Sunday, 29 March 2015

Making Marys legs

To start this post off I thought I would talk about a little problem I had with the legs. The cast I had produced for her leggings was too stiff to allow any movement so in the end we had to scrap the silicone and think of an alternative.
 What we ended up doing was utilising an old pair of black Bratz doll trousers (which we happen to find in the model making room) and modify these so that they would fit Bloody Marys legs.

Below is the padding we produced to thicken the armature so that when the trousers were slipped on, the legs would look nice and thick. 
 Once the legs were padded out, we had to remove the heels to be able to slip on the trousers. They fit just snug on the legs so that was a major relief. 
 The little piece of grey fabric shown in the images above and below here was what we used to make the facade that Mary is wearing a corset. under her coat.

We used a fairly thick fabric so that it resembled a corset much more before having it sewn around her waist line. This in turn helped to hide the padding that we had applied to the waist and lower body for Mary. 
 So here is Mary with her legs completely assembled. along with her corset as well. The upper part of the puppet was covered with two sheets of white silk fabric in order to replicate a blouse like top for her to wear under her dress. 
Since the coat she will be wearing covers most of her body there was no need to make fully stitched clothes underneath. We only made clothes that covered parts of her that the coat wouldn't.

Well thats all for now. Next time we'll be looking at finishing off the upper half of Bloody Mary. STAY TUNED!!!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Company research number 1 - Laika Studios

For part of our 3rd year Business module we have been instructed to research and discuss our 5 top companies that we have been inspired by and are hoping to work with in the future. 

So lets start with probably my main inspiration for my stop motion work, Laika Studios. 

Not only is it an animation studio that I am willing to work for but it is also based in the States which is where I hope to move to later in life to pursue a full time career in animation. 

Laika are a stop-motion studio based in Hillsboro, Oregon which is located outside of Portland and are responsible for creating such feature films as 'Boxtrolls', 'Paranorman' and probably one of my favourite films of all time 'Coraline'. 

Although they are best known for producing the three feature stop motion pieces I listed above, Laika have also worked on other projects including a short CG film which was released on 2005 titled 'Moongirl', written and directed by Henry Selick. 

Their current project which is due for release 2016 is titled 'Kubo and the two strings' about a young boy who is caught up with a Spirit from his past, enforcing him about an age old vendetta. Confronting monsters and gods he must battle the elements in a quest for the Earth and Stars. 

What I admire most about their work is the fluidity and the smoothness of the animations that they produce but also the concept behind the work they produce. 
Coraline for example is one of my favourite animations because of its dark style which I admire greatly and indeed has inspired much of my present work. 

TOP TIP!! One of our best graduates in animation from the university of South Wales, Sean Gregory has been given the opportunity to work with them on their current projects for the next year or so. 
Sure hope I can follow in your footsteps there Sean. 

So thats all I have to talk about for the moment I will be back soon with my remaining 4 studios I would like to work for. In the meantime back to more bloody Mary. 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Marys neck and head

Back to Mary now!! Since her design showed her with a slight low cut coat on I had to cast not only the neck in silicone but also her collar bone area and shoulders in case during the animation there's a risk of her armature showing.
 I created a one part mold for her neck which I then painted two layers of silicone into. The silicone was tinted slightly to have a lilac colour to match her arms and face when finished. The armature was disassembled and her neck and chest area were padded before being placed into the mold. 

I then filled in the remaining gas with silicone to create a solid neck shape.
 Now that the neck is out of the way I begun the lengthy process of bringing her head to shape. I began by building a small block of mulliput that I sculpted around the K&S attached to the armature. This when set would allow the head to lock into place without any loose movement occurring.
 In terms of preparing for the head i laid out all of the necessary tools required for bringing her to shape. The main material I will be using to build her head is sculpy as it is light weight, easy to work with, gives a smooth finish and when baked is strong.
 First part of the job was to sculpt the basic shape of the head for the face and hair section to fit around. This part of the build was made a cm smaller in diameter so that Mary once finished didn't resemble a bobble head toy found in your car.

I added a K&S piece to the front to create a slot that the eye section could lock into. This would mean that if the eyes get damaged during the animation then I can simply remove them for any repairs.
 For the eyes I used a white bead about 2-3cm in diameter. Now usually when making eyes this section would have two sockets to allow the eyes to rotate in. I chose to stick Marys eyes flat against it because they are so large that they had to be sanded down slightly otherwise they would've been pocking out of the side of her head.
 The fac was sculpted on top of the eyes and core once they had been baked. This process took a good 2 hours to get right. once done I then baked the face and primed it. The face was made to be removable so I added two magnets to the back of it. One behind the chin and one right at the top of the head.
 The core was baked and primed also along with the hair piece that would be slotted into the back of the head. 
This is what the hair will be attached to.
Above are all the main components for Bloody Marys head. Her face now painted, her eyes now sanded down and eye lids made from painting layers of plastic resin on the eyes.
I sculpted a pair of ears onto the core of the head as well as the back half in Mulliput so that it would blend together with the face. 

Her hair section was built up and around the crown of hr head and would provide a solid base to stick the hair to. The K&S piece sticking out is for the hat to lock into.

Marys head to be Continued.... STAY TUNED!!!!