File puptcrit/puptcrit.0606, message 509

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Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 02:20:14 -0400
Subject: [Puptcrit] Puppet film: update on the process

Hi all. a little update on my most challenging puppets yet.

For those who might have just joined, I am building two marionnettes for a short film.
We just got an extension on the Shooting dates, so I have more time to build them, but the puppets are still a long way away from being completed. 

I took a lot of time organising the auditions for the puppeteers, whom we found, and the Director was toodifficult from the start, he could not decide on a 3D puppet sketch. He would say I was the one unable to follow isntructions, but that's a whole other topic.
The solution was, I told him to come over and sit while I sculpted the puppet heads in front of him. Annoying to have him there, dictating to change this or that, but I found it necessary. Now he can't argue that I changed the head completely while he wasn't looking. He,s the most difficult customer I ever had.
The positive thing about it is that I never sculpted so much in so little time.
Good for practice.
Sad that all but two of about 40 heads I sculpted were all interesting, and better than most of my previous work. Fortunately, I have pictures!, and kept one early head sketch in plastalina.

The puppetbuilding is advancing at a very slow rate. Just today I worked again on the eye mechanics, and sculpted three other hands. I must have sculpted at least a dozen hands by now. All the previous versions were mediocre, as were all my puppet hands in the past, except some cartoony ones.

For this set of two puppets, I am aiming higher.
The Apoxie Sculpt is NOT helping with definition. It cannot keep its own shape, it absolutely needs an armature. And then applying it evenly on an aramture is even more challenging. The Apoxie keeps moving around, even on my best armature, which is made in a way to prevent such sliding. Apoxie Sculpt may be amazing for detail work and for strenght, but I can't figure out how people use it so darn well without tool marks showing up.

I even tried to shape it without my gloves on, but it is as sticky, and almost as hard to control as with the gloves. So the health risk is not even worth it. Darn!

So for my last three hands, I made sure my armatures were amazingly well detailed, and already had the right finger positions, as far as I could guess without flesh on them. I applied the Apoxie Sculpt over that, but this time I worked in flat planes from the start, to make sure I had a lot of definition. I can make it smoother later.
I will work in more stages, I am realizing that I need to with this stuff.
The results so far are VERY encouraging. My hands are looking good.
The armatures I am making now are a definite improvemtn on my previous versions, thanks to the tutorials I've seen online over the past few weeks.

In fact, I love the look of the hand armatures so much that I am tempted to make a puppet entirely of twisted wire. I might even make it rust on purpose (there is a paint for that, which you can seal). I'm thinking a mini marionnette, to work on the street.
That material would definitely be unbreakable and stress-free.
Oops, I forgot about the strings. Tangling WOULD be a problem with twisted wire, if any loose ends or loops get in the way. Maybe dipping the thing in resin?

Mathieu René Créaturiste
Marionnettes, Masques, Etcetera...
Puppets, Masks, Etcetera...
(514) 274-8027
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