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Hey Guys! This forum is an awesome resource and I've been meaning to get involved for a while now. I'm planning on diving in as soon as my work schedule slows down in the near future. My background is 3D but I've been doing traditional sculpture for several years. Here's a link to my custom cake toppers I've been doing and I'm excited to be an active member of this community!

www.caketopstop.com

Hi, I'm Carol! I'm a Brazilian newbie stop motion animator : ) (sorry if I write something wrong, it's been a long time since the last time I practice my English). In the last three years I've work in some stop motion campaign for internet, mostly tabletop, and all very very simple. Now for the first time I'm work with puppets (made by me) and things got really hard (and really really fun!). As I don't have any previous experience, and I'm doing all by my self, I've been spending a long time on Google, and that's how I ended up in this forum. I've got very excited with what I saw here, I know I have a lot to learn and the forum looks like it can help me a lot.

Nice to meet you guys.

Hi,

I'm Anne and I am from Aberdeenshire. I've always been interested in stopmotion animation and now have the time to experiment more. I have made some very short lego animations which I want to develop further and also to work on some animations with  plasticine/clay characters.

Hi,

I live in New Zealand and I'm new to stop-motion animation, but not film-making. Last year I bought some custom-made mo-co equipment plus assorted other materials and gear from a guy who completed his stop-motion masterpiece then decided to move to the other side of the world! If you're interested; the film is called "Disappear" by Hendrikus de Vaan (http://vimeo.com/78500698). My daughter, Lily, did all the sound design, foley and music for it.

Hoping to get some inspiration, share experiences and learn something about the processes and craft involved with this awesome movie-making art form.

Cheers, Kevin

And now I have just discovered that Hendrikus is an existing contributor to this site so you should already have seen his "Disappear" short film!


Hi Kevin!

Good to have you onboard. This site is indeed one of the best resources for stopmotioners!

Enjoy 

H.

Kevin Luck said:

Hi,

I live in New Zealand and I'm new to stop-motion animation, but not film-making. Last year I bought some custom-made mo-co equipment plus assorted other materials and gear from a guy who completed his stop-motion masterpiece then decided to move to the other side of the world! If you're interested; the film is called "Disappear" by Hendrikus de Vaan (http://vimeo.com/78500698). My daughter, Lily, did all the sound design, foley and music for it.

Hoping to get some inspiration, share experiences and learn something about the processes and craft involved with this awesome movie-making art form.

Cheers, Kevin

I'm Keith.  I've been interested in doing stop animation for a while now as a way to express my creativity and make movies without having to involve large crews and actors and sets and etc (though I do that as well).  I decided to do a stop animation for a local film festival submission and quickly got way more technically invested than originally planned, but thats all well and good because now I have the tools to do more!

Howdy y'all!

My name is McKinlay. I work in the model shop at Laika Studios. I've been a professional model maker for 10 years or so and have been at Laika for four.

I enjoy helping others out, so feel free to ask me any questions about making models or props. Can't talk too much about things going on at Laika, but I have plenty of other knowledge to share.

I'm also writing an ebook about model making for stop motion, and so may ask some feedback from anyone interested in giving it at some point.

Thanks everyone!

Hi McKinlay,

I am setting up a tiny stop-motion studio in a spare room off our garage although, because I plan to be making some foam latex models, for safety reasons, I'll be doing much of my model-making in the garage itself (we never put cars in there!). 

I have a few questions about model making materials and safety.

First safety:

1. Do I need to get a full-blown fume cupboard set up for foam latex work or is it enough to have, say, a table-top solder fume extractor or perhaps just have the garage door open and a floor-standing (i.e. decent size) fan blowing the fumes outside?

2. If I use the family food mixer, with a separate bowl and mixing blade dedicated to latex work only is that safe enough or should I get a complete mixer and keep it in the garage?

3. I have looked around for latex foam kits and GM Foam seem to do a popular quart kit. Have you used this product or are there others that are as good and cheaper or better that you use?

4. Is UltraCal a suitable moldmaking material for use with latex foam? I bought some from Hendrikus (see messages above) and I'm not sure if it what I should be using for this (Hendrikus, feel free to jump in here if you like!)

5. What are the advantages or disadvantages of using silicone vs latex for model and prop making?

Really appreciate you offering to answer questions on this site!

Cheers, Kevin



McKinlay said:

Howdy y'all!

My name is McKinlay. I work in the model shop at Laika Studios. I've been a professional model maker for 10 years or so and have been at Laika for four.

