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Hello there fellow stop-mo-ers,

I'm about to start a film I've been fund-raising for and developing for over two years. I have a nimble budget, puppets, a studio space, and sets are being designed. I'd like to test the puppets but I'm stuck at the blinks. I need to create eyelids that not only blink but exspress many emotions. I was thinking of using a material that I can animate on the fly, or creating hard plastic replaceable eyelids. Here are some images of the puppets in various stages of there making. As you see I have a experimented with the hard plastic eyelids but I'm not completely happy with the line. Maybe the line could be smeared using a software of sorts (not sure, I'm relatively new to puppet stop-mo, everything is anew).

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Screen%20shot%202012-06-25%20at%209.01.22%20AM.png

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That figure seems to lend itself to replacement eyes, but I suspect a more versatile approach would be to use plasticine clay. That way you could sculpt whatever expression you needed on the fly.

Nice alien, BTW.

Thanks! I will give it a try when I test next. Originally I was thinking about lizard like eyelids. Either wrinkly or membrane like.



grecodan said:

That figure seems to lend itself to replacement eyes, but I suspect a more versatile approach would be to use plasticine clay. That way you could sculpt whatever expression you needed on the fly.

Nice alien, BTW.

Well, a couple more suggestions: If you go the replacement route, try casting them out of resin. You could get a nice translucent look with that. (That might be the way to go if the blinks are going to be quick, lizardy looking blinks. Might be tougher with a slower blink.) Or, if you want to sculpt them frame by frame, maybe use wallpaper paste or some other gloopy substance. 

Wall paper paste seems intriguing. I'll look into it. Another challenge is that there are a lot of scenes where the character closes his eyes. I has also hoping that the lids would have an open look them (like they are rolled back). Being mouth-less they will need to communicate everything with their hands and eyes. Challenging times ahead.

I would try heating up something like a plastic milk cartoon and pushing a metal ball into it (one that is the same size as your aliens eyes) or you can vacuum-form them if you have access to the equipment.  I have made eyelids this way before.  You just have to be careful how hot you get the plastic.  

You can make eyelids that come down from the top or bottom (or both) this way for your puppet's eyes,  As I recall the best results I had were using some left over plastic shampoo bottles to push the metal ball into.

.. jbd

I like that idea. If the look doesn't work at least I have something to build onto. I'll have to exsperiment with erasing the lines if I want a smooth transition from the eyelids to the face, but if I can avoid that and still have a great look to the blink, all the better.

John Downey said:

I would try heating up something like a plastic milk cartoon and pushing a metal ball into it (one that is the same size as your aliens eyes) or you can vacuum-form them if you have access to the equipment.  I have made eyelids this way before.  You just have to be careful how hot you get the plastic.  

You can make eyelids that come down from the top or bottom (or both) this way for your puppet's eyes,  As I recall the best results I had were using some left over plastic shampoo bottles to push the metal ball into.

.. jbd

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