I'm about to make a stop motion shortfilm! I only need a bit more information about some materials for the puppet. If you know more about great, flexible clay to use for stop motion puppets [Like the ones in "Corpse Bride" and "Frankenweenie", please let me know what I should buy!

Thanks for reading!

Views: 2131

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Are you talking about making clay puppets, or sculpting them in clay, then making molds and casting in silicone? The second option would be how the puppets for those films were made.

Either way, you just need regular plasticene (modelling clay). If you want to make clay puppets then use a plasticene that comes in many colors like Van Aken - if you want a good dense sculpting clay then something like Roma Plastilena, which just comes in grey but has great sculpting characteristics. 

Thanks a lot your reply! I'm talking about making clay puppets. I want to create a puppet which has the same ''build up'' like the ones in Tim Burton movies. My puppet will only speak with his eyebrows, so I want it to move constantly without making it weak. Is Roma Plastilena the right material for this?


Strider said:

Are you talking about making clay puppets, or sculpting them in clay, then making molds and casting in silicone? The second option would be how the puppets for those films were made.

Either way, you just need regular plasticene (modelling clay). If you want to make clay puppets then use a plasticene that comes in many colors like Van Aken - if you want a good dense sculpting clay then something like Roma Plastilena, which just comes in grey but has great sculpting characteristics. 

Well it would be great if you want your puppet to just be grey! If you want to work in color then get Van Aken. They have a line of clay called Claytoons that comes in many colors. This is assuming you're in the US - if you're in another country clay availability might be different. 

Yes, I live in Europe so I can't get it then.

Ok sorry, I don't know about European clays. But I would guess you can walk into a hobby shop and just pick up some plasticene (also called modelling clay - could be other names depending on what country you're in). Hopefully somebody from your part of the world can pop in and say what European clays are good. 

Where in Europe are we talking?

The chatroom has already replied to most of your question in general, I think. In terms of the materials of Tim Burton puppets, as Strider says they are made from very different materials. If you mean the very skinny look, it is going to be though to do that, because the clay is heavy and the feet of Tim Burton like puppets are generally too small to support the weight (I've tried!) particularly of clay.

If you do clay and you want to move the eyebrows without influencing the rest of the puppet, it will be quite hard, because you need to stick it unto the puppet every frame.

Perhaps Sander is your best person to ask: http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/forum/topics/graduation-film

Another great source for info on clay animation is Marc Spess' Animate Clay site. He specializes more in clay animation there, and over here we deal more with rubber puppets. There is some overlp on both sites of course (it's hard to talk about one without spilling over into the other) and I don't mean to run you off from this site at all! But Animate Clay is a great place with lots of excellent tutorials on doing clay animation (which you won't find here). 

As Strider says, Mark Spess's Animate Clay site is very good for anything related to clay and stop motion.  As far as eyebrows, I usually do this in post production. Depending on what you are doing, this may be feasible and it may not be. As an example, I have posted two frames from one of my videos. It is a clay character and I actually used a clay that I could bake his head. The pupils of the eyes and the soccer ball were done in post production. The eyebrows were physically put on the puppet as in frame 1, and I used a video editor to change their position in frame 2.

Attachments:
As the other members have said, the Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie puppets are not clay.
Corpse Bride characters are sculpted from plasticine, then a mould is made, and the head and body are cast in silicone rubber. It is a flexible rubber material, so you can animate it, but the skin will stay smooth.
Coraline and ParaNorman use a kind of replacement animation fot the faces - they are made in a hard plastic, and to change the expression, you take off one face and put on the next one. The faces were made on a 3d computer printer, but the same thing can be done by sculpting, making moulds, and casting in plastic.
Both methods let you get a very detailed or smooth finish, and keep itvthat way while you animate.

Animating with plasticine directly is different. It is more direct, you sculpt the plasticine and then start animating it, without having to make moulds and cast in a different material. But your fingers will make marks, and sometimes it will strart to crack if you move it a lot, so you need to repair it and keep smoothing it as you go. For that reaon, clay characters are usually kept simple.

If you really want something more like the Corpse Bride or FRankenweenie human puppets, without casting ir all in silicone from a mould, there are ways to do it.
If the puppet will be wearing clothing, you can make skinny bodies with armature wire and upholstery foam, use latex on the hands, and only use clay for the heads. That way you can make different expressions with the clay, without the whole puppet getting too heavy. Or you can cast only the head in silicone, if you need a more finished look, but still want to be able to move the mouth, and maybe the eyebrows.
Something like the dog Sparky is best made by sculpting and casting in silicone, foam latex, or maybe a soft urethane rubber. You could ty building it up with upholstery foam, and covering with liquid latex to form a skin, but it will probably be a bit rough.

Thank you guys so much for the messages, Bianca AnsemsStriderKeith Ray and StopmoNick! It really helped me out a lot! 


As a reply to Bianca Ansems, I live in Norway. I was not really sure what to buy since I'm not familiar with making stop motion puppets. Thanks for the link, Strider & Bianca Ansems

StopmoNick, Thanks a ton for your help! I watched your videos on Youtube, and learned some really great techniques! My puppet will not have a mouth, and will mostly speak with his eyebrows, so I need those to move in different directions a lot of times. I know if I bake the puppethead, it will get really hard so I will not be able to move those eyebrows at all. Is there a way to create the head hard but having the eye/eyebrow area a little soft so I can move those eyebrows?  I've seen in one of your videos that you added some extra wire to create the eyebrows with. But just as Victor Van Dort in "Corpse Bride", I want the eyebrows to be "In" the face. What do you think is the best way to make it?

