Tuesday, April 11, 2006


View this clip on Vimeo
I haven't eaten or slept. Not because I've made 18 hours of fantastic animation but because I'm obsessed with making any animation. My cats' litter is unscooped, my laundry is undone, I am unwashed, dishes are stacked in the sink, work undone thus far today and it's now 6:50 pm. I'm acting like a heroine addict on a bender even more than ususual. This is bad. After this little report I'm getting caught up on those vital life things straight away.

I just couldn't resist taking a couple faux Loc-Line doll armatures this afternoon and slipping in some small lengths of dowel inbetween the links in an attempt to make more proper bones and joints for the new and improved stand-in practice puppet. It looked promising as the thing moved more like a person while I fiddled with it, until I started to animate it. Then I saw that I couldn't tell where the joints were nor could I get the much of it to stay put. It was pretty foolish scene too because I was walking 10 steps back and forth back and forthback and forth (that's me in the far background) and therefore I couldn't use the onion skin feature well. The knock-off Loc-line I used couldn't hold a position well enough and the overhead rig wasn't anchored above the puppet's head so it didn't have enough lead room. The feet were loose gooses and these factors combined make it an unworkable test. But even with all this going on and even with not being able to control the figure's movements it was still fun.

I've now got to build a more serious, controllable armature. I can't imagine going so far as to machine ball joints like my friends. That's just too much to add to this Monumental Table of Tasks on the project for my likes. I don't mind baking the whole wheat bread for Rana's kitchen table or fabricating microscopically small reading glasses out of gold micro wire for the Reading Mouse, etc., details forever--but creating perfectly round steel ball joints? and safely soldiering an armature out of metal?!--Well maybe, when I typed that description it suddenly didn't sound so bad! A proper working, reliable armature is after all of utmost importance to good animation performance.


  1. Yep, you've definitely got it bad... this here stopmo fever!

    You can make great armatures of course from WIRE® ; } - but if you really want spherical metallic goodness, you can definitely do it! Trust me, I didn't think it was anywhere NEAR my ability levels, but I just trusted in Saint LIO's awesome tutorials and bought the right materials and followed his advice, and lo and behold.... I actually did it!!! This coming from a guy who can barely saw a piece of wood! Of course, a drill press is essential. And as I said, it's important to have the right materials on hand. It is kinda noisy and unpleasant though

  2. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Curious: What is the head made of on the Loc-Line puppet?

  3. Hi Sven, That head was just an odd Styrofoam ball I had lying around here, because one never knows when one needs all manner of Styrofoam, am I right!? At first I carved and glued pieces onto it for a rough face for the Mach II puppet but then tore it off because God forbid everyone looking might assume that it was my idea of an acceptable level of artistry. Vanity, sheesh.


  4. Anonymous2:13 PM

    Never know when one will need Styrofoam -- too true! I've got two eight-foot-tall sheets of insulation board in my studio room, 1" thick and 3" thick... And all manner of scraps that I refuse to trash.

    Surprising how good the stuff looks on film -- I wondered if the sphere was Styrofoam, but wouldn't have been surprised if it were a ping-pong ball or something totally smooth, either. :-)

  5. Anonymous7:43 AM

    Oh this is great, now I can follow your adventures and comment too! It was so nice to chat last night! We'll have to do it again soon... Love this little film, it just amazes me how real he looks - rubber knees and all!

  6. Wonderful to have you here, Ulla!! Yes, let's talk often!


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