This week I want to learn something completely new, so i’m taking a trip to Amsterdam to meet with Rogier Samuels from Unreal. So we create basically things from movies, and TV shows and theatre. You might know this guy that we did for a company called WETA workshop in New Zealand, it was for Lord of the Rings.
But today he took a break from working on these kind of projects… to share a bit of his expertise with us… now – you’ve seen the thumbnail, so you can probably guess what’s about to happen. He started with some clay on a flat surface to begin sculpting the wound for my face.
The most important part of this process really is to create like a fine blend, and then the sculpture starts from basically nothing until, you know, a certain thickness. He worked on the shape, all the way down to the finest details of skin pores.
After covering it with silicone, that created an inverted version of the sculpture to use as a mould. Then by pouring more silicone into that, and scraping away the excess he basically had a silicone version of the original sculpture.
After adding some glue, he stuck it to some transfer paper so it could be applied just like those temporary tattoos for kids. But before that he had to clean any oils from my skin. And add some glue. Then he peeled off the plastic, and stuck the prosthetic to my face.
With a watery cloth, the paper separates from the silicone. And then I take off the cloth, and then carefully I can peel off the paper. Just needed a bit of touching up to glue the edges down, and he could now start blending.
And blending it is basically taking the edge off with more alcohol. And then we can see that it doesn’t quite match the skin tone yet. It’s not bad, but we need to add a little bit more color. So we use a lot of alcohol based palettes, so what it means is you use alcohol to activate the color.
You can do it with a toothbrush to splatter, or you can buy the really expensive brushes. But toothbrush works fine. But someone could take regular makeup and apply it with a toothbrush – Definitely definitely – they could even actually take regular makeup and dilute it with alcohol.
What you want is you want to have an alcohol that is very high in percentage, like a 99% isopropyl alcohol, for example. You can do a fantastic sculpt, but then if you do a very crappy job in coloring it, then it’s not gonna look right, so all these little steps have to work in your favour.
Would you say that you’re like living the dream? When you were a kid and when you were imagining what this would be like, is this like as amazing as you’d imagined? A lot of times when people don’t know what it is you really do and you tell them about it, they only see the glitter and the glamour, but really that’s you know, maybe one percent of what we do.
They go “yeah but you work with famous actors” “you work on these cool movie sets” but what they forget is that most of our time is spent here in the workshop just creating this stuff, which is what we like, but it’s just really hard work.
Basically what i’m doing now is i’m gonna create the illusion that this wound is a little deeper than it really is. And I do that by going along the edges on the inside of the wound, and using quite a dark color.
And then i’m gonna do a little bit of the fat tissue, and fat tissue is kind of like a little bit yellowish color. What we find a lot is you know when it’s a job where it involves a design, and people come to you and they don’t know what they need.
A lot of times you’ll do a design and they’ll go “no, no, no, this is not what we mean” and then you go like a whole route and then in the end you come back to the first design, that’s really not much different and they go “yeah yeah that’s it” you know, so we find that a lot.
So they just wanted to feel like they had some influence. Exactly, yeah. And sometimes you have to kind of play along just to make your own life more comfortable. Okay so basically this is now the wound colored, the inside is colored and there’s quite a few different colors in it, and then what I will do now is I will add a little bit of blood paste.
Now you can buy fake blood, or do what Rogier does and make it yourself with stuff you can find in the kitchen – there are plenty of recipes online. And basically to make the paste what I do, is I just use a little bit of Vaseline, and I add blood to it, and that’s all, then you have like a little bit of a thicker blood paste.
So it’s all smoke and mirrors, so you wanna use a lot of different little tricks to sell your illusion. Alright, and then if you take this is like a coarse black sponge, you can get it from an aquarium shop, you can do like a streak.
So you could give someone a graze. So after using the thicker vaseline blood, he then applied some regular fake blood for the final touch. And then to learn all of these skills? It’s just trial and error really, like I didn’t go to school to learn this.
I mean nowadays there are schools and there’s YouTube tutorials, and I think it gets you to a certain point, but I think just just really doing it yourself, and making mistakes, really makes you think about how things are done, and you get your own techniques, and that’s really really what this job is about, it’s about problem solving.
You know like, I had a job where we needed to build a dolphin, and they came to us and they said have you ever done a dolphin, and we’re like no, we’ve never done one. Can you do it? Yeah sure we can do it.
And then your brain starts to work and you talk to colleagues, and you kind of make a plan, and then when it works then that’s the real kick you get out of it. That’s it open your eyes Oh my goodness.
That is a serious.. Dang.. it looks like.. I dunno.. That is just.. I don’t know what to say! And so there it is the final result, I for one am incredibly impressed with the colour, the depth, the detail, so big thanks to Rogier and Unreal for having us.
Oh and I’m curious to hear what you think of this different style of video so feel free to leave comment. My name’s Simon Cade, this has been DSLRguide and i’ll see you next week.