Puppets and Stuff

Puppet Construction => Puppet Building => Topic started by: andycomic on September 06, 2011, 11:14:37 am



Title: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 06, 2011, 11:14:37 am
What type of controller is this performer using: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW6ut_egoEc , is it a german style one with more added to it?

Thanks,
Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on September 06, 2011, 12:49:15 pm
Yes it looks like a vertical or actually fish controller and German or European marionettes often use this style of controller. If you can find the book "The Marionettes of Barcelona"  it has diagrams of vertical controllers.  I don't think the book is in print anymore but the ISBN is 0951360027. Maybe you can find it in the library.

Another resource would be Marionette Construction by Robert LeRoy Smith. There are only two places that I know of that you can purchase this. One place you can get this The Puppetry Arts Institute in Independence MO. They don't have an on-line store but if you contact them I am sure you could make arrangements to buy it from them and have it sent to you. http://www.hazelle.org/ They have it because Robert lived in Independence and was one of the co-founders of PAI. 

The other place that may have it all though I don't know that they have it in stock is PofA Store. http://store.puppeteers.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25&products_id=59 

Both of these are excellent books and I highly recommend them. Both have quite a few diagrams in them.  Robert's book is actually much more detailed I think and has more diagrams and patterns then The Marionettes of Barcelona.


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 07, 2011, 09:07:49 am
Thanks for the resouce. I have emailed them and see what they come up with.

Thanks again for your help Shawn,

Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 09, 2011, 06:54:39 am
Hi Shawn,
I found the Barcelona book and its good and I also found a great book called "The Complete Book of puppet theater". It has a good 30 pages on construction and stringing. Its a pity its so hard to get these books.

Thanks again,
Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on September 09, 2011, 09:06:54 am
May I ask where you found the books?  Wast it at the library or did you find some place to buy them?  I've seen "The Marionettes of Barcelona"  before at amazon but normally they have it priced at hundreds of dollars and I am not sure it is worth that. It is common for book sellers to do that and I really don't feel any of them are worth paying that for. :) I don't have "The Complete Book of puppet theater" but have seen it in the past in another puppeteers library and I aggree it is a good one.   


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 09, 2011, 09:30:53 am
The main library here in Hong Kong had them. Tiny problem of not being able to borrow them as they are kept in a special section. Maybe because they are out of print?? Not sure. Anyway, I had to took a digital copy of the chapters I liked. The price for these for second hand on Amazon is ridiculous.

Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on September 09, 2011, 09:35:16 am
Good I am glad it was the library where you found them. :) What are  you doing in Hong Kong or is that where you where born.  I guess I assumed by your post and name that you where English or American. :)


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on September 09, 2011, 09:37:27 am
P.S. Just was reading on your site that you won the "Melbourne Performers Fair" award.  Perhaps you are from Australia?


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 09, 2011, 10:23:09 am
Yeh born in Australia, moved to HK 7 years ago for work,

Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 13, 2011, 05:21:13 am
I was watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG337jJ8kZ4 and noticed that this is even a more elaborate controller. Am I correct in saying that most top marionette operators just make there own one? This seems to fit into a standard vertical controller but then has separate controllers for each hands/fingers and has a little swivel trigger for the left hand as well. His timing of the music is so excellent I though the puppet was actually playing.

I am pouring through material trying to figure out how to control these guys. I like the individual finger movements but having 10 strings in front of the face can be an eyesore as well. Here is another vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFCzK9EwUuo

Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Na on September 13, 2011, 06:38:56 am
Yeh born in Australia, moved to HK 7 years ago for work,

Andy

Nice to see another Melbournite around these parts :)  Welcome to P&S!

More on topic... it would be nice if there was info on the net about Ronnie Burkett's controls. I know they're based on the German control, but I believe he's made a lot of modifications over time. I know there's a couple of Youtube videos of him discussing his work, but for the most part if I recall correctly, they've been about performing not building.

What about Luman Coad's book? I've heard it mentioned a couple of times over the years.


