POTA inspired Gorilla masks

Discussion in 'Sculpture and Makeup Effects' started by SpaceCowboy, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    As a long-time classic POTA fan, ever since I stumbled upon Jessica's Cornelius thread http://www.therpf.com/f24/cornelius-planet-apes-120680/ I've been itching to sculpt my own Cornelius mask. I haven't had the time, but I've come up with a project that will allow me to create two separate foam latex gorilla masks inspired from the Planet of the Apes. Although I did want to do Cornelius, gorillas are awesome so I'm pretty stoked about it (not to mention that unlike a chimpanzee, I can skip having to do the ears). The sculpts will just be generic gorillas, not Urko, Ursus, Marcus, or any specific characters.

    The first gorilla appliance will be for myself. Although I'd like to skip any prep and start sculpting from day one, I started off this weekend by doing a functional life mask mold - functional from the sense that the life mask will only be what is on the inside of the foam latex, so it doesn't have to be perfect or smooth. I therefore skipped the alginate step completely and used only plaster cloth. The only prep was rubbing my face generously with petroleum jelly. I did the entire process in about 40 minutes start to finish, applying about 4-5 layers. It was a simple process, so much so that I did everything by myself without any assistance.

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    I started laying strips on the outside and worked my way in. Obviously, since I was doing everything solo, I saved the eyes for last. I purposely freaked out my daughter and couldn't help but laugh a little, so the whole lower half of my face was already loosened and dry before I even got to the eyes. I admit I didn't let my eyes dry for long enough, so after I peeled off the mold I had to touch the eye area up a bit with plaster, but only to help with the separation process, as the eye area is irrelevant.

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    Side view

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    Interior view

    The green lines above represent a secondary step where I added to the cast - adding plaster cloth (folded in double layers) to the space above my hairline in order to increase the volume of the casting pour. This was an easy solution that allowed me to have the volume I needed while skipping the head wrapping when casting.

    The interior will be sprayed with liberal coatings of Krylon clear gloss sealer, and then tomorrow night I'll wipe the interior with petroleum jelly and pour the positive cast in plaster paris. Lord willing, Tuesday night I'll begin the sculpting process with sculpey. In the mean time... I'll be gathering plenty of gorilla reference pics.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  2. made007

    made007 Sr Member

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    Looking forward to the next update, i want to see some clay! ;), ill be watching this one, the new pota movie inspired me to do the predator helmet based on a gorilla
     
  3. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Hi made007, a gorilla based predator helmet would be very cool. Go for it!

    The pull of the life mask was successful - hopefully no air pockets!
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    Tomorrow night I hope to have time to start the gorilla sculpt. I put together a reference collage to work from. The two faces outlined in red are about the proporations I'm going for.
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    The POTA gorillas have all sorts of looks, but I'm probably going with a mid-sized muzzle, not narrow like Urko's. However, I think I'll model the nose and wrinkles off of Urko. A lot of gorillas, particularly Aldo (in lower left of above pic), seem to have a really smooth jaw, which I think looks a little unbalanced with the rest of the face -so I'm going to go with a wrinkly jaw.

    Can't wait to start!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  4. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Yesterday I created a base with four keys for the life mask...

    MOD EDIT: Link removed due to a virus alert

    ... and tonight I worked on the sculpt. I don't know what on earth possessed me to pick up Sculpey, I've forgotten how soft it is. I should have gotten Super Sculpee Firm or some clay, but I was in a rush in the store.

    This is just a first pass. I'll take a look at it in the morning with fresh eyes and see what changes I need to make to it. I'm definitely going to make the nose quite a bit smaller, and will probably make the jaw a little smaller and brow bigger... it's a start, at least.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  5. made007

    made007 Sr Member

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    Looking good, thats the same sculpey you can bake? I bought some at walmart, good stuff for small proyects
     
  6. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Yes, that is indeed the same Sculpey. I also bought it at Walmart, because it's so cheap there... in fact it was right next to plaster cloth selling for $4 a pop that I just spent twice as much on at the art store... oh well...

