This guy is really pissing me off!!! (And I mean that in the art school way, it's an admission of jealousy)
Click for video clip
...You see, didn't I just say recently that I know there's a way to make stopmo films that's easier than what I'm doing and looks better? Well here it is! And this guy is a complete newbie... he's been into stopmo for a few months! Makes me want to just quit. He whipped this up the other day because he "just wanted to animate something". Bastard. I'm stuck in realistic mode.... I labored so long and hard on Buster, and I tried to make him really cartoony looking... I thought he WAS.... but looking at him now compared to Nola, he's realistic with the proportions somewhat altered. That's all. The animation I've done with him isn't funny, it isn't all that entertaining. And it was a lot of damn hard work! ....And just wait till you see what I'm getting ready to tackle next!
I've been looking into ways to make the bodies for the Radke puppets, and I've settled on silicone. Hey, if it's good enough for Corpse Bride.....
There are a lot of great special effects silicones and products to alter them for making prosthetics and puppet skins, but it's a bewildering maze trying to figure it all out. There are weird lapses of key information on all the websites... you almost have to be involved in special effects to get an "in". But I did some mind-numbing research (and my secret weapon was Toxic Papa Ralph Cordero at the Scululptor's Forum, who has forgotten more about silicones than most people will ever know) and what I'm leaning toward now is Dragonskin with Dick Smith's Theatrical Deadener added, which reduces the viscosity to a soft gel. This stuff was designed to impart a realistic (there's that word agian!) fleshlike consistency to silicone... in fact it's used for medical prosthetics as well as makeup effects. The way it works is kind of like silly-cone boobs.... you make a skin of slightly softened rubber and inside that you fill with super-softened stuff. It creates a skin that moves like real flesh, it doesn't wrinkle too much the way foam latex tends to do. And Dragon Skin is a lot easier to work with than foam latex, no precise measuring and scientific foaming schedules... you just eyeball it and measure out equal amounts.
I won't bore you with technical details... if anyone is interested I've detailed most of my research on this thread.
Grant Cross Gallery
Here's my latest discovery, which I stumbled across in my silicone research quest, believe it or not! Grant Stockton Cross is a California artist who draws and paints these crazy little things he calles Hobnobs. He's got loads of 'em, and they're AWESOME!! Very much in the same vein as Scott Radke. Man, would I love to have this guy do some concept art and then turn it into animation!