Monday, August 18, 2008

New woolly monster puppets

Woohoo! I'm back in action after a week incapacitated by back pain. I managed to put my back out whilst I was asleep (no, I don't understand it either) and spent days unable to do anything but sit upright and perfectly still or lie flat and perfectly still - really useful. Thankfully I am now feeling much better although still a little delicate. It's slowed down my schedule a lot though, which is a shame.

Here are the two puppets for my next animation. Unfortunately Steeee isn't going to be able to write a script for me due to being a very busy man (no seriously, I don't know when he finds time to sleep). I have come up with an ingenious idea for the script (or lack thereof) myself. It will all become apparent when you see the animation...

Anyway, puppets:


Woolly monsters - my speciality. They are hand crocheted and have wire armatures. The purple one is made from a purple acrylic yarn crocheted together with magenta mohair so it has a fuzzy surface. The nature of fuzzy surfaces when animated is going to be used as a feature in this monster. The blue details are a mixture of acrylic and fuzzy polyester yarn. The green monster is a combination of bright green and mustard coloured acrylic yarns and a grassy green acrylic wool blend. The eyes are made of uncovered white plastic self-cover buttons (the ones that are designed to be covered with fabric) and the locking disks on the back of them can be used to secure the eyes in place. The pupils are black buttons attached with white-tack so they can be moved around. I have not made the replacement mouths yet, but they will be felt donut mouths.

Here are some photos of how they were made. First I crocheted the skin of the monsters. I find it easiest to make the skin first, then make the armature to fit. Each monster was crocheted as four sections: the head/body, a trouser shaped section and two arms. After I'd made the skin, I placed the segments together, drew round them and made an armature from aluminium arnature wire and epoxy putty to fit the shape, leaving plenty of room for padding. I didn't add hands to the armature at this point so that I could still thread the arm wires through the skin. The feet have flange-nuts inside the epoxy putty to act as tie-downs.



I padded the armatures with polyester wadding, usually used in quilting, glued to the wire with Copydex (latex adhesive) and fixed in place with fabric strapping, usually used in first aid.



Then I 'dressed' the monsters in their skins adding extra stuffing where needed, then added hands made of epoxy putty and wire. I wrapped the wire fingers and the wire antenna in Copydex and yarn to make them thicker and rubbery. I threaded short lengths of french knitting onto the fingers and this grips to the rubbery surface to stop it sliding around. Then I finished sewing on the arms.

Now I just have to make the mouths then on to building the set - expect excessive use of LEDs, resistors and pretend alien technology...

4 comments:

Shelley Noble said...

These look great , Ceri. I loved seeing the process too. You are cornering the market on woolly puppet mastery!

emmyymme said...

They're awesome Ceri, glad you're feeling better!

castlegardener said...

i am still animating the woolly monster you sent me...I have 585 frames shot out of the 720 or so needed...can't wait to upload it....

castlegardener said...

the animation with the puppet you created is now complete....it can be viewed here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5C0MpCL65k