original form.
(Fun fact: the only backstory for the mask was given in a manga adaptation, where it was carved out of the shell and bones of a giant beast, but that's a whole non-canon issue I won't even get into!)


That's it so far. There's still a bit of texturizing to do on the body of the mask, but it's coming along super fast. I hope to start prototyping the parts tomorrow and finish a test assembly this weekend.
 

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Patattack

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looks great! I've seen a lot of replicas of this mask (which is one of my favorite designs in the world of video games), and most of them have the proportions out of whack...but this looks really solid! I'm looking forward to seeing how the physical model turns out.
 

MrGreene

Well-Known Member
I've been doing a few test prints to check how intense the wood grain needs to be in the model to reflect well in the print, and I think I've just about got it set the way I want it.

I decided to put some of the test prints to good use and test some different painting methods. I wanted to see how much texture will show through on the final piece, so I started dry brushing with some basic acrylics. I couldn't be happier with the way the tests look:

IMG_1667.jpg IMG_1669.jpg

The wood grain came out perfect! I honestly had no idea it could look this good, and now I'm insanely excited about finishing this mask.
I'll be using this as my primary reference when I'm mixing the colors for the final piece.
 

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J EM

Well-Known Member
The Time's End Re-orchestration artwork is this real wooden one. For one made of wood, that one is still the best replica I've seen of Majora's Masks.

I'm interested in how your printed one will end up. I've seen other printed masks done but never one as accurate as you're attempting.
 

MrGreene

Well-Known Member
Yeah, the wooden one (made by supermaRiio on deviantart) was based off the Time's End artwork, which was a scene originally modeled by a 3D artist named Cordell Felix.
SupermaRiio's wooden one deviates a little bit from Cordell's design for artistic purposes (it's a little thicker, and the iris/pupils of the eyes bulge a little more), but he pulled it off flawlessly and it's still the best wooden MM replica anyone's made so far. SupermaRiio's other Zelda-inspired work is fantastic too.

I'll start posting progress pics of the final print as soon as the first part finishes here in about five hours (Two 17-hour prints for the base, and 1.5 to 2 hours per spike x10, depending on orientation).

As for carving it out of wood, trust me, I have a devious plan in the works ;)
 

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MrGreene

Well-Known Member
After a couple days of finding something else to work on while my CNC-powered minion went at it, the main body is finally done and welded together. body print 1.jpg

I purposely printed it in ABS in open air, so the natural print grain cracked ever-so-slightly on the smallest edges, giving it even more of an old wood look.
When brushed over the surface, the acetone wash used to weld the pieces together really helps bring out the woodgrain details, which show up great on the inside and the outside:
IMG_1682.jpg IMG_1683.jpg

It looks great by itself, but my only qualm is that when trying to wear it (aside from the lack of eye holes) it feels BIG. The base (minus spikes) is 32cm from left to right.
It's pretty difficult to scale accurately using in-game references, because the mask changes size drastically depending on whether it's on Skull Kid's face, being held, or floating around throwing tentacles at you. This size is perfect for anyone wearing a Skull Kid outfit, but in game all the kids (including Link) are super tiny.
I'm definitely finishing this one, but I think I'll make another one scaled to a more realistic 80-90% to use as the final master.

Now to play with spikes!
 

J EM

Well-Known Member
I don't think anyone in game wearing the mask could actually see out of it through anywhere, unless the mask gave the wearer the power to see through it. The mask's eyes aren't anywhere where the wearer would have theirs, be it Skull Kid or a Moon Child.

To make it any wearable, I've seen people cut out the inner corners of the eyes, or scale the mask from there to match a wearer's interocular distance. I don't think there's any way to scale it to be wearable and end up with a size that is not ridiculous. Most people who make these masks seem to go big on them. So its probably best to end up with a decent size. Maybe see if the mask's size is different, more adult scale, when its being 'held' by the Happy Mask Salesman? There may be difference between that and "imp" size.
 

MrGreene

Well-Known Member
The eyes definitely aren't designed to look out of. They line up with the sides of the head when the mask is on.
MM_Moon_Child_Majora.png
I've decided to take the size down by 12%, which looks just about right when put on a fancy 3D model I made of my head:

Scale Test.jpg

This also puts it at the right scale as when the Happy Mask Salesman is holding it in the end cutscene.
 

MrGreene

Well-Known Member
The new scale looks a lot better. I've started cleaning it up and hit it with a coat of primer to matte it out and bring out the details:
IMG_1685.jpg IMG_1687.jpg IMG_1688.jpg IMG_1689.jpg

I'm in the process of cleaning out the spike mounts so they act as nice snug peg holes for the spikes.
Now it's just a matter of continuing to clean the edges and file out the details, and the base will be pretty much done.
 

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MrGreene

Well-Known Member
Molding time!
I'm using Rebound 25 for this one, and I decided to try out hot glue spots for registration keys.
This will actually be the first two-part jacket mold I've ever made, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something doesn't go horribly wrong!
IMG_1692.JPG IMG_1693.JPG IMG_1695.JPG
 

MrGreene

Well-Known Member
Over the past few days I've been working non-stop to get the mold finished. For the mother mold, I decided to use some plasti-paste that I had laying around, and it worked great.
IMG_1728.JPG
With the mold finished and cleaned, I went ahead and made the first cast with Smooth-On 320 that I pigmented a muddy brown to give it a good base color.
Pouring the resin itself was actually much easier than I expected, and the first cast came out great.
IMG_1729.JPG IMG_1730.JPG

Now, it would have been faster to do a one-piece slush-cast mold of just the outside of the mask, but the extra work was completely worth it.
The Rebound 25 kept the wood detail perfectly on both sides of the mask, and I'm REALLY excited about getting to paint and weather it!
IMG_1731.JPG IMG_1732.JPG

Here's a comparison with the master on the right:
IMG_1734_1.JPG
 

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