Hi folks, finally putting my money where my mouth is and giving the animation wax a test drive. 

Here's a short loop illustrating its elastic properties. The way it moves is more like flesh than traditional plasticine because it has some give to it and doesn't have to be constantly resculpted. I basically inverted the formula and created something with working properties that are the exact opposite of Van Aken and other clays. 

For example: It doesn't lose pigment and stain fingers and other surfaces, can be smoothed with water, is lighter weight, becomes stickier as it ages instead of more crumbly, can be melted in a double boiler, and can be embossed with a tool without tearing up the surface. 

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That's weirdly fleshlike in the way it moves. I'm not seeing any fingerprints coming up on the surface - is that because you don't get them so much, or because you are smoothing them out? It would be good to see it in a flesh tone.

Hi Nick, there are fingerprints, but the filler is very fine and soft. the reason you see any at all is because the clay is warm and the wax is thermoplastic. I did not deliberately attempt to smooth anything out in this test. If it was smoothed with water and a brush, you would see even less surface detail. To move it, I used a sculpting tool. Peach-flesh is a color I've long tried to do, but didn't have the formula nailed down yet and had to throw away every batch of that color.  if I have any of that tint left, I'll make some using the current formula.

wow, looks great Don, gonna have to learn more about this- i love it when folk go 'off map' and turn back up with this sort of development- kudos!

Thanks, John. :)

This is what I've been working on lately.



Wasn't sure what to call this mix because it's too new, but it's basically the next generation of Puppet Putty with a low softening point and a Halogen light shining on it.

You could sculpt a character with corduroy pants and animate his knees bending. The clay does eventually stretch out and break, but it takes about 10 bends.Most of the torsion happens on the back of the bend, where the camera can't see.

Maybe good for a Jack Skellington-like character.

The ability to flex is a useful feature in set design. You could roll out a large piece of clay and detail it like a brick, and then bend it to create a hilly road or wrap it around a column without it cracking. Because the nontraditional fillers are a mixture of flexible and inflexible materials, this creates a molecular branching that makes the composite material stronger.



Looking at the first video thumbnail you'd think it was a Twizzlers animation test lol! That stuff looks really cool to work with - love the way you can bend it around and it doesn't seem to mash the surface or tear. Does it come in cherry?

Thanks Strider.

You know, I thought about assigning each color the name of a flavor, but then worried that kids or strange adults would put it in their mouth. It's non-toxic, but not really designed to be eaten.

It comes in the COLOR of cherry, though. :) There's both a light and dark red. I'm taking a break from making 3-color packs and just making four packs of the same color at a time.

One problem was not having enough clay for personal use and thinking about opening up some packs instead of selling them. But when you make 4 packs at a time, you have a lot of clay left over around the mold when you poured it. So that equates to more than enough of every color for personal sculpting and animation.

The clay in the video does look like a Twizzler! I've always been fascinated by how much you can flex those things before they snap in two. Not even sure what they're made of or what's in them that allows them to do that.

Irrelevant but fascinating article about licorice..

I thought maybe they have a lot of food grade wax in them, but it seems it's more about the sugars and the gluten..

Yeah... Corn syrup. I've thought about trying to make clay out of corn syrup, but ants love that stuff. But maybe a sugarless syrup could be used as an ingredient. It wouldn't cost less than what I'm making now, though... Any experiments would just be a fun detour.

Strider said:

Irrelevant but fascinating article about licorice..

I thought maybe they have a lot of food grade wax in them, but it seems it's more about the sugars and the gluten..

Haha yeah, plus it'll just make everybody want to eat it rather than animate it!

I'm not trying to cause a detour (or am I - muahaaaahaaaaaaa... ) but actually from the article it looks like it's a lot more about the gluten, which is just flour and water (or it's in the flour I guess). It says that's what makes it so bendy and stretchy. Still might draw ants though, or some kind of little critters. 

No need to experiment with flour though - you've already got bendy and stretchy well under control obviously! 

What I don't have under control, is VOLUME! The filler I've been using is very unpredictable in that regard. If it's not added at just the right time to the mix, it breaks down and I lose up to 1/3 pack of clay per batch. This is not something that affects the user, because the loss occurs at the bottom of the pan. It just means that I don't have enough clay in there to make another full pack. As a result, I end up going through more ingredients and eating the loss. Looking into other fillers, but there are very few that are both lightweight and non-toxic. I've got to figure this out... Maybe Cabosil would work? I read somewhere that fumed silica is somewhat resistant to heat. I really don't want to lose the thermoplastic property, if that can be helped. Heat is key to both the the stretchiness and bendiness.

Ahhh, figured out the volume problem. It was in the pot too long.

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