Prior to 2003 I had been working with Lightwave and 3D computer graphics as my medium for independent film projects. As it turns out those projects never left the pre-production phase because in 2003 I made a wooden ball-and-socket joint to see if it would simulate the function of a metal armature. The results worked well enough for me to develop a full character armature (which is what you in the test video). I had never done stopmotion animation before but found the armature was a pleasure to work with and the results were sufficient. Subsequently, I made the short film “Man Drawing a Reclining Woman” using this method for the two characters in the film.
The wood is basswood, which is stronger than balsa but still very light, and the wooden beads have pre-drilled holes that can hold a section of square basswood or a dowel rod pretty well. For the joints and plates I used the open hole socket method and 4-40 bolts and nuts to sandwich the beads between the plates. Superglue and hot glue were used to hold various non-moving parts together.