Friday, May 22, 2015

Body Building

Once the character's form was established over his armature with foam and masking tape, I needed a way to add more articulate shape to flesh him out. Some animators can build up with foam and latex for this but I wanted something I could control better and that would finish as if cast with paper into a mold, like the puppet's head had been.

My solution was a kid's play clay product by Crayola (no brand deal) called Model Magic. It's air dry and extremely lightweight, sculptable, although it's doesn't blend. I added a thin layer to my base and proceeded to add bulk where I wanted on the character's single, powerful, masculine arm. I added scaly texture into the clay with a sweater-covered button. Once his arm and chest were done I added a belly and some upper abdomen anatomy.

I was very happy with this technique for building puppet bodies and plan to use it ongoingly. The only caveat was that cracking and fissures appeared as the clay layer dried. This was resolved by filling in the valleys with glue-whetted paper until they disappeared, seen on the chest and shoulder lower right.

The whole human skin side was then finished with a single additional layer of paper and elastic glue. And his only hand finished. (head and turban fabric, still in progress, are being checked for size(s) above.)

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