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Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Other Crafts » » Painting and Sculpting Tiki on the iPad and other crazy stuff
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Painting and Sculpting Tiki on the iPad and other crazy stuff
Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-05 8:08 pm   Permalink

This is the beginning of another long rambling post like only I can do. I am still on the Ipad obsession, but this time I'm going to be talking about sculpting instead of painting. Yes, you can sculpt digitally. I have a past thread here where I demonstrated on the PC using a program named Sculptris. There are several Ipad apps than can work in a similar way. This is a quick sketch I did using a app called 123D creature. This looks like gray clay.




As usual I feel the need to explain some stuff. A couple of terms I often us are inspired by and stylized. Those are words I use to let folks know that I never try to make exact copies of any tiki, whether they are traditional historical tikis or interpretations by artist. I realize that I am often viewed as an outsider from the modern pop tiki culture and in truth I probably am. I came to tiki through writings about historical tiki culture. In the late 1950s when I was in junior high school I read Kon Tiki. In high school I read Aku Aku. I was hooked on Heyerdahl. That lead me to lots of other reading …. This image is the last one after being run through some graphic filtering adding color and texture.



Something I cannot forget when I am creating my own tiki images is that the historical island tiki creators were not just driven by the need to produce art, but by a deep spiritual desire to illustrate their own religious beliefs. I do not share that spiritual need but I feel the need to respect it. So when making tikis I let my imagination lead me away from making exact copies of religious artifacts. (I don't make images of Jesus or Buddha either) At the same time I appreciate good art and do not force my own beliefs on others, so I love good tiki images by good artist …. This image is another different graphic filtering attempt ….



I come from the Midwest and as far as I know there is no full blown Pop Tiki Culture revival going on around here. I have no hands on experience with that culture as practiced on the West Coast. I have studied this forum trying to get some understanding. I must admit I get pretty confused at times. When I was young tiki culture was everywhere even here in middle America. We did not have an ocean and palm trees don't grow so good in the snow, but for over a decade I was aware that tiki was all around …. I'm going to get around to showing how an aged texture like this one can be added to a sculpt.



I spent my honeymoon at the Tiki Motel in the Wisconsin Dells. There were these giant carved tikis on each side of the door of the motel office. I wish I had taken pictures. My first up close look at real tiki was at a place called The House On the Rock near Dodgeville Wisconsin. This rich primitive art collector built this cool rustic house on a bluff in the woods. I would sit on a rough stone bench listening to exotic music with birdcalls and vibraphones and studied these amazing wood carvings. Again I wish I had taken pictures ….. This image may seem like nothing, but what it is is texture and I'm not afraid to use it.



In my study of tiki I came to the conclusion that there was a varied and rich interpretation of spiritual artistic definition of deities by the primitive cultures of the Pacific islands. But, in Modern Pop Tiki Culture, tiki is limited to a few similar tiki representations. What confuses me more, some obviously tiki inspired cultures such as Hawaii are discouraged in spite of the fact that one of the most common sculptures I see here on the forum is a Hawaiian tiki war god … I am so confused … Applying that last texture to a sculpt like this image gives it more impact ….



Now I will really get into trouble. I never do moai because I do not consider them to be tiki. Rapa Nui was settled from the west by Polynesian travelers, but it was very isolated from that culture. The art of the island is quite different from the rest of Oceanic art. It is also obvious that there was an outside influence. Heyerdahl talked of island legends of visitors who were considered gods …. This is again a stylized moai … I am using it because it is perfect to show how textures can affect a sculpted image ….




Is this a moai? It has most of the characteristics of Easter Island statues. The nose, mouth, the elongated ears, and even the turban that resembles a moai topnot look very much like a statue from the shores of Rapa Nui. It came from the mountain city of Machu Picchu. South America was the obvious source of the island's outside influences.



Moais look to me to be inspired by a real person. They all look alike. They are not strange alien looking abstracts like tiki on other islands. There is nothing abstract about this deity. He makes me think of the plastic Jesus on the dashboard of a car. They surround the island for what, protection, luck, to worship? Like I said I don't make images of Jesus, so for me moais are out. But, I must say I really love how other artist interpret and expand on those simple stone statues.




When I finally get around showing how sculpting on the Ipad works I will show a number of ways to add texture. Here is one texture.



Texture can show age or the material the sculpt is supposed to be made of.




Texture usually starts with a simple image created in a drawing or painting program or app.



In a filtering art app that image is embossed. I will explain this as I go along.



Applying that embossed texture to the sculpt gives it a more realistic look.








