All posts tagged Evolution

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 9 Episode 11: Disasters, Evolution and The Expanse

Published October 7, 2015 by vfdpixie

A Focus Challenge would be up this week.  To tease us nerds excited about the new show The Expanse, a mystery/conspiracy that takes place 200 years in the future where humans adapt to changing environments, the top six artists would have to re-imagine how humans evolve.  To give them some advice this challenge, Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, the creators of The Expanse, told them to think about the ways the environment would affect the way humans evolved, for instance, how different degrees of gravity would affect human physiology.  McKenzie had a set of disaster/hazard signs for them to choose from in order to create their evolved humans, and reminded them this challenge was all about the quality of the work and how well their edges were blended.

Nora picked toxic pollution.  She wanted to create a natural respirator for her character, but had trouble once again as inspiration escaped her.  She became overwhelmed with the sculpt, and even though Evan came to comfort her, she was extremely upset and frustrated.  After some refocusing from Mr. Westmore, she started over again.  She created what the judges recognized as her signature style, and liked the sculpt.  They didn’t like the paint job and the artificial veining, but she was safe this week.

Scott created character that survived a nuclear fallout.  He went with a cockroach inspired makeup because they would most definitely survive that!  His ideas for a segmented exoskeleton started out as a great sculpt, but it made Mr. Westmore come back after his walk-through to express concern with Scott’s concept.  He was afraid that this would get him eliminated and didn’t want that to happen.  Scott got the message, and although he was a bit panicked, revamped his design to look more human and less alien or too far evolved.  The judges loved the tiny ears, forms and great textures.  Thankfully he was safe this week too.

Jordan got the ice age.  He came up with a character that retained heat from the folds of skin on his face and would have a large beard.  Mr. Westmore told him to fix the cartoony aspect of the nose and lower lip, and Jordan carried on from there.  He made a beard with beads and some jute, and layered it all after he painted his sculpt.  I really liked the sculpt of what the judges called a cross between Big Foot and Santa.  They meant this in a good way, because they loved everything about the makeup.  The paint, details and sensible concept got him into the top looks.

Ben had volcanic disaster.  He wanted to create a character that evolved with the ash to create a crust on the skin to protect from the elements.  He sculpted cracks on the skin to look like volcanic rock but stuck to human anatomy.  He was told to watch the metallic paint finish he had planned so the makeup didn’t look like a robot.  In the end, he couldn’t get the hair to look good with the rest of the makeup.  The judges weren’t happy with it either.  Ve thought it looked like a toasted marshmallow, and Glenn thought the details were dodgy.  It wasn’t an evolution, more like a skin condition, and that put him in the bottom.

Evan’s lizard/human hybrid would survive a severe drought.  He was all about gills and a water retaining vaccuform piece on the forehead.  He had to go deeper with the texture so he wouldn’t lose detail when painting.  He spent a lot of time in the mold room flashing to get his edges perfect.  Glenn thought it was the best work he had done, and Neville liked his concept and design choices.  His clean edges and colour choices put him in the top looks.

Stevie worked on a character that evolved to live in a time of polar melting.  This half-fish half-human would adapt with a gilled nose and streamlined features like a fish or dolphin.  Mr. Westmore told her not to scale the entire face, and she created a tool from a popsicle stick to get her scales on.  She used a human flesh tone and drybrushed iridescent paint and clear coat for sheen.  She hated the paint, and the judges thought the symmetry was crooked.  The gills weren’t right for Neville, and Ve didn’t like the colours.  She was in the bottom looks.

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The winner was Evan once again.  The judges loved the risks he took, the story and all the details.  Stevie would be going home.  They felt she let too many details slide, but loved her ideas and attitude and were sad to see her go.  Stevie felt she had grown and is definitely more confident as a result of being part of the show.  Good to see another talent ready to take on the world!

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