Thursday, November 20, 2008

Elder Thing Dissection Photo

I can finally show a preview of the project I've been working on for the last week.

This is a rough take of a photo I'm going to be adding to the ATMOM set once everything is finished. I've been using a lot of retouching techniques for the other shots, but for this one I decided I wanted to physically reproduce a conjectural picture of Lake's Elder Thing dissection. Although I'd ultimately like to tackle creating a full-scale ET down the road this particular project required a relatively small piece of the creature's anatomy. After taking the size limitations of a table-top dissection scene into consideration I decided that one of the five eye stalks would be ideal.

Constructing the stalk was pretty straight forward. The foundation of the body was a fast-food drink cup while the eyeball started life as a black plastic christmas ball. After cutting away the bottom of the cup and dropping the ball into the resulting hole I used a layer of paper mache to provide the grooved, worm-skin texture of the stalk. While that was drying I drilled out the eyeball and added an iris made out of an eye from a teddy bear. Once the paper mache "skin" was dry I stuffed the stalk with aluminum foil and gave everything a basic coat of paint before applying multiple layers of colored liquid latex to provide some depth to the skin and create the fleshy bits at the base of the stalk.

This shot gives a better view of the results if you ignore the ridiculous dayglo color scheme. I just used whatever colors were handy since the final image will be in black and white . Click to view the full sized version.

I still need to add the final weathering to the stalk, but I'm pretty happy with the results so far. A light wash of dark-colored ink followed by some drybrushing will help bring out the texture, while a few more gooey bits on the damaged end will make it look more like torn and crushed tissue. Once that's done I'll get the other props needed for the shot together, like a dissection tray and some more scientific gear.

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