A 'maquette' is a fancy word for a scale model sculpture. My admiration and love for beautifully sculptured fantasy themed figures is no secret. I've been a lover of action figures from the animated world, film land and monster genre ever since I was a child. I can remember going to sleep with my toys laying on my pillow next to me. I have a rather small collection that I've amassed as I grew up. I plan to take some pictures of them and share them here. I think the sculptors, artists, puppet makers for films like Aliens, Predator, Dracula, and all the fantasy genre films have the one of the best jobs in the world. :)
Beautiful Sculpt of a Werewolf by industry veteran Steve Wang for Underworld: Evolution. He's a master!
At the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention this year, I made a new friend, Chris (he teaches animation in Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore). It's great to meet people with similar interests and passions. I get to "geek out" immediately. We stayed in touch and one day, he gave me the opportunity to sit in a class on Maquette making by an industry pro! I know, right? Lucky me.
I've always been a bit of a sculpting enthusiast and I figured since I love the medium so much I should try my hand at it. Often times, when I try to do something I admire, I find new-found respect for the people that are great at it. Although, I must admit I'm not very good at it. I have made a couple of things here and there but I don't think they're really any good. However, it's a nice quiet hobby for me and I try to work on it when I can. My most ambitious project was a Pegasus that I made last Christmas. I'm finding time to put Frankenstein's monster together but it's been half done for months, so little time...
Back to the maquette making class, our teacher for the day was Jai Mufizal. He is the art director for Ubisoft Games, Singapore. They've worked on games such as 'Assasins Creed' and other cool projects.
|Beautiful Art from Assasin'c Creed.|
The Class went really well. The goal of the day was to give us some pointers that the pros use to make their maquettes and I learned a whole bunch of useful, handy tips and tricks that I didn't know before, so maybe my sculpts will come out better next time. I also need to actually go out and buy some specific tools and more material. $$$, boring. Well, I don't party so I guess this is a good use of money. Our hands on project for the day was to learn the basics of sculpting a realistic head. I've never dared to go "real" before so it was a really nice learning experience.
This male human head was what I came up with at the end of the class. His eyes look weird.
|My human head sculpt is amateur stuff, wait till you see the work from Jai!|
Jai's work is really well done, he told us that sculpting is his passion and he's been commissioned to do a few really nice projects for collectors and other enthusiasts. His day job as art director for ubisoft sounds pretty cool to me too.
Here's some of his work for your viewing pleasure. You comic book enthusiasts are sure to recognize some of these characters.
|This piece won Jai a competition.|
|Check the detail of the scales on his armour!|
|Gotta love the detail.|
Great stuff, huh? You can see more of Jai's work on his deviant art profile
After the class, I looked around the animation classroom and there were maquettes made by students/ ex students of the animation course. Here's some of them.
At the end of the day, I took a picture with Chris and Jai. I wished there was more time for me to learn about anatomy and proportions but Oh well, it was already almost a full day class. Jai gave me the name of a book that he says is a great help to learning figure sculpting. I can't wait to place an order for it online. All in all, an Awesome day. Thanks Guys! Oh yeah, if after reading this you are inspired to take on animation as a course and get serious about this very cool media medium (say that five times quickly), I found the link to Lasalle's animation course here. If I were younger, I'd definitely save the money and enroll! Maybe it's not too late. We'll see.
|Chris, me and Jai (L-R)|