Thanks again!

StopmoNick said:

As the other members have said, the Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie puppets are not clay.
Corpse Bride characters are sculpted from plasticine, then a mould is made, and the head and body are cast in silicone rubber. It is a flexible rubber material, so you can animate it, but the skin will stay smooth.
Coraline and ParaNorman use a kind of replacement animation fot the faces - they are made in a hard plastic, and to change the expression, you take off one face and put on the next one. The faces were made on a 3d computer printer, but the same thing can be done by sculpting, making moulds, and casting in plastic.
Both methods let you get a very detailed or smooth finish, and keep itvthat way while you animate.

Animating with plasticine directly is different. It is more direct, you sculpt the plasticine and then start animating it, without having to make moulds and cast in a different material. But your fingers will make marks, and sometimes it will strart to crack if you move it a lot, so you need to repair it and keep smoothing it as you go. For that reaon, clay characters are usually kept simple.

If you really want something more like the Corpse Bride or FRankenweenie human puppets, without casting ir all in silicone from a mould, there are ways to do it.
If the puppet will be wearing clothing, you can make skinny bodies with armature wire and upholstery foam, use latex on the hands, and only use clay for the heads. That way you can make different expressions with the clay, without the whole puppet getting too heavy. Or you can cast only the head in silicone, if you need a more finished look, but still want to be able to move the mouth, and maybe the eyebrows.
Something like the dog Sparky is best made by sculpting and casting in silicone, foam latex, or maybe a soft urethane rubber. You could ty building it up with upholstery foam, and covering with liquid latex to form a skin, but it will probably be a bit rough.
You can put the eyebrow wires inside, if you cover it with a soft skin like foam latex or silicone. But it works best if they are like Neanderthal brow ridges that stick out a bit. Or Gromit eyebrows. This looks good on some characters, but bad on a child or woman.
Maybe the best way would be to make the head from hard baked Fimo, then add plasticine eyebrows for expression - like Gromit. You can grab the head by the hard part and it will not get squashed, when you want to turn the head. You could also use plasticine for the mouth, if you do want to change it some of the time. Fimo ( and other polymer clays) come in many colours that you can mix to get the skin colour you want. You would also need a plasticine that comes in colours so you can match the colour. I only use grey-green Roma, or brown Chavant NSP, for sculpting, I don't animate with clay, so I don't know what brand to look for.

Vibeke Cleaverley's film The Mason was made that way, most of the head is hard baked clay like Fimo, with the mouth being made of soft oil-based plasticene:

In fact, she also comes from some frozen hell northern European country, maybe Norway, I don't remember exactly. 

It might be possible to use unbaked Fimo soft for the lower part of the face and the eyebrow part - I remember somebody said they did that, but they needed to remove the soft polymer clay each night after filming for the day and then start fresh the next morning after thoroughly kneading the Fimo (it would only work with Fimo soft if you can get it, or some other soft polymer clay, which you would use in the unbaked condition). When you knead it the clay will soften and become pliabe, which will last for a few hours, maybe all day, but by the next day it will be stiffening up and will be impossible to animate with. 

RSS

MESSAGE BOARD CATEGORIES

STOPMO NEWBIES
basic stopmo discussion

ANIMATOR TALK
experienced animators looking to improve

CAMERA & STAGE
animation camera, lighting and moco rigs

ANIMATION TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
animation tool and rigging discussion

STOP MOTION & COMPUTERS
frame capture, editing, and post-production

STORY
script, storyboarding and storyreel discussion

SOUND
lip-sync, sound effects and music

YOUR STOPMO FILM PROJECT
discuss your stopmo film

ARMATURES
ball & socket and wire armature discussion

MACHINE SHOP
metalwork tool & talk

SCULPTING
sculpture information and advice

HAIR & COSTUME
materials, patterns and technique

CASTING
foam, silicone and resin

CLAY
clay puppet construction

GENERAL PUPPET MAKING
other puppet fabrication issues

STOP MOTION SETS
set design and construction information

MODEL DEPARTMENT
miniature prop discussion

MATTE PAINTINGS
glass matte paintings and backgrounds

GENERAL SPECIAL EFFECTS

STOP MOTION FILM DISCUSSION

FAVORITE STOP MOTION CHARACTERS

PRO ANIMATOR DISCUSSION

FILM FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

ANIMATION SCHOOLS

STOP MOTION BOOKS

STOP MOTION ON VIDEO

JOBS & PROJECTS
post here if you are looking for talent to hire

SWAP MEET
stop motion items for sale

CHAT BOARD
general discussion

SITE FEEDBACK
report bugs, comments and suggestions here

Latest Activity

Simon Tytherleigh replied to madrobot's discussion What image size do you import from camera?
"Not sure you would want to be editing in 4K, unless you are getting a super powerful water-cooled…"
2 hours ago
Mike John posted a blog post

Best Way to Create Content Fast For Marketing

You know that you need a lot more content on your website to keep search engines ranked higher, and…See More
5 hours ago
Zed S. replied to Zed S.'s discussion Best Mold material for Silicone Cast?
"Thanks for this great info! I was in contact with a guy in Chicago that sells and specialize these…"
23 hours ago
Reyna Miller posted a discussion

Trying to find a reliable writing service?

Writing an essay is not like a piece of cake for everybody. Not all learners have a writing talent…See More
yesterday

© 2020   Created by Anthony Scott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

.xg_widget_forum_index_index .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_listForCategory .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_show .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;}