15 August 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Greasán na Meán Skillnet & Screen Skills Ireland Announce New 10 Day Hyper-Realistic Silicone Bust Course
08 May 2019 : News Desk
Runs from August 19th-28th.
Greasán na Meán Skillnet and Screen Skills Ireland have partnered together to deliver a new 10-day hyper-realisitic silicone bust course that will take in Galway this August 19th – 28th, 2019.

This course will teach you how to sculpt, mould, cast, paint and hair punch a Hyper-Realistic silicone Bust for use in TV or Film. This can be used as a prop or the skills transferred to creating 3D makeup (prosthetics) and prop making.

The course, which is run by Paul McDonnell, will provide the student with the skills and confidence to sculpt a Hyper-Realistic character for use on TV or Film. It would be of interest to model makers, prop makers, makeup artists, prosthetic technicians, art directors, production designers, and artists with an interest in working in Film & TV Production. The sculpting, moulding and painting skills acquired are transferable to many other applications.

This course is aimed at model makers, prop makers, makeup artists, prosthetic technicians, art directors, production designers and artists with an interest in working in Film & TV Production, plus Supervisors, Assistants and Trainees who would like to upskill and enhance their sculpting, moulding, silicone casting, painting and hair punching skills.

The cost of the course is €850 with the option of a payment plan available. A deposit of €200 will secure your place on the course. The full course fee must be paid before the course begins.

The course will run as follows:

Day 1: Set up and prepare armature for sculpting. Refresh on basic sculpting techniques, moving to advanced techniques. Talk about proportion and anatomy of the character. Discuss what materials we will be using to sculpt.

Discuss what tools are used to sculpt specific textures and how to make these tools.

Days 2-3: Using drawings and references, establish the form and symmetry of the sculpt. We will talk about and reference animal and human anatomy.

Day 4: Using sculpting techniques create realistic skin texture. Students will be taught various skin texture techniques and what tool or material used to create them. Example of skin textures would be old skin, wrinkles, troll skin, elephant skin, warts, scars, teeth and gums, veins. All techniques are sculpted by hand without the use of texture stamps.

Day 5: Finish sculpts and prepare for moulding. This stage is crucial and it is often underestimated how important it is. Building the clean base or foundation for a mould is essential to a successful mould. Health and safety procedures and chemical handling will be discussed and proper procedures demonstrated. Photos of the sculpts before the moulding process begins will be taken by a professional photographer.

Day 6: Create mould of sculpt. This moulding technique is the basis for 80% of the moulds a student is likely to come across in their career. The materials, application, and outcome might change but the basic techniques will not; they are the cornerstone of mould-making. Techniques will be shown on how to reduce the lengthy process of cleaning out the mould.

Day 7: Cast the silicone bust. What silicone to use and why? Intrinsic colouring of the silicone. It is very important to establish the right colour and translucency to create realistic skin. This will be established through using dyes and flocking. Back painting the silicone bust in preparation for pouring the skin. How to remove from mould. Prep for seaming (patching). Even the best cast will have a seam holes or bubbles. Students will be taught how to get rid of the seams, holes or bubbles by creating a silicone patch. Prepare silicone for painting.

Day 8: Paint silicone. Students will learn painting techniques to create a realistic skin tone in both colour and depth. We will discuss the colour wheel and what colours help create realistic skin tone.

Day 9: Laying on of hair and hair punch. Students will be introduced to many different types of hair and will learn how and when they should use them. How to prepare and perm the hair ready for punching. To punch hair students will need a needle, which they will be shown how to make themselves and use. A selection of different needles will be there for them to use also.

Day 10: Finalise and style the silicone bust and prepare for photo shoot. The photos will be taken by a professional photographer. Students will have access to all photographs taken throughout the course for use in their portfolios.

All of the above coursework is practical and students will learn through demonstration, one-to-one tuition and, most importantly, they will learn by doing. It is important that students bring a notebook (preferably A4) to document their learning, techniques, materials, and formulas. It will also be very useful for networking as students will be among many of their peers working within the industry.

Tom Collins: “For me it's all about the work, which is about creating a reflection of a modern Irish cultural identity that can travel beyond borders, history and these shores.”
Over €4.6m allocated by Creative Europe to Irish screen industry in 2021
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