Issue 3 – Winter 1982 Editor’s Comment Reader’s Letters Making Puppets for Stop-motion Films Colin Dunn describes puppet making methods used by professional animators. Building an Animation Rostrum – part 3 Brian Clare concludes the building of a rostrum in his garage. The Perils of Plasticine Lewis Cooper gives us some tips on making plasticine … Read more
Winter 1982 Issue Number 3
ANIMATOR’S ASSOCIATION David, Animator’s Newsletter Number 2 is even more thought provoking than the first issue. I enclose my thoughts on an association of animator’s and an animation festival, and a cheque for £2 to cover the cost of copying and posting to David Osborne (see Association for Animators wanted Issue 2) and anyone else … Read more
The big news in this issue of Animator’s newsletter is the plan to form an Animator’s Association. This will help extend the communication between readers of the newsletter. I think that people who take up animation tend to be independent types. Animated films can be made without involving anyone else. However, there comes a time … Read more
Making Puppets for Stop-motion Films
COLIN DUNN TELLS US HIS METHOD OF MAKING PUPPETS WHICH IS BASED ON TECHNIQUES USED BY PROFESSIONAL ANIMATORS WHO HAVE DEVELOPED THEM OVER MANY YEARS.
At their simplest, puppets to be animated might be buttons, match sticks, or the perennial angle-poise lamps. We have all seen how the most unlikely objects can be imbued with real character by an imaginative animator. But if your project requires puppets that bear some resemblance to the human or animal form, you will run up against the problem of puppet construction, and for many beginners it is a real problem. You cannot animate well if you have only a poor puppet to work with.
In the case of this particular puppet it had a final coat of a special opalescent acrylic paint called moonstone, sold by Military Modeling suppliers. Available from them also is the invaluable epoxy putty, which becomes rock hard when dry. Use this to hold heavish bits of metal on the feet to weight them slightly. Spare nuts and bolts can be used. Put them in front of their plywood sandwich. Add a layer of papier mache around the sides of the feet, through which pins may be stuck, holding the puppet to the stage. The floor of this can be fiber board or some other such material. The outer cover of the feet will be leather or fabric.
Making a Rostrum
Part Three By Brian Clare
THE FINAL PART OF THIS SERIES GIVES DETAILS OF A NORTH/SOUTH, EAST/WEST MOVEMENT AND A PANTOGRAPH TABLE.
In part one of this series I covered the woodwork for the base and table. Now we look at a way of adding a controllable movement to this.
The mechanism consists of threaded rods running through nuts that are secured to the rostrum base and the moving table top.
The Perils of Plasticine
LEWIS COOPER WON A MOVIE MAKER TEN BEST AWARD LAST YEAR WITH HIS PLASTICINE PUPPET FILM ‘THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JOE SOAP’. HE GIVES US SOME TIPS ON MAKING OUR OWN PLASTICINE PUPPETS.
You’ve decided to make a film one frame at-a-time. To make it you’ll need lights which get very hot but the substance you have chosen to use slowly melts under those lights. Not only that, the substance has the alarming tendency of falling over at regular intervals, thereby flattening the features you’ve carefully modeled. Even if you can achieve the impossible and prevent it falling over, the very act of manipulating the substance to get your animation slowly disintegrates your model. You’ve guessed it – this melting, squashing, disintegrating substance is plasticine.
As you animate remember that you are making a FILM. It should have long shots, medium close-ups, big close ups and camera angle changes. Not only does this make the film look better, it is often a great help with shooting problems. Suppose you have a man who is required to walk, in long shot, across your set. It will take about ten paces for him to get across. You get to pace number four and he falls flat on his face. You have to pick him up, remodel his face, and put him back in exactly the same position, with arms and legs at the correct angle.