Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sculpting a Maquette with Tony Cipriano: Part One

I met Tony Cipriano in 1991 when we worked together on "Beauty and the Beast" at Walt Disney Feature Animation's studio in Florida. Tony had a most unusual path to WDFAF, which you can learn about in the videos below. Since then he's also earned credits on Disney's "Aladdin" , "Pocahontas" "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", Tarzan", Mulan", and "Brother Bear".

Since 1997, Tony has been a freelance sculptor for the animation industry as well as for many toy, action figure and collectible figurine companies, including McFarlane Toys, Dark Horse Comics, Funko, Enesco, Mezco Toys, Sideshow Collectibles, Bowen Designs, DC Comics, Walt Disney Classics Collection, Toy Biz, Dreamworks Animation, Comedy Central, Hasbro, Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers Studio Stores, Scholastic, Matell, and Madison Square Garden.

Tony's studio is in Long Island, N.Y., where he lives with his wife, three children, and three dogs. Below are a few samples of Tony's amazing body of work, and further down we begin a tutorial of Tony's process in his own words.













Sculpting Alfred E. Newman: from soup...to nut!




This is the Chavant clay. It doesn't have sulphur in it so it won't impede the silicone when I go to mold the bust. I prefer this for personal projects as it smooths with mineral spirits. But Super Sculpey is much better for professional work because it bakes. You can sand it smooth easier, and you can ship it. This stuff is hard to ship. It never cures because it's oil based.





My favorite tools. All of my work was done using these 4 tools and very little else. They do it all. A rake, a spatula, a large loop and a tiny loop. That's all you really need.




This is the epoxy resin I use to secure my armature. It's two parts, and you mix them equally. In a few hours, it is rock hard. Or you an speed up the process with heat.






My trusty alcohol torch. Best five bucks I ever spent. It's used to smooth/heat hard wax & clay, and also to heat tools for working with wax and hard oil clays. You just fill it with denatured Alcohol, light the wick, and squeeze gently. It emits a long flame, like a tiny blow torch. By gently passing it by the surface of the clay, it smooths and melts it subtly, leaving the surface warm so you can re-work the hard clay or add texture, etc.





Below: This is an incredibly useful page from the MAD style guide, specifically used to guide 3D art of Alfred.


I pin up my reference material. The page on the board to the left is a PERFECT 3D statue of Alfred done by my pal, mentor and incredible sculptor, Kent Melton. The MAD issues from the 70's were mine when I was a kid. I rescued them from my mother's attic before the squirrels got them.


 Below: This is the armature. Talk about high tech, huh? It's a length of 1/4 inch aluminum wire secured to a board and a blob of epoxy putty on top. Takes about 2 minutes to make and you are ready for clay!!! ( after epoxy is hard, of course.) With this kind of armature, as opposed to a pipe, I can pose/tilt the head a little. after I begin to put the clay on


The clay in a baking pan, fresh out of the oven. I use low heat in the oven, even a heat lamp will do. Believe me, when this clay is cool, it will be rock hard. I work fast, trying not to burn my hands---and then I pop the tray back into the oven for a few minutes or use a heat gun to warm it up faster, scraping long shards off at a time.


I block out skull and shoulders. I can still reposition the head if I want.


No tools used yet, just my thumbs. I work fast to block out the forms, not worrying about any details at this stage.


I take a pointy tool and scribe in lines to guide me, allowing me to easily see where the details and the planes are. Head has a slight tilt to the viewer right and I twisted the neck to look to his right.


Using rake to blend clay and to define planes of head.


I scoop out eye sockets, begin to add hair, more raking. I constantly turn the bust and step back away from table.


All of the basic proportions and pertinent information are in place. Now it's noodle time!


Stay tuned for Part two: Noodling Newman!

This is part one of a short video made for HEROES,VILLAINS & ARTISTS TV telling a little more about Tony Cipriano and showing some of his sculpting process.


Part Two:


44 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting. I didn't realize how the you'd approach an animation drawing would be the same way you'd approach a sculpture. I like watching him rough in the muscles for Namor. Looking at that video I must have something he's made.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tony's office use to be next to me at the Disney Florida studio - I remember one time he came in to work, shut his door, blasted some Beatles, and came out at the end of the day with this amazing gorilla and tarzan rough. The guy is an insane talent and incredibly nice too - which is SO odd that he's from New York! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haha! He is indeed! Part two will soon be finished and posted. Both Tony and I have had INSANE schedules these days!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey I graduated in illustration a year ago and have always had odd ideas in sculpture work (doing practice with air drying clay allot in the past) I have lots of Sculpey clay and Im practicing in my own time in hopes of maybe doing something in way of a another course..or onward to my Masters. I have little info on process of how to go about my ideas and Im committing to private study so i have some actual experience outside my illustration degree to perhaps help me onto a future course.

