PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Special effects artists from Pittsburgh have been well represented in the reality show “Face Off” on the SyFy channel.

A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh is hoping to keep that trend going in the upcoming fifth season.

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Steve Tolin creates imaginative figures in clay in his Beeechview studio.

His inventory of believable “make-believables” won him a spot on “Face Off,” competing with others who’d been on the show previously.

“They put eight of us newcomers up against eight veterans, which we did not expect,” he says.

As for the standard reality show back stabbing, Tolin says, “There are definitely some dramatic moments. I don’t think you can put people in that pressure cooker and not end up with some drama.”

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And, of course, there’s withering criticism from judges.

“If you take that kind of thing personally,” he explains, “you’re not going to work a lot. So you have to be able to take that kind of criticism and grow from it.”

As for planning his creations, Tolin says, “I have a version of what it’s going to look like in my head before I start. Sometimes I manage to get that down on paper, and sometimes I just jump right into the clay and start working.”

The first episode in season five airs Aug. 13.

To see more of Steve Tolin’s work, visit www.tolinfx.com.

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