Friday, October 31, 2008

Standing Ovation, Yuji

"Hey Shelley,
I was wondering if you would like to have my armature I built a while back. This was made during an armature making seminar I attended given by Tom Brierton when he was in the Los Angeles area. I will not be using it because it is way too big standing at about 14" tall but I remember you had a few characters that were pretty big. It has a ball and socket in the waist and wrists. All the other joints are dowel/swivel type joints. --Yuji"

Yeah--what do you think I said.

I can't quite get over the fantastic, giving, talented people around the Web-o-matic! These hand-machined marvels are hella valuable because of how much time and expertise they take to make and here's one given so freely?! Insane. Thank you my inventive motion controlling camera rigging super-brained friend, Dick "Yuji" Kaneshiro. This armature's a marvel and so fun to animate. I spent the day making little tests like this:

Art Day Guest: Nicole
This pretty young woman (how do I get 'em here, boys?!) spent a smashing good afternoon here yesterday making all the elements for a meaningful shadow box with brightly colored Chinese style lanterns made of velvets, sequins, and beads. She left happy with a to-go box of the elements ready to compose inside the frame. (Have fun, Nicole, and please send us a photo when it's finished!) Paul has known her since she was a teen in Australia. He had invited her here in the sly hope she'd fall in love with stop motion and become my new intern. But who in their right mind would do this stuff?!


  1. super cool herself!!!!!

    so fun to see ANIMATION on your blog.


  2. Thanks, Riggatoni!

    If I could watch you animate some time it would help so much! Next project maybe I could intern!

  3. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Hey, I recognize the Brierton style of the armature! I got a smaller one from Tom off eBay quite a while back, with the same type of joints. Unlike yours, mine is still sitting on it's alloy posterior. Hats off to Yuji!

  4. Anonymous12:09 AM

    wow,it's wonderful.
    by the way, the video seems not available.

  5. Very good, Mr. Nick! Well spotted. eBay, eh? Hmmm....

    Hi, Kevin? video plays here, it's a bad compression with loads of gray artifacts but it plays, don't know why it isn't there when you try. How did an SEO guy get interested in stop motion?!

  6. Anonymous8:32 PM

    I am in awe or your creativity, Martha

  7. Anonymous1:17 AM

    Hi Shelley

    Tried visit your blog from an other ISP,the video is working -_-#

    I don't like spams too...

  8. shel> Paul has known her since she was a teen in Australia. He had invited her here in the sly hope she'd fall in love with stop motion and become my new intern. But who in their right mind would do this stuff?!

    (^ I'd strongly suggest
    Amanda Day:

    (^ some nice tutorials on doll making too.

  9. That armature is Shweeeeet. Can't wait to see it ensconced in foam latex and partaking in the merry caper that is HalfLand.

  10. Hey, Martha! Is that Martha, Martha? As in my friend and graphics client, Martha? Welcome!

    Thanks, SEO

    Prosser! I'm all up into Amanda Day for sure, seen all her fantastic tuts, sent the links to friends even. She's one talented doll artist. Not sure why you think she'd be an intern here in the US, other than her also being a pretty young Australian. She's perfectly happy in Australia making dolls that don't move! HA!

    Hi Rich, no foam latex in Halfland. No tox shop. Latex skin with respirator, ok. filled with something, to be determined.

  11. Then you may be interested in an upcoming post... Actually, my foam may still be toxic. Hmmmm... I wonder what could be used that's non-toxic? I will think on it.

  12. Sign up as a regular visitor here (on the top of the sidebar at right) and I'll tell you the no-tox stuff I'm thinking of using. hee.

  13. I would sign up as a regular visitor Shelley but it seems to only works for blogs! Oh well. I have signed up in spirit, anyway. :)

    I too am totally into hearing about any non-toxic alternatives to foam...

  14. ok! Anyone who signs up in spirit gets on the list in my heart!


    yep, in 1992 in NY I bought a now stale kit for no tox geletin casting material from the big special effect supplier who I can't recall their name right now. I gotta go take some more Motrin for cramp pain right now, but I'll definitely link the material when back here.

    I recall it is the perfect solution although lacking in the durability of the hardier stuff. Trade offs. I'm also continuing to look for add'l solutions.

  15. I still couldn't get up and go see what I bought way over there but I Googled and found this, which could be it! I ordered great stuff from Burman.


  16. hm, intriguing! Gelatin? Is it... gelatenous, or foamy? I'm curious!

