Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Succubus Photo Shoot - Part One.

I'm chopping this up into two posts because of how I'm editing the images.

One of my favorite Demon models is leaving PEI, we'd worked together - she was actually the first Demon shoot ever - for about 4-5 years and I thought we needed to do something big for one last shoot.

Since, Julie, the model in question here, liked doing the more pin-up type shoots and I not only had a mould of her face, but of her head and shoulders as well, I figured this was already half done. I was more comfortable doing larger paint jobs since discovering the Pro-Aiir paints - not perfect as they will come off with friction of any sort, but they do work really well.

I also want to point out, I don't do massive elaborate makeups because that's not my market. My market is the Halloween crowd, so I tailor my stuff to not feel too out of reach to that crowd - and I've no interest in being involved in the film special effects industry, too many uniformed people with far reaching unreasonably expectations that I just don't have the patience for. With the Halloween market there's much less expectation usually and a better sense of fun when it comes to makeup.

So this project was much larger scale that I'm used to. Not only was a planning a cowl and face piece, but several horns and spines and crap all over, but fake breasts as well. I was interested in the idea of artificial nudity and how it would read and be responded to - obviously a much more comfortable thing to deal with in general as well for both me and the model.

The idea was set and I have to get it all sculpted, I started with the face, it was easy enough and I don't really recall much by way of agonizing over the design. I did several of the horns and spikes at the same time since I wasn't worried about their overall look - other than they'd be black and sinewy looking.

The breasts were easy enough, I normally use Monster Makers clay, but I thought it'd be too difficult getting a smooth rounded shape - and then another matching one - so I used regular WED clay for that, sculpting the nipples separately since they needed more detail than I felt I could get with the WED clay. They were done with Monster Makers, the idea was to glue them on, seal them and paint them all as one - which worked perfectly.Took a couple tries to get them to turn out in foam latex though.

The biggest challenge, since I don't do larger pieces very often, was the cowl. I did a full face and cowl earlier this year with Julie and it worked out okay. I learned what was a good idea and why, and what was a bad idea and why. I like to learn by doing, not listening to someone else. I decide this time around to make separate pieces, cowl and face. And rather then have a full neck wrapping around - I left the larynx area open to make it easier to slip on - which worked great and was so easy this time around.

The worst part was the horns. I decided since it was open along the front to do do my seam along the middle of the face, not from side to side like it's usually done. I didn't put a lot of details along the top of the skull and back of the neck, so I figured it'd make for a quick decent seam - and it did, it worked great. The only weird angle I had was the horns.
While they turned out well in the mould, for some reason whenever I ran it in foam, they just wouldn't gel and tore apart upon demoulding. I tried it three times. First time was a regular batch of foam, it wasn't enough. Second time it was still crap. Third time the cowl came out okay, but the horns were still not gelling and I was running out time, foam and patience. I was filling orders for Halloween at the same time and it was impossible to juggle so I had to run this when I was running stuff for orders. In the end I chose to cut the ragged horns off of the otherwise decent cowl and ran the horns themselves, attaching them afterwards - they were still a little ragged, but they worked just the same so I was happy.

I think the mould still had some moisture in it and that was causing the issues, I just didn't have time to deal with that though since I was on an incredibly tight deadline.I was doing the shoot on Monday the 20th and this was Saturday afternoon, the 18th. I still had to paint all this stuff up and get orders ready for Monday morning as well.

So it all worked, I managed to get it all painted - I even learned a little bit more about my airbrushed and clogging issues that I had never realized before too.

We had an awesome location, there was no real rush - which was good considering I had to airbrush Julie from head to toe in red. We got the cowl, face and breasts on and began painting. I knew it was going to take awhile, and even though I lost track of time, I think it was around 4 hours. It was tiring and exhausting, but I think it was well worth it. In person the makeup was okay, there were definite flaws - but I know how red holds up on camera so I was banking in it helping fudge the colours exactly how I wanted it to. And I was right, it worked perfectly.

I had to do some cleaning up, the seams were far from perfect, but for the purposes of still photos it was good enough. I won't lie and say these are exactly how it looked right from the camera, they are processed. I cleaned up the edges were needed and decided to add a little extra black to her eyes. I used some big-assed black sclera lenses with a red iris and thought it needed to go a little further.

These are the first batch from post-processing. I wanted to make sure I had some "Facebook friendly" ones to post right away and these are those images. Even though there's no nudity, I'm pretty sure there's at least one idiot out there who wouldn't read, see foam latex nipples and get all upset. I'm not interesting in pushing those limits for the sake of rights or controversy, so this was my solution.

A huge amount of the photos not only turned out, but turned out brilliantly awesome. I couldn't be happier with the results of all that hard work. Dozens and dozens of hours of sculpting, moulding, casting and painting and applying all paid off in freaking awesome Succubus shoot.

It might be a couple days before I get around to posting the rest.

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