A Simple Flying Rig

written by Anthony Scott

Here is a simple way to get your character off the ground.  Using Foam Core board and Wooden Dowels available at Art Stores and Wood, Bolts, Nuts, and Washers from your local hardware store, you can fabricate this rig fairly quickly. Use the strongest and thinnest Fishing Line to suspend your puppet. Once finished, attach the track (a long 2 x 4) above your set where you want your puppet to fly. Put the rig in place by slipping the wooden bracket over the 2 x 4 track. Attach your puppet to the strings and turn the wooden dowels to adjust your puppet. The rig is designed to rotate 360 degrees if needed.  Instead of making the wooden bracket, you could attach a C-clamp or Grip Clip to the rig. Go to the hardware store and see what you can throw together. Remember, stop-motion is usually very low-tech. Use this plan as a basic framework to build the rig you need for your film.

EDIT: July 2012: I was thinking of deleting this chapter because most flying rigs today are ball and socket rigs that support the puppet and are removed in post production. I decided to leave it just in case someone wants to try animating with a retro-style flying rig like this one. If lit properly, the lines can appear invisible thereby eliminating the need for any post work on the shot.

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