Friday, 3 March 2017

Making the Puppets! - Thirsty Planet

So, this blog post will be exciting as me, Rosie and Dan got together and made all the puppets for this animation in one very, very long day! I was in charge of creating the elephant characters both form the side and front view, which I was really happy about as I like the elephant characters the most.

Before making the puppets me and Rosie came up with the scaling for the puppets so that they would easily fit on set and not look too cluttered while still being big enough to animate. Below are the plans that we came up with and stuck to. It took us a few tries to get the scaling right and as you can see we had to keep putting it on the set to see it in Dragonframe.

First I came up with some templates for the elephants at home before coming into college so that it would save me time. I had already experience in making paper puppets as I did for my earlier project in the year so I found it quite easy to put one together that worked.

When I got into college I got stuck straight in and began coming up with the puppets for the mum and baby elephant. I had to alter my plan a little bit for the trunk as once I had made it, I figured out a better way of having it was behind the head instead of in front of it. Rosie brought in a roller and me and Dan brought in some paint where she experimented with the texture of rolling the paint on. We all agreed that this would be the best texture to match Hannah's illustrations and began painting the puppets after making them. Below is me waiting for the baby elephant to dry before I could put it together.

Here are the mother and baby elephant put together and at this point I started to get excited as I could see the project starting to really come together! We later decided the mother elephant should be grey after having it white didn't leave room for much texture and it was completely lost.

I also helped with cutting out and putting together some of the other puppets and below are the women characters before I stuck them together! Next to them is Dan's design of the women puppet which we used as a template.

Here are the faces that Dan drew out and I just thought they looked amazing! You could really see the comparison from the puppet to the initial illustration which was a major success.

I also had the job of making the front view of the elephants for a couple of the scenes and below are the finished puppets I came up with. I really loved making both of these as they had so much character just looking at them. It was also quite challenging coming up with the way that the elephants trunk would move as I originally thought that it would be best to do it through replacement pieces, however when actually making it I felt that using a three piece trunk would work better and have much smoother animation. The textures on these puppets are beautiful.

Here are the adult and children puppets in their final form and the 'water' which we decided to making into triangles and lots and lots of different shapes (they weren't fun to cut out).

Finally we wanted to finish the day with some little animation tests and we each had a go at animating different characters. I animated the baby elephant, Rosie the child puppet and Dan the woman. 

Overall, this day was super productive and I have confidence that this animation will be really successful and I'm happy that I'm working with such a great set of people!

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