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Neck armature/skeleton for big puppet  (Read 8113 times)
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 10:17:32 am »

The current plan is to have the springs rest against the edges of the mouth, so I can access them through a flap of fabric if need be.  Probably smear some hot glue on the foam so the screws aren't constantly pushing against it directly.  

As for the lever, had it in my mind that I could use a bike brake lever.  But it doesn't seem to provide enough tension, and failed miserably on my first attempt of a handmade lever.  Since the trigger will be in a sleeved left arm, currently thinking of using a wheel for a pulley and just do a handled draw string.  Not sure how to explain it, but have it in my head.  Ideally, I want the mouth trigger and a claw trigger on a board that I am holding in that sleeve.  Allows me to move the left arm.  
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2018, 02:57:14 pm »

Whoa! I had no idea if that would work! Looks Great!
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2018, 10:13:24 pm »

Worked on the head a bit:

Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2018, 05:54:07 am »

Looks like you got the mech to work! Looking good!
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2018, 10:53:27 am »

Well, to be fair, that is me directly pulling on the cable.  Still working on the mech, though I have changed the idea up some.  Playing around with the pulley lever idea, though the claw will be more manually controlled, like a puppet.  Thumb will open and close the bottom claw, while the cable is pulled by pointer and index fingers in the stationary top claw.  Hope to test that part soon.  Currently covering the neck with foam. 
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2018, 06:23:04 pm »

And that's not gonna work.  Guessing due to distance and materials, I need a good pull to open the mouth.  Was trying to not have a false arm, but looks like I will still need to do that.  I suppose an arm at my chest is better than above my head?  /sigh
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2018, 10:28:49 am »

The current plan on visibility is through an amulet that will be tinted plastic.  Going to decorate it up, and add a chain around the neck.  Currently debating on whether to look for a diamond or circle, either way it is going to be a bit bigger than I had anticipated.  I have done several costumes, and always looking at finding better visibility options!

Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2018, 01:54:35 pm »

Well I think the diamond may look less like a view port once completed. I recently worked a show http://danieltigerlive.com/ where most the characters had strips or a pattern in their "skin".  On the heads those where view ports which allowed for seeing even out the sides of heads.
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2018, 09:15:29 am »

First, that is awesome!  Must be interesting to work on shows like that.  Anyway, Googled the characters, that is an interesting idea.  In the past, I have utilized vents due to the angle of the metal, I could see out and you could only see me at certain angles.  I have wondered if that was doable with foam, would make some good gills on this character. 
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2018, 09:37:10 am »

So...yeah, getting discouraged on the mouth mechanism.  Filmed this as part of a monthly update on the fish room, and starting to think he needs to be more mascot.  So brainstorming for other ideas.  Maybe LED lights around the amulet that brighten when I talk?  Is that even possible?  Thought about having him talk through a puppet even.  Not sure now. 

« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2018, 01:12:19 pm »

What is it that you are unhappy with the most?

It looks like you are pulling pretty hard to open the mouth pretty wide. I would not open my puppet's mouth that wide unless he was yelling. Most mouth movements are much smaller for talking. Also it would help if the neck swiveled some instead of being so stiff to make it look more alive. Because you cannot see the movements it will be hard for you to adjust to make them better, unless you video tape and study or have a screen feed back inside to see as you move.  If you added feathers or other wiggly bits to the head top or whiskers by nose that moved sympathetically with your movements it would also add to the alive look without much effort on your part. Not sure I understand what the amulet is and why you want to light it up.  I am impressed with what you have done so far.
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2018, 01:35:02 pm »

hmm...some very good points.  I need to do some more work with it, mostly a moment of frustration.  Now trying to figure out why I was so insistent on opening the mouth so wide....might be an issue with the springs...but I can probably make that work too.  Thank you!

The amulet will be my view port, a decorated piece of smoked acrylic.  Figured that would be the best way to incorporate vision without taking too much of the illusion away.   
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2018, 08:42:31 am »

Oh I get it, creative idea to use amulet as view point. Frustrations when solved are called inventions, you will get there.
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2018, 01:21:02 pm »

Two steps forward...three steps back.  My wife started skinning the character:

And apparently, the screws I used to attach the mouth plate weren't long enough as the head started to bobble.  Screws popped right out, essentially breaking his neck.  Had to open him up for emergency surgery.  Had to open the front of the body up as well as the back of the head to diagnose the problem.  But three longer screws and wood glue later, was able to stitch him back up.

Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2018, 03:27:45 pm »

You are not alone in this.  I've had many builds that have gone this way. Smiley

Other then the set back he looks like he is coming along nicely.
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