Saturday, September 16, 2006

Day 14 - hands

Took a day off yesterday. Hey, I just noticed it was day 13.... maybe it's best I did! Tonight I'm making hands:
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The idea of the thread wrapping is to help keep the hand bones from splaying out unnaturally. All too often I've seen puppets made by beginners that don't really have hands, just fingers sprouting directly from the wrist. Grotesque abominations! And while these puppets are a bit strange looking, I don't want them to be total mutants (even though they do only have three fingers and a thumb).
I could have just packed epoxy putty in for the body of the hand, but for that wo hold the fingers all together in a tight unit and not allow the pinky or forefinger to float out to the side, it needs to be extra fat around those areas. Hope that makes sense. This way I figure the thread will hold it from drifting, and allow me to make smaller epoxy blocks. As with the last post, I'll add to this one as I get more done throughout the night.

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The hands on six puppets are epoxied now. I still need to figure out how I'm going to make hands for Tonic and Cindy Lou, but I won't be making them until after they're foamed and clothed. Man, this got scary! Extremely difficult work, and on one hqand the thread came untied and started unravelling as I worked. I just went ahead and puttied it all up anyway. Despite my efforts, most of the hands came out pretty thick and lumpy anyway. I might be able to file some of them down later though.


Ubatuber said...

You don't find that twisted armature wire is too stiff for fingers? I tried it awhile ago, but maybe twisted the wire too tightly...since Pandora Ive used that thin green floral best with long fingers like Nola 2 though...E.T. fingers :)

Ubatuber said...

Nice twist-job on the palm by the way....

Darkstrider said...

Well, I'll let you know. This is the first time I've made hands like this. So far it feels pretty supple, but who knows how it'll act once it's got rubber over it?

herself said...

I think the red thread acts a bit like tendons would. Very cool detail, Mike. I will folow with great interest.

Darkstrider said...

Yes, exactly! In fact, if these puppets needed it, I could see leaving the thumb part flexible... the thread would act as a hinge. Hmmm... hard to explain. But suffice to say, for their breif onscreen appearances, these guys don't need full thumb bone flexibility.

herself said...

I think the hand you pixtured here looks great, Mike. The art of the film will be how the puppets are finished, animated and edited, right?! That's my new philosophy, do what you have to on a film, compromise being the soul of progress, and believe that the artistry is in how the elements are pulled together in the end. (Kubrick would disagree but he had other issues.)

Darkstrider said...

Yeah, that's the way I feel about it now too.

A little more Simian philosophy:

Everyone has 200 bad pages in you that you need to get done. Start now... get them out of the way.

First you get good, then you get fast, then you get good and fast.

I could see it working the other way too... some people probably get fast before they get good.

But it's all about what you can do... right now - today. Set your goals, get to work, and as you finish each goal move on to the next. If you feel something needs to be redone and you just can't live with it, then re-do it. And then move on.

sven said...

Wow... My thoughts exactly: get the 200 bad pages out of the way... Do the step that comes next... And just keep working your ass off.

More or less what I said in the "Notes on Making Art" post: