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Face Off Season 10 Episode 12: Creatures from Skull Island!

Published March 31, 2016 by vfdpixie

The final four artists had to pull out all the stops to make it to the finale, and this time, they would do it in the jungle.  They met in a green paradise with different dig sites surrounding them.  Their Spotlight Challenge would involve the legendary King Kong and his origins from Skull Island.  Executive producer for Universal Creative Mike West was their guest for the challenge intro because his newest project for Universal Orlando revolved around the giant simian.  Skull Island:  Reign of Kong, an interactive attraction where visitors get lost in an intense adventure and encounter different prehistoric species before they meet Kong would be the inspiration for the artists.  West explained that Skull Island was kept warm due to thermal winds, allowing prehistoric creatures to survive, evolve, and become more dangerous and intelligent.  Their challenge was to choose one creature from the dig sites and imagine how it would evolve if it had survived on Skull Island.  The winner of this challenge would get a trip for two to Universal Orlando Resorts and first dibs at a visit to Reign of Kong, as well be the first person picked for the finale.

Rob created an evolved V. Rex or Vastatosaurus, a giant dinosaur creature.  He made the evolved character smaller, adapting to the indigenous people to become a dinosaur/human hybrid.  He had trouble right from the start and felt the face was too cartoony.  He added teeth to cover a smiley mouth and give it a more fierce look.  Mr. Westmore told him to pick his detailing placements wisely.  He took a lot of time with the reptilian scales by drawing a grid and rounding out the edges of each little square.  It took a long time but he was happy with the result. He created a crocodile inspired back piece and had to work fast to save time, but quickly ran out when it came to painting.  He had to throw on hemp fibers to cover areas he didn’t paint and was panicked by the end of last looks.  I thought his head sculpt was amazing!  The judges thought so too, although they thought he should have covered the model’s shoulders and the paint should have enhanced the detailed sculpting.

Rob and his V. Rex

Rob and his V. Rex

 

 

Walter picked a bat-like creature called Terapusmordax.  He designed an evolved creature that had wings as well as arms for battle.  He added a lot of texture to the face and Mr. Westmore advised him to go tan with the colour and enhance it with lots of shading for a leathery look.  Walter fabricated wings, but broke a spring mechanism that would have made them unfold and had to settle for a static wing.  He used a thin layer of latex with holes in it for a war-worn look to the wing skin, and painted on veins.  The judges loved his character! They felt the facial forms were impressive, the paint job incorporated great tones, and he added great detail to the creature’s eyes.  They would have liked the wings to fold down, but they let that go because the character was definitely inspired by Skull Island.

Walter and his Terapusmordax

Walter and his Terapusmordax

 

 

Mel worked on a Decarnocimex .  It was an insect with a rounded exoskeleton.  She designed an upright hybrid with a hunched back.  She first came up with a multiple eyed creature, but Mr. Westmore felt it could look like a mask, so she started over again, using different bug references and geometrical shapes to map out the face.  She was also worried about fabrication, but with a little ingenuity and duct tape, she came up with a decent tail.  She pre-painted as much as she could, and used a crown to cover areas that were exposed.   The judges appreciated the amount of work she put into the character as well as the elegant look.  It was nice up close for them, and they loved the fabrication.

Mel and her Decarnocimex

Mel and her Decarnocimex

 

 

Melissa’s Arachnocidis or Arcachno-Claw, was a scavenger that set traps for food.  She wanted to go outside of her comfort zone and created mandibles in the face.  She made bumps in the face sculpt with pearls, and made sure every detail in the face sculpt was perfect before molding.  She fabricated pincers, chest armour, and mandibles, and did a ton of painting.  The judges loved the forms and paint job.  They felt there was a balance between fabrication and makeup, and it was a complete and aesthetically pleasing character.

Melissa and her Arachno-Claw

Melissa and her Arachno-Claw

 

 

The winner of this challenge and of the trip was Melissa!!  They loved her concept and felt it was the best realized character.  She was the first to get to the finale, and was really honoured.  She was also stoked to take her son to the Skull Island attraction.

The second person going to the finale was Walter.  His character was definitely of Skull Island stock and had some cool sculptural aspects.

The third person in the finale would be Rob for his incredibly detailed sculpting which is clearly his gift.

That meant Mel was going home.  The judges had a hard time picking her since she really delivered this challenge, and recognized her talent.  She felt privileged to be on the show and to have made it that far.

McKenzie would leave the 3 finalists in suspense, only revealing that there was something big in store next week with a special guest.  Bring on the finale!!

