Batman vs. Predator is mind-blowing. With the bats flying around, it doesn't even look like it could possibly be printed in 3D. Could you walk us through the process used in the figure's creation and evolution?
This statue was a crazy idea that I had. I am a big fan of both Batman and Predator. I saw on the internet a fantastic short by Sandy Corola called 'Dead End' and it was inspirational for me. I recommend it if you have not seen it. The main idea was to make a little exercise in the composition of two characters fighting. But while building the characters I increasingly fancied doing something that had not been seen in statues and I ended up creating this diorama.
I usually tell a story with my statues. Imagine what would happen if Batman came across Predator. Batman would be the prey and Predator the hunter. The only opportunity that Batman would have would be the element of surprise. The first thing he would do would be to disable the Predator´s powerful lasers and as we see in the sculpture, Batman has disabled both of them with his batarangs. The only remaining option is therefore hand to hand and again the element of surprise. I love imagining those stories and translating them into my statues! LOL
For the execution I started by doing Batman in one file. After that was the body and anatomy of the Predator, since he was the biggest character in the composition and the one that was going to have larger number of SubTools. Once I found the idea for the action I placed both characters in their poses and kept on designing the parts of the Predator´s armor.
For the composition it is necessary to keep in mind that this statue will be a real (physical) statue. That is to say, we must think about the final production. Part of the engineering has to include how the Predator will support Batman`s weight. If you notice, Batman is in contact with it at three points. The Predator, even in an imbalanced position (since Batman has dropped down on him) possesses three contact points with the base. (The two feet, and the hip which is in contact with the gargoyle.) The bats are all in contact with the cape or another part of the diorama. Everything is thought through so that it works not only for the composition and its depiction of the action I wanted, but also in the future production.
What are the benefits to sculpting each character separately? Doesn't that create challenges when you finally bring them together?
I usually begin to sculpt the characters separately. We must keep in mind that the final file with multiple characters can be very heavy, which means we must to find ways to optimize. For example, it makes no sense to have all subdivisions for all SubTools. We can use decimation to optimize the scene once a particular SubTool is finalized. We can also use decimation with hard surfaces, weapons, etc. You can even begin to model with DynaMesh and at the end decimate the SubTool. This is the best way to optimize a SubTool.
For the composition I pose both bodies in the final file. Once I get the desired action, I use each posed body as a reference for positioning the SubTools because sometimes if using Transpose with all the SubTools we risk accidentally deforming other parts of the figure.
Could you give us an idea of how long it took for some of these figures, from start to finish? Especially “Thor” and “Batman vs. Predator”?
The difficult thing about Thor was to design a version that had not been seen until now. When we do not have a design going in, the process becomes a little slower. Thor took approximately one month between the overall process and corrections.
Since I did it in my free hours when I had no urgent deadlines, Batman vs. Predator took approximately one month to a month and a half. Since I wasn’t under anyone else´s supervision and it was entirely my design, everything was faster. I had a clear idea from the outset everything was done quickly.