I have been busy. I watched a video by Doctor Puppet on You tube about how she made her Doctor Who stop motion show Doctor Puppet. I have been very jealous of her, cause 1. she got a Doctor Who stop mo in before I did and 2. She is REALLY really good at it. Much better than me. Of course, she is a professional, has has formal training, and knows what she is doing, but hey, that is where I want to be SO badly.
Anyway, she posted a video on how she constructed the Doctor puppet. I have watched many, many armature construction videos, but hers made the most sense to me. So I decided to give it a whirl. I really want some more videos done before I attend and do panels at Orycon. As my iPad camera does not do macro well, I need bigger puppets if I am going to use it as my camera until I can afford a new one. So I guess the worse that can happen is I fail miserably. And I didn't. Kind of.
Her construction technique involved epoxy putty, wire, square brass tubing of 2 sizes that nest into each other, extra firm Sculpy, and foam.
While those were baking I made the chest and torso. She made those out of epoxy putty with pieces of the larger square brass tubing for the neck, arms, waist and legs. I ran out of epoxy putty after the torso, so I used the extra firm Sculpy. Probably not a good idea, but I plan on getting more for the next one, so I will do it all out of epoxy putty then. I just couldn't find more within walking distance, and didn't feel up to traipsing around town on the bus for it.
The hair came with some pieces serged on the ends. I decided to work with it and use the serged parts as the glue points. I also thought about how doll's hair is attached. It is usually attached in circles. I thought I would just glue a larger outer circle, then another inner smaller circle, then a smaller one until it filled the space. Along with fighting the melting enamel paint to get the hair to stay, I also had to fight the direction of the hair. It is fakey fake nylon threads. It does not want to move in a direction other than straight. I planned on gluing the stitching on inwards, then flip the hair back over it to cover it. Might have worked better if it were real hair.
So next was to make hands and feet. I decided I wanted to stick with magnets for my anchor method. She uses bolts, which are fine but leave holes in the set that I haven't figured out how to get rid of. Also, I only have a flat table. It isn't practical to try to drill through the whole table. I have a couple pieces of sheet metal I intend to use for the base of my set. So when I was making the feet, I molded them out of the extra firm Scuply and made a notch in the bottom to fit the magnets. I also added a bit of brass tubing to attach it to the leg.
The hands were more difficult. I think I will try another method for the hands. It was clumsy and hard to do, and looks pretty bad. There is a tutorial on the intertubes for making stop motion puppet hands out of florist wire and liquid latex. I am going to try that next. Cause look here....this is just bad....
The rest turned out fine, but the hands are just...not ok. I also had issue with my liquid latex. It went rancid between the time I bought it and the time I wanted to use it. It smelled really really bad and had chunks in it. I tried to use it anyway. The downside was I dropped some on my sandal. I washed it off right away, but now that sandal smells like rancid latex. I had to toss it. Could not get rid of the reek. I also bought more liquid latex.
So next step is to find some foam and make a chest and tummy, then sew some clothes for her. I plan on cutting felt mouths that will stick on with handitak. I learned a lot from making this puppet. I will make a few more then experiment with animating them.
I plan on going to get more epoxy putty and seeing if that makes a difference. I also plan on getting real hair hair extensions to use for the hair on the next one, see if it helps.
Okey dokey, that was my little experiment. Still working on it. Feel free to throw suggestions my way for how to make this puppet work better. I think I am well on my way finally to doing real stop mo.
Now I just need a camera....