    Anyways, I have a love-hate relationship with Sculpey because it's SO soft that it's hard to get good detail and also easy to damage your sculpt. On the flip side, it's also very easy add and detract to your sculpt (as I did this morning), not messy, and since I need to peel this sculpt out after I mold it (because of a ton of undercuts), it'll be very easy to do that (I'd love to bake it and preserve the sculpt when finished, but then it'd never come out of the mold!).

    If detail and firmness are in issue, I'd go with Super Sculpey FIRM, but you'll probably have to get that at an arts / craft store.

    Anyways, back to the sculpt. I should have never started work on it when I was so exhausted like last night... when I saw the pictures I took of it, it was immediately obvious that my proportions were way off. Just darn UGLY!!!! I've adjusted the nose, forehead, muzzle and jaw and I think the proportions are close now to where I want them. I'm imagining a pair of teeth in there, and I think it's pretty decent. I'll start with the detailing next.


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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  7. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Well, I cleaned this feller up some and here's where he stands now. I think I'm going to make teeth for him tomorrow so I can get a better overall feel for him.

    MOD EDIT: Link removed due to virus alert

    This weekend I plan on making the second life-mask for gorilla number two... it'll be interesting to see how a different face dictates a different gorilla.
     
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  8. Korban

    Korban Member

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    Okay, everyone remain calm, but... I've never seen the original Planet of the Apes. In fact, I've only seen the 2011 version, and that was last week. I feel like I really need to get on that now.

    I'm excited to see a new project from SpaceCowboy, and this one is turning out to be really cool. Not a sculptor myself, I've always been impressed by the awesome things people can do with it.

    QFE, I'm looking forward to seeing those results, too.
     
  9. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Wow, you have been deprived! You definitely have to check out the 1968 Planet of the Apes! As a kid I was nuts about the Planet of the Apes, and I still love all the classic films and the television show! I didn't like the Tim Burton adaptation that much (even though I generally love Burton) and while I thought the 2011 version was very good, it pales when compared to the original, which was revolutionary in its time for makeup and special effects and created a pop culture phenomenon - the new adaptation is just another CGI film... It could have been a lot better if they took makeup applications to the next level instead of relying just on 3D.
     
  10. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    I made some chompers for the gorilla. I think the addition of teeth does take it up a notch. I may cheat and use the same teeth mold for the second gorilla (I doubt anyone will notice).

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    This puppy goes on the back burner for a while as I concentrate on setting up the life mask for gorilla number two.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  11. Jessica

    Jessica Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow. This looks gorgeous!
     
  12. yodakiller1138

    yodakiller1138 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking good. But technically the teeth on the real appliances were made seperately out of resin and glued in. You're going to have a hard time making a mold with the teeth in their.
     
  13. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Thanks for the compliments!

    The teeth are separate units, made from baked sculpey; they're just sitting in there loose. I was planning to cast the teeth out of liquid latex and glue them in. I thought, however, that the original teeth were slush latex, am I mistaken?

    I prepped the life mask for the second gorilla over the weekend and will be posting pics later. Tomorrow I'll start the second sculpt... then I'll go back to fine tuning the first one, add the bleeding channels and whatnot.
     
  14. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Armed with plaster of paris, plaster cloth, vaseline, and sculpey, I take on the second life mask

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    My friend jury-rigged a whisk to a power drill that alleviated the woes of the plaster hardening too quickly when hand stirred. It works like a charm!

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    The plaster cast is held up on sculpey pegs, with sculpey keys added at the four compass points.

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    The base plate has been poured, and this puppy's now ready for sculpting!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  15. ArtisanProps

    ArtisanProps Sr Member

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    * that looks great! your right, the teeth add a whole new level to this
    sculpt. Great work.:thumbsup
     
  16. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Seriously, if you mold that piece as-is with the backing and teeth in place - if that's possible - that would be an awesome wall-hanger.
     
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  17. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Ha! Thanks, that's a cool idea... I may do that! First, though, I want to get the prosthetic appliances done.

    Here's some shots of gorilla number two. By request, he has a narrower muzzle.

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    His nose is lower, more like some of the gorillas from Conquest of the POTA. After comparing it with the first sculpt, though, I think that I'm going to raise the nose up some.

    Then I want to go back and play with Gorilla number one again, particularly rework his muzzle some, as I'm not satisfied with it yet.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  18. Slave1

    Slave1 Sr Member

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    I love it! If you DID offer the first face up as a resin wall hanger, I'd get one!
     
