Friday, March 12, 2010

where the sidewalk ends

One of the scenes I'm finishing up with in terms of animating progress. I used tie-downs for my puppets (save one where you don't see his feet) and I figured this was a good shot to illustrate that. Since I wanted smaller (i.e. non-clown-looking) feet for my puppets, I forewent practicality to a certain degree and embedded small nuts into the bottom of my puppets' feet. For shots where you'd see their feet, I drilled matching holes in my set for a bolt (with another nut to secure it tightly) to go up through the deck and into the bottom of the puppets' feet, thus securing them to the set.

The more practical route is using strong magnets in the feet, but that makes them kind of clunky, aesthetically, since you need magnets powerful and therefore large enough to keep the puppet in place. As a result you don't have to drill all kinds of holes in your set, refill them with clay when they're not in use, or plan out your foot positions so tightly. Still, I don't regret going the tie-down route, since it's got a stronger aesthetic appeal, I only had a few shots featuring visible feet, and I could often cheat walking movements with the puppets mounted on a magnetized platform in shots where they weren't showing anyways.

A view of the underside of Leonard's feet (amidst all that clay gunk you can make out a nut; in the foreground is one of the bolts poking through, and the small dip in the sidewalk behind it is the clay used to hide the holes when they're not in use).

Tie-downs in action. And my rock garden. (I've been helping myself to rocks from outside the cafeteria for weighing the deck down - so far no one's missed 'em yet).

Aaaand, a still from the scene.