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Ball-joint Tutorial 2 by batchix Ball-joint Tutorial 2 by batchix
Sorry it's a bit hard to read, but i wanted to make this real quick. At some point, whenever i write this down as a book, there will be a better version in print. For now, i hope this helps. :3
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:iconcmwyvern:
CMWyvern Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Thanks for making this! I use a similar method, minus plastic wrap, for making smooth half-round eyeballs for larger sculptures. (a drop of water will work to keep unbaked SS from sticking to baked.) However, I am still wondering, are all the balls on the doll actually these half rounds, or do you make another half and stick them together, and especially, how do you make the sockets to fit these? Do you use the same bead to make the socket in the body/limb? I tried to make just the sockets with beads and use them to mold the balls, which did not work all that well... I would be very grateful if you could answer these questions!
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Professional Artist
I press the balls together to make a sphere if I need more of a sphere. I don't use this method any more, I have perfect half spheres I print through shapeways that I use instead, that way I always know i'm getting exactly a sphere. I made molds of those half spheres and then cast the joints I need. You can check them out here: [link]

On the other hand, with the sockets, I use the same method you do. I dremel out the socket larger than I need, then I smear a little paperclay inside and press the joint in. Once that's dry I sand it, check the fit, and add or subtract more material as I need it.

I'm working on some better tools... but so far I haven't come up with anything. The best tool I've made so far was taking a joint, covering it in super glue and sprinkling sand over the top of that. I let that set for an hour, then brush off the excess sand. the sand that sticks adheres really strongly and you can use the joint like a sanding block(obviously the ball is then worthless for using on an arm or something, so don't glue sand to a joint you intend on using).
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:iconcmwyvern:
CMWyvern Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much for giving me all this advice!

So I could get the half spheres from shapeways too, and they are only about $10? Cool! I think I will try this method first, though.

I was watching your vidoes of the beginning of mini-machina.. so you just form the basic shapes, and then carve the sockets? And then use the ball already on the limb to form the correct shape inside the carved out socket with new wet clay?
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Professional Artist
Yup! it works okay. I'm still trying to figure out some better tools for carving out the sockets.
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:iconcmwyvern:
CMWyvern Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Sweet! I am doing a test joint now. Should it work well, I will start again on bjd neytiri, this time in paperclay, and I will also work larger. I will let you know how it goes!
And... One more question... Can resin be painted all over and look ok without an airbrush, ie, with a normal brush?
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Professional Artist
It'll get lumpy, I'd definitely suggest an airbrush. But if you're going to cast, you might as well tint the resin the color you want it to be during casting.
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:iconcmwyvern:
CMWyvern Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
That's what I was afraid of. Probably painting the paperclay original would get lumpy too... And since the na'vi are stripey, I will need to do a lot of painting...Well, I will worry about painting once I have actually sculpted my doll. I think if she turns out well enough, I will cast her.
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Professional Artist
With paperclay, you could do watercolor washes and get some cool effects. I wouldn't recommend going as dark as a na'vi is, but you could probably get some really bright colors. Acrylic paint has so much body that it gets lumpy from the brush- which is fine for paintings but not so great with a doll. The watercolor will absorb into the paperclay and leave the color in the surface without changing the texture too much. Don't get it too watery or you'll destroy the surface tho.
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(1 Reply)
:iconnanacasas:
NanaCasas Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you batchix! This is really helpful. I am looking to create my own ball jointed doll in the near future and I have been researching, trying to find as many tutorials as possible. I was wondering if NSP sulfer free Oil based clay could work for the armature to build paper clay around. I would love to know what your thoughts are about this. Let me know what you think. Any tips you can give are greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Professional Artist
You need to be able to remove your core or you won't be able to string the doll. I did my first dolls like that, building a core from non-hardening clay and then splitting it open and scooping it out, but really you're better off building a simple box from cereal cardboard and covering that in paper clay. Trying to reglue split paperclay and get it to hold long enough to resculpt it together is a real pain. :X
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