Tested Lessons: Basic Sculpting, Part 1

We’re trying something new this week: learning a craft from a professional! Effects artist Frank Ippolito spends the day with us to teach us some basic sculpting lessons. The first lesson sounds simple, but makes us look at common shapes in a new light. Follow along with with us by signing up for a Tested Premium Membership here!

Comments (31)

31 thoughts on “Tested Lessons: Basic Sculpting, Part 1

  1. What a great first episode. Very informative and inspiring. Looking forward to the next installments.

    As for the videoplayer: is the quality only available as automatic? It seems relative low res with no way to change it.

  2. Okay, where are the postings ahead of time about what’s being done and what supplies can be got to go along?

  3. Ears! That’s jumping in the deep end. I struggle with ears when I make CG models.

    I also tend not to use reference, which is a constant mistake I really have to rectify.

  4. Subscribed so I could watch this series and already feel like I’ve learn something. Could do with some cheesy music in the background to fill in any quiet points, but other than that, good stuff 🙂

  5. Whoa that was awesome! Looking forward to the rest of the series. I wish I had seen this before I made that ear necklace for Halloween 😀

  6. On the topic of ears, I worked with an ear, nose, and throat surgeon who specialized in facial plastics. One common problem she fixed was rebuilding deformed ears and surgically attaching them. There are several prosthetics out there but she showed me one that she basically sculpted out of the patient’s own rib cartilage before attaching it and it was amazing. I’d imagine she would have been good at this exercise. Sorry if that was too graphic for anyone!

  7. that was a nice video. thanks, guys!

    but ugh, i caught the yt link when norm tweeted it, so i was exposed to yt comments. augh! how people expect to be actively catered to in their complacency: how dare you not make this more engaging while you are clearly engaged in a complex activity? how is the result of frank giving will and norm some hands-on sculpting lessons not a structured step by step tutorial? how DARE you presenting something that requires active participation instead of spoonfeeding the bottom line?

    i did like seeing the grasp of shape emerge in will and norm, though. the idea of looking at a shape and breaking it down into characteristic parts and how it manifested in the increased accuracy of their sculpts, the problems they identified and the questions they were asking. good job guys! that’s the first step into a larger world. 😉

  8. As someone who has next to no sculpting ability, I really enjoyed this! Can’t wait to see the rest and how your skills progress under Frank’s tutelage.

  9. I think this is a great video, and I’m sure the following videos will be great as well. I’m glad to see other folks here on Tested share that opinion… I don’t know why I even bother going to the videos on Youtube anymore. The whole comment section is just a cesspool of foul mouthed, entitled, whiny idiots. Don’t let them get you guys down! You’re doing very well for first time sculptors and Frank is an excellent teacher.

  10. This looks like its going to be another great series. Will they be available for download later? I’d like to hold onto a copy of these for watching again in the future if I get around to picking up the materials. Some of the previous premium videos were available for download, but that was also when you were fighting with the previous flash player.

  11. I love that look of epiphany on Will’s face when he’s first playing with the clay.

    I thought that too. He really looks in touch with his inner-child. 🙂

  12. Does anyone know where I could find the quote from Cormac McCarthy Will was talking about? I’ve been searching for a solid day now and can’t seem to find it.

  13. Fast There was a few hour delay between the premium video and youtube. It hadn’t been uploaded yet when he asked about it.

  14. Earlobes are not made of cartilage, it’s just extra skin. Having stretched my lobes to 40mm (on my way to 2″) I know this to be a fact. The rest of the ear is cartilage, but the lobe is just skin, stretchy, stretchy skin.

  15. If two people where to follow along with the series, is it best for each person to have their own package of clay? or would one package have enough for both people for the entire series? Thanks!

  16. are you going to practice on two busts or are you going to cooperatively sculpt one? I would get one package per bust my friend.

  17. I also just wanted to say thank you for this series of videos. I’ve really been needing this guidance in my life. I appreciate it guys!

    -Always be Testing 😀

  18. Getting that clay in the UK is a problem and the bust on Amazon is stupidly expensive compared to getting it in the US 🙁

  19. Thought I’d post my ear…

    I used some Plastalina brand non-drying clay. It was a lot thicker and harder than the Monster clay seemed to be, but I think it worked well. It was like $12 at Hobby Lobby. Overall the sculpt took me about 2 hours, but each time I look at it I see little things that I can make better. It can definitely turn into a never ended project if you want it to. It’s also a very relaxing project to work on.

    This is my first time sculpting, but I found a few techniques that worked well for me and the clay I used. One was using a paint brush. Both the thin handle and the brush itself made smoothing tons easier with the thicker clay that I used. Another odd technique was using a fillet knife. It allowed me to cut super thin strips to lay into crevices for blending. There are a lot of subtle depths to the ear, so this gave me a lot of control over the amount of clay I was using. It was probably overkill and surely slowed me down, but it worked.

    Side note – I only had photo references to work with.

    On the left is my reference, on the right is my sculpt next to a quarter for size reference.

  20. ^^ Any feedback you could give on my post above would be more than helpful 🙂 Thanks! Love the lessons.

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