I enjoy helping others out, so feel free to ask me any questions about making models or props. Can't talk too much about things going on at Laika, but I have plenty of other knowledge to share.

I'm also writing an ebook about model making for stop motion, and so may ask some feedback from anyone interested in giving it at some point.

Thanks everyone!

Hey Kevin,

Firstly, I must warn you that I have limited experience with foam latex. Most of the shops I've worked in use silicone or soft expanding foam (if cost is more important than quality). Foam latex is mainly used only for the inside of very large (i.e. fat) puppets.

The benefits of foam latex is mainly cost and ease of painting. The molds are generally cheaper, too. Ultra cal is a suitable mold material for foam latex. Latex mask paints can be easily applied to the finished casting. I would think plenty of ventilation and a fan would be enough if you're mixing in a garage (anyone else feel free to chime in on this one). It will be very stinky. I'd definitely wear a respirator with fume cartridges, though I'm a bit of a safety nut sometimes. Get a separate dedicated mixer for sure. It will get messy and contaminated. I wish I could recommend a brand of foam latex for you, but, like I said, it's been a while. :P

The benefit of silicone is that you can get a better quality and more durable finish. The puppets will crease at the joints much better, too. Foam latex tends to get all bunchy and wrinkles weirdly. Painting silicone involves thinning clear silicone caulk (like, from a hardware store) with naphtha, tinting it with silicone specific pigment, and applying it with an airbrush or sparingly with small paintbrushes. This is the method used all over the industry, and it works great. You can get translucent effects, subsurface scattering, and all kinds of layering effects. There's a pretty good tutorial here http://masteringfilm.com/special-makeup-effects-painting-silicone/. The company Smooth-on makes some pre mixed silicone paints, but I have yet to try them.

When creating the molds for casting silicone, I generally use a product called TC-1630, from BJB Enterprises. It's a two part liquid plastic that has aluminum powder mixed in. Very durable and hard. It smells like gasoline and is going to cost a lot more than ultracal. The liquids always settle quite a bit too, leaving a very thick gummy layer on the bottom of the can, which is a major pain to mix back together without the use of a paint shaker. The actual process of building up the mold is similar to making a mold with ultracal (walling it up with clay, etc.).

If you're interested in trying the silicone, let me know, and I can go into more detail. Trying not to get too get crazy long with this post. This is why I wanted to write an ebook! There's so much information to tell!

McKinlay


Kevin Luck said:

Hi McKinlay,

I am setting up a tiny stop-motion studio in a spare room off our garage although, because I plan to be making some foam latex models, for safety reasons, I'll be doing much of my model-making in the garage itself (we never put cars in there!). 

I have a few questions about model making materials and safety.

First safety:

1. Do I need to get a full-blown fume cupboard set up for foam latex work or is it enough to have, say, a table-top solder fume extractor or perhaps just have the garage door open and a floor-standing (i.e. decent size) fan blowing the fumes outside?

2. If I use the family food mixer, with a separate bowl and mixing blade dedicated to latex work only is that safe enough or should I get a complete mixer and keep it in the garage?

3. I have looked around for latex foam kits and GM Foam seem to do a popular quart kit. Have you used this product or are there others that are as good and cheaper or better that you use?

4. Is UltraCal a suitable moldmaking material for use with latex foam? I bought some from Hendrikus (see messages above) and I'm not sure if it what I should be using for this (Hendrikus, feel free to jump in here if you like!)

5. What are the advantages or disadvantages of using silicone vs latex for model and prop making?

Really appreciate you offering to answer questions on this site!

Cheers, Kevin



McKinlay said:

Howdy y'all!

My name is McKinlay. I work in the model shop at Laika Studios. I've been a professional model maker for 10 years or so and have been at Laika for four.

I enjoy helping others out, so feel free to ask me any questions about making models or props. Can't talk too much about things going on at Laika, but I have plenty of other knowledge to share.

I'm also writing an ebook about model making for stop motion, and so may ask some feedback from anyone interested in giving it at some point.

Thanks everyone!

Thank you very much indeed. It looks like I should look at using silicone rather than foam latex for my particular characters - they will not be particularly large - so any further information would be most appreciated. 

BTW You can put my name down for a copy of your book when you finish it!

Cheers, Kevin


McKinlay said:

Hey Kevin,

Firstly, I must warn you that I have limited experience with foam latex. <snip>

I'll put you on the list, Kevin! As soon as I make a list, that is. ;)

I guess I should start a thread where I can answer more questions without hijacking everyone's "hello"s. I'll provide some more information about silicone there.

McKinlay

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