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Indoraptor

(Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)

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The indoraptor has been my most ambitious creation yet. This character is 23 feet long and 6.5 feet tall (to the top of the hip). I sculpted everything by hand out of WED clay, which is a type of water-based clay that was developed for Walter E. Disney's animatronic characters back in the day. Using a total of around 3,000 pounds of clay, I created the entire dinosaur from head to tail. Every part of the sculpture was molded with an epoxy fiberglass and casted in RD-407 latex then later painted with rubber cement paint and acrylics. The total accumulated amount of time spent on this piece has been nearly a year with various breaks to work on separate projects.

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The sculpture required constant maintenance which consisted of spraying with water and covering in plastic bags to ensure the clay didn't dry out. I referenced as many images as I could of the original design from the movie and took measurements so I could keep the proportions as accurate as possible. The drawing in the background of this image is the first step I always take when creating a creature or character. A 1:1 scale drawing always helps provide a reference for consistency.

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Every detail was hand-sculpted. I used a variety of tools to do this but had a primary one for most of the detailing. 

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I separated the sculpture into three parts for molding. I used epoxy and fiberglass to create the mold, which was a different experience I wasn't used to before. The main molding material I use for my animatronics/puppets has been hydrocal, which is a type of plaster. The only downside with hydrocal is the weight. It would've been too heavy to use on this sculpture since the head already weighed 700 pounds and I also didn't want to put too much strain on the armature.

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The skin was then made by painting multiple layers of latex inside the epoxy mold. I wanted the character to be able to move, so I went through the entire process by keeping that element in mind. I knew I had to use something durable yet flexible. Foam latex was one of my first thoughts, but it unfortunately doesn't have a very long shelf life. Regular raw latex however, does have a longer life. I also wasn't giving the character too many advanced movements that required foam latex (which is usually used for nostril movement, eye blink, and etc.). The jaw opens, head and neck rotate, and tongue moves.

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After I molded the head of the indoraptor, I moved on to the neck. I used a separate latex casting for the head so I could keep the proportions correct, since the head sculpture was destroyed after molding. The neck took me about a week to finish.

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(Left) The indoraptor I created versus (right) the one Universal Studios created for the movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I wanted to make sure my version of the character was as close to the original as possible. It was a challenging yet fun experience to bring my own indoraptor to life.

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