Hello!
I am going to make my own armature out of aluminum wire and want to make it into a skeleton puppet (sort of like the ones from The Corpse Bride). What material do you suggest I use to make it? should I make the bones hard? I also want the jaw to move up and down. This will be my first puppet and I am really looking forward to it but I need your help! Thanks a lot :D

Views: 2187

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks again so much Nick! It's awesome to get tips from someone as talented as you!

Again, I am not sure what I am going to do for feet tiedowns because I don't really have a set to drill holes in. That is also a good idea for the legs because I was worried that it would be too thick. Also would I be able to bake the whole figure if I put super sculpey over some epoxy putty to sculpt bones? Thanks so much!!!! 

-Andrew

StopmoNick said:

Sean, your skeleton in motion was fantastic!
I agree with you about the legs on Andrew's armature. Actually, in the thighbone area, where there is one bone, they don't need to be twisted if that means the putty covering them would end up too thick. They could be side by side and close together. In the lower leg there are two bones, so the two wires can have a gap between them.
With a nut in the foot for the tiedown, it's important that the nut is on top of the loop, not underneath, so tightening the tiedown screw pulls it down onto the wire, not off it. An even better way, if it is a thick nut, is to file a groove all around the outside, so the wire loop fits into the groove. You still need to put some epoxy putty over it to lock it in.

Yes, you can put Sculpey over the epoxy, and bake it.  That's what I did with my skull.  But don't put any latex on until after, the temperature for baking Sculpey would be too hot for the latex.

If you don't have a set floor where you can drill holes and put in tiedowns from underneath, can you  use a sheet of particle board on top of whatever table you are using, and put screws in through the feet from above?  That's what I do when the puppet gets too far away from the front of the set for me to reach the puppet above, and the tiedown below.  I pre-drill a small guide hole.  The screw fits through the slot or threaded hole in the foot and goes into the particle board floor. If the screw head is visible I might put a small blob of plasticine or paint on it.

The screw might work with just the wire loop, but I think it would bite into the soft aluminium and chew it up after a while, so something harder might be better.  A flat washer might do if it's just for wood screws.  Haven't tried that since I usually have an aluminium block in my feet.  I have used a thin nut on top of a wire loop, and  thicker nut with a groove around it, for a couple of small puppets, and they worked.  with the nut, you have the choice of a tiedown from below that fits the thread, or a thinner wood screw that fits easily through the hole without biting into the threads.  

Awesome! I will have to see what I will be making with this puppet and decide what method would work best. Also I will probably put super sculpey over epoxy putty to make the sculpt better. Thanks!

-Andrew

StopmoNick said:

Yes, you can put Sculpey over the epoxy, and bake it.  That's what I did with my skull.  But don't put any latex on until after, the temperature for baking Sculpey would be too hot for the latex.

If you don't have a set floor where you can drill holes and put in tiedowns from underneath, can you  use a sheet of particle board on top of whatever table you are using, and put screws in through the feet from above?  That's what I do when the puppet gets too far away from the front of the set for me to reach the puppet above, and the tiedown below.  I pre-drill a small guide hole.  The screw fits through the slot or threaded hole in the foot and goes into the particle board floor. If the screw head is visible I might put a small blob of plasticine or paint on it.

The screw might work with just the wire loop, but I think it would bite into the soft aluminium and chew it up after a while, so something harder might be better.  A flat washer might do if it's just for wood screws.  Haven't tried that since I usually have an aluminium block in my feet.  I have used a thin nut on top of a wire loop, and  thicker nut with a groove around it, for a couple of small puppets, and they worked.  with the nut, you have the choice of a tiedown from below that fits the thread, or a thinner wood screw that fits easily through the hole without biting into the threads.  

What technique did you guys use for the hands of the skeleton? Thanks!

-Andrew

Here's a closer shot of one of my skeleton's hands.

The humerus 'bone' is actually a small aluminum tube (then coated with sculpey iii and baked) used to connect the larger wires of the body to the ones I used in the hands.

I used thinner, 20-gauge (.8mm), wire starting and connecting just above the elbow, separating for the ulna and radius, and reconnecting for the wrist and hands. Then, once I was happy with how it looked, I dipped it a few times in slightly tinted (with acrylic paint to closer match the rest of him) liquid latex.

He's clearly seen better days, but the photo should be enough to show everything.

So you just dipped it straight into the latex? 

-Andrew



Sean O'Hara said:

Here's a closer shot of one of my skeleton's hands.

The humerus 'bone' is actually a small aluminum tube (then coated with sculpey iii and baked) used to connect the larger wires of the body to the ones I used in the hands.

I used thinner, 20-gauge (.8mm), wire starting and connecting just above the elbow, separating for the ulna and radius, and reconnecting for the wrist and hands. Then, once I was happy with how it looked, I dipped it a few times in slightly tinted (with acrylic paint to closer match the rest of him) liquid latex.

He's clearly seen better days, but the photo should be enough to show everything.

I used 2 strands of 1 mm wire for each finger, with all ten strands going up through the wrist and into the forearm. I don't remember if I had a piece of aluminium tube in the humerus, but that looks like the best place to join up the two sizes of wire. Sean's solution looks good, with the fine hand wires split into two bones and forming the elbow joint as well. With most puppets I have the join in the forearm, but with the skeleton a tube in the ulna would make it pretty chunky.
The chrome plated brass tube from telescoping radio antennae has a thinner wall than aluminium tube, so it can be used where you need a hole big enough for the wires, but don't want to add too much thickness. But they need some epoxy glue and putty around each end so the end doesn't cut into the wires.
I didn't use putty on the fingers, just latex to build up the bone shapes. Looking at my photos, there was a blob of putty in the palm to help hold it all together.

Thanks guys!

-Andrew

Oh - looked at my own photo again, and I did have a tube in the ulna!  So either way works.

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 Daniel Svensson's discussion App that can remove rigs?
"I don't know what TV Paint on an Android device is like, didn't know there was one.…"
Thursday
Eric J. Nelson posted a video

Winter Fun at the Skating Rink | Stop Motion | American Girl

Winter’s finally here! Time to lace up our skates and hit the ice. Whether you’re a figure skater or hockey player, we're all on the same team when we help e...
Wednesday
Rob Nugen replied to Anthony Scott's discussion Please Introduce Yourself
"Welcome to the community!  I look forward to seeing some of your work.  :-)"
Wednesday
Dave Cooley replied to Chris Johnson's discussion Halloween with Corky and Clay
"Looking good!"
Tuesday

© 2019   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;}