Thursday, December 31, 2009

Meet the Skull Bunny

Between the music video and my graphic novel, I had a little down time and decided that it would be cool to make a puppet based on this doodle that always seems to find its way onto my paper.
I made the armature out of a couple Helping Hand rigs, epoxy putty, some armature wire for the arms and a piece of K&S tubing for the neck. I decided that I didn't want to waste time and material, so I went with the build-up method instead of foam latex. (see second image)
The head was made out of Sculpey.
And the ears were made out of wire dipped in liquid latex, then flocked to give a furry look.
I finished it off with a bit of burlap that my uncle (yes the same uncle who found the camera rig) generously donated. He was the only one I knew who had burlap. It seems no one sells it any more.

Maybe you'll see this little guy soon. That is, if I have the time to animate him. Mind you, I made this puppet in three days.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Old Man Puppet Ready for Shoot

We finished painting both Old Men puppets and I'm pretty happy with the way they came out. The hands molded relatively poorly though.(which is bad because we have multiple close ups of them)

Here is the original sketch of the Old Man compared to how he came out.
Here's the Old Man and the Angel statue.

I painted the body and my dad painted the face and hands. We used equal parts acrylic paint and liquid latex. I then powdered the puppets to cut down on tackiness of the latex. In the days to come, we'll begin constructing the sets and I will hopefully get to start animating by the first week of January.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Music video update

So we've been really busy casting puppets and doing some animation tests. I uploaded a video of the tests in question, just so you could see how things have been coming along. The first clip is of the stripped down armature in a walk cycle. The next one is a flight test with the crow puppet (which we made out of foam latex and wire).

We made duplicates of the old man puppet, one with a wire armature and one with a Skeletoon ball and socket armature. The one with the wire is for close-ups (mostly because it came out better than the other).
In all, I think we've made about six models. This is one big project!

Friday, December 4, 2009

New music video in progress

So, my father has a friend who lives in California. And about 4 months ago, he got hired to make a half dozen or more music videos for a certain artist. At that time, I had just finished one of my shorts and sent him the link. He replied, and asked if I would be willing to do one of the videos in stop-motion. Of course, how could I turndown an offer like that?
So, ever since August, I've been working on puppets and props and whatnot. Along the way, I've managed to get a few pictures of the process.

This is Old Man, the main character of the music video. He and all the other puppets are cast in Monster Makers foam latex (animatronic grade).

Here are two of the four crow puppets. There are three small ones (like these) and a big one for close-ups.

This is the mold for Old Man. It's the biggest mold I've ever made. And laying inside it is the Skeletoon armature.

This is the stone Angel. Her purpose is classified.

The whole thing is gonna be about three minutes long and so far, has taken close to four months to get things started. I recently acquired a Canon Powershot G10 camera for shooting in HD and my uncle and I fabricated a camera rig for pans.

We made the head out of wood, all-thread, and aluminum pipe. And my uncle salvaged an old enlarger from the local high school which we used to mount the head.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More pics

Got off a few pictures of an old puppet I made using a wire armature and the build-up method.
I plan on resurrecting him in a future short(though I'll have to remake him, he's in bad shape at the moment.)
For now, though, I'm still quite busy on a music video.(which you'll find out more about later on.) Till then, click on the image below to see the Chimpy and Skimpy I just finished.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Behind the Scenes on Chimpy

After my first post, I thought that maybe I should give you a peek at how I accomplished the shorts. So, need thou not be afraid, I shall show you the way:

Chimpy armature in mold.
I cast the puppets in Monster Makers foam latex. I used animatronic grade because it was denser, which meant there would be less wrinkling of the skin.
City set for outside their window was made with cardboard.
I used some crackle paint on the door for the desired look.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back from trip with new site!

My family and I just got back from Illuxcon '09 art show and this is the first free time I've had to be able to create this blog. As a Stop-motion animator, I spend lots of money and time on my craft and don't have much of the former to spend on setting up a real website. I figured this would be the best option. So, I'll start things off by posting one of my less recent shorts. It's called Nightmare on Chimp Street. I did it a while ago, using foam latex puppets w/wire armatures.