Someone please explain this to me like I'm a child. Mask making and making the mask fit tightly to my face.

Egon Spengler

Master Member
Okay. If I want to sculpt a mask, and have the interior of the mask conform tightly to my face, how do I do it?

I'm assuming I make a mold of my head and shoulders, then cast that. Then what? Sculpt onto it right? And then make a mold of the sculpt. Right? And then from there I can put the bust of my head and shoulders inside the mold for the sculpt, but how do I make sure they line up for when I put the silicone into the mold?

I have a general idea but I just need a bit of clarification.

Thanks for your help in advance.
 

animator

Sr Member
I'm going to recommend 2 online courses at the Stan WInston School. I find all their videos incredibly helpful. Being able to watch a professional do projects in real time while they explain the process is incredible. The cost of subscription is easily saved in wasted materials and failures for me.

1. How to Sculpt a Character Makeup with Bruce Spaulding Fuller has doing a life cast, sculpting on top of it, molds and more.

2. Silicone Mask Making with Mike Cooke has the people from Immortal Masks showing their process for molding and casting silicone masks. I just followed there molding process last week and even though it is only the second mold I have made I got great results. The tips in these video are fantastic and work!

I love Youtube and other online videos for learning, but the Stan Winston videos are my favorite. There are other great video courses on the site that might be helpful as well.

Also, if you are using SmoothOn products, see if there is a Reynolds Advanced Materials store in your area. I go to my local store to ask questions and get help as well.

I hope this helps! Good luck with your project!
 

masterjedi322

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There are some pretty decent 3D scanning apps you can get for your phone or tablet. I have EM3D, which uses the FaceID scanner for my iPhone.

Here‘s a scan I took with my phone to size my Mando armor.



My plan for masks was to do a detailed bust and 3D print it. I can sculpt onto that.

Another option is to import the scan into some 3D modeling software and digitally sculpt it there.

Here‘s a good vid on how to simply manipulate masks in 3D software to conform to a model of your face:


Hope that helps!

Sean
 

Egon Spengler

Master Member
Thank you guys! Great ideas! Going to keep looking into this a bit more. I'm thinking of just buying a premade bust to sculpt onto as well, and even if the bust itself is smaller than my head, it might allow for the mask to sit tighter on my face without having to actually take and make a bust of my own head.
 
The type of mold you are seeking to make is properly called a matrix mold, a multipart mold which has a cavity into which a casting material is poured (or injected). Hopefully that vocab word will help.

I haven't tried the Stan Winston School class featuring Immortal Masks, but you can get a very very basic overview of what to expect from this internet-ancient Tested video about their process:

There are a lot of processes you need to be proficient in to pull this off (sculpting, mold making, sewing, silicone casting, patching, silicone painting, and general materials). Your first pass will almost certainly fail, and that is okay. If this is your first big project, or first project period, it is very ambitious and you might want to consider doing a bunch of smaller projects focusing on each process first. Good luck.
 

Friko

Well-Known Member
Hello,
I have to agree that the Stan Winston videos are a good route to go. Try to wait for them to go on sale though...
Now, depending on what your mask is supposed to be, it doesn't have to be silicone. I have made many nice fitting latex masks that are considerably cheaper and allows for much more trial and error type practicing. But if you want it to flex like skin, then costly silicone is the way to go. Buuut, depending on whether the mask will be made out of silicone or latex will also dictate the type of mold and material. So be absolute sure what you want the end result to be.
 

udog

Active Member
The best way to go (as I see it) for a perfect fit would be to have your own lifecast. As said here, reference keys in the bust will help to keep everything in place. Shaving down a little around the eyes and mouth (lifecast) will also help for as better snug.
If not, maybe a pre-made sculpting shape as the ones sold for silicone mask making would be an option to get a "generic" fit. Never used them though.
Making your own generic shape is possible, but a lot of trial error involved.
 

userd1402

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
For my Pantom of the opera mask I used 'Mod-Roc' (that's the brand name here in the UK anyway). It's plaster infused gauze bandage which is usually used for making railway modeller terrain and it can be had from model shops or online. I dipped it in water and applied it in strips to my own face, after slathering petroleum jelly on my face and hair so it didn't stick, leaving just enough room to breathe through the nostrils. After about fifteen minutes it had dried enough to come off in one big piece and after a few days more drying I lined the interior liberally with more petroleum jelly to seal the inner surface and filled the resulting face-bucket with plaster. When this was dried and removed it gave me a half-head onto which I made my mask directly, knowing it would fit snugly.
 

Jennigirl

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Typically you would use foam latex for a face mask like that as it is light weight and extremely flexible. Foam latex requires a separate oven, and it has to be done in a well ventilated area as the fumes are highly toxic, so you can't use your kitchen oven. This is why I haven't been able to do any foam latex work.
 

Mottrex

Sr Member
The type of mold you are seeking to make is properly called a matrix mold, a multipart mold which has a cavity into which a casting material is poured (or injected). Hopefully that vocab word will help.

I haven't tried the Stan Winston School class featuring Immortal Masks, but you can get a very very basic overview of what to expect from this internet-ancient Tested video about their process:

There are a lot of processes you need to be proficient in to pull this off (sculpting, mold making, sewing, silicone casting, patching, silicone painting, and general materials). Your first pass will almost certainly fail, and that is okay. If this is your first big project, or first project period, it is very ambitious and you might want to consider doing a bunch of smaller projects focusing on each process first. Good luck.
Not forgetting those tricky little things called Undercuts..as the word suggests these are areas which can stop a cast separating or even destroying a mold..
I learnt all about them making delicate denture molds at Dental school years ago and have seen many a two part mold destroyed by them.
The trick is to Block out or adapt Sculpt in such a way that intricate sculpts elevate or drastically reduce an undercut, sometimes sectional moulds multiple molds are required

Oh and I'll chuck in Separating solution be it talc or a cold mold sealant...

Plaster of Paris tends to stick to any and everything..
Just ask a young 18 Yr old me who was taking a life cast of his arm and forgot to vaseline!...
 
Not forgetting those tricky little things called Undercuts..as the word suggests these are areas which can stop a cast separating or even destroying a mold..
I learnt all about them making delicate denture molds at Dental school years ago and have seen many a two part mold destroyed by them.
The trick is to Block out or adapt Sculpt in such a way that intricate sculpts elevate or drastically reduce an undercut, sometimes sectional moulds multiple molds are required

Oh and I'll chuck in Separating solution be it talc or a cold mold sealant...

Plaster of Paris tends to stick to any and everything..
Just ask a young 18 Yr old me who was taking a life cast of his arm and forgot to vaseline!...
Indeed, undercuts are the confounding factor that the entire trade of mold making is organized around. I could go on for a looonnnng time, but it's all book smarts from watching a lot of videos and listening to Battles with Bits of Rubber. I've got no real leg to stand on.
 

Mottrex

Sr Member
Indeed, undercuts are the confounding factor that the entire trade of mold making is organized around. I could go on for a looonnnng time, but it's all book smarts from watching a lot of videos and listening to Battles with Bits of Rubber. I've got no real leg to stand on.
I've seen grown men weep!..
Not a pretty sight.
These days with 3D Scanners etc you can study a cast rotating flipping it to see the best and worst and figure out whats best but back to facial molds and depending what the sculpt is there shouldn't be too many issues.. a lot of the guys do split molds for brows ears noses etc, its all down to whats needed from the piece.. is it a pull over silicone mask a quick latex minimal or background character is it for personal or industry standard..
The main thing is to play safe,know your materials and just play with it..
 

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