  19. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Thanks, Slave1, I'll definitely keep that in mind.

    I'm going to do some overhauls! I was going through the POTA television show looking for references, and looking at reference shots on a moving actor seems to have a total different effect than looking at still shots, the gorilla muzzles appear smaller than I imagined them to be... (actually, even smaller than I like, as one thinks of the gorillas as big and tough) I need to resize the muzzles (especially gorilla no. 1) and probably have to redo the teeth as well...
     
  20. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    I think using reference from different films and the TV series is a bad idea. Stick to one film and one character pr version you are doing. Trying to merge the different sculpts in the movies into your stuff will make it difficult to get yours accurate - unless you want it to be a amalgam of all the styles.

    Your first style looks to be inspired by the first two films, while the second style seems to be from the later movies, where the make-up work wasn't as well made as before due to the financial constraints.

    I like the looks you have now on the two styles, but understand your wish to go further and improve... just choose your reference carefully and stick to one look pr style, if that makes sense.
     
  21. Slave1

    Slave1 Sr Member

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    I think it works very well. The first one looks very Aldo-ish except for the wrinkles on the chin.
     
  22. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Thanks for your input, I can see your points. Mixing it up from different sources is definitely making my head spin... and that's what I was doing, taking wrinkles from this one, nose from that one, jaw from this one, brows from that one...

    To make matters worse, all my POTA movies are buried in storage, and I only have the TV Series to go through for reference.

    If I "do" stick to single reference characters, I want "gorilla one" to look classic and "gorilla two" to look mean. The meanest looking gorilla I can come up with is Zon from the episode "The Deception"... he's definitely mean looking, but maybe too ugly. I could do without the crooked jaw, but I do love that scar. Maybe I could do the upper face of Zon, but with a regular jaw.
    [​IMG]

    A cool classic gorilla for gorilla number one could be the Sergeant from "The Legacy":
    [​IMG]

    But then you get back to the fact that there's limited footage of each character, so you've got to fill in pieces with your imagination...
     
  23. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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  24. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Thanks Too Much Garlic, very good reference!

    -------------

    For all those who liked Gorilla #1, sorry, but he's had major facial reconstruction. I am much happier with this version, inspired from the TV Show gorillas.

    MOD EDIT: Link removed due to virus alert
    He has no teeth as of yet (the other teeth are too big), so he can only eat bananas! I'm going to do the molding this weekend - I discovered that the Sculpey was getting hard and brittle - I think the plaster must have soaked the oil from it - I couldn't resculpt the forehead or cheeks at all because of this and had to rip them off. Hence, I want to mold this puppy before it starts to get hard and split on me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  25. Jessica

    Jessica Well-Known Member

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    There is no denying that is a Planet of the Apes gorilla!! yay!!
     
  26. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Gorilla #2 has been touched up in preparation for molding.
    He's a mean one... just wait till he gets his fangs.
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    And here's the gorilla brothers; #1 and #2
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  27. yodakiller1138

    yodakiller1138 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking good. Only problem I see is you have to thin the edges on the sculpt so you can blend the appliance to the skin better.
     
  28. xaoslord

    xaoslord Well-Known Member

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    This looks great! I think I like gorilla #2 a touch more. The profile of the muzzle seems to be a bit more subtle. Can't wait to see how these look once they're done.
     
  29. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Yeah, I do need to thin out some of the blending areas, but regular Sculpey isn't cutting it... the plaster of paris life masks are a little slick and you can't work with the sculpey on it when it's thin. I need to pick up some Super Sculpey FIRM to touch up all the edge work. I won't use regular sculpey on this type of project again, as it is way to soft, easy to damage/distort, can't work thin, and on the plaster it looses oil and starts to dry and split.

    I did try to make the gorillas look distinct from each other, so yes, there are some marked differences.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  30. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Does anyone have any suggestions for a good release agent on the sculpts for when I pour the plaster mold? I was just going to spray the sculpts with a Krylon sealer and then rub on vaseline, but I've added a lot of delicate details to the sculpts (with Super Sculpey, which stays very soft) and I really think I need a spray solution - if I rub anything on the sculpts I'll damage the details.
     