Face Off Season 10 Episode 11: “The Art of Warcraft”

Published March 24, 2016 by vfdpixie

 

Attention all gamers!!  The World of Warcraft has arrived on Face Off!  The artists were excited about this one for sure.  The wildly popular game has a been a phenomenon for 100,000,000 people around the world, so it was only a matter of time for it to arrive as a challenge on the show.  To celebrate the feature film Warcraft base on the game coming out this Spring (on my birthday!), They had to adapt one of the Warcraft races as a character fit for a feature film.  The expert of all experts was there to check on their designs:  none other than the senior art director for the game, Chris Robinson.  Their guest judge on the reveal stage would be Robert Kazinsky, who plays Ogrim in the movie, and was also a professional gamer for a year, so he knew his stuff.

Mel picked a Troll.  She wasn’t familiar with the game, but wanted to prove to the judges that they made the right choice by giving her the one-time immunity.  She came up with a voodoo black magic troll.  She had a ton of hair questions for Chris, and he told her that trolls were proud of their hair.  Once she got her answers, she went on to mold hands for the troll.  She used Melissa’s hands who also got a set of molds for herself from the task.  Mel worked on a realistic but pointy nose and chin, and Mr. Westmore told her she was going in the right direction but needed more of a frown for character.  She worked really hard on laying bright red hair onto the cowl, and liked how it turned out.  The hands didn’t work the way she envisioned, so she ditched them, and just used gauze to wrap the model’s fingers for a 3-fingered look.   She felt good about the makeup and the judges loved the end result.  The profile impressed them, as well as the hair.  It was a fully realized character, and Rob thought it was so accurate, it could have walked out of the game.  Mel nailed the troll aesthetic and that put her in top looks.

Melissa picked a Worgen, who was a werewolf-like character.  She created a druid persona for the werewolf and was really stoked because she was familiar with the game.  She had to create more of a muzzle as instructed by Mr. Westmore, and was debating on the texture she needed on it so she wouldn’t overdo it.  She was plagued with problems as she worked on her hand sculpts.  They were a bit of a disaster, but she had to have something for the reveal stage.  The final character wasn’t what she had planned and she felt she had “blown it”.  The judges didn’t like what they saw.  Neville thought the jowl detail wasn’t accurate, and the paint wasn’t finished.  He did like the profile.  Glenn thought it was technically rough, including the feet and hands that looked amateurish.  Ve thought she needed more texture, and although Rob thought the snout needed work, he felt it was accurate for the game.  She was in bottom looks.

Walter chose a Draenei.  He went for a death knight and wanted to add tentacles.  Chris told him to avoid too much texture with them, and Mr. Westmore told him how to place them on the face.  He used cotton batting, weights and latex skin to make them.  He also made a tail and even tested it out on himself.  His paint job was really beautiful with a glowing pale blue highlighting the pale white skin.  The character was really good, and the judges loved it.  Rob thought it went beyond the challenge expectations with all the details.  This makeup put him in the top looks.

Yvonne’s Goblin was a problem for her.  Chris told her to pick a male or female character instead of combining the two, but she did add some masculine details.  Mr. Westmore told her to round out the face and make it sterner.  She pre-painted the cowl, and cut holes in it so the hair could come through in a mohawk.  That turned out well, but her paint job looked muddy.  The sheen on the paint made the makeup look synthetic to the judges, and Ve thought the colour looked like pea soup.  Rob thought it wasn’t gritty or dirty enough.  She was in bottom looks.

Rob picked a Tauren, or a bull-like creature.  He also had lots of trouble with his concept and sculpting.  He hated his cowl and bull face, but Mr. Westmore told him not to hold back and keep going with his direction.  He had trouble with his horn molds, and had to cast a broken horn three times before he got what he needed.  He had lots to do, but felt defeated and sure his character looked like a cow-man.  The judges loved it though!  Ve loved the muzzle sculpt, Rob liked the face, although he thought it wasn’t accurate because there was no ring in the nose.  Rob’s flawless execution put him in top looks.

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Walter won this challenge for the huge amount of work and nailing the challenge.  Yvonne would go home because her makeup had no believability.  They were sad to see her go, but knew with her talent she would go far.

Now we’re left with the remaining artists vying for a spot in the final.  Even though I though Yvonne had tons of talent and she should have been in the finale, these artists have all shown their skill and I can’t wait to see who makes it!

Face Off Season 10 Episode 10: Cyclops!

