Sunday, April 12, 2009

Props, cheap LEDs and fuzzy boobs!

I just thought I'd post some photos of various props I've made over the last few weeks. Most of them are for the international animation co-operative set up by John Hankins (castlegardener).

The first few are some wooden toys made from wooden bits and bobs I had in my hoard of useful junk:

And this is my idea of what a Bubo (Clash of the Titans) bean-bag toy would look like. He's made of painted polymer clay:

And here's another silly stop-motion reference. Two plates with sheep on (ok, so I didn't 'make' them, I just drew on two plain doll's plates with Sharpie markers, then varnished them):

The other things I've been working on are some working table-lamps. I got an bargain on some ultra-bright LEDs in a variety of colours from a website called who even sell blue and white LEDs for less than 14p each! That's ridiculously cheap, especially for those colours... I remember back when I was doing AS-level electronics in the late 90s, blue LEDs cost about £3 each and white LEDs hadn't even been invented... ahhhh, so long ago...

The website also sells great value resistors, which you need to prevent the LEDs being destroyed by the 9V circuits I wire them into. Great service too - if you need LEDs, I highly recommend them (they ship internationally too). The LEDs are really powerful (especially the white ones) and give a narrow 20 degree beam of light. They are so bright that I think I could probably use them as small spot-lights for lighting areas of my sets, which is great because they run for ages on a 9V circuit, they come in loads of colours, they don't flicker and they don't heat up!

Anyway, I used yellow LEDs in these two table lamps, to be placed in a sunny yellow coloured set. The lamps are made from glass beads and hollow wooden bases all glued together with epoxy. I soldered a 3mm yellow LED with a resistor into a circuit with a PP3 clip for a 9V battery, then covered all the exposed wires with heat-shrink tubing, with more heat-shrink over the top of that to turn the two seperate wires into one cable going from the lamp (the batteries will be hidden, obviously). I glued the LED into the bottom of the hole through the centre of the lamp, and put a 'plug' of tin foil fixed with epoxy into the hole at the top of the lamp to act as a reflector bouncing light back into the lamp.

I also made this lamp, to go in a set with a blue colour scheme, using a 3mm white LED. Most white LEDs give off a blue tinged light, and this one looks extra blue because of the blue glass in the lamp. It gives out about 3 times as much light as the yellow lamps, so I hope it won't be too overpowering!

Oh, and one last completely unrelated picture:

Yup, that's what woolly alien glamour model looks like, just in case you ever wondered...
It's for the cover of a magazine prop in 'Monday to Friday'.
If it arouses you (and you aren't a woolly alien yourself) you should probably be concerned!


Shelley Noble said...

Each thing you made, Ceri, is great. But the woolly cover girl is additionally down right HILARIOUS! That rocks. Great work.

emmyymme said...

Beautiful! And agreed - that cover shot really got me laughing - it's perfect!

Andreas said...

woah! I really like your designs and puppets.
I was just wondering ... Does it work well animating them with all the wool?
Looks amazing and really funny.

Woolly Monster said...

Thanks everyone, glad you like the cover girl!

Andreas - I'm using the vibrating fluff effect that you get when animating woolly things as a deliberate design feature.
Other than that they animate pretty well, although they aren't as precise as other types of puppet.

people in gorillasuits said...

The lamps look great - very moody light. And about the 'Cover Alien' - my first association was 'Japanes Monster Mag Stuff' or something. Then a closer look, and then: 'what the...'. Hillarious !

Anonymous said...

All is great as has been said.
But for me personaly I really love the lamps and the owl :).

Something like that in edna's house might be cool?

Anyways hope you are well.
I'm putting up the Final Character and Costume Designs for Walter Gloom tonight, So when you have a chance and let me know your thoughts.

Take care.


UbaTuber said...

Bubo!! I love it! Those lamps look fantastic too, great job...

phenoptix said...

Hi Ceri,
Thanks for the recommendation! I've just got around to publishing this month's first blog and spotted your comment.
The props look excellent. Another customer of mine does use the LEDs for spotlighting on miniature theatres so it should work quite well with your stopmotion sets.
Thanks again for the comment and rec!