So here is my finished puppet. He’s a cute lil’ cat- but don’t let his outer exterior fool you. He is part of an elite force that call themselves “Extinction Force 5”. Street performers by day, assassins by night- EF5 tour the world in search of extinct animals to save by eliminating their threat using the latest high tech weapons.
The puppet has adjustable hands and tail that is basically armature wire. The tail is supported inside by L200. His tongue is carved/dyed foam and his eyes are vacuum formed with dremeled (so they match the curve of the eye ball) buttons for pupils . The Fur was patterned in multiple pieces to provide me the grain direction I needed and I used a hair dryer/comb technique in some areas to blend or change some grain direction. The ears also have armature wire so I can adjust their position if I need. The nose is Crayola Model Magic-dried and covered with dyed Antron. The time consuming part was hand stitching the stripes and grey palm on his hands and othe fur work such as trimmimg. I also modified the body a bit so it has more of a cat like look- a bit more longer and curvy 🙂
All the armor and the goggles weigh next to nothing as they are L200 craft foam or PVC. The gun is a Nerf water gun which I opened and gutted/modified, then affixed it to a rod. The long sleeve shirt I distressed and ripped in a couple of areas. If this was an actual show I would have also made a couple of more character heads that would be weathered and dirty to reflect the the costume but for this class I decided to not weather the character so I could use him in other projects. I referred to the tutorial by Rob Ramsdell on metallic painting techniques for paining the armor. For flexible L200 I had to prep for painting by coating it with 7 layers of pva glue and 2 coats of black plasti-dip so the paint won’t crack after I put it on. I also added decals to the armor for more realism. There is some actual leather work on the belt and goggles as I felt L200 wouldn’t provide me the look I wanted. There are leather looking pieces on the back armor that is actually L200 painted to look like the leather I used in the other pieces.The eyes were an issue for me as I wanted to add a black “liner” around the eye because I felt it got lost a bit against the white fur. But after some trials I found the black made him look older and or Gothic, which didn’t lend to the character, so I decided to go with the original look of white on white.
I’ve included some shots without the armor and with his mouth closed.
All in all I learned some amazing techniques from this class which I will definitely use for future projects and would love to thank BJ Guyer for his support and for the pattern this character is based on- funny how much a pattern head can change just by adding a muzzle 🙂 Thanks also to my other classmates that helped with their suggestions and offered their knowledge to make parts of this build easier.
PS- Yes I use toilet plungers as puppet stands LOL Don’t worry they weren’t used prior. LOL
Sorry I haven’t posted in quite a long time. My wife and I welcomed our newest member to our family on June 5th- our son Elliott and since then not only have I been focusing on the family but I also been busy building a puppet for the Stan Winston School of Character Arts Hand Puppet Design and Fabrication course with B.J. Guyer.
So far the course has been fantastic! B.J. is such a wealth of knowledge and he even provided us with a pattern to work with. Even though this is a introduction to puppet building course I have learned a lot of techniques I will definitely use for future puppet builds. The other people who signed up for the course are all very talented and as they post their work I am always in awe of the calibre of talent they possess.
We have one more class then two weeks to finish the puppet and submit it for grading. Here are some pictures of the puppet and costuming I have been busy trying to complete before the deadline- my goal is to make a Puppet that is camera ready. I will post regular updates here on PuppeteersUnite! as I build the character to completion.
A new animated children’s series ‘Atomic Puppet’ is currently under production with Canada’s Mercury Filmworks and France’s Gaumont Animation. Atomic Puppet will premiere in Canada on TELETOON and in France on Disney XD.
Atomic Puppet is about a Superhero who recently is turned into a powerless puppet but who’s powers are transferred to a boy named Joey Felt who becomes his puppeteer. Looks amazing and should be one to watch!
The Creature Technology Company breaths life into creatures from Walking with Dinosaurs, How to Train a Dragon, King Kong and the recent characters used in the Closing of the Winter Olympics. They are definitely leaders in the industry and their Show Reel’s proof! Click HERE to see their Show Reel.
Here is some of the best large scale puppetry I’ve seen! It looks to me like it is a huge animatronic puppet remotely controlled. I’ve been trying to figure out how much each cost and who built them but to no avail. If anyone knows please let me know.
Stan Winston School of Character Arts posted my review on Jordu Schell’s maquette sculpting and painting tutorials!
Read my review and then check out these tutorials- they really helped me in my sculpting and painting techniques and great for beginners learning the technique of maquette making.
May 29th – June 1st
Are you interested in learning what it takes to design, build and perform with puppets like those used in some of America’s most beloved productions like Sesame Street or The Muppet Show? Want to learn puppetry techniques from the professionals behind the characters? The opportunity is yours!
Beyond the Sock is a workshop co-hosted by the University of North Texas Department of Radio, TV and Film and Department of Dance and Theatre. This four day intensive workshop will allow attendees to learn techniques for performing with “hand and rod” style puppets similar to those found in some of entertainment’s most endearing television series and films. Over the course of the workshop attendees will learn the vocal and physical techniques vital to creating compelling performances from two of the top names in the field.
Peter Linz is a professional puppeteer who has performed in film, theatre and television using both handheld and full body puppets. Trained by the Jim Henson Company, some of Peter’s most familiar roles include Leo from the PBS series Between the Lions and Walter from the 2012 Disney film The Muppetsand Muppets, Again. Linz has also been featured in Sesame Street and multipleSesame Street specials. Linz has also performed as an ensemble member and understudy for the hit Broadway musicalAvenue Q.
Noel MacNeal is an author, director and Henson-trained puppeteer with a long history of performing beloved film and television characters. His roles have included multiple characters from the well-known children’s programs such as Bear of Bear in the Big Blue House, Lionel of the PBS series Between the Lions multiple characters from Sesame Street. MacNeal has also performed in the Disney film Old Dogs and NBC’s hit series The Cosby Show and 30 Rock.
Pasha Romanowski is a professional puppet-builder, part-time puppeteer, and the founder of Project Puppet, a puppet-design and tutorial website. In addition to creating patterns and tutorials for thousands of aspiring puppet builders, Pasha’s custom-designed puppets have been featured in various television and online programs in the U.S. as well as internationally. His puppets include the stars of Woot’s KidFoot! and Rufus of New Zealand’s children’s television series, Pop-Up
Attendees will also learn character development, design and construction methods by participating in hands-on puppet crafting sessions where they can conceptualize and build their own basic puppet for use during the workshop. There will also be practical application of the skills learned through a culminating studio performance on the final day of the workshop. DVDs of this performance will be available to attendees for a nominal fee.
To Register and for more information please visit http://www.puppetclass.com/