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Posted by josefuentes, on 2009-01-09 14:51:25

Help on martian trees

Hi, I'm creating a martian forest, where there are large strange colored trees, they are large trees that block out sun light, they will stand about 2 feet tall for each( about 4-6 trees in total) What I couldn't deside was of what material to make them out of, they are fairly large, but they have to be light enough for me to take them on and off the set, I was originally thinking of using clay, but it would be too expensive to make all of them in clay. Please reply. Jose.

Posted by dryad58, on 2009-01-09 16:22:02

Hi Disclaimer: If you're under 18, I can't recommend you try this! I make no claims as to the success of this procedure, since I made it up as I went along. But here it is. You could get some tubing (paper or other) roll some chicken wire around the tube and tie it. Put fine mesh wire over that. Then sculpt the wire using wire cutters (MAKE SURE you wear protective gloves- leather if you have them, and do not leave any jagged edges. Cut any protruding wire to the base of the mesh, or bend it with pliers) - splay the bottoms into a root base, add branches using mesh wire by cutting into the cylinder and attaching. You can use some clay on the bottom of the tube base to weigh it down while working. Cover that with papier maché - a very basic, cheap method that you can create with newsprint, flour, salt and water (add some other textural material if you like, depending on the final texture of the tree). After that dries you can cover it with a thin layer of plaster or plaster equivalent. Or you can cover it with a self-drying clay. These models are very very light and will most definitely have to be bolted down to the set. Sometimes if you think about scrap/throw away materials you have lying about and compile them, you may get ideas. Think in terms of the inside out: armature, coating, finishing. And some engineering - it has to stand securely and balance itself. I actually attached branches afterward by drilling into it, and my trees were evergreens with the branches angled down- but I wouldn't recommend that. Hope that helps or gives you some ideas of your own.

Posted by groovista, on 2009-01-10 08:56:33

[div class="dcquote"][strong]Quote[/strong] [snip] Sometimes if you think about scrap/throw away materials you have lying about and compile them, you may get ideas. Think in terms of the inside out: armature, coating, finishing. And some engineering - it has to stand securely and balance itself. [/div] Great advice, which I'm following myself. Those are essentially the techniques Willis O'Brien used to build the forest on Skull Island in "King Kong." And great subject! I look forward to seeing your project. Awhile ago I made some Martian trees using CGI, inspired by Wally Wood's "Weird Science" landscapes: