All posts tagged hybrids

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!

Face Off Season 8 Episode 3: Animal Plant Hybrids

Published January 28, 2015 by vfdpixie

This week, the artists headed to the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Super Bowl 7, the 1959 World Series and the 1932 and 1984 Olympics took place.  They met Ve Neill, McKenzie and Glenn Hetrick who stood by a selection of flowers with animal medallions attached.  Inspired by movies like The Hunger Games and The Running Man where characters had to fight for their lives in deadly competitions, the gang had to create a predator which was a hybrid of a deadly animal and an exotic plant.  They would create in teams of 2 which were randomly picked.  Ve told them to make the creature scary-she wanted to be frightened, and Glenn added that they should integrate elements of plant and animal, not just slap a flower on the creature’s head.  They also got a neat surprise:  Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games was going to be a judge on the reveal stage! The artists were all pumped when they heard that and headed off to create their plant/animal killers.

It was great to see all the teams meshing really well.  They collaborated and problem-solved in the best ways possible during this challenge.  The judges also applauded the coaches for their input, because it was definitely noticeable with all the great work, and Josh was really excited to be there since he is a huge fan of the show.

Anthony and Logan got the Warthog and American Pitcher Plant.  They decided to use the warthog’s large nostrils as eye holes for the model and give it open rotting flesh.  They didn’t have too many issues, and they were satisfied with the large menacing creature.  The judges liked all the details, and Josh liked the eyes.  They were safe.

Kelly and Daniel chose the Scorpion and Delphinium.  They planned to created a hard shell with petal forms.  By now we all know there will be trouble in the mold room, and Kelly started off with rushing to make hers.  Daniel helped her out and wasn’t as worried about their time crunch, but she didn’t want to end up in the bottom again.  Daniel fabricated a cool sectioned tail, and their scorpion hybrid looked really scary and had a great profile.  The judges liked the paint job, and the look was enough to keep them safe.

Ben and Darla picked the Ram and the Cactus.  Mr. Westmore loved the unique concept and just warned them to not make the eyes too human.  Ben was the other mold room casualty.  The mold got stuck and when they eventually got it opened, they ran out of time to clean it out.  They cowl was also too big, so they had to cut it down to fit the face piece.  The end result was a menacing creature with a great shape.  The judges liked the face and horns, and Neville liked the unique form.  Actually, Neville thought it was the best makeup on the show, like, ever.  Ve thought the paint job was “awesome” and Josh thought it was scary and demonic.  This put them in the top looks.

Julian and Adam had the Bat and Sugar Bush Protea.  After Mr. Westmore told them to change the nose on their sculpt to look more bat-like, they toiled away, but the final makeup was too light.  It had a nice profile, but Glenn thought it looked like a “batichoke”.  Ve called it a “psychedelic artichoke with a bat face”, and Josh wanted to see the face a little darker.  This not very scary creature put them in the bottom looks.

Emily and Regina worked on the Hyena and the Shampoo Ginger.  Early on in the sculpting phase, Regina’s cowl wasn’t matching Emily’s face, so after Mr. Westmore’s input and hashing it out, they switched so that Regina sculpted the face and Emily did the cowl.  Emily also coloured hemp in different earthy hues to create texture.  Even though they were running out of time, and hot gluing in last looks, their hybrid was a scary sight!  The judges thought it was demonic looking and liked the palette.  They thought the proportions worked well, liked the organic colours and cohesive concepts.  This beautiful character with a gorgeous silhouette was in top looks.

Stephanie and Alan had the Thorny Dragon and Cockscomb.  They decided to use the flower colours on their creature.  Their foam cowl was a total mess and he spent a long time patching it up.  The sculpt ended up being interesting but there was no dimension with the bright yellow colour.  The judges thought there was a lack of detail, and the sculpt was too soft.  It needed more texture, and the venom sacks that Alan devised looked like a goiter to Neville.  Glenn felt there was an anime feel to it and this yellow, far from ferocious creature put them in the bottom.

Rob and Jamie chose the Piranha and the Blue Thistle.  They wanted to do a Gill Man type creature but Mr. Westmore felt the face was too literal and he wanted more interest there.   Rob created a “dreadlock” look with leaves he made out of L200, and they created a pretty scary creature.  Jamie and Rob had some really cool details in their makeup and the judges loved it.  This toothy hybrid kept them safe this week.

The top team was Ben and Darla.  The judges felt the Ram was one of the most incredible concepts ever seen on the show, and the bold concepts and the back of the cowl put them at the top.  Ben was the winner since he sculpted the amazing cowl.  He promised that if he ever won a Spotlight Challenge, he would propose to his girlfriend, so he did!!  I’m thinking she said yes.

The person going home was Alan.  The judges had a hard time chosing since all the makeups were great, but Alan’s misguided venom sacks affected the appeal of the character.  The judges told him to hold his head up high, and Josh told him not to give up.  Alan felt he had grown on the show and will continue creating with makeup.  Just to keep a tally, Team Laura has lost one artist, and now so has Team Anthony.  I’m hoping for some more surprises next week!

