Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Not the kind of foam hand you see at baseball games and wrestling events, but PUPPET FOAM HANDS! The edges don't line up perfectly, they are not EXACTLY the same to the precise millimeter. So once I join the two pieces I will trim along the edges to make them smooth and somewhat seamless, although they will probably be covered with a "fleece skin" so it may not matter.
Monday, April 23, 2007
STEP 3 - cutting out the patterns on the foam.
I traced the pattern onto the foam and started cutting out the shapes. I guess I'll see how forgiving the reticulated foam is when it comes to rough edges and slightly wavering inside and outside of the line I traced when cutting. That's the head shape being cut out in the picture above. I have the hands, neck and body still to go.
This should have been STEP ONE. But lets call it STEP TWO now. It's creating, planning and designing your character!! Duh! So here are a few possibilities I am thinking about. You'll notice they all have the same head shape, an egg head; that's because I am using the PUNTO PATTERN from PROJECT PUPPET. I sketched these in Flash directly with my WACOM tablet. I drew one featureless puppet, copied it 6 times and then drew different features for each one. Since this is my first ever puppet, I kept them very simple. I think it helps being an animator for this step. All those years of drawing and designing characters helps to bring out a personality, even a quick sketch like this. Now I need to decide which character to build. I have enough foam to make one character right now. But I would really make all 6 if I had the resources. So far I am leaning toward the TEXAS CHILI COOK. Which do you think I should make first?
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Okay, this is step one- cutting out the pattern and sticking it to a flat sturdy board of some kind. I used foam board because it this particular foam board had a tacky side, to save me from gluing the pattern. Or as my girlfriend puts it "because I am lazy." I'm not quite sure yet, but this may or not be mistake number 1. Foam board is hard to cut with nice smooth edges, even with a lot of patience and a sharp exacto knife. Maybe for my next pattern I will use poster board, as recommended by Project Puppet. Hopefully when I trace out the pattern onto the foam and cut out the foam pieces I can make sure the edges are smooth.
You will also notice the green foam pictures. You can see from my first blog entry that the foam is off white, or yellowish. My girlfriend was dying some silk with a green acid dye; so as a test, we put 2 little pieces of foam in the dye pot. It turned out nice and even and green. Thanks sweety! I'm not sure yet if my muppet will have "fleece skin" or "fur covering" or if I will leave the foam exposed as his skin and dye it.
The next step will be to cut out the foam pieces. This is getting very exciting.
EUREKA!! I have been waiting for this moment for months now; the moment when work is less hectic and I have some time to myself, time to start my new hobby...MAKING MUPPETS!! I really have no idea how this hobby will turn out or what to expect, but it is going to be a fun ride, that's for sure.
While waiting for this day to come, I did a lot of research on puppet making. I put all the important links on this blog. The links are essential for inspiration, techniques, resources and information. Check out PROJECT PUPPET, it's the best way to start. They sell the patterns, the foam, and have tons of tutorials. Thanks to the PUPPET MUSE for posting his first experiment into puppet making. It's always good to learn from other peoples mistakes and not repeat them yourself. David, the puppet muse, gives lots of excellent advice. Thanks to his advice, I went out and found foam board that has a tacky surface. David tried a glue stick on poster board. He also says that is NOT the way to go. So I listened to him. He suggests poster board with double sided tape. I did not go that route , so we'll see how the tacky foam board works out.
So here are the materials to start. I have the tutorial CD's I purchased from PROJECT PUPPET. I have the actual puppet patterns, also from Project Puppet. I have the reticulated foam and the foam board. Okay, time to cut out the patterns and stick them to the flat sturdy foam board. And so it begins..................