7/04/2007

Vlzerdko un Brun - Part 2

Getting straight to it, we've made our mould and now we really want to make the puppets head.

Firsty you're going to need the best, and my favourite, product for making sure your final latex head will release from the mould.


That's right, get yourself a high quality Stoner. This particular Stoner is food grade so you know it's not going to damage you, the mould or the final head. If you yourself are a Stoner don't be tempted eat this stuff though, there's some chips in the cupboard. Just use the spray, one coat is usually enough, on inside and the top of the mould.

Then take some of this...

And do this...


Now, pre-thickened brushing latex is pretty, well, thick so make sure you get it into all the crevices of your mould leaving no air pockets. The latex will run so just rotate your mould in your hands until it's completely covered. For bigger moulds, hire a weight lifter or use a paint brush, which ever is cheaper or more desirable. I used a paint brush to make sure the inside of Brun's ears were completely covered with latex and had no air pockets. Word to the wise, buy a $40 camel hair paint brush because covering a paint brush with latex will ruin it within a few minutes and you'll feel like an idiot for not buying a set of cheap disposable paint brushes for the job. Well, at least I'd get to laugh at you... anyway... by the end of the process it should look something like this...

While you're waiting for that to dry, it'll only take a few hours depending on the thickness of the coat, the temperature and the humidity, grab some of these and cut them into thin strips.

Your work space will probably be a little messy after all this artsy stuff
so you might want to use the left over chux to clean your place a little.

Yay, it's dry-ish, now, using a CHEAP paint brush (Ha!) and some more latex and brush the chux strips onto the inside of your now latex coated mould.

The strips will stick to the inside and give the head structural integrity,
rigidity, um, make it less bendy.


You may want to do a few chux layers depending on the size of your head. The bigger the head, the more layers. Basically you're trying to make sure the head can support it's own weight, like this...


Give it a little trim and you'll have an ugly lump of latex in the shape of your puppets head.

Ummm, what next, oh yeah, the dude needs a nose. You can make one out of clay but I recommend this polymer clay modelling compound.


It's kinda expensive but totally worth it. After you've made the nose (or any other object you want I guess) you bake it in an ordinary oven (130ºC (275ºF) for 15mins per 6mm (1/4inch) of thickness) and it hardens to a porcelain like material that can be sanded, carved, drilled and painted. It's pretty neat stuff. Anyway, enough salesman-ship, make the damn nose.

Thank you.

I attached the nose using a piece of thin wire pushed through the latex head and into the nose. I tried it on the head before baking the nose to make sure it fit and so there was a hole in the end of the nose for the wire to fit into when putting it on the head for real. A small dab of super glue will hold the final baked nose to the wire. Like this...


Now he's pretty much done, but really ugly... use a sharp knife and cut his mouth open (oooouch!) then get some Acrylic paint mixed with a good portion of (brush ruining) latex...


...and paint that sucker until he's, like, totally gorgeous... or something... at least make sure you use lots of painty/latex mixture around his nose to make sure it's bonds to the main part of the head. You can also make some teeth out of Sculpey and super-glue them to the inside of the mouth.

I know the paint looks rough but that's how I wanted it.
There are ways of making is as smooth as you want.

That's totally enough for now. I'll probably do another post on the body, clothes and the controls for the head ('cause his mouth actually does work). So until next time (sometime in the year 2020 it would seem at this rate), have a good 4th of July and if you have any questions leave me a comment.

Take: 39

Blogger Bathroom Hippo mused...


It's alive!

I've never seen a nose like that before. Must be common in Australia eh mate?

Thu Jul 05, 05:45:00 am

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

I am totally going to win the lottery and make one of these. I am almost inspired to finish my prototype now. I am monitarilly challenged right now...

I don't know why it took so long to post this part two. Watching you work in the video, you seem to be very speedy. It must be the Victoria's Bitters? Maybe you type slowly???

I was always curious how these things are made. There seems to be a lcak of interweb resources for this type of thing. You are providing an invaluable service...

Thu Jul 05, 06:56:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

B-Hip, no it's not.

I can't say there are a lot of noses like that outside of cartoons. You don't watch cartoons? FORSHAAAAAME on you!

Thu Jul 05, 12:32:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Dude, Squid, Man, you don't need to win the lotto. There's maybe about $70 of materials you'd need to buy and that would make about 20 of these little critters. All you need is the spare time.

