Anyone knows any other ways to substitute the role of tie-downs. Drilling holes in my set would be very hard and could even break my set. So what do you think are substitutes for tie-downs? Thanks!

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I use aluminium foot plates, and drill 2 holes in the back or top to stick the armature wire in. If I used a block of steel instead, it would be much harder to cut and shape - I would have to do it by hand with a hacksaw and file. It would have to be thick enough to put in the holes. I can cut the aluminium on the bandsaw so its much easier for me. So maybe I would attack a thin steel plate to the bottom of the aluminium block. It would need a couple of countersunk screws, and holes in the aluminium that are tapped to the same thread, to hold the steel plate on.
A lot of extra work, more than making up an animation table where you can drill holes in the floor!
I need help with and idea for my movoe. Who work with action figures so u can help me.


Add me

I thought of having wires extending from the leg/foot that you could loop around a peg and twist the peg until the foot was tight to the table...but, an aluminum foot with threads has worked better for me on most designs-like when the foot is large enough.A wire thing would be good for something with a real skinny foot maybe...but would take more time to tighten down.

Here is a behind the scenes video I made during a recent project. In it, I talk about the alternate tie down system that I used. This may not be what you are looking for, but it may give you an idea. One of the puppets (not shown in this video) just had simple wire loops for feet. These type of feet can be tied down with a wood screw over a flat wooden base. Here is the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N51bNoXsl0w

Thanks! I am choosing to uae magnets because I am goin to make my puppets walk in the way that the arms, legs and feet are moving. Do i still need to use tie-downs with the help of magnets or any other methods? (just to let u all know that my puppet won't be in a stable position. My puppets will be walking.)   

Wallace Jones said:

Here is a behind the scenes video I made during a recent project. In it, I talk about the alternate tie down system that I used. This may not be what you are looking for, but it may give you an idea. One of the puppets (not shown in this video) just had simple wire loops for feet. These type of feet can be tied down with a wood screw over a flat wooden base. Here is the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N51bNoXsl0w

Walking is when you need tie-downs the most, because when we walk we are actually falling towards where the front foot will hit the ground.  So a walking puppet has to be off balance some of the time.  Strong magnets can do this, but they are not as easy or cheap as using bolts for tiedowns.  Or wood screws going down through the foot into the floor like Wallace said.  And bolted tiedowns can even support a puppet by one foot,  when it is falling over frame by frame so it gets down to where it is horizontal and almost, but not quite, touching the ground.  



Marina Papa said:

Once, when I did'nt require special needs about floor's look, I used double scotch tape. It worked fine.  It was uniform white, and my puppets danced an optimal tango,  even with a voulting.  Now I use magnets, but they lack of graduality, and often walking is someway "klicking".

I used strong magnets for a short a long time ago.

We embedded the magnets into the characters' feet... but instead of a steel floor we built the set on a wooden box (with thin walls) turned on it's side. The top (open) side of the box allowed us access to the area directly under the puppets. That way we could position additional magnets under the puppets as needed. If you simply have a steel floor you'll end up with the problem StopmoNick mentioned: 

If you put the magnet in the foot, and use a steel floor, as soon as the foot gets near the floor it will snap down onto it. The set-ups I saw in the UK had a much bigger magnet under the set, and a steel plate in the puppet foot. 

As for another alternative, once with with a kids workshop we built pipe-cleaner characters with some pointy metal fasteners from the hardware store for feet. We build the "set" out of thick insulation-style foam, and wherever the kids poked the feet the characters would stay.

thanks! that gave me an idea on what i am suppose to do. 

animationsam said:

I used strong magnets for a short a long time ago.

We embedded the magnets into the characters' feet... but instead of a steel floor we built the set on a wooden box (with thin walls) turned on it's side. The top (open) side of the box allowed us access to the area directly under the puppets. That way we could position additional magnets under the puppets as needed. If you simply have a steel floor you'll end up with the problem StopmoNick mentioned: 

If you put the magnet in the foot, and use a steel floor, as soon as the foot gets near the floor it will snap down onto it. The set-ups I saw in the UK had a much bigger magnet under the set, and a steel plate in the puppet foot. 

As for another alternative, once with with a kids workshop we built pipe-cleaner characters with some pointy metal fasteners from the hardware store for feet. We build the "set" out of thick insulation-style foam, and wherever the kids poked the feet the characters would stay.

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