Category: Armatures

  • Modular Support Rig for Puppets

    I viewed a work in progress video by Justin Rasch and Shel Wagner Rasch recently. The support rig is still visible, which is fascinating to see. What appears to be a free weight is being used for the base. I had previously been drilling holes in the floor of my sets to hold wire support rigs for my puppet animations. The free weight idea is better because it offers stability PLUS mobility, flexibility of use, and freedom of placement on the set.

    I took a trip to the used sports equipment store and got a couple of 3 pound weights. The example in the Rasch video shows the armature wire secured to the weight. That pretty much guarantees stability. However, I wanted to explore something modular to help speed up repairs if the rig wire breaks during filming. I went to the home improvement store’s plumbing section and explored a bit. I found sections of plastic threaded pipe with associated threaded caps. I uploaded 5 pictures to flickr that I took while building.

    Armature support rig

    The experiment seems to have worked. There is nothing really permanent except the twisted rig wire epoxied into one cap. If the rig wire fails I just replace the cap (which means I can have spare wire-caps ready). If the height of the rig needs to be adjusted, I can add longer or shorter sections of pipe since they come in different lengths.

    I won’t know for certain how these modular supports work until I put them to use in a future project. Many thanks to the Rasch’s for posting their work in progress which inspired this quick project.

  • Armature 2008 – Tie Downs – UPDATED

    Update. I took another pair of carved shoes to try a modified design of the wire and brass nut. This time I wrapped the wire around the groove on the outside of the brass nut (see original posting below for context). I then placed the nut in a hole at the toe (instead of in the ankle) and curved the wire up through the ankle hole in the shoe. The idea is to allow for more flexibility of the wire at the ankle so it may not break as easily under repeated bending. My wire and brass nut are now similar to what Sven and Mike have done. I posted some pics of the new shoe:


    What may be different is that I am not permanently fixing the foot/shoe to the nut. The intent is for the design to allow me to have replacement armature parts, specifically wire. If my leg segment breaks I want to be able to swap out the wire and continue to use the shoe and possibly the brass nut. Hopefully this will allow me to do so since the brass nut and wire fit securely into the bottom of the shoe and I used hot glue (which I can release if needed) to hold it in place. In short, I can take the shoe off at any time.

    End of update, the original posting follows..

    I’ve been working on some tests for the armatures to be used in the next project. My design may not be original but I’m combining information from other stop motion animator blogs regarding tie-downs. I used the Hilligoss T-Shaped tie down for Vitruvius but this time I wanted to try something else. My new tie-downs are inspired by tips found in the blog archives of Mike and Sven and possibly other places that I can’t remember right now. For example, J-B Weld is the adhesive (Mike has mentioned that at one point) and the knurled brass nuts are placed in the foot (Sven posted something about those recently). I put the pics up on Flickr with notes and descriptions so go check them out if you like.

  • Armature Test Clip 2

    I did another test tonight. I am thinking that this armature is a bit unstable and has some spring to it compared to a wire armature secured with epoxy putty. I may have to make an epoxy version of the same proportions and try similar tests to confirm which is more stable for movement.

    With this armature, when you move any limbs or the head the torso starts trying to move with it and then springs back. The epoxy armatures for Vitruvius and Damocles felt more solid in that respect.

  • Armature Test Clip

    I filmed a quick test tonight using my recent armature design. Here is the result:

  • Work Your Walking Week – Animating Walk Cycles

    There is a thread on about walk cycles. Here is a test that I did many months ago. I used the trial version of Stop Motion Pro and my web cam.