Yes, spare time... urrrrghhh... something of which I have very little at the moment. If I'm not working then I seem to have familial/friendship commitments. The puppets don't really take too long to make, maybe about 3-4 days (on & off), but I've had trouble getting concentrated blocks of time to do this stuff.

Actually... between you and me, it was all my fault for taking so long, I didn't actually take any photos of the head moulding process. Which meant I had to make another head so you could see how it was done. Which unfortunately for you was exactly the time I got busy. My bad. I'll remember to document my actions the first time around in future.

I agree entirely, the lack of resources isn't an accident. People make their living off being able to do this process VERY well and they don't want people stealing their secrets. I know some complex SFX silicon casting multi-part moulds that cost the studios tens of thousands of dollars to have made. One of the best... um... biggest and most expensive (not best) I saw made was a rock wall about 50 feet long and 20 feet high. The best I saw was from a SFX guy (who did LotR's) of a torso that looked completely life-like down to hairs and pores and everything. When Richard (not me, his name is Richard too) flipped a switch the entire chest cavity blew open spraying blood and organs everywhere. Totally fantastic!!!

Me, I'm a film-maker not a SFX technician so I don't really care what secrets I give away... mind you... this is a very simple project. Wait until you start casting in silicons. Veeeeeeeery expensive, and not to mention incredibly difficult to get forms and colouration correct... fun though.

Thu Jul 05, 01:01:00 pm

 
Blogger concerned citizen mused...

L>T here,
Yeah, that looks fairly uncomplicated & economical. When I ever get to my new life this is something I'm keeping in mind to do, along with video cartoon movies. Life is full of creative possibilitys!

I have made masks of surgical plaster tape (fairly easy & light weight but limited) & paper mache(cumbersome & takes forever to dry) this latex medium looks lightweight & seems to lend itself to more detail. I'm excited to try it.

Thu Jul 05, 01:47:00 pm

 
Blogger Diana Crabtree mused...

YAAAAAAY a new post! I was just about to break the habit of checking daily, but now I have gotten a new hit, and I am back off the wagon.

I love the animated pictures!

Thu Jul 05, 01:47:00 pm

 
Blogger JLee mused...

moving pictures....ooooooh!!


Nice nose job!

Thu Jul 05, 01:55:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Um... L>t, please don't use this Latex on someone's face. That would be totally uncool. There is a prosthetics latex (more expensive than this) that should be used on people's skin.

Actually, I should point out to everyone. **NOTE** When using this latex use one of these. It is non-toxic but who wants Latex forming on their lungs? Not me.

Otherwise yeah, pretty simple process.

Thu Jul 05, 02:22:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

The blog wouldn't be the same without your daily visits Diana. I think it would get lonely, I'm certainly not paying much attention to it :)

PS. Yeah, for some reason those animated pics make me queasy. Not sure why...

Thu Jul 05, 02:24:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Well, you know JLee, just to help people understand exactly what's going on there. I guess I could have been a little more organised and actually made a how-to video. Too much trouble for my liking though.

Nose Job, ha! How dare you JLee, it's a Rhinoplasty and you know it!

Thu Jul 05, 02:30:00 pm

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

My first critter will be made in homage to your greatness...

Thu Jul 05, 02:34:00 pm

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

Is it: mould, latex, latex, chux, latex or mould, latex, latex, chux? I am interested in the internal mechanics as my prototype mechanical controls allow side to side movement, pivoting, as well as "normal" jaw movements.

It seems that with a bit of reinforcing, smile lines and eyebrow movements could be achieved. See what you've done? You are getting the creative juices flowing. I got discouraged when I realized that forming the head was beyond my current skill set. Well, that and moving 250 miles away...

It's been a year. 'Tis time to create, again.

Thu Jul 05, 02:42:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

I hope so Squid, ;) I only went back and re-did this head so you'd know how to make them. Yeah, OK, once you have the mould you can make thousands of heads in no time flat, I should have done it quicker. Anyway, I pretty sure no-one else (possibly) coming here is going to actually make a puppet head (this or any other way).

It's: mould, latex, latex, chux, latex, repeat as necessary. I think your puppets will be much bigger than this one so you'll have to use a few layers of chux covered with latex.