  31. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Finally found a little time to work on some detaling. Here's gorilla no. 1.
    I used Super Sculpey for the detailing, as the art store I went to was out of Super Sculpey Firm.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  32. Jessica

    Jessica Well-Known Member

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    Looks wonderful!
     
  33. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Thanks, Jessica!

    -------

    I finally got a chance to throw a few warts and wrinkles on Gorilla #2, here's how he's looking:

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  34. pwrofbauer

    pwrofbauer Active Member

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    These are looking very nice!
     
  35. jonny5

    jonny5 Sr Member

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    These look amazing!
    As a scientist, I've disec.. I mean, I've examined hundreds of apes and these are some of the finest specimens yet.
     
  36. gardengnome23

    gardengnome23 New Member

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    excellent detail in this mask cant wait to see a finished painted mask
     
  37. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Thanks all for the compliments.

    I've been too busy and haven't had much time to work on the "specimens" lately, but I hope to do the foam latex within the next month or so. This will be my first foray into foam latex (I've only done liquid latex), so any feedback to help me avoid a disaster is appreciated!
     
  38. Tobor the great

    Tobor the great Member

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    Love your handy work. I didnt know people could make masks at home. I thought of making my own years back but had no idea what to do or how . THANKS to you I now have a start. I bought an ape mask and modified it to look like a gorilla mask for my ape costume but know its not right looking.
    My fingers are ichting to give this a go
     
  39. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Hi Tobor, thanks for the message. I've seen your gorilla costume and love it! Unless my memory fails me, didn't you pose in costume with your kid dressed as a Jawa?

    I'm stoked that I've inspired you in some way to make a mask yourself. I was in turn inspired by seeing the work of Jessica (I'm sure you know her on the forum). I've made some ape masks before... decades ago... a chimp from plastic (so the jaw could move) and a gorilla from liquid latex (whose jaw couldn't move)... but until I saw Jessica's work I never understood the process... so I said I've GOT to do it!

    Unfortunately it's been a couple months since I've touched the project - I've been so busy, also I need to get a "dedicated" oven which my friend has promised to provide as he works in the delivery business... I really do have to get myself moving so I can at least be done by Halloween. This will be my first time doing baked foam latex so hopefully the learning curve isn't too bad... but I used to work in stop motion so I've seen the process done on many occasions...

    Be sure to check out the work of Dan Morgan and Tom Rubalcava... as far as I know they're the first ones outside of the film & TV production who decided to make production quality ape prosthetics themselves. I discovered them when I started pursuing the idea myself - Jessica can probably tell you more about them if you're interested.

    Web site showing prosthetic process:
    Blended Edge - cornelius slide show

    Dan Morgan as Cornelius on "Creature Features"
    Creature Features - Planet of the Apes Cornelius - YouTube
     
  40. Jessica

    Jessica Well-Known Member

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    Tobor--you can actually try and cook your own foam latex. Sure, there is a learning curve and it's good to learn from others' mistakes...but there's nothing quite as rewarding as making your own. I make my own now and work with whatever ghetto tools I have available to me. Anything is possible.
     
  41. Tobor the great

    Tobor the great Member

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    Thanks to everyone who helped me with mask making. I had a go at making one with some air dry latex. My clay ape face didn't last long as it started to break up after a few weeks, lucky I still have the plaster negative made from the clay. image.jpg image.jpg THANKS
     
  42. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    Excellent job, Tobor!!!!!
     
  43. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Active Member

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    I didn't realize that my previous pictures for this thread were sitting on a now-defunct site and so can no longer be viewed... oops.
    Anyway, my two gorilla sculpts have been collecting dust for a year while I've been busy with other projects, but now that I'm prepping to start a new gorilla sculpt (perhaps Zako) I've dusted them off and peeled them off the face casts to see what they look like when worn. I'm going with smaller proportions this time around... aiming for a TV-series gorilla. FYI, these are not foam latex appliances - just Sculpey... I was not completely satisfied with them, so plan to foam latex the next sculpt instead. I'll probably use plasticine this time.

    This first sculpt I call Maximus
    mygorilla1.jpg

    and this second sculpt I call Brutus
    brutus-sculpt1.jpg
     

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