Published March 18, 2016 by vfdpixie

This week, the remaining 5 artists headed back to the lab to find McKenzie with a selection of gruesome, otherworldly eyeballs in apothecary jars.  They had to create their own Cyclops character in the tradition of other Greek mythological creatures like the Kraken and Medusa.  They were all really excited for this Focus Challenge, and would be working with models 6’4 to 7 feet tall for that extra special cyclopean terror.  Their guest judge on the reveal stage would be Douglas Smith who played Tyson the Cyclops in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

Mel got a more human-looking eyeball and decided to create a human/husky hybrid crossbred for the military.  She had trouble with the eye placement and tried to make it look natural.  Mr. Westmore suggested she veer away from the dog idea, since it could look silly.  He told her to work on the jowls more, and she came up with a more alien look.  She also attempted to create a Mohawk with a bald cap ala Dick Smith and Taxi Driver.  It didn’t quite work, and the eye looked googly.  She tried putting a gloss on the paint job for more dimension, but in her words, it was a “disaster”.  The judges laughed when they saw the character, but it wasn’t supposed to be funny.  There were too many strange shapes for them, and they didn’t like the jowls.  Glenn thought there were too many ideas going on, Neville thought it was silly, but Douglas thought it was an interesting idea.  She was in bottom looks.

Rob picked a brilliant blue eye with a pupil that made him think of an aquatic creature.  He created a cyclops that forged Poseidon’s trident.  Rob used an eye form and screws to create a permanent socket for the eye in the mold.  All the artists used this technique for their creations.  He decided to move the eye to the mouth area,  but realized that it didn’t work.  He had to start over 3 hours into the challenge, and was panicked.  Mr. Westmore suggested he make the mouth bigger and widen the eye.  There was also trouble with Rob seeing the symmetry in the makeup, so Yvonne helped him.  He felt pressured because he’s been in top looks so often he had to maintain his standing.  He was the last to go into the mold room, and Melissa was good enough to help him get the clay out of his mold.  His paint job involved a bright yellow and blue, which he liked, in fact, it was his favourite paint job so far.  He added quills that struggled to stay put, but the final makeup was really great.  Douglas thought the character looked regal and scary at the same time, and the judges loved the colour combo.  Neville thought there was a strong silhouette, form and graphics in the makeup, and this put Rob in top looks.

Walter picked a pink and purple eye.  His son of Hades would be a demigod.  He created wrinkles around the eye so the model could see, but that would come back to haunt him later.  Mr. Westmore suggested a lavender skin tone, and Walter added quills as well to his makeup.  He was first in the mold room, and practiced his painting techniques to get ahead of the game, but the bald cap wouldn’t stay down.  He also had an issue matching the body paint with the face, and took a risk because this was a Focus Challenge for the face, so he wasted time with the body painting.  The judges thought the wrinkles didn’t make sense, and they saw the lifting bald cap.  They thought it was a good attempt, but some anatomical issues made the eye look wrong.  He would be in bottom looks.

Melissa picked a reptilian eye.  She went with a reptilian monster warrior, using the eyelash viper as a reference.  She had always wanted to do a cyclops and a reptile makeup, so she naturally combined the two.  Mr. Westmore told her to keep the base coat of her paint job lighter so you could see all the detail of her sculpting.  She used yellows and greens to lighten up the paint, and also pulled from the reticulated python for a pattern.  She did an incredible job!  The judges were wowed by all the work she did in such little time.  Doug loved the hole detailing on the sides of the character’s face, and Glenn thought the melding of birds and reptile for the challenge was brilliant.  Ve thought it was beyond complex, and with these rave reviews, Melissa was in top looks.

Yvonne’s eye was purple, white and red, so she decided to go a more traditional route for her cyclops.  He was Satan’s blacksmith, and he would have classic devil horns.  Rob had to help her out with the design of the browbone.  She wasn’t pleased with the sculpt but had to move on to sculpting because she was running out of time.  She used classic Devil red and black for her paint job.  The eyelid drooped too much, but she had zero time to address it.  On the reveal stage, the judges thought the colours were monotone, and the horns contrived.  Douglas like that the makeup had full mobility of the mouth as an actor, and Ve thought it was a clean makeup with nice edges.  She was safe.

 

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The winner this week was Melissa for her incredibly detailed, set-ready work.  The person going home was Mel.  Her makeup didn’t come together BUT the judges decided to use the one-time immunity on her!! She was super grateful, and was warned to make it count.  She could now join the ranks of the other stressed-out artists as they make their way to the finale.

 

Face Off Season 10 Episode 9: Valkyrie Goddesses and Genies!

