Clay Modelling

Using the imagery collected within my anatomy research and initial concept character drawings I decided to create a 3D clay model of one of my characters to help with the modelling process of the character. By using clay I felt this would help me to visualise my 2D drawings as a 3D character better than making it straight as a digital model, as I could physically see and sculpt the model, allowing me to see all angles of the model more clearly, helping me to better visualise the 3D form.

I also thought by making the clay model I could then photograph it to form my reference pictures for my digital model.


The Process

The process began by asking Chris, the sculpture technician, to help me create the armature for the model. Then using my reference material I built up the model with clay to form the final design.




Final Model





I thoroughly enjoyed this process as it is not a method I get to do very often, so it was a nice change from what I normally do allowing me to explore the character design through a different method and material.

I found the tactile nature of the modelling to be very useful for working out the 3D form, as clay is malleable and can easily be added to or removed. Therefore allowing me to experiment and try out different shapes/ forms to help me finesse the shape of the model. So the modelling gave me a platform to experiment with to work out what the models 3D form would be to get to correct before digitally model which would be ore tricky to experiment with, especially when I am not familiar with the programs. So I definitely feel the modelling has helped me to visualise what the character would be like in a 3D form, which I can use as a reference for my digital 3D modelling.

With this method being such a success and useful to me, I thought I would create clay models of all the characters before creating them digitally to help me to better visualise their 3D form. However when I think about it the creation process took me almost a week of work and I’m unsure if that would be a useful use of my time, as I won’t have a lot of time to experiment with the design or animation of the models. There will only be time for creation and I wouldn’t have time to make any alterations, meaning I couldn’t develop and improve the models nor their animations. Making it for a poor quality game as their could be many bugs and issues with the model/ design which can;t be solved.

Therefore I’m unsure if making clay models would be a good use of my time, with their being such a tight deadline to stick too. So I think I will create the 3D model for this character and see how long this takes and them reconsider making clay models later on, as then I will better know how long it takes to model and animate one character and whether I have enough time to clay model them all as well or not.