I'm wondering how much it will cost me to create a puppet after purchasing a ball socket armature. I see that the armatures can fall around the 100/150 range and that fits our budget. I'm wondering what the next steps would be and how much they would on average cost. and how long the process takes. sorry for all the questions. 

really desperate :( 

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Hannah, do you have concept art of what your character will look like and what you need it to do? 

That would help give the members here some idea of what you're looking for and the different ways to come up with what you need. 

Dennis

Hi dennis!

not as of right now. I'm just more curious about standard material costs (ie - latex, wax, ... im still learning so im not too confident sorry!)

Dennis Heinzeroth said:

Hannah, do you have concept art of what your character will look like and what you need it to do? 

That would help give the members here some idea of what you're looking for and the different ways to come up with what you need. 

Dennis

Hello again!

I see that you're in Toronto, this might be a good place to get you started on materials and their costs: http://www.sculpturesupply.com/

They're located in Toronto, so (hopefully) that would save you on shipping charges if you can pick up what you need locally.

And don't worry about being confident right now, everybody starts somewhere so it's ok to be nervous. Just don't let it discourage you from following your vision! ;)

Hi Hannah. Probably the best place to start is YouTube. Have a look at puppetmaking videos, and then develop your design. There's a good book called 'Stopmotion - Craft skills for Model Animation' by Susannah Shaw.

It might help to think of the construction as head and body and hands separately. If your puppet's body is clothed, you can make it largely out of cushion foam, which is very cheap. Hands can be made in aluminium wire and dipped in latex. They are joined to the arm stumps with K&S tubing, using sections that fit inside each other. The head can be anything from very simple to incredibly complex. 

So it is important to work out what you want your puppet to do before making it. Do you need lipsync? Eyes that move? Could you make eyelids for blinking, or will you do this in Photoshop? Will your puppet walk...or fly? Each of these actions dictate how the puppet is constructed. For instance, walking requires hold-downs, either nuts in the feet for bolts to screw in from underneath or pieces of metal to be held by magnets from under the stage area.

But the good news is that mostly you only need small quantities of stuff. Materials, for example could come from old clothes or sample squares. And you could make a virtue out of having very little money to spend, by making a puppet from found objects.

I replied to your other post, but I just noticed that you're in Toronto. Home turf! If you haven't already, check out the Toronto Animated Image Society (tais.ca). We have a 6 week puppet building workshop coming up in March - http://tais.ca/events/puppet-building-intensive/ . It's also a good place to connect with other animators in Toronto, and we might be able to match you up with a mentor for your project. 

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