The mechanism is a REALLY simple wire (made from a coat-hanger) trigger which comes up through the hollow rod/handle, into the head, curves down and connects to his jaw. When you pull the trigger down his jaw moves down. I'll draw you a pic of it soon to make it clearer.

Your controls sound awesome. You should really do a web-search for Ventriloquist Dummy Controls to find some pre-existing methods to combine with your ideas. (I'm sure I got some somewhere, I'll email them if I find them)

Once you start to get into a wide range of mechanical movements you should also look into Animatronics. It's where all this type of moulding, puppet creation and so forth leads. Why use people to control the puppets when a mechanical device does it faster, better, and more believably.

CREATE! CREATE! GO FORTH AND HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

Thu Jul 05, 03:03:00 pm

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

Animatronics? I see myself blowing a couple grand on servos, 24 volt battery packs, and cabling...

I'll just kick it olde skool and go with manual. The controls I made are quite simple in that they are a matter of pivot points and elastic. Rubber bands tend to break with extended use.

One of my prototypes (the bird) uses a hair clip for the beak. It has a spring to keep it closed. I "adapted" a bicycle brake lever to work as the jaw mechanism. It's still quite crude in it's overall execution. But forming the head and finishing (around) the mechanism was where I stalled.

The beauty of my other proto is that it can be controlled from the back, or from ten feet away - using wire hooks and lengthing the wires. Of course, the base would have to be firmly secured.

Maybe I'll post it...

Thu Jul 05, 11:23:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hahaha, I said "Look into Animatronics", not use it. Yeah, you'd probably blow the household budget actually using it. I just thought if you had a look for stuff on Animatronics you could get ideas on how to make the manual devices in your puppets work better. No need to re-invent the wheel.

You do exactly what I do, find the things readily available to you and adapt them to your need. It's totally the way to go in my book, often harder because the object isn't purpose built and you need to work within it's limitations but it always tends to be much, much cheaper.

I prefer this method because I use my stuff on camera only and once I've shot what I need then I can readily discard the puppet without feeling too guilty (that's if it hasn't already fallen apart during shooting). Mind you, I do have some puppets laying in the back of cupboards because I can't bear the idea parting with them.

Hmmm... They use the brake lever wire in Animatronics all the time. It has good control for small push-pull movements, like breathing, eye lids, etc. That will totally work as a manual device without servo's and motors. But you'll find the further you are away from the puppet the harder it will be for you to push and pull the wires quickly. I'd think the puppet (and puppeteer) would want to move around and interact with people/things anyway so you'd probably want to keep the controls on or close to the puppet.

I think you should build it and then post about it ;)

Ah Squid, when you win that lottery we'll make an old school big budget puppet feature film just for the fun of it.

Fri Jul 06, 09:38:00 am

 
Blogger Diana Crabtree mused...

The completed Brun looks like a Medieval Monk.

Fri Jul 06, 01:36:00 pm

 
Anonymous L>T mused...

I don't mean putting it on someones face to dry or anything! I mean by using a kind of mold, where you make like a halloween type mask.

Maybe that's not feasible, either. Just a thought, anyway.

Your uni-brow guy, is unique to say the least. You got the dim-witted look down really good.

Fri Jul 06, 02:03:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hahaha, I know, I know, Mooncar said exactly the same thing the other day Diana.

*shrugs*

So, he's a Eastern Block Monk... um...

Fri Jul 06, 03:26:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

That would be totally fine L>t, completely feasible and a lot of fun as well. I once did a Horror mask of a Zombie with his face peeling open for Mooncar, and she won best costume at a function she went to.

Unfortunately I don't have a photo of that anywhere and the mask has since been thrown out.

That's excellent, good to hear, because Brun is meant to be a sad little dim-witted guy who is always the loser... until the end when he gets his own back :)

Fri Jul 06, 03:31:00 pm

 
Blogger Shelley Noble mused...

I am completely taken with your puppet and your tutorials, Rich. It's all charm and cuteness around here.

Can't wait to see more of the pupperty mechanisms. Love those.

Fri Jul 06, 04:27:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hey Shelley! Thanks for dropping in, the work you're doing on your film looks really cool too. The results you're getting using hot-glue slush moulds is excellent. I've tried them in the past without mixed results, I use silicons and so forth now though.

I noticed you tried to have a look at some of my old video links. Unfortunately my old host seems to have taken them down. I'll have to upload the films again soon.

