Saturday, 28 December 2013

The 'Other' Puppet(s)

Whilst plasticine Jock is the narrator of the tale I wanted the other characters, who will act out parts of the story, to be cardboard cut-outs.
A few experiments showed that cardboard would not stand up on it's own and that using foam board to make things more rigid produced a usable but not entirely satisfactory puppet.

Christie then told me about 'magnetic paper'. This is designed for you to make your own fridge magnets, but we decided to experiment with it to make an articulated cut-out puppet which would stick to a standard magnetic white board. This worked very well in practice, there being enough grip to keep the puppet in place and allow one part to be moved without every other part losing position but not enough to make movement difficult.

The puppet design was worked out on paper, hand coloured then scanned into the PC. The design was then tuned and colours adjusted in Photoshop Elements before being cut out and articulated with hidden cotton joints.
The image below shows the test shoot in progress with the Sony DSLR suspended from a tripod and the laptop with DragonFrame nearby.

  The new plan is to paint the whiteboard green and chroma-key the puppet into the background. This allows us to adjust the size of the final image and so make the puppet at a convenient size to handle rather than tiny enough to appear to be at a distance in the 'Scottish Hills' set.
The test video, with the puppet supposedly creeping quietly, is below.

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