7.27.2006

A New BlogTitle GIF

Hello all...I am still trying to find time to animate, I need to work at night b/c of the amount of natural light in my kitchen and haven't had many late nights recently, but it is my priority...the next big revelation here will be clips, I promise...in the meantime I've spent my afternoons working on a new GIF banner web title thingy, let me know what you think, and please tell me if it is causing any weirdo problems with the blog template :)

edit: Should the gif keep looping, or should I change the settings to play once?

7.21.2006

Nola 2, Ready to Rumble

I do believe that she is done, chaps. Considering the coming animation tests go well, I think its safe to say this is Nola as she will appear in the final film. Probably not this very puppet, but one like it. She should be very easy to replicate, I'd say 2-3 days of solid work at first. As promised, here's a better rundown of the fabrication.
This time for tie-downs, I used T-nuts. I looked around the hardware store and chose these because of their little teeth, good for gripping the armature wire foot loop and the epoxy clay. After making the armature, giving her bones, and attaching the scalp, I coated her in liquid latex, 2 coats, thicker in some areas like the knees. Then I started padding her with foam. I used an old porous piece of upholstry foam, cut out a cylindrical shape for the torso, two arm tubes, and a few small pieces to use for the boots (the shin parts, the toe, and the heel) . I attached these to the puppet with small drops of superglue, to secure them in place (to areas where there is an epoxy putty bone, so as not to glue up the bendy bits), then trimmed the foam to the shapes I wanted, and coated them with thinned down latex, many coats that absorbed into the foam...for the boots I built the latex up on top until I could create texture, allowing the foamy parts to show through in some places, which when painted almost looks like canvas...once I had latexed the sleeves and torso foam (to give it a little bit more stiffness, and seal it in place), I found a material to use for the coat, an old pair of pajama pants, the thin flannel kind. I cut pieces to fit the puppet, sort of wrapping it around and trimming, and attaching it with dabs of superglue, sleeves first then torso. Then I painted on the little flap of the coat, where the buttons are, with liquid latex.
The paintjob. I decided to go with a bluish grey, gave the whole coat a coat, then highlighted the flap, and some shoulder areas, with a lighter grey, and added a thin wash of black to other areas. The stitches are painted on, the buttons are hardened little bits of clay glued onto the coat and painted to look threaded. The details on the boot are all painted also. I considered giving her boots some laces, or maybe straps at the top, but ultimately I dont think she really needs it.
We'll see how she animates when I take her for her first test run in the next few days...(hopefully)...I'm talkin' sets, spooky lighting, Nola 2, framegrabber, even the new mossy walky board for aimless wandering...

7.16.2006

The Amazing Screw-On Head

My weekend of animation looks to be postponed until next week as I havent had time to do much of anything in the last few days.
Meanwhile over at the Sci-Fi Channel's website, they've posted the entire pilot episode for the animated version of Mike Mignola's comic, Amazing Screw-On Head. I love Mignola's work, and this cartoon excellently brings his artwork, and his sense of humor, to life. Plus it has great characters. This viewing is actually supposed to be part of a contest, 'You decide which show gets a full season', that kind of thing. So go watch, then take the survey to make sure we get more...Check it out here...

7.12.2006

Nola 2 Scarfed

I am about to start grass-and-mossing up a big piece of pegboard, so I won't have to confine my walks to a small straight line anymore :)...this weekend should be all about animation, full sets (well, what I have so far I mean) and Nola 2 (though sadly still Jenny-puppet deprived)...
Here's my latest pic, made the scarf from an old sweater-y shirt that was ribbed, perfect texture. I cut the bottom strip, the waistline of the shirt, so there would be a seam on one side, then ran a wire through it, which you can see in the pic if you look for it....after stretching it out, I coated the scarf in thinned latex, thin enough so the material would absorb the liquid, instead of it sitting on top...drybrushed it with black paint, then went back over with the white stripes. The reverse side has more solid black stripes but I prefer the subtle side.

I still want to add something to the boots, and try painting a layer of latex on her face, so she's not quite done......yet...

7.09.2006

Nola 2, Mostly Done...


Here she is, mostly finished...the boots need a bit more work, and she needs a new scarf, but other than that I think she's fini! Nola Test Puppet #2, ready for take-off.
Looks like a little Russian orphan or something...I like...

More Nola 2, In Progress

Gonna work on more details today and hopefully post a finished puppet tonight :)

Here's more so far...

7.08.2006

New Nola

Well we all knew the day would come. Nola 1.5 is ready to retire. Pass on the torch.

Earlier this week watching Grant's youtube animation, his term micro-film lit up a little light bulb in me brainpan. I like the idea of a running series of tiny snapshots, a micro-series, and decided Nola would be perfect. But I couldn't start a series without the proper puppet, and Nola 1.5's joints were starting to get a little....stubborn....So before she up and dies on me, I've started re-sculpting. Here's some 'so far' pics...


What you see with the heads is Nola 1.5 with only her clay face remaining, and Nola 2 with her plaster 'skull cap', the hard scalp from Nola1.5, with the pigtails removed and the new head armature epoxy-clayed in.


Tiny Nola, Go-Go Dancer. She'll have her winter boots and coat. And look, FINGERS!


Scarf is too small now, with the added width of the coat. Gotta add details to the coat and boots and the face (same as before, with fresh, softer clay so she is easier to 'emote'). What you see now with the coat is foam coated with thinned latex.

Today and tomorrow should see her finished, and possibly a test even. The micro series will be called....wait for it......"Nola's Bad Day"....it'll be sort of Wile E. Coyote....watch for a premiere episode some time this week, and then hopefully many more after that...