Mar 25, 2012

Junior Project: update 2

on my last project update, i ended with this foam mock-up tree.
 which i painted black and also made little pantyhose balls stuffed with polyester stuffing
 glued textured white fabric in strips to the tree (the black underneath was to help emphasize the white fabric texture), and sewed the pantyhose balls to the ends of the branches. i glued squares of shiny/sheer blue fabric to needle pins and tried sticking them into the pantyhose balls, but the result was clumsy and comical. not enough material to support the needle pins, and it just looks bad.

exhibit A:
 so i ripped off the pantyhose balls and roughly stuck foam shapes on the branches instead. needle pins stick really well into foam because it's much more dense than.......polyester filling. lesson learned.
 glued ripped pieces of thick artsy paper on needle pins, and tried them out as leaves. looks just okay. but still too comical, especially in comparison to......
 LE PUPPET (shown here getting his stocking skin on. if you buy children's size stockings, it's cheaper)
 painted his hands and arms
 for his "cape" i glued the tree fabric onto some black wrap and then cut then into triangles. glue gunned everything. even on the little guy.
 TADA! one puppet, complete. the black wrap gives stability and body to the fabric, but i can also animate it! not too much control, but enough to have it show movement in my animation later on. you can also see his hair and face coloring. red eyes!

 so back to le tree problem. i made a new sketch of the final tree, ditched the old version completely, got some advice from my teacher, and started full scale version a couple days ago. 
balsa wood base, 4-strand aluminum wires.
 but big problem! spine was not strong enough to hold the weight of the crown, no matter how much i tried to reinforce it. you can see the frankenstein-esque attempt i did. 3 layers of copper wire wrapped on the aluminum, then 2 layers of aluminum on top of that. not good enough.
 so after about 8 hours of work into this, i decided to scrap it and start again because the disaster worsened. i just cut the crown off, because that part was just fine, and used the wires from the base to keep building up the crown.
 and here it is! i just wrapped the ends of the wires onto the longer ones and kept them together with propoxy20.

i'm going to make the base much taller and a little wider, and my friend made the great suggestion of using 3 wire columns in the spine instead of just one for more support. i think i'm going to have to twist 5 single strands into one thick wire, instead of 4, which is what i was using.

the ends of the roots will have tie downs! it's a tree that will move.

now that i'm feeling more confident about my tree, i will make a more complete sketch and upload the scan sometime this week. 

i'm hoping to be able to complete this puppet during spring break (oh sad) which started on saturday. the plan is to start lighting/animation/green screen tests immediately after.

1 comment:

  1. this is all looking so great! ahhh I am so excited once all our hard work pays off at the end