Saturday, 28 December 2013

Puppet head

This post will just go in to a bit more detail about the puppet head, I won't post any steps because the Joshua Flynn's blog already has a great step by step guide that I followed here. So if you're interested in making something like this yourself just head over there! Making a head with replaceable features is definitely hard work, and knowing how hard it is now I'm not sure if I'd choose this method again, but it just looked like so much fun and the end product looks so slick that I couldn't resist trying. The mouth and brow pieces snap on and off with magnets, and it's just too fun to switch them.

Here you can see my first attempt at the head, unfortunately I took it all the way to casting before I realized that the face pieces fit too loosely on the main head. As a design choice, I emphasized the gaps between the facial features instead of trying to hide them and end up a line running across the character's face (since I wouldn't want to edit it out in post), however I didn't realize at the time that this would make the pieces be able to tilt side to side, especially because the main head piece was just a smooth when I tried some pieces out with the magnets that secure them, they shifted, meaning the face would jitter a ton when it came to animating... so I restarted:

This time around I reconstructed the main head shape so that the mouth pieces fit snugly in place, and the nails in the mouth/forehead pieces that attach to the magnets had more plastic to be adhered too.They don't even really need the magnets, but they definitely don't hurt.

The neck was an interesting endeavour, since I didn't want any seam between the head and the neck, the neck and back of the head are one piece of silicone, with the armature running through it. The main plastic head piece then slots into the neck and back of the head. 

here you can see the molds and the face pieces, with sculpy expressions sculpted and baked on, ready to paint.

And the final product! More professional looking expression pages are to come, but here you can see me messing around with different angles and filters, since the film will largely be in black and white.



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