Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Final Major Project- Sculpting Body

So the next step I did was to sculpt on top of the armature that i prepped so that I can make a plaster mold from it, which then can create a silicon cast of the body.

For sculpting I used Plastiline, medium which I have used once before but the hard one on a previous project, it was a nice material to work with and solid to shape once left for a little while. 

above and below are the procceses past roughing out the shape for the legs and which I have smoothed and then added detail.

Once I was happy with the legs I moved onto the upper torso, below are some progression shots.
I used normal model tools from metal wax tools to wooden ones.

Lastly here is a photo just before finishing up my sculpt for molding, after this I added more clay to the soles of the feet so to cover the foot plates. 

I was fairly happy with my sculpting because it is one of my favourites parts of model making, I just wish I was better with armatures to work over.

For my next post I hope to show some of my mold making process :)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Third Year Final Brief- Armature Construction Sophia

As you can maybe tell from my armature plan I intend to use Ball and Socket joints for this character (EXCITING!) I haven't had the opportunity to try ball and socket joints before mainly because I felt that for my previous projects it wasn't essential, however for my 3rd year final I really wanted to push to working with these tools.

I was recommended to use Malvern Armatures by other students who have used them and are using them now on their own projects. Jeff was exceedingly helpful when purchasing my armature and parts which he gave me more than enough information about preparation and cleaning with loctite during assembly, this was because I wanted to resize the armature myself. I would definitely recommend them and use them again.

At the beginning I was really bad with taking photos of the original armature, so I will try and explain what I did before the stage photographed below :) 

so I got delivered a standard Pro 2 Armature fully assembled in its box, I then cut and sanded all the M3 threaded bar to fit the armature of my character using a hacksaw, Files and some fine sandpaper making sure to leave at least 3mm for the ball to the sockets. Once this was all done I carefully added Loctite into the balls and threaded in the bars and this created each limb. I also filed down the foot plates using a file because they were a little to big for my characters feet.

I added K&S with epoxy to the threads for the arms and head, giving myself allowance on the hands to insert more K&S for when I construct the palms.

from this photo you can vaguely see how I made the hands, I used 3 strands of thin aluminium wire to make up some fingers which I attached K&S to and then this to a plate of aluminium using epoxy, along with one long strand that made up the last 2 fingers. Once it was all dried I then also added epoxy to the tips of the fingers so that when cast in silicon it does not tear through. 

I took this Idea of making hands from the blogs of model makers with great knowledge of puppet making which I will refer to a lot in my posts, check out there blogs here :)

I added miliput to the hands to make them super attached.

I also added a rig to the side and back of the character, I first filed down the side and bottom part of the upper torso joint and then soldered 2 pieces of K&S together which I epoxied onto the armature.

Lastly I added PTFE tape (plumbers tape) to and around the ball and socket joints ready for me to sculpt on top of. :)

Thatas about it.

Stayed tuned for my sculpty sculpting posts later!!! :D

Company Research- Part 5

The last company that I am going to be blogging about is also one of my biggest inspirations, their innovation within the Industry has brought life back to the stop motion these past couple of years and it is FANTASTIC! :D  


Laika is an animation production company based in Oregan USA and it is most DEFINITELY a internationally established company, it has a great reputation for its Animated features and shorts which have been award worthy.

Making a break through in the industry by combing traditional stop motion model making with modern technology Laika came up with a new process to making interchangeable faces for their puppets, 3D Rapid Prototyping. This process incorporates 3d printing into model making and was first used on Coraline which was released in February 2009.

This film marked a new beginning for stop motion as an industry because due to the traditional puppetry and realism of the environments this was a style that the matches the present leading CG films and it is more visually unique and interesting to audiences. 

Once Laika had established this new method of making with Coraline their next two feature films blew it right out of the park! Constantly they over came obstacles, refined and polished their process all by incorporating multiple medias of animation. Without a doubt they have an AMAZING crew who are very talented and innovative!

Another key thing I love about Laika is part of keeping traditional they bring in an incredible Sculptor during pre-production who is one of my FAVOURITE maquette sculptors of all, KENT MELTON!

The Man is Awesome.

Another cheeky member of their crew who I know is GREAT! is a friend of mine Sean, he is awesome enough to have moved aaalllllll the way to america to work for Laika for a year!!!!! INREDIBLE WORK AND A GREAT ADDITION TO THEIR TEAM, I wish him all the luck! :) 

And Laika just keep getting better and better with each new feature, exploring stop motion and creating new innovative methods through their vast experience and smarts. 

They are currently working on a new feature called "Kubo and the two Strings" which I am really looking forward to seeing! the eastern setting to the story will look great and I can not wait to see the masses of intricate contraptions they come up with to make this film! I will definitely be buying the "Art of Book" as well :)

Third Year Final Brief- Final Major Project

FINALLY! I wanted to update people on my own work, which I have been focusing on since my AMAZING time at Chuck steel has ended (for now :P). 

So a small break down of what I am actually doing? I have decided to make a Trailer for a short film, this will consist of a VERY short 30 second animation sequence of my main Character "Sophia" roaming around her airy manor.

Here are some of my design sheets that led me to the style of my character.

Along with my to scale armature plan :)

For the next post I went straight to constructing my character so you are going to need to keep checking up on me to see what I am doing! 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Company Research- Part 4

My forth company which helps inspire me is called Factory Transmedia, it is a company that develops children's television programmes using a range of modern media methods such as Stop motion, 2D, CG and even VFX! 

Based in Manchester they have contributed to many different children's tv programmes such as Raa Raa the noisy lion, Muddle Earth, Strange hill High and one of my old favourites Post man pat. Factory Transmedia work very closely with Mackinnon and Saunders for puppet fabrication on their shows, they have a great working relationship with them and they both contribute to children's entertainment.

I will be honest and say that this is not a company I have known for years and it is one which I know a lot about BUT I can say it is a company that I have been really interested in since finding out about it a year ago!

Looking through Factory Transmedia's website and seeing the bold coloured characters, mixed media and professional finish to them their style is definitely my kind of company!
The simplicity of the designs are so flued and the way they have been brought to life through traditional puppetry, models or even 2D is fantastic! It is a refined style I haven't seen from any other television devoted company, it goes to show how much they care about the quality of their work.

Factory Transmedia is a company to be reckoned with and by earning themselves a lot of awards while at the same time giving back to the industry as well as along with Mackinnon and Saunders are giving new life to the clangers while also bringing a new show into the mix for 2016.....

I am really excited to see what this show will look like because it is going to be in stop motion! so the style and media they will be using is something I can not predict, but I am sure I will love it!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Company Research- Part 3

My third company choice is one which I know first hand is BRILLIANT and that is Trampires Ltd.

Being a new company in the industry I imagine it can be hard, however Trampires Ltd is a fantastic company bursting with so many experienced craft men and woman who are still raving with ambition!
Check out the crew below :)

They are taking on a mammoth of a task creating a new action-thriller feature film for audiences along with setting up a company and the creator/writer AND director of the film is Mike Mort a very multitalented individual who literally started form the bottom and is making his way further to the top with this project!

this talent pool of individuals will be smashing out a feature film called "chuck steel night of the trampires" which will be making its d├ębut in 2017!

I am so pleased to say that I was able to spend a full MONTH of work experience with everyone at Tampires Ltd. It was a real eye opener to what it will be like after I graduate in JULY! and I am SO EXCITED BY IT!

I can not tell you how much they inspired me with my work and how helpful and friendly everyone is! I learnt SO MUCH and it really is a great place which I wish to work at once I graduate (IF THEY WILL HAVE ME!) and I wish them all the luck with this film's take off (even though I don't think they'll need it) ;P

Monday, 13 April 2015

Company Research- Part 2

For my second company I have chosen another one of the UK's largest Stop motion production companies......

Now Aardman is one of "THEE" biggest names known internationally for its contribution to the Industry, their great reputation within film and advertising has earned them many nominations and winnings of awards!

The creators of Aardman animations are Peter Lord and David Sproxton, setting up in 1972 they have been entertaining audiences in the UK with animations for around 43 years! 

One of their first well known pieces is of Morph who is a character traditionally animated out of Clay, he was created for a children's programme called "take heart" back in 1976. Aardman have recently brought back this historic character after many years without him, showing a new generation how and why the children who watched the original loved the character and animation of it so much.

Being responsible for many of the biggest family feature films Aardman have a fantastic reputation for family entertainment, which I myself have truly loved. They have created many of my favourites to date such as Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, Pirates! and the newest edition Shaun the Sheep!! no doubt films I can watch continuously! 

Being masters in many different medias Aardman have a true all round crew of experienced craftsman that can make great concepts come to life brilliantly, by telling a story or watching these 3D cartoons come alive inspire me with my work each day.

They are company I wish to one day work for or even get a chance to work along side! their style, story plots and model making are of a high and professional standard which has grown more consistent and robust since its creation.

A cheeky note- Aardman have an Exhibition in Paris from NOW up until the end of August which I am most definitely putting on my list to go and see! I will also be going to the Annecy animation festival in June so I may have a chance to slip into paris to see! :D 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Company Research- Part 1

As part of my Business module at University we have been asked to blog about some of our favourite companies which also inspire our work and who we would be thrilled to ever work for!

The first company I wish to talk about is one of the largest Stop Motion companies in the UK, Mackinnon and Saunders!

Mackinnon and Saunders is an incredible puppet making production company based near Manchester who create a range of characters from television shows to feature films. 

Having a bag full (AND MORE) worth of experience building up the animation industry for around 30 years!!!!! they have produced characters to some of my childhood favourites, such as bob the builder, Pingu and Post Man Pat. They also have a great artistic range of characters in feature films like Corpse Bride and Fantastic Mr.Fox.

Being a true artistic company they have a very large range to the making of their puppets, from breath taking and incredibly intricate armatures that have high quality silicon castings, to detailed fabricated puppets such as Fantastic Mr.Fox.

It seems like a company that enjoys the challenge which each character design brings while also incorporating there already extensive knowledge on puppet fabrication, which they have fine tuned for many many years. 

So what do I know of what they are doing at the moment? well the word is that they are apart of the re-creation to the Clangers series, which will most definitely look great! there is always people who are skeptical about re-creating old tv series, especially original stop motion ones as they have tended to be done in CG. So bringing the clangers back in all its glory will be Awesome!

Mackinnon and Saunders will always be a company I look to for inspiration and ingenuity, pushing their innovation more at each large scale production and which I hope will be again really really soon!  :D

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Third Year Final Brief- Collaboration- Puppet 2

Following from my last post, this post is of the second puppet that I made for my collaboration side of my brief, which is for my friend Jason's final year Film! :)

The Character is of a Knight that is a ghost :O it is going to look really cool when animated as its floating around the manor! 

As always I started with making a to scale armature plan, and built up the armature using simple K&S and wire

Like the werewolf mummy character I again used silver solder to secure the rigging points and pieces of the K&S together. Then I used milliput to make it more secure and sturdy.

Once the armature had been fully constructed I started work on bulking out and shaping the body, using a combination of first balsa and then milliput I shaped each of the pieces using a lot of sandpaper. then 1 arm, 1 leg and 1 head core was created.

I also started to use the same method on the main body over the armature.