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 13, 2011, 08:20:48 am
Yes another Melbournite. I will probably head home in Jan. Maybe we can meet up. With Lumans book, I would be interested to hear if its better than the Barcelona book or 'The Complete Book of puppet theater'.What are your thoughts Shawn ? Seems you have these.

Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Na on September 13, 2011, 09:07:42 am
Yes another Melbournite. I will probably head home in Jan. Maybe we can meet up.

Andy

Sure! Always love to meet another person involved in puppetry. Especially as I rarely do these days. :)  PM me, or email, when you're making plans/have arrived.


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 13, 2011, 09:19:08 am
Sounds good !
One more quick question,
For an off the rack pro controllers from what I have found these are two good companies:
http://www.tonysinnett.co.uk/marionette_puppets/spares_controllers_kits/controller_2.html
http://www.figurama.de/anatomisches%20F%FChrungskreuz.htm

Any others companies you know of?

Thanks,
Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: johian on September 13, 2011, 01:45:40 pm
Hi,

the first one, see pic, is used by our compagnie.We call it the Czech control.
The German one I made for my witch, she is a head and shoulder marionet. This control is very good for this kind of puppets.
 DSC_0092 (http://puppetsandstuff.com/community/index.php?action=gallery&g2_itemId=19161)


Johan


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Russell2005 on September 13, 2011, 02:38:06 pm
How's he controlling the music? That's what I'd like to know. It seems he's able to stop it and start it to interact with the audience. And play certain clips when he wants to. That's interesting.


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on September 13, 2011, 04:58:54 pm
I am not sure I would ever use "off the rack" controllers. I think the build and balance of the control is just as important as the puppet itself. Not every puppets shoulders are going to be the same width and I want my controller to match that width above as just one example.

I think both books are good resources and have different things in them that make them unique and valuable.  Like I said the one I don't actually own and it has been some time since I had a read through it.

DoLores Hadley whom I learned from had a piano player who just had wrist and back of hand strings.  His fingers had small weights in the end and where made out of fabric so that the joints moved. This worked pretty well.

You can get foot pedals for music systems that you can step on to turn your music on and off.  I think maybe they even have them now that you can step on a separate button to advance to the next track is you are using something like an mp3 or cd player. I assume the puppeteer in the one video had something like that.


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 13, 2011, 09:25:23 pm
Great, thanks for your help guys. Another piece of my big puzzle I am trying to put together. I also found this very helpful video of the original act I asked about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_621gqh0x8g , you can clearly see (1.11min) how he uses his funny looking dangling dowels at the front. He needs a lot of movement to operate the toungue and eyes so he put in a few levers at the front. You can also see his music controller attached to the controller in the other hand.

For the music, yeh i love that monkey act. I think he just really knows his music well and has some clever recordings to seem like he is warming up. It is possible for him to hit to notes though using a pre-programmed squence when any key is hit. This is done here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNjTceSGDeU . Most street acts seems to have a footpedal on the ground to control the music.  For a simple remote solution,  check out the Ijet which plugs into an Ipod. I've spent an aweful lot of time with music controllers. There is a cool new product from sparkfun called the MP3 trigger that can really do some interesting stuff for performers.

Thanks again everyone,
Andy





Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on September 14, 2011, 06:26:32 am
I love the "Bounce Piano"!  That was a hoot!  

I thought it was interesting that in the first piano the puppeteer had the controller for the music in his hand. That is one cool puppet. I can't quite figure out how he did the yes and tongue though.


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 14, 2011, 06:50:34 am
I havent seen the mechanism for the tongue or eyes but I am 99% of how its done. A tape measure is mounted at 90 degress , pulled out to the required minimum length and then a string and stopper are placed right at that point. The controller then pulls up this string vertically and the tape measure extends up and then feeds out at 90 degrees through the head. Not sure who came up with this idea but its really really nice. You can clearly see its a tape measure from some of his other videos. He's really taken this idea and run with it.

