If you animate using a rig or manage with self-standing puppets, the easiest solution would be to buy river stones or pebbles and lay them out in grout. Depending on your scale, you could pick up such stones at a craft or floral shop - they use them for vases - or an aquarium shop if you're with a smaller set. I'm at a loss if you use tie-downs or magnets - working around a tile base sounds like an endless hassle to me.
To get a flowing water and puddlesl, I've heard many animators say they use KY jelly - Nirvan Mullick did this for his short film, "The Box Man" - which is mostly set in dark alley. If you're just looking for a wet look, then a high gloss spray acrylic - which you'll also find at craft and floral stores - should do the trick for the stones.
On second thought, I'd suggest Envirotex Pour-On High Gloss Epoxy - much more durable than acrylic - and I see it's available in the UK.
Great ideas !
I will try to source some small pebbles for the allyway in this set.
Also will look into the supply of Envirotex High Gloss Epoxy.
I was going to be using tie-downs for the character in these shots, but switching to a rig for him will not be a problem.
Thanks Joshua !
On the old site there was some discussion about this on several threads. Here's one of them:
Clear hair gel is a good cheap alernative for that wet look, creating drips etc. You can get fairly stiff gel as well to mould splashes and water ripples!!
I've used MDF for cobblestones, or made a silicone mould from a section of mdf stonework and cast in fibreglass or reinforced plaster. I've also vacuum formed sheets of stone or brick. With all of these, I can drill holes for tiedowns. It's also possible to make a plaster mould and cast sheets of latex stone walls, but it's not so good for using on the ground - the latex will flex when the puppet foot squashes down on it, and you can't drill through it - it wraps around the spinning drill bit.
Because of the tiedowns I probably wouldn't use river stones directly for the cobblestone street, but make up a section and make a mould of that. I use a rig for running and jumping, but I prefer to have a foot fixed down during a walk so it doesn't skate around, even if it's an unusually large or heavy puppet and a rig is taking most of the weight.
I guess if the mortar-filled gaps between the stones was wide enough, and the tiedowns were thin, you could place all the holes between the stones, and still use real stone.
Thanks for your thoughts on my 'cobbles' question Nick.
I have got hold of some small pebbles and am about to make up a section of allyway. I will try a silicone mould of the finished section and a casting in f'glass.
You could use a sheet of carving foam and carve them by hand. I've never done cobble stone but I get great tiles this way.
Thanks for the tip Jason.
I missed this thread, but I've just been working on a cobble stone street in an alley set. I used partly individual mdf shapes, but because they took a lot of time I made the rest from paper mache, made a little stamp from the polymorph by pressing it into the mdf part I already had. The paper mache part tunred out very different, but also nice. They are less smooth because the mdf shrinks a little when drying, creating wrinkles, which gives interesting effects when painting.
I have a picture here, that mainly shows the mdf ones, and a little bit of the paper mache ones.
in this short test you can see them both, the difference between them is not most pretty maybe, I already applied the mdf ones. I think/hope it can work though in the final shots/film.