    When you say lacking durability... what happens to it, do you recall? Does it harden, or shrink, or just fall apart?

    The page in the site had no info or pictures that could describe it, and I've never heard of gelatin as a casting material! Time for some research...

    I imagine it would be kind of like silicone in texture? The other disadvantage being that it's pretty heavy...

    hm many questions :) keep us posted if you try out the stuff in your link!

  17. Well, I just dug out the old dusty bottles and jars of what I bought. It's from theatrical prosthetic distributor for England's ALCONE Company, Inc. (Paramount Theatrical Supplies)

    The labels say Kryolan Powder Gel Skin Kit #4061 and 4062 on two jars and Kryolan plasticizer #4061 and 4062 on two bottles. There's also a bottle of clear theatrical latex.

    It seems they now offer improved gel material?

    "Excellent for: body parts, small appliances, or when articulation and elasticity are not needed. Low Shrinkage! No curing! Less expensive than foam latex! Looks very similiar to flesh. This improved formulation makes two part gelatin systems obsolete. from $16.50"

    and this!!

    "Ultra Sculpt is an unique, clear, sculptable gel that visually becomes part of the actor's face and body transmitting even the most subtle expression or movement for unparalleled expressiveness and realism. Use water as a sculpting aid. Water soluble and non-toxic. Color with food coloring. from $30.00"

    They carry Gel-Foam Cubes but don't explain it, so I Googled to find out more and WOW! (maybe?)

    You get 3 2" x 1 1/2" cubes. Gel-Foam Cubex is gelatin that has been whipped into a stable foam product. Make-up Designory has developed and perfected a formula that is not only stable but also translucent and extremely soft. The Gel-Foam Cubex was developed with the end user in mind - for the purpose of creating a viable alternative to foam latex.

    Now-- I suspect this works fantastically for prosthetics--but for puppets? I see what can be said online about this, and of course report on my own attempts.

    There is a way!

  18. DOODS!!!

    First Google up--pay dirt WOO HOO!

  19. ok, read a lot about foamed gelatin in use as stop motion puppets. My bottomline opinion, it's too fragile on its own, Micheal Davy's is the best kit (as mentioned in several independent user postings), but with certain additives it may very well work very well. The addition of glue was mentioned ( in order to toughen the gel and make it less elastic for use.

    I plan to also try adding a good deal Nova Color's matte medium (high quality no-tox to use polymer) as well as coating the cast in something stable and see if I can't get a puppet to hold up.

    Should be interesting.

  20. Wait!!!


    I intended to try these marvelous people's NON-TOXIC CASTING products!

    People, we need a post on this--stat!

  21. (^ ok. now I'm listening.
    (^ I know better than most the caustic side effects of the special effects moldmakers and casting industry, and get really prissy when i see old timers making tutorials that teach really young kids to smear wax solvents, bestine etc with thier fingers, and hold ball bearing in their bare hands while slathering them with soldering flux.

    (6 my skin still reacts to toxic shock levels to a point i'm embarrassed to work and boiling down clays in closed spaces still gives me flashbacks to why i'd rather tell stories without cutting any more of my lifespan to ribbons.

    (^ this post comes at an oppertune moment, because I'm about to wander back into the insanity out of sheer lonliness and I can't stand going another year without making SOMEthing. ANYTHING.
    (^ so tell me everything you got on knox geleton, dental algenate: other things MENT TO BE APPLIED TO THE SKIN.
    maybe THOSE things will be less toxic?
    I mean hey. burman industries are fine for short stints, but silicone molds and I know little of this new stuff called dragonskin.

    so shelly. keep up the nontox thread. maybe I WILL begin my fantasized stop motion puppet good ju0ju shaman mystic fixer puppet series that shows painting with catchup and drawing with edible materials.

  22. Absolutely, PROSSER! NON toxic all the way or it don't happen here, no way, now how, ever.

    NON toxic NON toxic NON toxic all the way.

    There are many many options I've been finding online for both moldmaking and for the casting of stop motion puppets, some easier than others, some more durable than others. It's a trade off, as always.

    I like to have my workshops in the same space as where I, Paul, and 3 cats live, sleep, eat, etc. so even using a good respirator, gloves, and goggles won't cut the mustard gas.

    I will keep this blog abreast of what products I try and how they work for me, but no need to wait!

    Even this line can get anyone going the right way!

    It's all about the kelp, baby.



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