The bounce piano guy vid is very cool. There is quite a bitter back story to this act. This guy invented the act but another guy ripped it off and became more famous for it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoULhtF_jps). He became quite bitter about it for good reason (didnt help that other guy was a much better juggler)

Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on September 14, 2011, 10:41:52 am
After quite a search, I found that this artist name is Michal Cvoliga from Slovakia. Youtube his name and you'll get lotsa results.

Andy


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: andycomic on October 17, 2011, 08:29:49 am
Came across this today. I've read all the book but none mentioned anything like this type of controller:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Fn1zKP9Sc


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Russell2005 on October 18, 2011, 06:35:41 am
Wow!  You know I think people oftentimes come up with ingenious configurations all on their own. Like you, I'm betting she didn't find that in a book. That waistband holder is a really great idea!  I saw a guy that controls multiple marionettes simultaneously by hanging them on a clothesline type thing. That's a different take on that. It seems that waistband thing is holding the puppet's head, shoulders and back and it seems to have head movement controls on it. The hands and arm controls look like a T which I've seen before. But, she's got those hooks on them which she's using to guide and grab the strings and manipulate them.  Really cool! Thanks for sharing.


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Robert T. on August 17, 2015, 07:31:00 am
Reference: Andycomic post, What Kind Of Controller is this?- he posted 2 links, however- when you click on them- you receive a message "server not found".  Could be that the post is 4 years old.  If there are updated links- would appreciate the new links.  Thanks.


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on August 17, 2015, 04:35:11 pm
For his first link to Tony Sinnett try this: http://www.tonysinnett.com/ (http://www.tonysinnett.com/) not sure if the actual page he linked to was there but I think you'll enjoy the site even if it is not.  I think the other may be lost for ever but you might be able to find it at the Wayback Machine. https://web.archive.org/web/20150801165853/http://figurama.de/ (https://web.archive.org/web/20150801165853/http://figurama.de/)  Here is their current site. http://www.figurama.de/ (http://www.figurama.de/)


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on August 17, 2015, 04:37:34 pm
Hey I think I found the Tony Sinnett page that has controllers now. http://companyofmarionettes.com/marionette-spare-parts/ (http://companyofmarionettes.com/marionette-spare-parts/)


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: SHould on June 18, 2017, 04:31:38 pm
I love going through old posts, I can learn a lot. Too bad most of the links provided do not work anymore.
I am myself going into this marionette adventure without much knowledge and this forum has been my favorite place to be for the last decade. I learn a lot and I know I can grow as an artist here and not be looked at weird. Thanks for sharing all!


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: SHould on June 18, 2017, 05:10:12 pm
Hey I think I found the Tony Sinnett page that has controllers now. [url]http://companyofmarionettes.com/marionette-spare-parts/[/url] ([url]http://companyofmarionettes.com/marionette-spare-parts/[/url])


What is the name of the type of controller that is offered on the website? Here is a pic of that controller. It would be nice to know where the strings go, if you can tell me that would be awesome, thanks.

(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/52221782e4b09c8a527d7223/531470eae4b0ff95a873a166/54b541dde4b07fae9546af9f/1421165021769/controller_upright_small.jpg?format=1000w)


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on June 19, 2017, 07:44:52 am
Hmm... may be a more technical term for it but I've always just called it a vertical control.  The very top screw eye is a run through for the hands. The pivot bar below that is for walking attached to knees. The head bar is dowel at the bottom on the same plane as the pivot bar above. The dowel sticking out the back is for the butt string. Try the phrase "Vertical control for marionette"  on Google. It should give you some pretty good results.  If you are a visual person like me check out this pintrest page: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/313211349057032025/ (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/313211349057032025/)

Here is a diagram one of our members uploaded of a variation on this.
(http://puppetsandstuff.com/2008gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=7005)

Here is a diagram of a simple airplane control I did a while back.
(http://puppetsandstuff.com/2008gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=22913)


Title: Re: What type of controller is this ?
Post by: SHould on June 19, 2017, 09:44:22 am
Awesome, thanks Shawn, you have answered my question brilliantly.