Is asking 300$ for a ball and socket armature puppet (from scratch) enough?

Hi!

I'm hannah. I'm new here and am looking to pitch my final thesis project as a short stop motion film. I'm so happy to have found this site. 

I emailed some puppet fabricators yesterday that do custom work. I asked if 300$ for a puppet with ball and socket armature is doable. she hasnt replied and im kind of worried! 

Was i way out of line? I cannot find average doll prices anywhere i look!

Thanks!

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For a custom armature $300 is cheap. But it depends on the design, the experience of the builder, and their willingness to do the project.

That being said you can go to http://www.animationtoolkit.co.uk/armature-parts/ and buy ball and socket parts to make your own "custom" armature. Their joints are around $5 a piece. I'm working with them right now on a project and they are pretty good for being mail order.

$300 for any custom professional work is not realistic. I agree with Stuart that you could make your own for the money you have. Besides Animation Toolkit there is also Armaverse http://armaverse1.mybigcommerce.com Good luck!

great thank you for your reply! if we did want to have them done custom, what is an average price? Thanks again!

also not a custom armature, they have prebuilt ones, im looking for the modelling and sculpting

This could become very expensive! You could buy a lot of books on how to make a puppet for the sort of money you would be paying! Forgive me, but isn't the making, sculpting etc etc one of the core features of stopmo? Have a look at some of the videos online, especially StopmoNick's...

now im discouraged :( and worried 

god dang.

Any other suggestions or pieces of advice for having a doll created? this is who i messaged
http://www.stopmotionsilicone.com/380499/contact/ 

Thanks for your reply Simon. Yes it is part of the process, but we did not go to school for doll fabrication, we are mostly media makers - television and film - live action. I'm a 2d animator and have experience in doing art direction, but when it comes to the main characters of the film we will produce, we want them to actually look good.

Simon Tytherleigh said:

This could become very expensive! You could buy a lot of books on how to make a puppet for the sort of money you would be paying! Forgive me, but isn't the making, sculpting etc etc one of the core features of stopmo? Have a look at some of the videos online, especially StopmoNick's...

The fact that you keep referring to it as a "doll" is concerning. You are not going to get a professional custom sculpted and fully fabricated stop motion puppet with ball and socket armature for $300. I agree with Simon. Part of the wonderful experience of a stop motion project is doing it yourself. There is a treasure trove of information on this website to get you started. If that is too much for you, then you can get creative in other ways. Consider animating existing objects! Legos, toys, etc.  If you really want to do it, you will make it happen somehow. :)


lol yikes you boys are really harsh.

No need to condescend anyone, im looking to learn! not be made fun of or questioned. :( 

sad welcome ...


Dawn Brown said:

The fact that you keep referring to it as a "doll" is concerning. You are not going to get a professional custom sculpted and fully fabricated stop motion puppet with ball and socket armature for $300. I agree with Simon. Part of the wonderful experience of a stop motion project is doing it yourself. There is a treasure trove of information on this website to get you started. If that is too much for you, then you can get creative in other ways. Consider animating existing objects! Legos, toys, etc.  If you really want to do it, you will make it happen somehow. :)

?????? Not sure if there was a miscommunication somewhere. Not sure why you are offended. A lot of wonderful stop motion animation can be made with without custom puppets. The South Park pilot was made with paper cut-outs. There's tons of really cool Lego stuff on line too. My point is you can get creative in other ways if you can't get your own custom puppet, so I hope you don't get discouraged too easily. I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your project.

Sorry if any of the replies came across as harsh, you're welcome to ask anything you like.

Puppets vary a lot in how hard or easy they are to make, and makers charge different rates, so hard to give a figure.  Don't know if this helps, but here are some examples  -

I charged $200 each to sculpt puppet bodies in plasticine for a film.  The director made the moulds and cast them in silicone himself to keep costs down.  He also made the armatures. Sculpting a head was $100, again with someone else making the mould and casting.  I have made a whole puppet cast in silicone for $800 but really it wasn't much of a return for the time it took.  

But $800 to $1200 for a puppet with aluminium wire armature, cushion foam build-up body, hands in latex over wire, and head cast in silicone is typical for puppets I've made.  Making a jointed armature would add a lot to the cost.  I'm very practiced at animating with armature wire, so I rarely bother with jointed armatures - it takes me 2 or 3 hours to make a wire armature, a full week to make a ball and socket one.  (What's a week's pay, if you need to make enough to eat and pay rent?)  But there are better armature makers than me, who can do it in less time and probably make a better job of it, so I don't quote on balljoint armatures.  

There should be some cost advantage to using stock arms and hands like that stop motion silicone place offers, they would be made to order but the sculpting and mould making are already done.  

Stock armatures can be cost effective too, if the size and proportions of your character will fit with what you can get.  There is still a lot of individual machining and soldering required, but the design has been worked out and jigs made to produce the parts.

I generally encourage others to make puppets themselves, since time is the biggest part of the cost.  

Certainly did not intend to be condescending. Are there no fellow students keen on fabricating puppets for you? 

Also, do consider this. The magic of stopmotion is that shortcomings are a part of it. For me the truly astonishing thing is when an audience is moved by a story or performance even when they know full well that they are looking at inanimate objects, often quite crude semblances of human forms.

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