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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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:iconserpentineclementine:
serpentineclementine Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi there! Fantastic tutorial, but I was also wondering if you have seen this one airdryclay.blogspot.com/2012/0…
I've found that method to be very effective for me when I'm making joints with paperclay and plus there's no need to conjoin the two halves and risk ~spherical imperfection~ ;)
I adore your work!!
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2016  Professional Artist
I cannot get that to work to save my life. XD  They always turn out lumpy for me.  But I'm also a game dev, so I ended up modeling the spheres in 3d, printing them, and then made molds.  For making a doll that's going to be cast it doesn't matter that it doesn't match and I can't accidentally hit it with my sand paper and deform it.  For cleaning out the inside of a joint I use eye bevelers that are intended for babydolls.  Anyway, thanks for the heads up and thinking of me! 
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:iconserpentineclementine:
serpentineclementine Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh wow, I do a bit of 3D modelling too-- I've never thought of using it to make joints, very smart!! :D I had trouble with that technique for a while myself before I realized that the woman in the pictures was wearing cloth gloves because you actually need cloth gloves for it to work and I'd been trying to do it bare-hand. But I'm excited to give printing a whirl, thanks for the idea!
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:iconcmwyvern:
CMWyvern Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
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  Professional Traditional Artist
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  Professional Traditional Artist
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  Professional Traditional Artist
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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:iconnanacasas:
NanaCasas Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for letting me know. I kinda figured it might be a bit of a problem, so I think I'll just stick to sculpting with the oil based clay for other kinds of sculptures. Then use the cardboard and straws approach for the BJD. Thanks again! :0)
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:iconpaige-gearhart:
Paige-Gearhart Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is interesting. I wanted to know if your ever going to do a full tutorial for a doll? I really want one of my own.
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Artist
i have more tutorials up on youtube. i've also got my finished casts up for sale here: [link] :3
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:iconeternal-song:
eternal-song Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010
thank you for sharing this :iconthankyouplz:
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:iconbumble-buizel:
Bumble-Buizel Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Student Digital Artist
this is perfect! i am planning on making a doll for my little sister and this is just what i needed for information! thank you!! :hug:
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:icondeathkid444:
deathkid444 Featured By Owner May 26, 2010
omg tysm ^___^~!
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:iconnyappynyappy:
nyappynyappy Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2010
hehehehe ... you said "clay" alot.. funny word
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:iconjudietta:
Judietta Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks so much for doing this tutorial. It is often hard to find good english tutorials on bjds. Very nicely done tutorial.
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:iconprincessofdonutland:
PrincessOfDonutland Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2010
I wish I had this when I made mine xD, not that it would have helped, the clay I used is way too heavy now >.>;~
but this tempts me to try again...with a lighter clay x3 thank you for the info~
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:icontowercorp:
TowerCorp Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2010  Student Digital Artist
this is very useful! Thank you for making this tutorial :)
also, i didn't find it hard to read at all.
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:iconnoaka:
Noaka Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Yays! More tutorials ^^ <3 I still wish you'd put up a chart for the openings in the ball joints, like for the hips and whatnot... But whatever XD

So, wait, I'm confused though on how you made your ball with only one side of a mold... Did you mak two and join them? What are you talking about when you say to put another layer of plastic over the mold, and add more paperclay? ((Sorry, it's early ^^; ))
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:icontwigling:
twigling Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is cool. I cheat and mold round things with silicone now. the bummer is the castings sometimes come out smaller than the originals. For my newest doll I used xmas ornaments as hip joints, not castings but the actual ornaments... they are hollow and had to be filled with resin. I find myself needing bigger and bigger balls... snooker/pool balls were not big enough, hence the xmas ornaments.
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Professional Artist
Wow~ how big a doll are you making?! o.o For big balls that's probably a good idea... the amount of sculpey would be retarded.

I'm ordering some brush on silicone and brush on resin/mother mold stuff for molding the hydro stuff. i'll let you know how that goes!
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:icontwigling:
twigling Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
She's only about 65cm, but I wanted wider hips... I just posted pics for critique at The Joint if you want to see.

I've also used (can't remember the name) something like vinamold, which is a re-meltable molding compound, to make some balls/spheres and other quick junk molds. With varying success.
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:iconlajvio:
lajvio Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh I like this!! have to :+favlove: it! :D
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Professional Artist
thanks! Glad you like it!
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:iconshelbelly:
shelbelly Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is a really nice tutorial! i use a similar method, but with that press mold making sculpy.
but really hopeful!
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:iconbatchix:
batchix Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Professional Artist
awesome! i had some of that but it went bad. I use paperclay so much that i tend to forget that i have other clay lying around!
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:iconshelbelly:
shelbelly Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ahh, yeah its not the sorta stuff you use as often as your normal clays.
i've also found if you stab the ball with a straw to make the center hole it saves alot of time! but them i work in sculpy mostly, so its pretty easy to do that, pop the whole mould and un-cured sculpy in the ovan, cure it and then pop it out once its cooled (i found out the hard way if you don't let the mold cool it deforms...with that sculpy mold stuff.)
also if you put a little talcum powder in the mold the sculpy wont stick..(cured or un-cured) i dont know about paper clays though....
:)
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