Face Off: Season 4 Episode 10: Alien Love Children

Published March 20, 2013 by vfdpixie

Well here we are.  The episode before the finale, and the pressure on!  Anthony thought he was going home last elimination, and Kris knows they all have to bring their A game.  Who knew the “A” would stand for alien?

I was really excited about this episode, “Alien Apocalypse“, and challenge for slightly selfish reasons.  The guys had to choose 2 mutant species and create a hybrid offspring. The aliens they chose from were Liberata, Volge, Sensoth, BioMan, Mutant and 99er. These species come from the new show and game Defiance, filmed right here in my hometown, Toronto!!!  The show takes place 35 years in the future, after years of war between aliens and humans. Seven races of aliens must live side by side with humans in the frontier town of Defiance.  Kevin Murphy, the executive producer and co-creator of the show, came to reveal a surprise to them.  After they made their choices, the guys were sent to Toronto to visit the set of the show!  All except Eric F. came to my fair city, as he had to deal with a family issue.  They got to meet one of the characters from the show, watch as Alan Cooke, the key prosthetics artist apply a makeup, and be on set as a scene was being shot.  I love my city, and I really hope the guys enjoyed their visit here.  Toronto is home to many talented make-up artists (some of them my friends) and many film and t.v. productions.  I’m sure the finalists will find themselves back in Toronto in the future!

Anthony picked a Liberata and Mutant to create a grotesque creature with mainly a Liberata structure.  Kris combined a BioMan and Mutant to design something with the eyes and teeth of mutant to show how the hybrid spoiled the BioMan’s gene.  Wayne went for a Liberata and a BioMan to give us a creature with a BioMan base and the nose of a Liberata.  Finally, Eric F. ended up with a 99er and a Sensoth.  It was not his first pick, and even though he was confounded and bummed out about his two species, he managed to come up with as he called it, “Harry and the Hendersons meets Robocop”.  Priceless! By the time day 1 ended, Eric started to like his design as it came together. The theme of their work ethic was pretty much the same:  go for broke with their designs as the goal was clear:  they could all use the prize money!

All the guys were plagued with time constraints, clay stuck in their molds, and all but Anthony were reluctant guests to what Eric called “the polyfoam party”.  None of the contestants wanted to go that route as this material restricted movement and they just didn’t like how it worked.  Unfortunately due to lack of time, polyfoam was their only choice.  Kris’s appliance also ripped terribly, so he had to scramble to repair it as best he could. And Wayne, Wayne, Wayne!!! Once again, he was stuck doing an entire paint job during last looks, in fact, he expected to go home, with a defeated “Oh well…” when their time was up in last looks.

At the elimination, the guest judge was Michael Nankin, supervising producer of Defiance, as well as C.S.I., Caprica and Battlestar Galactica.  Wayne got nailed for his paint job (again) with Glenn commenting that it looked like it was applied with a baseball bat.  They thought the paint made the design look mediocre, but Glenn thought the lips, nose, skull and shoulders were good, and Ve liked the back and found it cohesive.  Michael Nankin liked the bulge on the head.  Anthony’s Liberata/Mutant hybrid got high marks for best morphing of characters, best paint job and was the most complete look.  Michael also said it would work for the show.  Kris got props for the cool vibe and scary, off-putting  look  from Neville and Michael, Ve thought it was a bitchin’ character but wanted more attention to the paint job.  Glenn thought it was anatomically atrocious, and Michael thought the design should have been elevated above a generic mutant.  Eric F.’s creation was to Michael disturbing in the right way, but felt the hybrid of species was not blended enough.  Glenn liked that the character told a story and said Eric made big strives as an artist.  Neville thought it was great and there were elements of sophistication in his work.

Anthony was the winner!  The judges thought he did a great job of creating a hybrid and the makeup had character in the face.  There was a bonus prize too!  Anthony gets a chance to shadow the makeup fx team on the set of Defiance!  How cool is that?!   The next finalist was Kris.  Although they were conflicted about his last makeup, the judges felt the essence of the character came through and he had been a strong competitor all season.  Lastly, Wayne made it to the finale.  They felt his sculpting was the best part of his work, and so it gained him a spot.

I am so sad to see Eric F. go!!  The judges said they saw him evolve on the show and look forward to seeing his work in the future.  I think he is a talented, funny, charismatic dude who will definitely go far.  I also hope he knows that he didn’t let his family down at all and I am positive they are proud of him.  I am proud of him, for the love of Pete!  He showed so much enthusiasm and you could see how much he loves what he does.  And Eric, don’t worry about not winning, because the exposure on the show is money dude!

I will turn off all my phones, close the doors, and shutter the windows to prepare for the finale of Face Off.  I think it’s going to be a nail biter for sure!!

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