    Basically I love this tutorial but i have questions and would not mind some kind of on hand info for this kind of work. Do you or Mr Cipriano know of any books that may help me in some way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. interested in a course? the best sculpture class anywhere is from this place, period: http://www.anatomytools.com/on-site-c45.php
      i highly recommend it :)

      Delete
  6. Thanks so much for sharing! Really enjoy his work and insight.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I use Super Sculpy for all my sculpts. How does the one you use compare?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wanted to thank you for this great post!! I enjoyed every little bit of it, I have you bookmarked and waiting for all the new stuff you post.

    photography degrees

    ReplyDelete
  9. Its unusual for me to find something on the internet that's as entertaining and intriguing as what you have got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are outstanding, and whats more, you use source that are relevant to what you are talking about. You're certainly one in a million.

    Keep up the good work!
    Bruce Bent II

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like this weblog so much, saved to my bookmarks.

    Outsource Online Data Entry Services - http://www.dataentryhelp.com/outsource-online-dataentry-service-india.htm

    ReplyDelete
  11. One of the best blogs on the net!thks very much for this, kind regards from Brazil!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Did you ever do part two? this is great - thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That is awesome! Cipriano has seriously talented hands.

    Security DVR System

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi,i have read your whole blog,its very amazing,i am impressed.i have bookmark your site for revisit.if ever you

    need Lapel Pins then please contact me.Thanx dear.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is awesome and very cool artwork! I really like to do it too, but I think I need more practice and wide knowledge to do it perfectly like what you did there.

    2D Animation Outsourcing

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just found your blog and want to say thank you! What an enjoyable time looking through so many sites. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work till the end.
    lawyer web design

    ReplyDelete
  17. HairExtensions,KeratinTipped,RemyIndianHumanHair,ITipped,FusionHairExtensions,KeratinGlue,SeamlessTapeHairExtensions,KeratinHairExtensions,EuropeanHair

    ReplyDelete
  18. Military Challenge Coins
    Gorgeous post thanks for sharing i would love to share this post to my all friends and i am sure they also will like it as i did.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is really a superb thing to share. keep it up dear, i will revisit your blog.
    Contract Management Software

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Very cool artwork. Should you need a camera system to protect your artwork, check this company out. They offer nationwide service for security cameras, access control and burglar alarms:

    http://www.camerasecuritydirect.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is so cute blog. i really love to see this blog thank

    u.Custom

    Lapel Pins

    ReplyDelete
  24. wow its really superb.Here I would like to introduce Delights of India,which is a directory for India handicraft store.

    ReplyDelete
  25. You should check out the amazing figure sculpting reference models at www.anatomicalfigures.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks to sharing your great post.really your website is very interesting.
    i am waiting for your other post.
    Aluminum Statues

    ReplyDelete
  27. So true, and what’s perhaps even more devastating is that there’s been so little support to help the community rebuild.2d animation studios

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi I'm Sagun,

    You've done such great work. i'm inviting you to post your work at our website. After Editorial process we'll post your creative work on our website with your author name and get more fame.

    CGfrog is and art blog dedicated to designers and job seekers,
    Updated multiple times in a day.

    For Hot and Sexy Photography Inspirations | Best Graphic Inspiration Works | Tutorials | Animation Jobs | Graphic Designer Jobs | Web Designer Jobs | Vfx Artist Jobs | Audio/Video Editor Jobs and other Multimedia Jobs :

    please visit my website : www.cgfrog.com
    Like us @ CGfrog

    Warm Regards
    Sagun Arora

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm really impressed by these works you create. I love maquettes and this is quality. Excuse my english.

    Hennie
    Amsterdam

    Massage Amsterdam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Wife means she is really excited about this blog.

      Bert M
      Amsterdam, Holland
      Steadycam Expert

      Delete
    2. My Wife means she is really excited about this blog.

      Bert M
      Amsterdam, Holland
      Steadycam expert

      Delete
  30. I really got to know a lot more from it.. I am a wondered for good knowledge here and there this blog very sportive for me every point of view.
    disney costume

    ReplyDelete
  31. Eastern Voyage Pvt. Ltd.providing Luxury train Tours to whole India like Palace on Wheels, Maharajas Express, The Indian Maharaja Express, The Royal Maharaja on Wheels. You can see culture, tradition, customs, foods, cloths, art, royality, wild life, adventure etc on these trains.

    Luxury Indian Train Tours

    ReplyDelete
  32. good job....

    3D Yantram specializing in Character Modeling & Character Rigging for Animations world.
    http://3dyantram.info/character-modeling.html

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for sharing...Eastern Voyage Pvt.Ltd. offers the complete guide of tourism of Tribal in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. We are specialists in worldwide travel and tourism Odisha tour and admired highly for its quality services.
    Travel agents in Odisha

    ReplyDelete
  34. At CGMANTRA, you find the perfect blend of Creativity, Innovation & Technology. http://www.cgmantra.in/
    Animation Institute in Delhi | Mass Comm Institute

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for sharing...Eastern Voyage Pvt.Ltd. offers the complete guide of tourism of Tribal in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. We are specialists in worldwide travel and tourism Odisha tour and admired highly for its quality services.
    Travel agents in Odisha

    ReplyDelete
  36. I don't suppose a part two will be showing up soon. Sad when blogs die.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned. I wanted to thank you for this great article. I enjoyed every little bit part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.
    lapel pins

    ReplyDelete
  38. This was one of the best blogs ever… thank you so much!
    Wish it would be continued…

    ReplyDelete