Sunday, 23 February 2014

Puppet Padding

Roy's head was made in a very similar way to Richards. Again keeping it simple by making it purely balsa wood. The issue came with his nose. As per my original design, Roy's nose was made as the one on the left, once i'd sculpted this, and before glueing it, my tutor walked in, saw it, and turned it upside down just to put a spanner in the works. 

After a lot of deliberation, I decided to go with the different nose orientation but with a slightly more squared off bottom to it. 

With that out of the way it was time to start padding! 

I started by adding rigging points to both Richard and Roy, although i'm not sure Roy needs them for any of his shots its good practice to put them in just in case. 

The chest and hip pieces were then sculpted to fit onto the armature but not interfere with the ball and socket joints. These were wrapped in PTFE tape in order to protect them from glue. 

After the solid pieces were sculpted, a small tube of soft blue upholstery foam was added to the waist of each character, allowing for movement in the back. 

I was then given some of this thin sheet foam … stuff by George in my class, this guy! (link to blog here

which was perfect for wrapping around the arms and legs to get them thin enough and consistent in thickness. 

Once the arm were done, I added more of a shoulder and chest piece of blue foam in order to further bulk him out

Roy's legs were different, as they slightly taper at the bottom I had to use blue foam entirely for them. 

I find it easier to glue on more foam than i need and then cut it back rather than trimming it before applying it to the armature as it sometimes doesn't fit right or sit how you want it to. 

He kind of reminds me of the oven in A Grand Day Out for some reason, and also looks like he's dancing. 

I'm pretty good at keeping you wanting more with these blog posts right!! Spoiler for one of the next few posts, Richard has a neck! (i'll get to that). But for now here's the two of them bulked out and almost ready to be clothed. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Casting Feet

Still behind, its going to be a busy week of blog posts. On to the feet! these are much easier to post about than the hands. Initially the feet were sculpted onto the ball and socket armature. The joints for which were wrapped in PTFE tape in order to protect them through the entire process. 

I've made sure that the ball from the top of the leg is NOT attached at this point in the process. This is so that I can pour plaster on them up to the K&S and still be able to get the armature out afterwards. 

Above are the feet for Roy, with much shorter shin pieces but still with the ball missing from the top. The process for the shoes was the same for each pair. The plasticine was then sculpted to the foam board base to ensure no plaster went underneath. 

I made the mistake of not putting vaseline on the base of the foam board. This didn't make the cast stick to the base, but did (as you can see below) take the top layer of foam board off and make the cast look a little messy. 

Once the walls were glued in place, making sure not to leave any gaps that plaster could come through, A layer of plaster was first painted onto the shoes in order to capture all of the detail, before more plaster being poured in a constant thin stream until it had reached the correct level. I then agitated the cast for 5 minutes to allow for any air bubbles in the cast to rise to the top of the mould and not affect the sculpts. 

Once the plaster had set, I took out as much plasticine as possible then cleaned the rest out using a paint brush and lighter fluid. 

I then reapplied the PTFE tape where it had been slightly damaged and put the armatures back into the moulds so that when silicone was poured in, the armature fit perfectly. 

As the feet slightly pushed out of the top of the mould, when the mould was flipped to be filled with silicone, the armature would hit the table without the plaster doing the same. In order to balance this, I applied a layer of plasticine to the same level and completely plugged the area when the armature sat so that no silicone could come through. 

Initially, I painted in one layer of silicone so that if there were any air bubbles when more is poured in, they wouldn't be at the surface. I then made sure to screw tie downs into the armature so that I could accurately locate them once it was fully submerged. 

The armatures popped straight out of the moulds with a little persuasion peeling the silicone slightly away from the edges. 

Then it was only the seam line to trim...

and the base to trim around the tie down point. 

I then attached the ball on to the armature ready to be put onto the full armature. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Richard head sculpt part 1

I'll get back to hands soon but for now heres how i started bulking out Richard's head. 

Above you can see my bespoke professional ball and socket armature from Malvern Armatures.

They are currently having supplier issues until the end of february BUT click the link below to have a browse through their products. 

As i've probably said before, I want to have a real rustic hand-built feel to my film this year. 

Last year, i made an incredibly complex head because it lent itself to the character. This year, i've tried to cut down on character complexity as much as possible and have opted for balsa wood heads, with solid black bead eyes and real hair. 

This method cuts down a lot time wise, leaving more time to animate, as it can be sanded down quickly to the necessary shape. 

The silicone neck of similar colour would then sit inside the balsa wood neck. 

This is now ready for any paint job to be done to it before sticking on the nose and ears. 

(spoiler alert, in the photo below, the hands are now cast in silicone! poor blog ordering by me, I'm sorry). 

I still want the eyes to sit quite deep in the heads, so the eye sockets have been sanded in this way. 

I'll crack on with hand posts this week, am already falling behind on my blog posts and have SO much to post about so watch this space!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

All i ever post about is hands

It seems that during my film last year my blogging went way down hill as soon as it all got busy so this year I'm determined to stay on track and post each week (already a week behind but i'll get on it). 

first things first, hands! 

there are ridiculous amounts of ways of making hands, this technique involves one strand of aluminium wire constructing the entire hand. 

These were then trimmed to the appropriate length and inserted into K&S in order to be detachable from the armature. 

In future hands, a single strand of copper wire was twisted into the wrist to make it stronger. 

The hands were then sculpted in plasticine so that they could be laid up in terracotta clay. In my second year, I spent absolutely AGES sculpting hands with immense amounts of detail, this proved to be a waste of time when the casts for the hands broke and i had to do them again in much less time. 

With this in mind, I spent very little time sculpting each pair of hands, and touch wood so far the casts are holding up (I will post about this later on)

I then did the exact same for Roy's hands, annoyingly these were about 4mm shorter than Richard's. if they weren't I could've just used the same cast to make both pairs. 

Thats it for now! As a bonus, here's a fun photo of George! here's a link to his blog, check it out!