Its been a busy week! After many scratches and nicks in my fingers, I managed to finish the metal armature of my octopus character and perform a short test with it.
I am pretty happy with the mixture of stability and flexibility that the figure has. The lowest portion of its body has wires that cross and are attached to each other at the intersection to increase stability. The belly portion also involves wires that cross, but one is looped around the other instead of firmly attached. This allows the wires to slide along each other increasing the range of movement so that the creature can have a bouncy belly. The neck is attached to the body with slightly loosened loops of wire so that the head may turn. It wasn’t easy to make, and the sting in my fingers suggest that perhaps I should invest in a good pair of gloves. However, I am pretty satisfied with the overall results. Hopefully, I will be able to continue building onto this skeleton (my order from JoAnn’s fabrics has finally arrived). In any case, I have learned a lot from this project about manipulating wire so that it performs in the way I want it to.
So, this week I have been making a wire octopus arm as a test. Today I experimented with making a short stop-motion animation with it. You can see the video below.
I am satisfied with its ability to move without being too flimsy, stiff, or damaging itself. However, I wish I was able to put the skin on as well. Unfortunately, Jo Anne’s fabrics is being a bit slow with the delivery of supplies. For next week I plan on constructing the wire skeleton of the armature to the best of my abilities. I was originally hoping on having a finished product by next time, but have learned that creating a stop-motion puppet involves more preparation than I had previously thought.
For a closer look into the design of the arm, you can look at the pictures below.
Well, after some redesigning of my chosen character from last week, I have chosen a design. Below are some thumbnails that I did.I decided on making him more octopus-like (In the current design he has 8 arms and plays 4 string instruments in a solo quartet.) He is playing the violin, chello, bass, and harp stimultaniously! He has features that look somewhat like a friendly grampa (I imagine his personality reflects such as well).and here is the back view.I have also started planning how to make this character into a feasible puppet. I will be making his structure with wire. I plan enabling the body to have a certain amount of flexibility so that he can squash and stretch a bit without breaking of losing structure. Below are some rough plans that may be modified in the building process.The skin will be made out of fabric and sewn on top of the armature. The eyes will be made out of hardened and painted sculpty, while the eyelids and lips will be formed from modeling clay. Next week I will submit my progress on the armature as well as color designs.
So, this past week I have been working on possible character designs for my stop-motion puppet. I have 6 character designs that I am hoping the class will help me choose from.
I have also been researching how to make this armature possible. Unfortunately, buying a stop-motion armature is out of my budget. I have seen many interesting ways to make one’s own armatures. This site has many created from screws, nuts, and other items. However, I think a better solution may be to get an “Adam the Doodles Man” from Blick and modify the wire skeleton for my own uses. It has nice joints, is a lot cheaper than an actual stop motion armature, and will allow me more time to build the body on top of the skeleton.
This coming week I will be working on designing the chosen character from multiple angles and begin trying to find or make a skeleton for my puppet.
For my final project in Design for Media, I would like to design and create a stop-motion puppet. Stop-motion has always been of great interest to me, and I wish to explore it by making these pre-production puppet. For materials, I will most likely use sculpt (both cooked and uncooked), wire, fabric, and various other materials.
This is an example of an armature from The Corpse Bride without its top layers.
I, of course, cannot make an armature nearly as complex as this, but I plan on experimenting with wire to create the structure. I will use both flexible and touch wire so that I can decide which portions will be more or less bendable.
Wallace and Gromit characters are simpler and have a discernible charm.
They are made from modeling clay on metal armatures. I intend to use similar process to make my puppet.
I have split my schedule for the project into weeks.
November 12 – November 18: Work on character design and draw characters from multiple perspectives
November 26 – December 2: Design armature and begin building
December 3 – December 9: Finish building and begin to add accessories (clothes, hair, etc.)
December 10 – December 16: Final touches (includes finishing accessories and making sure the puppet is functional
I am very excited for this project and will be back next week with a post on my character design