This is a rough motion test as preparation for a project I'll be animating for this fall. The purpose of this test was to get comfortable with a many-legged creature, and test the feasibility of animating such a character without tie-downs.

Comment by Dean B on August 26, 2012 at 8:19am

Creepily cool. Give it some spidery make-up and it'll be terrifyingly terrific!

Bet it was a pain to animate all them legs. Much like Cthulhu's tentacles. Great job!

Comment by Thomas Nicol on August 26, 2012 at 8:35am

Haha, thanks.  The actual puppet for the project will be much cooler than this -- I just threw this guy together to play with the motion.  Its body will be a vaccuum tube, and I'm probably going to go with hinge-based legs rather than unruly wire.

The leg animation was actually a lot easier than tentacles -- much lower entropy.  Cthulhu's tentacles all kinda have minds of their own, but these legs are all working to a singular purpose, so it's much easier to keep track of what's going on in each frame.

Comment by Roger Beck on August 26, 2012 at 8:47am

Nice animation!

Comment by Hugo on August 26, 2012 at 3:20pm

I agree with Beyond Craft and Roger, that's truely impressive ! Hope you'll show us some more once the puppet's makeup ready.

Comment by Thomas Nicol on August 26, 2012 at 7:25pm

Sure thing!  Principal photography on the short will be wrapped by the end of October,  I'll probably get to start cracking on the spider-bots around then, and I'll certainly appreciate any feedback from you fine folks.

Comment by grecodan on August 27, 2012 at 5:16pm

Arachno-terrific. I loved the pause and the slight body tilt. It made it seem as if it was thinking..."do I go forward, or back?"

Excellent example of how even simple body language can convey a lot of information (intended or not). 

Comment by Thomas Nicol on August 28, 2012 at 8:27am

Thanks!  Definitely intentional -- though there wasn't a specific thought process being communicated by the tilt, it was just meant to give a sense of awareness to the character.  Once I get the actual spider-bot puppet to play with, I'm hoping to give it some personality...

Comment by Thomas Nicol on April 22, 2016 at 7:02am

Thanks, James!  Still learning timing, always learning timing. Video ref can be super handy, but I also just like running with ideas as they come.

Anyway, if anyone's interested 4 years later, here's the episode with the final spider-bot; the actual stopmo shots are pretty quick and simple, but that sequence runs about 8:10-8:55.

Comment by Julian Grant on April 22, 2016 at 8:37am

Nice work. Well done. It's always great to see proof of concept work in advance. I'm a big fan of this approach. 

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