Published March 10, 2016 by vfdpixie

This was another cool episode.  The show started right into a Foundation Challenge where the winner would walk away with immunity.  The artists found models with gorgeous wings waiting for them.  McKenzie told them they had to create a Valkyrie warrior Goddess and draw on Norse mythology.  Their guest judge would be Emmy-award winning makeup artist Douglas Noe, who worked on Thor and Pulp Fiction.  He wanted to see shapes, angles and a colour palette that wasn’t garish. He also wanted to see a story without using words.

Robert had an interesting concept.  Instead of a beauty makeup, he emphasized the warrior aspect and used blood splatter as on top of the warrior paint.  Walter used reds and blacks for his goddess who collected dead warriors that died by fire.  Melissa created a fallen warrior who transformed into a Valkyrie with a white forehead and ring detail.  Yvonne went for a mother Nature vibe.  Douglas like her use of colour, Melissa’s concept and clear vision, and wanted Walter to go further with his colour choices.  The winner was Melissa, who would now have immunity.  She’s been lucky with bypassing the gauntlet and this immunity win.

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For the Spotlight Challenge, genies were the dish of the day.  The gang had to choose from different vessels to create a mischievous genie character.  Bill Corso would be their next guest judge for this challenge, who worked on Deadpool, Star Wars:  The Force Awakens and Foxcatcher.

Rob chose a heavily carved vessel with Mayan details.  His concept involved a primitive culture that finds the vessel and releases a genie who becomes a deity.  Mr. Westmore told him to make the nose more prominent to mimic the Incan or Maya detailing.  Rob liked his concept but realized creating symmetry was really difficult.  He wanted perfection but was running out of time.  He ended up with a ton of details to finish in last looks, and didn’t get all of the body painted, but it was a great look regardless.  The judges thought it was unique and successful up close.  He made solid and daring decisions, and Neville thought the Mayan details and cultural references were great.  Bill thought the colour and design was smart and beautiful.  He was in top looks.

Mel’s gazelle covered vessel inspired her to create a human/gazelle hybrid.  She was having a hard time sculpting something that didn’t look like a cat.  Mr. Westmore suggested she use the patterns in the vessel which were a bit more obvious than the  animal concept.  This would eat some of her time up, but she used cups and plastic tubing to mimic the designs in the vessel.  She wasn’t thrilled, but it was something.   She used teal, bronze, gold and silver with black to give the paint finish an aged look.  Gluing on the lips was a bit of an issue, but she finally got the makeup finished.  The judges could see the rough application, and the arbitrary design.  Neville thought it wasn’t an attractive makeup, and Bill thought it wasn’t anatomically feasible.  She was in bottom looks.

Walter picked a vessel accented with dragons.  He wanted to do a reptilian-witch character.  He was in his element since he really loved the fantasy genre, and really wanted a win this challenge.  Mr. Westmore liked the witch nose he sculpted, and Walter was happy with his work.  He ran into some trouble when he was molding his cowl.  He had to rush it and with the help of the other artists, cracked it open but thankfully it came out nicely.  His paint job consisted of black and gold, and the makeup turned out amazing!  The judges loved the sculpting, consistent scaling and metallic paint.  Glenn thought it fulfilled the challenge with the mischievous genie and told a story.  He was in top looks.

Yvonne created an elephant genie to match the vibe of her vessel.  She didn’t really have any problems except for some patching on the cowl.  She did another amazing paint job with lots of highlight and contour to give the character a lot of dimension, but the judges didn’t think it read genie and it wasn’t appropriate for the challenge.  Melissa’s genie was just weird.  She had a metallic finish with what the judges thought looked like a disease detailing.  She was lucky she had immunity.  Yvonne was also in the safe zone this week.

Robert went weird again, and decided on a cat genie demon that partied a lot.  Mr. Westmore told him to go more fantasy instead of a literal cat, and Robert suggested to add horns to the face.  He didn’t do a cowl; focusing on the genie’s face.  He had some issues with the chin staying down, but was able to sort it out.  His genie was….interesting.  The judges thought it was inappropriate for the challenge, and too goofy.  Bill felt the ears were coming out of the eye sockets and wanted brighter colours.  Glenn thought it was a successful makeup but didn’t fulfill the challenge at all.  This put him in the bottom looks.

 

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The winner was Walter!  He finally got his win by proving he had talent with “successfully integrated references” and a fantastic paint job.  The person going home would be Robert.  They thought his humour sent him down the wrong path this time, but loved his uniqueness.  His final thought was that his final look was a symbol of creative freedom and a gift to us all.  Oh, and he says, “You’re so welcome” in advance.  Um, thanks Robert…I’ll miss that kooky dude!

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