 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4718
Posted: 2013-07-05 8:45 pm   Permalink

The first picture sure did look like grey clay. I loved seeing the head photo from Machu Picchu compared to a Moai. That was great. Also showing all the varying angles and textures was helpful. Thank you, Wendy
_________________


 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-07 8:04 pm   Permalink

Thanks much Wendy .... It is nice with digital sculpting that you can turn your sculpt at different angles and see how it looks. Pretty much just like the real world .... Gene

 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-07 8:36 pm   Permalink

This next post Is a little background on sculpting in clay before I start Ipad sculpting. For a couple of decades from the late 60's into the 80's I was a potter and a sculptor. I sold my work at art and craft fairs around the Midwest. In this next part I show some examples of the kind of things I did. I must admit that most of the clay work I still have from those days is not very tiki. The only reason I have the ones I have illustrated here is that I did not get them sold 30 years ago. Sometimes they were not sold because I liked them so much myself that I priced them too high. The mud faced guy is a good example of that ….......



In the late 1960's when tiki was still going strong here in the Midwest I was in college and too broke to collect. My wife and I never were smokers, but after we were married my brother-in-law used to hang around our apartment and smoke constantly. He left ashes everywhere, so we went out and bought this Treasure Craft tiki ashtray just for him. He carried it around and never left ashes again. He died in 05', not from smoking, but cancer from playing golf too much in the sun without a hat.




This was the first kind of tiki I ever made. No matter where I traveled in my army days each base I was stationed at had a craft shop. We learned about clay and my wife even became a ceramics teacher.



My wife continued to teach after our army days and we bought this Duncan mold. We still have it. This kind of tiki mug was popular and we cast a whole bunch of them over the years. This tacky orange crystal glaze was very popular among her students.



I learned a lot about clay in those army craft shop days. For some reason there were some really good teachers hired by the military to keep us GIs occupied when not on duty. I wanted to be a potter at fist, but it took me awhile before I got any good at it. This book really got me started understanding clay. It was a kinda Zen approach to creating with clay. It was clay at it's simplest.



This book taught me a lot as well. I got this first English translation copy in 1971. It was my first real introduction to the beauty of the art of Polynesian culture. This book goes way beyond the basic tiki culture.



This carved ivory female figure from Tonga was a plate in the Oceanic Art book. I loved the simplicity but humanness of the face.



These stone faces are thought to be weather spirits from the island of Vao. These really appealed to my love of expressionism. I know they are primitive but also very modern art looking. This is the kind of island art that influenced me in the beginning.



The primitive human looking island carvings lead me to combine the pinch pot techniques I was using with clay in the beginning with human like faces. I made quite a few of these weed pots and this is the only one I have left because they were very popular at craft fair markets. I think this one did not sell at the time because it was quite small. I always tried to see how big and how small I could make this pinch pot stuff work.



I got more into slab building clay after I ran into these great books. Kenny demonstrated everything from folk art to modern sculpture. He made you want to have fun squeezing mud.



Mud mask always attracted me no matter what culture they came from. This one was from New Guinea. They had this wonderful free form stylized look that I loved.



This was my interpretation of a mud mask. It is a dark red clay fired to cone 1 with an iron oxide stain. Yes, macrame was a big thing back in the 70's.



This is a carved beam from Pao, West Malekula and also comes from the Oceanic Art book. I was drawn immediately to the round eyes, simple nose, and the elaborate designs surrounding the face.



My version done in cone 6 stoneware was a little more stylized. I made it as a mask over a drape mold.



There were a few cone 6 glazes made by Gare in those days. (maybe they still are) If I remember right this was a glaze I made myself. As you can see in the close up there was a subtle texture and color variations in it. I'm going to finally get to Ipad sculpting now. Just wanted to show that I used to get my hands dirty in the old days before I turned to pixel pushing.







 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-09 7:41 pm   Permalink

I have done other threads on sculpting on the PC. There are several Ipad apps for sculpting as well. Ipads don't have the power or usable memory to sculpt to the detail possible on a PC. But for sketching ideas or doing simple tiki designs the Ipad it is a great way to have fun creating tikis. This is one of my Ipad graphics page. The first four apps at the top are the main sculpting apps I use. I will give you a quick rundown of those apps.


OK, warning, this is not tiki. AutoDesk is a company that has been around for a long time in the PC market. They produce some of the best known 3D apps that many artist use both professionally and personally. This is a free sculpting app from them. It is called 123D. I have used it since I got my Ipad and it is loads of fun. I never get tired of sculpting silly guys like this. It has a few drawbacks including not allowing you to export your work in a universally useable form. I will be using another AutoDesk app for most of what I do here.