Fri Jul 06, 04:34:00 pm

 
Blogger jin mused...

Too cool rich! Too cool!

Love the moving pics, too!

LOL @ "chux"....heeheee....that's a nick name here for adult diapers.
So, from now on, everytime you touch a chux I want you to think of an old person pissing themselves.

BWA-haahaaaahaaa.....
;-)

Fri Jul 06, 06:38:00 pm

 
Blogger melanie mused...

Hey Rich thats groovy..I love the nose...kind of makes me think of something but I cant quite remember at the moment!

Hope you are well
Melanie
:)

Fri Jul 06, 11:16:00 pm

 
Blogger JLee mused...

Do you like the artist Ron Mueck?
His exhibit is in Fort Worth right now...I may go check it out. Very cool stuff!

http://www.mamfw.org/onview.html

Sat Jul 07, 01:21:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Great Jin, that's going to be with me forever... *shudder*

Glad you liked the post though...

Sat Jul 07, 10:40:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hey Melanie, Nice to see you around. :)

I like to think of Brun's face as having it's own complimentary banana. I'm sure that's what you meant ;)

Sat Jul 07, 10:43:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

JLee, Ron Mueck stuff is fantastic. I highly recomend you try and see the exhibition if you can. His work is really confronting though, I think his piece 'Dead Dad' is absolutely brilliant but there's something about sitting next to you newly deceased father and thinking, 'I'm going to make this into a sculpture' that's really disturbing. His giant 2 and a half metre tall pregnant woman is weird too. Her belly looms above you in an almost hypnotic way.

Yeah, his stuff is totally cool and worth the look. You don't understand quite how cool it is until you stand in a room with it.

Sat Jul 07, 10:49:00 pm

 
Blogger JLee mused...

I know what you mean...we did a story about the exhibit and they showed some of his work and how HUGE it is...looks so disturbing/interesting at the same time. Right up my alley! ha

Sat Jul 07, 11:24:00 pm

 
Blogger SafeTinspector mused...

I wish to stroke a the nose.
The only Stoner we have is compressed air for cleaning electronics. I'll have to go and seek some rocket release, as I could use one or two of those in my marriage.

Mon Jul 09, 09:16:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

I think the less said about your alley the better JLee ;)

Mon Jul 09, 01:16:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Step away from the nose SafeT, and the marital rocket too for that matter.

For electronics I just use my air-brush compressor. Without ink of course... 'cause that'd just be stoopid... but would be kinda fun... yeah, I might start painting the inside of my PC's.

Mon Jul 09, 01:30:00 pm

 
Blogger Ticharu mused...

super creepy! It's like a car accident, fascinating at the same time, you can't look away!

Mon Jul 09, 09:54:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Ah yes Tich, welcome to the world of frankenstien where characters are my play things. Mwhahahahah*hack* *cough* erm... yeah, puppets can be a little creepy. Fun though :)

Hope you and the family are well brother!

Tue Jul 10, 08:55:00 am

 
Blogger melanie mused...

Hey Rich :)
Thanks for popping by and seeing me Runes!!
Ahh I missed the high quality Stoner bit before!! Must be how come the little guy has such a 'peaceful' expression!! :D
xoxo

Tue Jul 10, 09:29:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Unfortunately Mel that 'peaceful' expression is actually because his head is vacant of any thought other than cabbage. The pot obviously doesn't help... Mmmmm, cabbage.

The Runes look great. Must have been a very rewarding project, even if you did grind your fingers down to stumps.

Tue Jul 10, 01:34:00 pm

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

MONKEY'S GONE!

Sat Jul 14, 10:03:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

BUGGER! MONKEY IS GONE!

I'm sure Monkey's human has taken a journey, and taken Monkey with her.

Hopefully he'll be back soon.

Mon Jul 16, 08:38:00 am

 
Blogger Aaron the Truck Driver mused...

Guy has a shoe for a nose!
Pretty cool.
For some reason i was thinking this was going to end up involving gun powder or an exploding clay concoction.

Mon Jul 16, 09:17:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Aaron, Welcome to GetFilms.

You can just call Brun 'Broken high-heel head', I'm sure he'll love it.

I would never create anything so dangerous, yeah, OK, maybe I would...

Mon Jul 16, 02:23:00 pm

 

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