Monday, May 5, 2014

Joker & Jolli

It's been ages, but remember my Mardi Gras Masquerade? I've been sitting on my event masks for that party, working on colors and tweaking them mercilessly.

I like to do traditional Venetian masks for Mardi Gras, and this is no exception.  This year, I decided to do Joker and Jolli masks!

The jester motif is a popular one amongst mask makers.  It's playful, ornate, and beautiful but irreverent.  It's based on the medieval tradition, the crest emulating the classic "ass's ears" hats of jesters.  They often have a chin piece as well that emulates a pointed collar, however I felt it would be awkward when actually worn by an avatar so I didn't bother.

The male version was a pain in the ass's ears!  I completely remade this guy from the ground up after the party.  I had a lot of trouble balancing the exaggeration and stylization I wanted with my natural instinct to try and make things more realistic and flattering.  The first mask I didn't take far enough, and some other pieces that ended up on the chopping block went too far.  This, I feel, is a good balance.  I wanted it to be sly, mischievous, almost evoking a goblin.

Both of these masks easily change from being playful and whimsical to rather mysterious and sinister with the "eye blanks" I put in.  I made it so you can have the option of blacking out your eyes, and it makes for a spooky effect:

I went overboard on the colors for these, doing nine colors for each color accent (gold and silver) as well as three extra colors each which are mixes, like gold, green and purple for mardi gras!

I especially love how the texture for the crest came out.  I printed on that luscious damask with alphas in Zbrush and it was so worth it.  I also utilized specular and normal maps to bring up the details so the damask shimmers a little and the metallic trim on the mask shines when the light catches it.  Have I mentioned how much I love having specular and normal maps?

Anyway, the mask is currently available at Fantasy Faire, and on the marketplace.  It'll be out at my store on Carnivale after the faire is over!

Out now at the faire
On the marketplace:
Joker: 550L
Jolli: 550L

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