Thursday, 21 September 2017

3D Modeling

Even though you probably haven’t spent much time wondering about companies as to how they  make action figures , the answer might surprise you . In a world of high tech modeling and CAD programs , such figuresare among the last holdouts of the most ancient art : Realistic Sculpture.

“ The sculptures that are taught in schools are really just putting together  found junk ,”  says Manuel Jesus , a senior art director at Brooklyn-based toy company ,  Art Asylum . On the other hand he says , “  People at his firm carve out photo-realistic figures every day.

Not that their workshops  actually resemble Bernini’s work  . Like most people devoted to action figures, the Asylum sculptors are more hip and geeky than being  refined and artsy . When you go round their shops ,  you can find lots of baseball caps , black T-shirts , goatees ,etc.. and the president himself is one of those shrouded-in-mystery figures with a one-word name: Digger . According to the company’s  Website, Digger “ plays by few rules ,” and considers his job title as an “affliction ,” and spends half his time in Hong Kong  “ tooling around the mountains of mainland China ,  on his motorcycle and coming up with on-the-fly variants that collectors love .”

But at least Digger has some small justifications  for his semi-legendary existence . The company, which he co-founded in 1996 with vice president Donna Soldano, had quickly emerged as a major player in the world of action figures . It produces  for KISS , Marvel , Eminem and the Star Trek franchise , as well as a number of other properties .

For all the work that the Asylum does is far from being  exciting . Realistic sculptures are painstakingly  in detail and, except for patterns for spaceships and hero chest plates (which are made  using Adobe Illustrators ) , most of them are handmade (  made by hand ) .

To explain this process , Manuel Jesus ,  walked me through the creation of a twelve-inch Hulk statuette which was commissioned by Marvel  and was sculpted by one of the many  Art Asylum’s freelancers  , Meg Stone . It’s scheduled for a limited release close to the launch of the movie .