Small Soldiers - Major Chip Hazard - Digital prop restoration

Asset Breakdown

Raw scan in Zbrush before any cleanup

Raw scan in Zbrush before any cleanup

First thing to do was to separate the different parts into polygroups.

First thing to do was to separate the different parts into polygroups.

The next step was to bring him into an A-pose. During this step it was important to keep the transforms of the original scan pose for when it came time to project the texture back onto my new geo. I also split the model up further, for more control.

The next step was to bring him into an A-pose. During this step it was important to keep the transforms of the original scan pose for when it came time to project the texture back onto my new geo. I also split the model up further, for more control.

Backside of the A-posed scan. Showing parts that needed cleaning up.

Backside of the A-posed scan. Showing parts that needed cleaning up.

Cleanup up and ready for retopo. Note that I only included the seams and screws for the 3D print version of Chip. I chose not to include those extra details in the 3D asset.

Cleanup up and ready for retopo. Note that I only included the seams and screws for the 3D print version of Chip. I chose not to include those extra details in the 3D asset.

The scan turned out to be great reference for scale and proportions of course, but in some areas it lacked the level of detail I needed. So gathering an extensive reference library was absolutely neccessary.

The scan turned out to be great reference for scale and proportions of course, but in some areas it lacked the level of detail I needed. So gathering an extensive reference library was absolutely neccessary.

Having knowledge of how the other commandos were put together aswell helped me in discovering how these puppets were put together by the artists at Stan Winston studios. I worked on sculpting the other characters while working on Chip also.

Having knowledge of how the other commandos were put together aswell helped me in discovering how these puppets were put together by the artists at Stan Winston studios. I worked on sculpting the other characters while working on Chip also.

Fast forwarding a bit, after retopo and UV'ing the low poly base mesh, I projected the original paint job back onto the geo where I cleaned up and added details back in where needed in Substance Painter.

Fast forwarding a bit, after retopo and UV'ing the low poly base mesh, I projected the original paint job back onto the geo where I cleaned up and added details back in where needed in Substance Painter.

Chip in Substance Painter.

Chip in Substance Painter.

Chip posed and 3D printed.

Chip posed and 3D printed.

Current progress on the rest of the commandos.

Current progress on the rest of the commandos.

Recently I had the opportunity to digitally restore one of my favourite childhood characters from the film, 'Small Soldiers'.

Major Chip Hazard.

Using a hi-res scan of a screen-used hero prop made by Stan Winston Studios, I was able to clean up and separate the parts in Zbrush while keeping as close to the original sculpt as possible. There were many different versions of the puppet made for the film, one's with puppetry rods and wires, self contained animatronics and foam stunt versions. My version is more focused towards the artists original intent of the character without any of those 'production' elements being present.

Of course the head is much different compared to the scan because of the way the silicone had deformed over time. So I had to look through separate reference and sculpt a new head from scratch.

I then projected the original paintjob back on, only touching up in parts where over the last 25 years he had gotten quite dirty.

It's been such a fun personal project to bring him back to life. I've learnt alot along the way and there's certainly parts I'd like to have done differently. But overall I'm proud of the way he came out, but most of all I hope it does justice to the original artists work.