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Episode Recap: Freaks of Nature


The gang assembles at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, where McKenzie and Neville (an alumnus and board member) tell them that they'll be creating their very own mutants to love and to hold. Not mutants like the Toxic Avenger, so much - more like the X-Men, dig? They choose their mutations, and then they get some time to work with artists in another field - computer generation - to design a CGI of their visions using the program, Z Brush. Then it's back to the lab to start work.

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Tyler got "wall crawling" and is super excited to put sticky hairs all over his creature. He takes small foam noodles and heats them into tapered hairs, a task that takes up the bulk of his time in the lab. But of course, he doesn't forget to create an excellent face and torso sculpt. Daran is having a tougher time - he got "panoramic vision", and isn't totally sure how to bring that idea into the real world. He decides to make the whole head a modified eyeball, but when Mr. Westmore does his walk-through, he tells Daran the judges probably won't read "vision" from what he's got. He decides to add some vein painting and glowing effects to the gelatin pieces covering the head, and hopes that will work.

Niko likes his mutation - magnetism - but the coils he's sculpting into the face are taking a lot of time and making him worry. George is pretty excited about his "impenetrable skin" job, but his back and his shoulder are giving him major pain. He won't give up, though! Graham is kicking butt on the technical aspects of his makeup - he's creating a mole-rat to go with the mutation of "tunneling" - but he's pretty uninspired by the mutation, itself. He coulda had wall crawling, for Pete's sake!

Graham's lack of love for his subject hurts him on the reveal stage - the judges thought the form was a bit obvious for the mutation, and they wished, at this stage in the game, that he had reached farther afield. Daran's makeup is also in bottom looks, partly due to a mishap that made the glowing gelatin a no-go, and partly due to a concept that was not grounded enough in functionality and visual storytelling. The judges, joined by the formidable makeup artist Valli O'Reilly, decide to send Graham home this week, though they know that he'll keep doing great things in this field.

The top looks include Tyler's wall crawler and Niko's magnet man, covered in detail and using some really sophisticated depth techniques in the paint job. It's Tyler's use of form language and unusual yet evocative paint choices that earn him the win! He's on a roll, and plans to keep that energy going.