For the short I'm working on I require the puppets to do some quite delicate (hand and finger) movements with cutlery.
So I want to rig the knives, spoons etc to the hands. As you can see in the pics they are not the biggest hands :) There is a m2 threaded nut in the hands for tie down.
Is there anyone who knows of some nifty tricks of doing this? Is there a general way of doing this at all in bigger productions?
I would make the hands of rubber, but leave the ends of the wire stick out of the fingers on the downside, where you can't see them. Then make the cutlery out of a tin can, stick the wire through, and attach it with hotglue.
That is an excellent solution! Can't believe I forgot to mention it, but I did something similar in my first film Terror in the Pumpkin Patch. The kid was holding a knife through the whole short, so I just built the knife on as part of the puppet - permanently attached to his hand. I left one arm wire too long and attached an X-Acto blade to it, then made the knife handle from epoxy putty. Probably would have been better if he could have dropped it right at the end, but I just hid it behind him - and besides, it was a super quick and dirty short, so I didn't worry about details like that. Here it is:
I know this doesn't help the original poster - just supplying it for posterity to maybe help people in the future reading this thread looking for solutions.
That's a great idea Mike, and you could always cut off the knife and protruding wire once you are finished with the knife holding.
So far I've managed with just sticky wax for all the pen holding and magazine holding in my Poe film. Sometimes you can see a bit of the wax showing under the quill pen if you look hard. The hands are liquid latex. Don't know how well the sticky wax holds on silicone.
I animated on a film where the puppets had small silicone hands with short fingers that couldn't grip anything. We used superglue gel when they had to hold objects. Somehow it stuck to the silicone, but sometimes damaged it when removing it, so a few hands got repaired or replaced.
I've just found I have a similar problem, an ape-like monster needs to hold a big rock in both hands, raise it over his head, and throw it. I can pose the hands a little closer together than the width of the rock, then place the rock between the hands so it's held under tension - but as soon as I raise the two arms a little, they spring slightly apart and drop the rock. Sticky wax isn't going to do it. I'm going to run a piece of thin armature wire right through the rock (it's styrofoam) and poke it into the palms so it goes around the wire inside the hand. That way I can pull it tight, I hope, and keep the hands on the rock. I may need some sticky wax on the fingers as well, to keep them from opening up. Thread would probably work too, instead of wire. I think I can forget about it picking up the rock on camera, it will have to be there already.