My work space is in an old factory, surrounded by machine shops. As a result the temperature is always pretty warm. It's nice in winter, but it makes working in plasticine rather difficult, even before I turn on the lights. I can't make the switch to silicone or foam at the moment, so I'm experimenting with baked Sculpey. I use armature wire for arms and legs at the moment and will probably make the move to mechanicals at some point. (I've decided to develop a robot story to make this all work.)
So, does anyone have experience with this medium? I'm guessing most of the expression will have to be body language (although I've made the eyes movable). I'm a firm believer in making your limitations work for you, and I'd love to hear what folks have run into.
I've attached a photo of the first character in progress.

Views: 800

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Nice robot character!

I have made 2 puppets from baked Sculpey over wire (Adam and Eve in L'Animateur).  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lfqTk_v5Kk

First I had to use some epoxy putty to stiffen the wire where the "bones" go, because it is stronger than Sculpey. I had to leave a gap at the joints to allow it to bend, less than I would like, but enough to be very visible.  They were heavy, but not impossibly so, and they did last long enough to complete the film without the wires breaking.  Some bits of Sculpey did chip off near the joints, where it extended slightly past the epoxy.  Especilly in the legs, the 2 strands of 3mm (1/8th") wire in each leg were necessary to support the weight, but the heavier wire wanted to bend under the sculpey, and that cracked it.  The epoxy putty held up ok.    These were meant to look like carved puppets, not live characters, so the gaps were ok - an alternative would be to fill the gap with foam, or with clay.

I had a movable lower jaw, and eyes that could rotate, but there wasn't any real change of expression.   Eyebrows on wires would have helped there.

Your robot has hands, then bare wire arms until they get to the torso, and that would animate ok.  It doesn't restrict the bending to small areas at the wrist, elbow, and shoulder, so it shouldn't make the wire fatigue and break.   Maybe cover it in flexible tubing if you want to hide the wire?   Or just go with wire.  I can't see the legs so I don't know if they are the same.

Nick, what a fantastic piece. Great storytelling. I'm hoping to be able to get some of the same effect with the body language. I get my shrink tubing for the arms tomorrow and I'm working on another idea with discs of baked clay spaced out enough to allow movement. The legs are similar wire but they're going to have wheels. Still working on engineering a rig for them. The nice thing about doing robots (especially the scrapyard kind I have in mind) is that I can try a number of approaches to making them move. Thanks for the comment and kind words.

Have you ever used K&S tubing as a stiffener for the armature I wonder if it would have more strength than just the epoxy putty on its own or maybe a combination of both?

StopmoNick said:

Nice robot character!

I have made 2 puppets from baked Sculpey over wire (Adam and Eve in L'Animateur).  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lfqTk_v5Kk

First I had to use some epoxy putty to stiffen the wire where the "bones" go, because it is stronger than Sculpey. I had to leave a gap at the joints to allow it to bend, less than I would like, but enough to be very visible.  They were heavy, but not impossibly so, and they did last long enough to complete the film without the wires breaking.  Some bits of Sculpey did chip off near the joints, where it extended slightly past the epoxy.  Especilly in the legs, the 2 strands of 3mm (1/8th") wire in each leg were necessary to support the weight, but the heavier wire wanted to bend under the sculpey, and that cracked it.  The epoxy putty held up ok.    These were meant to look like carved puppets, not live characters, so the gaps were ok - an alternative would be to fill the gap with foam, or with clay.

I had a movable lower jaw, and eyes that could rotate, but there wasn't any real change of expression.   Eyebrows on wires would have helped there.

Your robot has hands, then bare wire arms until they get to the torso, and that would animate ok.  It doesn't restrict the bending to small areas at the wrist, elbow, and shoulder, so it shouldn't make the wire fatigue and break.   Maybe cover it in flexible tubing if you want to hide the wire?   Or just go with wire.  I can't see the legs so I don't know if they are the same.

