In recent years we've been seeing a lot of puppets with translucent skin - silicone mostly, and now the RP human faces in Paranorman (apparently made largely from superglue?). 

I have somewhat mixed feelings on the subject. First, I totally understand the wow factor - as soon as silicone became a viable material for making puppet skin it became possible to make it look translucent, which we often hear is more realistic and actually mimics the way human skin reacts to light. I understand a rush to really make the puppets look spectacularly different when this first became possible. But it's not new anymore - i'ts lost the novelty now, and I find I often dislike the look of it - not across the board, but I just think the translucency is overdone to create an unusual look - a look that was obviously impossible in pre-silicone days.

Human skin can be somewhat translucent. Usually only in newborn babies (not even the majority of them really - they have to audition a lot of babies to find the right ones for those skin cream commercials). The vast majority of people have pretty opaque skin. In fact (just discovered this from the Making of ParaNorman book) it's even standard operating precedure in live action movies to sometimes put tape behind an actor's ears in strongly backlit shots because the light glowing redly through the ears can be very distracting and make people laugh when they're not supposed to. 

When the translucency is overdone it makes me think of weird alien creatures - 

I used to sculpt with the original pink supersculpey a lot, and then I learned that pro sculptors hate it because it's translucent (to try to make it look more like "human" skin apparently!) and as a result you can't see the imperfections on the surface - nor can you see the textures and details you're trying to sculpt. These don't show up until you either paint the sculpt or make a casting of it - by which point it's too late to fix anything! As soon as I got a pasta machine and started kneading opaque polymers into the pink SS I immediately saw the difference, and it was like night and day! Suddenly there was a surface! I hadn't realized until that moment that the super sculpey had this weird no-skin type of effect, and as soon as I did realize it I never went back. Personally I like texture, and since people all seem to have texture to their skin (though we try to minimize it to make women look prettier - if it wasn't there we wouldn't need to do that, would we?). 

And I'm not saying I don't like silicone for puppet skins - not at all! I'm just saying I'd like to see the puppet departments put a little more pigment into the skin, unless they're making some kind of weird creature that spent its life in an underwater cave or maybe a newborn baby or an Irish woman with an amazingly fragile complexion.

In the words of Jeff Goldblum "You were so busy figuring out how to do it you never stopped to ask if you should!"

So what do ye all think? Yay or nay to extreme translucency? And why? 

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Bernardo- Given the scarcity of silicone in your country, I would say, get a good dildo and cannibalize it for its rubber. I don't see why pieces of an unused dildo couldn't be put to good use in a puppet. I mean, we use KY jelly to turn the eyeballs.

LIO's Nephew- Condoms have long been used in making squibs for blood splatters in special effects... The sex industry feeds our passion with useful products! Why not look at all the sex toys and see what could be adapted for stop motion? ;)

With a little modification this could work as a puppet, right? 

Where did this thread go so horribly, horribly wrong? 

(And should I be ashamed that I want one of the Cthulhu thingees?)

I think, it's in keeping with the tone of the old board. Did we ever censor ourselves? 

For my part, I was being completely serious. I often find things and use them in a way they weren't intended. I noticed that the folks at Laika do that, too. One example being the spiked rubber dog toy in the rigging for the opening flowers in Coraline's garden. It's in the behind the scenes on the DVD, I think. But yeah, repurposing of existing objects saves on waste and is good for the environment. Ever since the economy tanked, a host of DIY sites sprang up on the internet, teaching you how to make your own version of commercial products. I think it's great that there are entire internet communities based around modifying and reverse-engineering objects to make them do what you need them to. All it takes is a side-long look at something and an imagination: "What if..."

All it takes is a side-long look at something and an imagination: "What if..."

Oh, I can think of all kinds of "what ifs..." for that particular object. 

Yeah, me too. It looks like a joystick. 

Um, yeah...a joystick. That's what I was thinking. (Koff!)

What if...

What if I was on a site with NORMAL people!!!???

Yes but you would see a movie with super animation and realism on the simple base on its technical part... if you are searching for a specific aesthetic and or showing of it's OK to make a super real puppet, BUT animation, where puppets are too real would definitely fall in the uncanny valley and furthermore it would be incredibly costly!

when you make an animation exquisitely real, you shall be judge on that, history and characters often get lost in the publicity, and most people don't think like stop motion fans!!!

what an incredible making of I should see this, cause awesome puppets, animation setc... "real people" ohhhh ghosts and zombies... and toys... that's for kids I WANNA SEE PEOPLE GETTING SHOT!!!!
 

I was generalizing!!

Beyond Craft said:

Painted portraits at a birthday party would be awesome. What a memento! 

The problem with using real people is the process is then devoid of craft, and therefore joy (subject to ones fancies). And the end result would have none of all what makes it unique - the shock, the amazement, the delight, and all other reactions that come with realising what you're seeing is not what you thought it was. Having said that, I don't think it would be the sort of thing I would create myself. Most of the puppets I make are not very human-like. I'm not sure if your comment was aimed at me, or whether you were generalising, but I don't understand your last line (the part I quoted, not the dildo statement). 

Well, then you wouldn't be on a site about stop motion with WEIRD BASEMENT PEOPLE.

Strider said:

What if...

What if I was on a site with NORMAL people!!!???



My spot in an attic!

just saying...

Don Carlson said:

Well, then you wouldn't be on a site about stop motion with WEIRD BASEMENT PEOPLE.



Don Carlson said:

Well, then you wouldn't be on a site about stop motion with WEIRD BASEMENT PEOPLE.

*Looks around at basement walls*

*Shrugs*

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