Friday, 18 January 2013

Week 5: Puppet Making (Padding, Skinning & Clothing)

Anyways, Plodding along!

Next was padding out for clothes!

To the right shows the hard blue foam sculpted around the parts of my armature that needed it.
These pieces of foam resemble the harder parts of the human body, (the chest and hips.) It also gives a good solid core to hold onto when animating body movements.
To create this, I got a section of foam, cut it to size according to my armature plan, chopped it down the middle, pressed it neatly into my armature on both sides and then attached it together with glue.
Extra sculpting and sanding down was undertaken to then get this shape.

Once that was done, 
Measuring a block of soft foam, (bought at a fabric shop) against my armature plan, I drew out the shapes I would need for the soft areas of my puppet.
(i.e. The belly, arms, legs and under the shoes.)

I then started to cut them out using a junior hacksaw, scissors and a craft knife.

To the right is basic shape of the stomach piece. 
This was cut into a cube, at the right size according to my armature plan, and then sliced down the middle. It was then placed in the bare stomach area and glued together making sure not to glue over the wire, as it would stiffen it up and be a hindrance when animating … 
I then gave it a little snip to get it into shape, and then started with the arms and legs…

The same was then done with the arms and legs,
as you can see the arms are a tad beefy here! This was just before gluing and snipping the excess off.

You may notice I have only padded out half of my puppet’s legs, this is because this is where his boots come up to, and separate padding will be under them…

Before and after trimming!
Some foam on the feet to pad out the latex boots...

Once everything was padded out, I started to make my character’s jacket.
To begin this process, I needed to figure out the pattern of the suit, so first of all, I 
wrapped my puppet in cling film to start the pattern making technique…

I then carefully covered the cling film up with masking tape, to make the basic shape of the suit.

Once everything was masking taped up, taking inspiration from on old prom suit, I drew on the seam lines of my character’s suit. (seen above.)

If you look to the left, you’ll notice little lines crossing over the seam line.  These are points of reference;
this is for the next step, which is cutting down the seam lines so the shapes that I require out of fabric, will be in masking tape form.

These little points of reference will tell me how the pieces of the suit go back together again.

To the left and below:
The masking tape, cut out into shapes

then flattened out each part of the masking tape suit and placed them all on my piece of fabric bought for this purpose. (I’m quite happy with the colour as it really does resemble my pre production digital cut out designs’ suit.)

I placed the tape face down, so that the writing was facing the material, and started to draw around it, first in pencil, secondly in pen. I also then added about a centimetre around the edge of the shape so I could sew it together, and then trim it off later…

All the shapes drawn out, ready for cutting and sewing!

At this step, I also was figuring out what sections needed to be folded in on them selves and what sections needed to be sewn together. The collar was a right pain!

Bit of a big jump here,
but after hand sewing all the pieces together, and fabric gluing some of the trickier parts, This is what the outcome was.
Its not my best. I’m not 100% happy with it, seems frayed in some areas and where I used fabric glue, some parts may seem dirty but its not too bad in some areas,
The back part is my favourite, and that’s just typical, because we wont see it in the animation!
Oh well!

I made these little buttons out of Super Sculpey Firm, I sculpted them as perfect as I could at first and input two little needle holes in the middle to sew them on to the suit.
Once they were done, I baked them in the oven for 10 minutes at 130 degrees and sanded them down to make this flat edge on top and around the circumference.
I then propped them all up on a bit of plastiscene on some MDF so when I sprayed them in gold, there wouldn’t be and pools of paint around the button.

The buttons were then sprayed gold, and stitched onto the jacket.

The picture to the right shows the size comparison between a needle and my sculpted buttons


Next on the agenda were the horse riding type trousers from my designs in pre production. To make these, Like the jacket, I covered the area where the trousers would be in cling film and then masking tape, and then drew seam lines and points of reference along them, Making sure I labelled the two parts ‘front’ and ‘back’ to avoid confusion.                                                                        
Once cut out, the two shapes of masking tape (front and back of the trousers) were converted onto the green/brown material I wanted. (taken from an old zip up hoodie.)

As you can see above, I added an area around the edge of the two patterns so I could sew them together with ease.

The sections were then cut out, and sewn together along the seam line. I sewed the patterns inside out with very tightly compacted stitching so the seams were strong and would stay together when rough handling is needed. On the waist and the bottoms of the legs I turned the material in on itself and glued it down with fabric glue. This gave a nice finish and made everything look neat and tidy. 

I then turned the inside out trousers the right way around, and there we go!
I’m really pleased with these, as they were very quick to make and I think they are the best part of my clothing so far.

Above: The trousers with the hip block inside.

Here are the final trousers together with my latex boots.
I’m really pleased with the out come, I really like the way the material riles up between the legs, It almost fools you into thinking it could be a normal sized pair of trousers!

I then had to make a small little jumper underneath my character’s jacket, just to give it that believability. So instead of making a fully working jumper that goes over the shoulders, to save time, I hinted towards one.

Animation = LIES

I just cut out a section of material from one of my grandfather’s old hats (given to me, not stolen!) to the shape of the front of my jumper, I created the ‘v neck’ and hem around the bottom by just folding the material in on itself and then gluing it down.
The jumper was then glued onto the body securely at the top and bottom to avoid it moving and flickering on camera in the final animation.

This is what it looked like when covered by the jacket. I think its quite effective and save time and material.
The head and a scarf will cover up the blue foam, which you see at the top of the jacket.

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