Hi all,

Sorry if this has been answered in-depth elsewhere, but after searching though countless other pages on here, all I came up with were decent answers attached to dead photo/vid links.

I am in the process of sculpting heads for my characters (an old man and a young boy) in plasticine to be molded in Ultracal and then cast in silicone. The thing I am unsure about is how to rig to animate the features of the silicone faces. There is no dialogue in my short, so I don't feel replacement parts are warranted. They just need to be able to express emotion. I'm leaning towards some kind of wire rig, but how do I go about doing that? And how do I animate the eye blinks?

I've only animated in clay before this, so your help is appreciated. I feel pretty confident about everything else except for this and the hair, which I'm sure I'll be asking about later, but one question at a time.

Views: 677

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Ah, you must have been looking through the original handbook, which was transferred over from the old site, but the site itself is gone now, so the internal links don't work anymore. 

Good news though - the information you're looking for is covered in Nick's tutorials:

Check his uploads for more - I believe this is the best one for the subject of embedding wires in the head for animatable features, but I think he touches on the subject briefly in one of the others as well. 

Most often blinks are done by adding modeling clay eyelids only when needed - usually in a cycle of 2 or 3 in different positions - maybe 1/3 closed, 2/3 closed, then fully closed, then cycle back through them to open. General concensus says it's usually easier to make several pairs, almost like replacement eyelid animation, rather than keep adding clay and trying to sculpt them in place on the puppet. The hardest thing of course is to keep them thin enough and especially the edges, so that they don't look like huge thick wads of modeling clay that appear briefly at times covering the eyes. 

Of course you can also make replacement cycles of eyelids from latex if you want, or add blinks in post production, and some ambitious puppetsmiths even go so far as to attempt some sort of rotating shells that swing around the eye inside the head. I wouldn't know how to go about that one. 

Oops - just realized you said silicone - ok, you can't get modeling clay to stick to silicone, so probably the best blink method is in post. Somebody else might know another way. 

.. And since you're asking about silicone, Nick has another video especially about that:

I posted some photos in another thread asking about eyeblinks - showing one of Isabel Peppard's silicone puppets in her film Butterflies.  She made silicone replacement eyelids for blinking, held on by a dab of petroleum jelly.  She also had wires inside for mouth movements. 

My plasticine replacement eyelids are held on more by sticking to the eyeball than to the edge of the silicone, and do work on a silicone head, but the silicone eyelids could be better made, complete with eyelashes, and could be re-used throughout the shoot.  My plasticine eyelids tended to self destruct when I peeled them off the eyeballs so I kept making new ones.

First of all, a huge thanks to you both! I was looking at the handbook and some other board posts, but nothing worked. At least I know about the handbook now. The other stuff could have been IE being crabby again, too. It does that sometimes.

Those vids are FAST but great! I'll have to go back through them and pause, but I do have one question so far. Is there anything I should do differently with a ball-and-socket armature? They actually have pre-made holes on the head pieces for running wire, and I know I will still need to build up the inside of the head around it, but are there any tips that might help me with getting the size and location right? Or should I just proceed with something closer to in the vids?

The eyelid tips are very helpful! I took a peek at the Butterflies pics and the silicone lids seem like a good solution for me. I could do them in post too, so I'll keep that in mind in case something goes wrong with the silicone lids.

Thank you for taking the time to answer me!

Hi Lynda,

I used a fast set silicone such as Dragon Skin Q, with an accelerator and thixotropic additive to make it thick enough to sculpt. Alternatively you could try a silicone FX putty like 3rd Degree or Skin Tight. I basically just sculpted the putty onto the eyeballs and then waited till it set and repeated till I had a range of open and closed lids for blinking. Dragon Skin Q and Skin Tight are both available from distributors of Smooth On products. If you google 3rd Degree you should be able to find suppliers.

Basically any fast set sculptable silicone FX putty is good,

Long winded but I hope this helps:)

Thank you, Isabel! I was starting to think about what the most simple solution would be to casting the eyelids, and you provided it! I can't thank you enough for that!

Still working on getting the inside of the heads just right with the wiring and ball and socket armature head block. I am using the Animation Supplies (AS) Standard armature kits with the Stop Mo Tec Head Block E (pic attached) if anyone still has advice. Thanks!
Attachments:

Reply to Discussion

RSS

MESSAGE BOARD CATEGORIES

STOPMO NEWBIES
basic stopmo discussion

ANIMATOR TALK
experienced animators looking to improve

CAMERA & STAGE
animation camera, lighting and moco rigs

ANIMATION TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
animation tool and rigging discussion

STOP MOTION & COMPUTERS
frame capture, editing, and post-production

STORY
script, storyboarding and storyreel discussion

SOUND
lip-sync, sound effects and music

YOUR STOPMO FILM PROJECT
discuss your stopmo film

ARMATURES
ball & socket and wire armature discussion

MACHINE SHOP
metalwork tool & talk

SCULPTING
sculpture information and advice

HAIR & COSTUME
materials, patterns and technique

CASTING
foam, silicone and resin

CLAY
clay puppet construction

GENERAL PUPPET MAKING
other puppet fabrication issues

STOP MOTION SETS
set design and construction information

MODEL DEPARTMENT
miniature prop discussion

MATTE PAINTINGS
glass matte paintings and backgrounds

GENERAL SPECIAL EFFECTS

STOP MOTION FILM DISCUSSION

FAVORITE STOP MOTION CHARACTERS

PRO ANIMATOR DISCUSSION

FILM FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

ANIMATION SCHOOLS

STOP MOTION BOOKS

STOP MOTION ON VIDEO

JOBS & PROJECTS
post here if you are looking for talent to hire

SWAP MEET
stop motion items for sale

CHAT BOARD
general discussion

SITE FEEDBACK
report bugs, comments and suggestions here

Latest Activity

StopmoNick replied to Ron Cole's discussion A Bit Of Realistic Stopmo In a Live Action Short
"Your work is great, just as I expected. Nice to get a better view and have time to take in the…"
yesterday
Angus Lamont posted a discussion
yesterday
Angus Lamont posted a video

Harryhausen100 Tribute Short Film (Teaser Trailer)

Teaser trailer for my upcoming personal tribute to animator, Ray Harryhausen! Due for release around May/June of this year! Music by Kevin Macleod and Alexan...
yesterday
Ed Riccardi posted a photo
yesterday

© 2020   Created by Anthony Scott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

.xg_widget_forum_index_index .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_listForCategory .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_show .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;}