This is an app called SculptMaster. It is a weird little app that would be silly to think of as a serious art app. You paint with clay. It makes a 3D brush stroke of clay. It seems pretty goofy but it has a free version.


You keep painting until you build up a solid form. It is pretty rough, but it does have a smooth tool to improve the look.


Building up a simple face is easy.


OK, call it crap. You will never win a prize with your sculpts.


Actually, I have used this app quite a bit because of one feature you can add to it for a couple of bucks. It has the ability to export your sculpt in a useable form. The bottom menu entry is : “Export Mesh as .OBJ” OBJ is the most universal file format for 3D modeling. I have often sketched shapes with this app and copied them to my PC and Sculptris program It is a nice way to start with a simple shape to add detail too with a better program. I have done that when designing pendants on the PC.




 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-10 8:06 pm   Permalink

I will try not to make this next part too boring. I think a lot of folks who do serious sculpting on the Ipad use this program called Forger. I don't. The biggest problem with an Ipad as apposed to a computer is memory issues. Unlike a PC it only has one memory. It has no hard drive, so everything including apps, storage, and processing memory has to be done with only what memory is installed. Mine has 16 gig. I soon found that was a big mistake on my part. I need more.


This is what a ball of digital clay is actually made of, little boxes. (or triangle in some software) You can see the squares because I have “wireframe” turned on.


I sculpted on the surface of the ball. Look at what it does to the squares.



In a menu I did subdivided the wireframe. The boxes got smaller.


As you can see the smaller boxes produce a smoother surface,


But when you keep sculpting the boxes start looking weird again.


I subdivided again and got to a level of 6. That is as far as my limited memory would allow me to go.


At this level larger amounts of clay added actually look pretty good. But when I reduce my brush size and carve into the clay the little boxes just can't take it. They stretch and bend and look like crap making fine detail almost impossible.


This is what it looks like without the wireframe. Not a good look. My guess is that people with more memory on their Ipad get better results. I think the limit is 32 gig. I can never understand how those Apple engineers think.



All sculpt apps and programs have a similar group of sculpting tools or brushes. Ones like pinch and grab really make sculpting fun as I will illustrate on down the line.


This is just some fun with the grab tool.


I will try not to grumble about Apple too much, but how they have crippled the file system on the Ipad drives me crazy and leads app makers into strange methods for allowing you to move your finished sculpts and graphic images between apps or onto your laptop computer. This app actually requires you to e-mail files to yourself so you can use them elsewhere. How crazy is that? But after showing you all this, it is another app that I will be using to show you how I sculpt on the Ipad. Next, next, next …...


 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-11 8:02 pm   Permalink

OK, I'm finally going to get to sculpting on the Ipad. As usual I will start with a collection of reference images. Some folks frown at this. I will say again: “I don't use reference images to copy from, but to inspire me.” I want to make something that looks like tiki, but in the end it comes from my imagination. I have mentioned that the main problem with Ipad sculpting apps as opposed to computer programs is that fine detail is hard to come by. To me that ruled out the big teeth that so many people love. I had to go a different way. I collected these images because they had a wide range of different mouth treatments. My goal is to take ideas from all of them and come up with something creative but still tiki.


The app I settled on to show sculpting on is 123d Creature. It is another AutoDesk app and is not free. I won't quote prices on apps because they tend to change and even free ones end up costing something if you upgrade them to add features. I never pay more than $10 and rarely over $5. This app seems to be intended for folks who what to make 3D creatures models. It starts out with a base figure model like this.


Since we just want a head for now we just go to those little blue dots at the end of each appendage and delete them.


When we are done deleting them we just have a body.


Then we go to the size shape tools and give the body some thickness.


When we are done fooling around we end up with somewhat of a log.



 
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3040
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2013-07-11 9:57 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-07-11 20:02, Gene S Morgan wrote:
... To me that ruled out the big teeth that so many people love. ...



Many people here on Tiki Central are not really fond of big teeth in Tikis (sorry Wayne). As far as I'm concerned, ruling them out is a good thing.



 
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Hale Tiki
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Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 1798
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2013-07-12 08:22 am   Permalink

Hey Gene, maybe look into the free apps from Autodesk, makers of Autocad. They're all under the 123D moniker. Super great stuff, and you might be interested in 123D sculpt. They're for PC/Mac/iPad/iPhone.