I use round aluminium tube in the forearms, so I can join the 1mm hand wires to the 1.5mm arm wires.  I don't use brass tube because I am usually working in latex - either foam latex or liquid latex build-up - and brass and copper are not good for latex.  With any metal tube, you need a good blob of epoxy on the end to protect the soft aluminium wire from the sharp edge of the metal.  Even the aluminium tube is harder than the armature wire and a scratch will cause the wire to break at that point.  But provided those sharp edges are covered, a tube would be a good way to prevent the wire from flexing and cracking the Super Sculpey.   And brass K & S would not harm the Sculpey.

I used to tape a piece of coathanger wire alongside the armature wire, to stiffen it.  That worked ok too.

The K&S brass tubing could be covered with plummers ptfe tape for a barrier against latex I expect but the sharpe metal edges of the tubing is a very good point to think about.

I'm coming in a bit late, but you can actually add wax to plasticine to make it more heat resistant - I don't know the exact melting points, but I'd suggest experimenting with adding a little beeswax; if it's still too soft or liquid, try adding some carnuba or microcrystalline wax. Beeswax might prevent you from getting finer details - but if you're doing something like Wallace and Gromit it won't be an issue. And wax is still cheaper by weight and greater in volume than polymer clay. 

I regularly sculpt in a 4:3 mixture of beeswax to plasticine. Last summer I did this in loft that easily went over 100 F - the stuff was only just barely soft enough to work without heated tools. A lower ratio will keep most the properties of platicine you need.  

I was wondering about wax mixing. I never had a starting point for ratios, so I hadn't jumped in yet. Looks like it's time for some experimentation!
Thanks all.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

MESSAGE BOARD CATEGORIES

STOPMO NEWBIES
basic stopmo discussion

ANIMATOR TALK
experienced animators looking to improve

CAMERA & STAGE
animation camera, lighting and moco rigs

ANIMATION TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
animation tool and rigging discussion

STOP MOTION & COMPUTERS
frame capture, editing, and post-production

STORY
script, storyboarding and storyreel discussion

SOUND
lip-sync, sound effects and music

YOUR STOPMO FILM PROJECT
discuss your stopmo film

ARMATURES
ball & socket and wire armature discussion

MACHINE SHOP
metalwork tool & talk

SCULPTING
sculpture information and advice

HAIR & COSTUME
materials, patterns and technique

CASTING
foam, silicone and resin

CLAY
clay puppet construction

GENERAL PUPPET MAKING
other puppet fabrication issues

STOP MOTION SETS
set design and construction information

MODEL DEPARTMENT
miniature prop discussion

MATTE PAINTINGS
glass matte paintings and backgrounds

GENERAL SPECIAL EFFECTS

STOP MOTION FILM DISCUSSION

FAVORITE STOP MOTION CHARACTERS

PRO ANIMATOR DISCUSSION

FILM FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

ANIMATION SCHOOLS

STOP MOTION BOOKS

STOP MOTION ON VIDEO

JOBS & PROJECTS
post here if you are looking for talent to hire

SWAP MEET
stop motion items for sale

CHAT BOARD
general discussion

SITE FEEDBACK
report bugs, comments and suggestions here

Latest Activity

jimmy zack updated their profile
13 hours ago
alicelee posted a discussion

So sanh gia thong minh dong hanh mua sam cung ban

So sánh giá thông minh đồng hành mua sắm cùng bạn Bạn yêu thích mua sắm nhưng lại bị thời gian hạn…See More
19 hours ago
Ian Harding commented on STOPMOCHESS's photo
Thumbnail

P1470465

"Looks great!, love the big eye, hat and chain :)"
21 hours ago
Ian Harding commented on Lillie Fischer's photo
Thumbnail

Many Monsters

"Hi, Lillie, Your characters are great looking, look forward in seeing your short :)"
21 hours ago

© 2020   Created by Anthony Scott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

.xg_widget_forum_index_index .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_listForCategory .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_show .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;}