Thursday, September 07, 2006

Day 5... Kwikweld saves the day! And a sort of tutorial

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There's something I just love about the way my work area looks with these partial puppets laying around amid tools and scraps of wire and thread etc. Had to share. And I think my favorite part is all the red thread hanging off eveything. They almost look like marionettes! Above are 2 arms in the first stage of their evolution.
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I've kwikwelded them into their tubes, making sure the knotted silk thread is pushed down inside and firmly embedded ino tthe ugly grey stuff. This anchors the thread, making the next steps possible... I don't think I could even attempt the next part if the thread was loose and slipping around. The thin wrapping wire is what holds the 3 strands of wire together as one entity as i work, it's discarded after the endcaps are secured in place. On the left you can see I've marked the positions for the two 'bones' (actually sections cut from nails). And at the far end is a completed arm.
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Hey... can somebody give me a hand? (Sorry Shelley... I'm a jokethief!) You can see how everything fits together. I've tried to maximize the area of joinage. Look back and forth from this pic to the one below, you'll see what's going on. Below I just loosely wrapped the thread to semi-secure the hand, trying to leave enough clear area so you can see what's happening. I'll wrap it more when I actually secure it for real.
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I've got all the arms done now, still need to make more hands. And I've accepted that I'm just not a Dave Sim or a Nick Hilligoss. After getting home from work I can't realistically expect to spend a solid 8 hours working. Hell, I'm lucky to get two full hours done most nights. If I can do that 5 nights a week, then I'm making some good steady progress. At this point I'll be happy if I get all the puppets done and dressed by the end of the 16 day marathon (though I might not get all the clothes done... I think that's going to be the hardest part). Anything else is a bonus.


herself said...

Mike, I can't even tell you what a delight it is to get here and read a new post about your progress! It's a thing a beauty.

Thank you so much for documenting each step like this. It's going to be so helpful to follow these photos when I make my next animation armature!

Thank you for indulging my idea of a daily update--I love it!

Ubatuber said...

Right on, brother! Pure gold.

And I'm right there with you with the 8hrs/2hrs....though today is my day off......but I slept til 1, now its 2:30 and I haven't gotten anything done yet....uh....gotta go :)

Ubatuber said...

And Shelley...that pic is hysterical :D Thanks for the chin...

sven said...

Huzzah! Tutorials! My favorite!

This does much to clarify the techniques that you were describing, once upon a time, on SMA re Buster.

Thank you for taking the photos and walking us through your process!

sven said...

Oh, hey -- special request:

When you get around to foaming the armature, would you make extra sure to take a couple of shots of that?

I still don't feel like I've quite got the hang of getting the cushion foam onto a skeleton. Where to have breaks in the foam, where *not* to have breaks in the foam... Getting a window in on those stages of the process would be very helpful.

...Lookin' good, man!

mefull said...

great to see a dailey post Gepetto Brent.

Nice job on the hands, thanks for more great tutorial photos.

Progress is progress, dailey progress is the best kind of progress of all, no matter how much gets done.

Darkstrider said...

Thanks peeps!

Uba, wednesday was my day off... I think I got about a half hour's worth of work done! D-oh!

Svenster, I've actually refined my techniques quite a bit since Buster. He had no bones, so it was a lot easier. Geez, this wrapping stuff is painstaking! And I've finally noticed a few problems with it, ways in which twisting is superior (and it's so much faster and easier!). I'll explain it in tonight's bloggy blog. That's a big 10-4 on the foam pics good buddy. Basically I use just 5 pieces of foam, no breaks except where I need to piece them together... but I'll be getting to that soon enough.

Ubatuber said...


Can't wait....