When I need to develop quick organic shapes, my go-to is SubD modeling. I can create planar surfaces from 2D line segments and vertex points which I can then manipulate 3 dimensionally to digitally sculpt the forms I'm looking for.
I can toggle between the faceted shape above to the smoother form below.
I sculpted three distinct sections at the top to strengthen the shell in these areas.
After I get the base form that I like, I can then convert it to NURBS and do some more detailed surfacing for cut out vents and ear holes. Then, I'll create a surface just offset around the face cutout in order to project some lines that create the face guard wire pattern.
The faceguard design was inspired by a Mempo style Samurai mask. I wanted a scowl right at the nose and mouth area, then open it up just around the eyes, but not enough to allow a puck through. I'm using the Activ elbow clip which essentially create 4 rounded corners that the clips securely fasten around.
Nature As Mentor:
A tweening algorithm that I use on occasion can be useful in developing logical natural patterns. It works by creating as many shapes needed, which transition between the starting shape and the end shape. Below, the algorithm generates the 5 shapes in between.
If I were to design a faceguard that offers more protection from a hockey stick entering any of the sections, I'll put in my starting curve then the end curve which generates the wire curve shapes I need to closeout the section. Below, I created one vertical curve shape using the same tweening algorithm.
I love most of the designs on vintage fiberglass full shell cover masks. They were bold and made a big impression even from afar. I wanted to do something similar for my teams so I divided the mask into 4 segments. Then, I found quadrant patterns off my favorite insect markings which influenced the team colors.
Graphics: Insect Markings Inspired Designs
Brink Citadel (left)
Ruby Beets (right)
Star City Cupolas
The liner system w/DIADs, that I developed for the football helmet, have been tested at NTS Labs in Belcamp,MD. Results exceeded NOCSAE standards and align more with NFL approved criteria. The same system has been adapted for the mask padding and liner here.
Impact protective soft face pads with optimal ventilation channels.
Broad, G. Huertas, B. Kirk-Spriggs, A. Telnov, D. (2020) Smithsonian Handbook of Interesting Insects. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books
Rothery, B. (2021) Sensational Butterflies. Thomaston, Maine: Tilbury House Publishers
Benyus, J. (1997) Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature: NY, NY: William Morrow & Co.