Thursday, February 12, 2009

FLEA PILOT is underway........

Shel here, to introduce our second character for the new short (temporarily called LINE).....

meet FLEA PILOT.

i have to say this guy is the most exuberant puppet i've ever worked on. his enthusiasm and optimism are contageous, he kept me laughing out loud during his whole foam/paste process.

he bursts out of the oven every single time looking like this:

.......i kid you not. have you ever seen a puppet so excited to exist?
something must have happened in the oven, because his original designs are more intimidating (he IS our "bad" guy afterall).....and at the sculpture stage he was looking pretty tough too, he had alot more arms......we weren't sure we loved all the arms but we figured they would be easier to take off then to add on so Justin went ahead and sculpted them all (it's hard enough to get one set of hands to match, i was very impressed with his willingness to tackle FOUR).
Aedie had alot of fun helping with the mold (now that i think about it, she must have sprinkled some thing happy into the mix, and the big smiley face she indented on the outside of the mold must also have something to do with this guy's unshakable GLEE....).....in the end we went with the two arms because he looked a bit complicated with 4, and two will make for cleaner poses.

here's his two armed armature, this guy is aluminum wire (we're out of funds, so no cool ball and sockets for him). because he's wire, i made 4 copies in anticaption of inevitable breakage. i went with thicker wire for the legs (1/8") for support, and thin wire (1/16") doubled up for his arms, with even thinner wire wrapping all the limbs......we are discovering that the thin wire can take much more abuse than the thicker. and if i wrap them, then even if they break justin can often cheat his way through the end of a shot with just the wrapping. not the prettiest armature, but i think it'll get us where we want to go:this is the 4 armed version pre amputation:and the two armed army excitedly waiting for a paint job:


the real task now is going to try to get this guy to quit smiling and act tough!

18 comments:

Scott Farrell said...

Amazing, you guys are like a machine! Just curious, your molds look so great every time, do you have any special tricks? If so would it be possible to have a blog sometime of your mold making process?

emmyymme said...

I'd really like to see the mold-making as well... he looks great!

Font said...

You guys are hardcore!!! No breaks for you. Well the latest puppet looks great. Can't wait to see the paint job...but more importantly I want to see him move!!

John Pierro said...

I love seeing the whole family working together on this. If I wasn't forty I'd ask you to adopt me, so I could join in. You guys are moving at the speed of light with this one, and everything is looking great!

Ryan McCulloch said...

Fantastic! This project is getting better and better each post!!! I love the smile, and I love smiling villains. Don't fight fate, roll with it, it will give him more depth if he's a happy villain!

Alonso said...

I can't wait to hear his maniacal laugh, better watch out he may just steal the show :)

stephen said...

Stuff looks great! I love the test below especially. Keep up the fine work.

Mike Adair said...

Just awesome work!
He's got tons of personality already.
You know you're on the right track when you're there before you've even animated!

Yuji said...

Nice character! I kinda like the 4 arm design. Would make it a nightmare to animate though.

Sven Bonnichsen said...

Did you do mold making around the Super Sculpey maquette this time? It doesn't look like you did a second sculpt in oil-based clay. Did you simply not bake the Sculpey?

Gregory Sesma said...

Your armature looks pretty sweet.

Kevin Harman said...

Astonishing! You guys really are incredibly professional with your "hobby"!

amoebaboy said...

lovley puppet,you guys make a fantastic team.
are there any space ships in the offing ? i wanna see em !
it looks brilliant so far, cant wait.

Shelley Noble said...

What a fantastic character, you guys! w00t! holla.

CJandBuster said...

And another great character emerges from such wonderfully creative minds!

LOVE this guy!

LOVE IT!

jriggity said...

{Scott}-I think the only trick to a clean mold is takeing the time to make it clean...ha!

Its a pain in the ass to make the molds...but if you do a good job your puppet can last forever!

with brothers and sisters.

{emmyymme} - Me or shel will put the whole process up here some time soon. We document everything.

{Font}thanks dood....we just locked down the color chart in the airport today...so paintjob followed by anim tests coming up.

{John}awww....ha!! We definately enjoy it over here...and as for the speed...we definately are so much faster and more effeciant on this project. This was one of the most exciteing parts of doing our second film.

Takeing all weve learned useing it effectively and pushing all the other elements.

{Ryan} will do man...I do his laugh everytime I pitch the story to someone. He he he...

{Alonso} Im so glad people are finding him appealing that I dont care if he steals the show....

{stephen} hey man!! nice to meet ya...and more tests to come.

{Mike} thats what shel says too...half the work is done just in the designs... Thanks dood!

{Yuji}I definately liked the 4 arms too...I wasnt afraid to animate them either. BUT

When I starteed poseing him and looking at the shapes he created...it was too busy...Hence the amputations.

{Sven} yes....In an attempt to move faster...I hesitantly skipped the Maquette stage of the puppet creation. In a subconcious attempt my brain grabbed the supersculpy instead of the Grey clay.ha!

so.... I just went with it and finished . I just didnt cook the sculpy...It will mold just fine with soft sculpy.

{Greg} thanks man...simple simon.

{Kevin}Thanks !...This is definately a Hobie Lifestyle for us. We Love makeing films through animation.

{amoebaboy} why YES....there are spaceship in this sci fi adventure. Ha!

they will be posted as they begin construction.

{Herself} Thanks so much for the constant support...

{cj and buster} Im so glad you likes it man..

Joel Brinkerhoff said...

I love you guys. You are an inspiration!

Mélanie Allard said...

Nice to blog meet you too !
I had discovered you on the morning with plan to looking back here in night time.. Your blog is very interesting !!

Thanks for sharing your experiments, I was happy to learn about why you use the 1/16 instead of the 1/8 wire for the arms of your character..
Your team seem loving and enjoying what you are doing all together.. That's great and inspiring to seen !


I am impatient about seeing this wonderfull puppet
alive

au plaisir !