With all the "medical advancements" that "doctors" have accomplished, it's easy to forget modern day medicines creepy, sweaty cousin: the Mad Scientist. Let me take you back to a simpler time. That horror movie world where all a maniacal, deranged doctor wanted to do was perform abhorrent experiments on people in an attempt to beat death. And how, exactly, did he propose to accomplish this feat? Why, with a syringe full of fluorescent green liquid, of course!
I've been working on modeling a syringe in 3Ds Max, rendering the scene layers, and compositing them in Photoshop for our next assignment. I thought that Max was already an amazing tool by itself, but once you take the rendered images into PS, that's where the magic really happens. The differences between the two syringe pics aren't TERRIBLY drastic, but the compositing process lets you bring out specific shadows and highlights that you can't achieve in Max alone. Being relatively unfamiliar with Photoshop before the BVIS program, gaining an understanding in what exactly you can do with it is pretty remarkable. Using multiple programs to make a single, unified image is really amazing. The small tweaks to the details make all the difference, and it's plain to see when flipping through the progression pictures.
While the first syringe I made for the assignment was fun (I used it as the Haptic pointer in the videos of my last post), I wanted to do something more interesting than your average plastic syringe, and needed an excuse to work with glass and chrome texture materials. I just watched the Re-Animator a few weeks ago, so BAM! Old school horror movie syringe. It also gave me the opportunity to work with fluorescent materials. Win win win.
In Anaplastology this week we have been working with adding texture to our wax models. I had no idea how we were going to tackle the problem of making skin-like textures. The solution, however, was extremely impressive in its simplicity. It required a toothbrush and a flame. That's it!
The process involved roughing up the wax with the toothbrush and making divots and dimples all over the surface, then bringing a flame just close enough to it to flash melt the surface. The miniscule chunks of wax that were dug out by the toothbrush would flatten down, and the pits would smooth out making this kind of texture all over the surface: ~~~~~~~. The end result looked just like pores, and it took a matter of seconds.
With every type of casting, there comes a point where you have to destroy the precious, painstaking modeling you've been working tirelessly on in order to make a negative for the final product. Making a prosthesis is no different. In order to make the mold for the final silicone cast, we learned how to make a 3-part mold. The "third" part is a wedge that sits under the back of the ear so that you can actually pull the silicone out of the mold. Taking all of the undercuts into account is a bit of a process, but with the wedge and the soft silicone, it isn't too bad.
This week we will be putting the molds together and casting the silicone, and all this hard work will finally pay off! Next week we get to work on painting on color to make it look even more realistic. More photos to come!