 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-12 7:10 pm   Permalink

Hakalugi ... Glad there are folks who don't mind toothless tikis ... It is just quite hard to do with these apps ,.. I must admit that I am a big fan of LakeTiki's big tooth carvings ...

 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-12 7:25 pm   Permalink

We have switched to the sculpting screen. With finger movements on the screen you can turn and twist the log around . Using the flattening tool we smooth out the bottom so it can stand up.



We use the smooth tool to refine the shape a bit. You may notice the blue line down the middle. That indicates I had symmetry turned on. That is done with the little squiggly line tool on the right ot the size and strength sliders. I almost always start with mirror carving because it gives you a balanced proportion to your image. We can and will shut it off whenever we want.



A great thing about digital sculpting is that it can either be clay or wood or stone or whatever material you are comfortable with. We could sculpt it like clay and add more clay to define our shape. This time we will start with carving to get the feel of carved wood. With the carving tool we cut some generalized shapes into our log.



We are just defining a general face shape by digging into the log.



After finding a shape we kind of like we use the smooth tool. Think of it as sanding without all the dust.



It is always important to often turn your log and look at the image from different angles to be sure things are going like you intend.





 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-13 7:09 pm   Permalink

I have decreased the sculpt tool size and started adding detail trying to pull the tiki out of the log.



Again with the smooth tool I refine the features.



Each step makes a different image. Sometimes what inspires me come into the sculpt without my eyes realizing it at first. You may notice that the eyes are starting to look too much like the eyes on LakeSurfer's wood tiki. As we go along you will see my imagination changes directions as I sculpt. And, a great advantage of digital sculpting is the ability to change anything at any time as you go along.



I have used the sharpen tool (sometime called the pinch tool) to turn the rounded shapes into a sharper edge. Looks more like a chisel cut.



I went over different parts of the image and sharpen the edges. You can see how each different tool can subtly (or not so subtly) change the image.



OK, now the fun begins. You absolutely cannot do this with real world sculpting. You use the grab tool and let your imagination run wild. You just grab an area and pull it a new direction. Every pull creates a whole new look to your tiki.



The fun really starts when you turn the symmetry off and start pulling all directions. Now my imagination is in the driver's seat.



Again it is a good idea to keep turning the sculpt so you check it from any angle.




 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-14 6:31 pm   Permalink

Time to talk about rendering. At the bottom left on the interface you see some colored boxes and a camera lens. That lets you know you are in the render room. Here you can change some of the color and lighting of the image. This is how you prep for saving the image as an image file.



By using strong directional lighting you can see how the depth of your carving really looks from different angles. It is another way of deciding if you think the tiki needs more carving.



I studied this one for awhile and decided I did not like how the cheek fit against the nose.



I went back to the carving window and flattened the cheek a bit.



Back in the render screen checked it out again with some harsh shadows. I liked it better.



 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-15 6:39 pm   Permalink

We moved to the painting screen. Time to add some color. I used a chocolate brown color.



With the airbrush I painted my color on the whole tiki, front and back.



With a black color I lightly darken areas like the mouth and along side the nose.



In the render window I did several test of poses for the tiki. These are actually images I saved to a JPG image file.



Another angle, kinda dramatic don't you think?



Back in the window I airbrushed some yellow for highlights.



 
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Gene S Morgan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 342
From: Midwest the navel of the USA
Posted: 2013-07-16 6:55 pm   Permalink

I showed a texture canvas before. I make these in painting apps. They can be anything you think might make interesting surfaces.



In a filtering program I turned the painted image into a 3D looking texture with an emboss filter. I use the ArtStudio app for this purpose. Emboss is a common filter that can be found in most image processing apps or computer programs. It is a simple but cool and very useful effect.



In the painting window you rub the texture on your sculpt.



When you are done it looks like this. Now you can add texture to a final image in a processing app like I illustrated at the beginning of this rather long post, but there is a key difference in the methods. When adding texture to an image file it lays flat over the top of your art. That is sometimes pretty cool, but rubbing texture on a sculpt actually lays the texture on the 3D image. Because of that the texture actually follows the shape of your sculpture. Take a good look and you will be able see what I mean. The texture looks more natural and realistic.



Looking at the tiki at different angles shows how your texture follows the curves of the sculpt.



It is important to know that the surface texture is not actually carved into the sculpt, but only painted on the surface. Still looks pretty real. One point that makes this 123D Creature app better than the others is that it is pretty easy to export OBJ files to your computer. You may remember that way back in this post I said that OBJ files were one of the universal 3D files which could allow you to open the file in another 3D app and refine it if you want. That can be very useful.




 
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