Sunday, September 24, 2006

Smooth move dude!

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Well, the latex isn't in yet, so I decided to spend a night smoothing out all the arms a little better. I mixed up some epoxy putty (yes, more epoxy putty!) and put a little bit next to each joint, on both sides of the wrapped string. With wet fingers I smoothed it down to create a nicer profile for each arm. In some cases the string stood out quite a bit, now it's actually slightly recessed.... I think it looks better.

Oh yeah, and I also played around with "replace color" in Photoshop......


Michael Granberry said...

Great looking arms, Mike! I'm looking forward to my next puppet sculpt so I can try the wrapped-finger technique you've illustrated on here so well. Thanks for the in-depth tutorial!

Darkstrider said...

You're quite welcome! I've seen your site before, consider me a fan!

It remains to be seen just how well this technique will work out though.... it's the first time I've tried it. I now wish I had wrapped the fingers before puttying up the hands, so the ugly tied ends would be down inside the hand rather than right at the base of the fingers. I think tonight I'll make some knuckles, and try to hide that.

herself said...

Eggsalad job, Mike. Another fresh post, this one with a Photoshop side salad. yay.

I followed that... wrap fingers, then create hand out of putty, covering ends of wrapping thread as you go. fantastic point.

I was daydreaming today about making bones on my hands out of pieces of pin. I think I can do this primarily because my pupps are larger than most. I may try it for my main char for whom hands are a big focus.

Do you see any problems with my using a hard, air-dry clay, sculpy-type oven cure, or similar everywhere you use epoxy putty (with the exception of tiedowns)?

Wait, what if I use Durham's water putty everywhere!? I understand that it's non-tox once the powder is mixed. I'll have to try it out. I apologize for cluttering up your comments with trying to work ideas out.

Take good care!

Darkstrider said...

Hey, don't apologize - what better use for the comments section? I suppose you could use just about any kind of clay, but watch out for too much weight and make sure it's strong enough. For me the epoxy putty is perfect because it's super-strong, well, not exactly lightweight, but I love that it's so totally workable. You can choose a 5 min type for the quick jobs or a longer-cure variety if you need time to finesse it or do a bunch of parts at once.

Water Putty could work well, but the possible problem is that, when you mix it up thick enpugh to work as a putty it might want to set up really fast. meaning you'll have to keep making up little micro-batches. I don't remember offhand how long it would take to set up.

But... all that said, you might not want to use any kind of clay/putty, depending on how you approach the puppetmaking. See, originally when I put those nails in for bones, it was because I was planning to cast arms from silicone, so I wanted a narrow-profile armature that would fit in the mold and let the silicone flow easily around it into every part of the mold. It was only after I decided to switch to latex that I started globbing the putty on. I had to create the basic shape I wanted the arms to be from something, so the latex can just be put on as a thinnish skin over it, see? So, my rule of thumb would be (and bear in mind I like to break rules of thumb as fast as I make them) if you're going to sculpt and mold puppets, just threadwrap some steel in for bones.... but if you're dipping in latex then build forms with epoxy putty or some kind of clay.

I like the idea of pins for fingerbones. Should work nicely. Heh, and thread wrapped around.... puppetmaking is becoming a lot like tailoring!

Darkstrider said...

In fact, as I was in a threadwrapping trance doing my 37th finger the other night, I suddenly envisioned an entire puppet made that way, with nothing over the thread. The problem would be finding ways to hid the knots and joins so it all looks continuous. But I'm quite sure it could be done, and look really good.

herself said...

Woo. Thanks for those notes and ideas, Mike. I see. I'll find my way with the hands. Rule of Thumb-- snort chortle.