"Metal Will Never Die" Metallic Contest WIP

Apparently making a likeness sculpt involves going back and forth between tiny changes for hours, questioning your skills, your life choices and reality itself, losing your own sanity, being dragged through all Nine Layers of Hell and the guide Virgil mocking you all the way through, and of course repeating to yourself that you need to quit and be a productive member of society…

And yet!!

You gotta push! Stand up and Shout! Because we are metal and metal will never die!

Joking aside this truly has been mostly going back and forth through tiny changes and doubting whether every stroke brings the likeness closer or ruining everything, but I think it's part of the process on a particular piece like that. I also get pretty tired of looking at the same thing for so long, I lose objectivity and it becomes harder to know whether I'm improving the piece or destroying it. In the end since I'm gonna make him a statue made of metal it doesn't reeeeally matter if they look identical or not as long as some key features are there.

It’s a unique and interesting challenge but at the same time the most draining project I’ve tackled so far… This will end up either being a great satisfaction and feeling of achievement or a monumental disappointment.

I’m not writing all this to seek encouragement, I’ve always been my own source of encouragement, but I’m writing it as a journal of sorts and a fair warning to anyone that might want to get into likeness sculpting.
If you do attempt, or have attempted in the past, something like this, please share with me your own experience and lessons learned.

P.S. For those not familiar with the work of Ronnie James Dio, what’s written in italic above are lyrics from some of his most famous songs.
P.S.2 I’m adding yesterday’s work as well (the one that is only a head with no body) so you guys can more objectively judge and let me know whether I’m straying away from the likeness or getting closer to it.
P.S.3 I should clarify that I understood the concept of the contest being metal as in the material which is why I’m making a metallic sculpture of the dude and did not interpret the theme as Metal the music genre. I just combined the two together, I guess I confused people a little :stuck_out_tongue:

This is amazing Alex! Yes it will be a lot of back and forth tweaking and small tiny details that will in the long run make the overall shape and bust look awesome. I think journaling it is good…will help you from going insane as well :stuck_out_tongue: lol kidding! awesome job man

Choosing to do this for the contest was the first sign of insanity Alex, I’m far too gone now, we should have acted earlier lol JoyLaughing Thanks man :smiley:

I think metal music fits the theme just fine.

Hands are always tricky to get right… We’ll see how this goes though :slight_smile:

So after many hours of procrastination and spinning around the model I’ve got most of the basic shape there with a few obvious exceptions.
I was having real trouble with the Blender camera, I had to make the hands tiny in order to make them appear normal size because otherwise if I kept them in normal size they would appear huge because they were closer to the camera… Not sure how to fix this issue, I feel what I did was a workaround.

Critiques are welcome, there’s still plenty of time and room to make adjustments and improvements.

Absolutely brilliant. God loves the Rock and Roll children ?. Doing this may make you want to Stand up and Shout, but at least in this challenge you can guarantee you will not be the Last in Line.

Looking forward to seeing the finished piece

Looking good.

Very nice Alex. Looks good to me. As far as critique…well he is missing a hand…may want to look into that…lol kidding great job!

Love this comment so much!!! :smiley: Thank you silverstrirling and rock on!! Metal

thanks Crisp :slight_smile:

OMG Alex! Now that you mention it I think he might be missing his hair too… Oh God I gotta get to work this is not at all what I expected as a result!! lol

Thanks brother :slight_smile:

On the final road to completing this project.
Haven’t uploaded more steps of the process because if I’m being honest this has taken it’s toll on me. Not only because it’s been one of the most complex and difficult things I’ve done in Blender so far, but also because I’ve been immersing myself in countless hours of Ronnie’s music and interviews, I’ve dug even deeper to his material and the man he was and that has, in a way, made me go through his death all over again.

I had the chance to see him up close in 2009, less than a year before his death, but due to a surgery I had a few months prior I decided to not risk going to a metal concert with all the inevitable pushing and shoving.
It still remains one of the greatest regrets of my life…

Now on to the project itself. I’ve left most of the detailing for the end, as one should.
I tried a few things for the shirt but decided that sculpting it would take ages and would also lead me to trying to copy the wrinkles of the reference image. So I went with Marvelous Designer, made the shirt there, imported to blender and tweaked it according to my needs.

The hair is also a bit of a headache mainly because I’ve not worked with this before.
What you see here is a test of the hair, just wanted to get some in there and see if the mesh I made using curves will get the job done. I think with some slight tweaking and by using some consistent and realistic flow to them I’ll get a pretty decent result. Since this is going to be a metallic sculpture I decided against particle hair, which would have otherwise been fine and way easier to make than this. But this kind of hair looks like something that could be done in a real sculpt.

So on my to do list is: Make a couple variations of the hair mesh, carefully place them on the head taking into consideration a realistic hair flow, finish detailing the hands and fingers, add a little bit more detail to the face and finally add a semi-procedural metallic texture to the mesh. Still plenty to do, but there’s plenty of time.

Despite all I’ve been enjoying making a likeness sculpt, from what I can tell it’s a very challenging thing to do even for experienced artists, and it makes me proud that a noob such as myself can get a result like this. I’ve seen much worse results from much better artists than myself, so that has been encouraging to keep going with this, even though I am not 100% satisfied with the result…

@alexkarajohnn wow! it’s FANTASTIC, AWESOME, BELLISSIMO!

Can’t wait to see this finished.

Thank you Francesca, let’s hope the end result looks good, I’m a bit worried of how the metallic texture will come out looking, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

Thank you Crispy! Btw I did look into your Artstation account, cool stuff man! I’ll make an account too one of this days and I’ll start following you :smiley:

It’s coming along folks!! :smiley: No documentation here, just tried to get some details on the arms and hands without going too crazy or super realistic with it because (and I’m assuming here, correct me if I’m wrong) a metallic sculpture would be hard to get the very refined details you would normally see.

This is looking Absolutely freaking amazing! Metal will NEVER DIE INDEED!

Thanks brother! It’s being made with a special kind of love and has been an awesome way of paying tribute to a very kind soul and absolute legend of a man that I deeply respect! I’m glad you like it :slight_smile: