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Jordu Schell Creature Studio

Maquette sculpting and Painting


In this lecture, one of Hollywood's most prolific concept sculptors, Jordu Schell demonstrates the techniques he employs in creating a dynamic creature concept sculpture. Jordu begins with a rough armature, then walks you through the process of correctly building up forms by roughing in the large masses of the creature before the addition of muscular and other anatomical forms. He then covers the topic of dynamically posing the creature for maximum impact. Once the pose is decided on and the shape of the creature is established, Jordu transitions from using only his hands to using tools to begin refining the creature, working on defining the muscular forms, adding definition and detail, and finally blending the forms back together to create a unified appearance. Once the creature sculpt is smoothed and refined, textural detail is added back into the skin, using small tubes of clay for veins, a pin for pore detail, and finally using a texture stamp to apply a texture over the entire sculpt. Next, Jordu applies paint to the creature using a paintbrush to apply the base color of the creature. Next he uses an airbrush to refine the color and establish a translucent appearance to the skin. The final touches include placing individual translucent teeth and applying glossy paint to the eyes and teeth.

Duration: 2h 46m

Format: HD 1280x720


  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio
  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio
  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio
  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio
  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio
  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio
  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio
  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio
  • Jordu Schell Creature Studio

Jordu Schell

Creature Designer

Owner and head designer of the Schell Sculpture Studio, Jordu Schell has been in the film and television industry since 1987.  His talent as a designer and sculptor is world renowned, and his credits include: "Avatar", "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian", "300", "Hellboy", "Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem", "Men in Black", "The Mist", "Batman Returns", "The X-Files Movie", "Predator ll", Galaxy Quest", "Evolution", "Babylon 5- The Series" (on which he designed an Emmy award-winning creature make-up and the first fully digital creature for a television series), "Edward Scissorhands", "Alien: Resurrection"and many more. For many years, Jordu has been sharing his techniques via workshops around the world, and at some of the most prestigious companies in the industry, including Industrial Light and Magic, Tippett Studio, Blur Studio and Blizzard Entertainment. 

  • "If I moved to Los Angeles, the first thing I would do is sign up for Jordu Schell's sculpture class. I'm not kidding. Jordu has an extraordinary talent for creating fantastic faces which have an intrinsic logic and superb modeling that makes them believable. In my opinion, to be great, a make-up, creature, or transformation must make the viewer believe that it could have a life of its own. Jordu is the master of the bizarre made believable. "

    - Dick Smith
    Exorcist, Little Big Man, Taxi Driver, Amadeus

  • "I tell everyone I meet that Jordu Schell is the finest sculptor, painter, and designer I've met."

    - Tom Savini
    Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow, Friday the 13th

  • "If you want to learn from one of the best creature designers I know and one of the very best creature maquette makers of all time…check out Jordu Schell and his school."

    - Carlos Huante
    Men in Black, Hellboy, Eragon