derrick duan
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0809 // Replacement mouthes, and finalising the puppets

I have spent the past week finalising the puppets, retouching some parts, making replacement mouths and additional characters.

I’ve always had problems with the felted skins being too hairy, especially for small parts like fingers. The fact that there weren’t foam paddings underneath the fingers, and my smallest needle gauge is only 38 meant that I couldn’t pin all those loose felt down.

But I read on r/DIY earlier that fabric glue might help with felt. So I went to Spotlight and picked up a bottle to try things out.

I tested it out on a separate armature hand and the results were actually quite good! So I decided to decommission my character’s current hands and remade all both pairs.

Then I made the Old Man and his pillow. Because he will always be underneath a blanket I only made his head and shoulders. I sewed the pillow onto his head to bring out the crests on the pillow and emphasise the weight of his head.

Lastly, I made  a pair of feet. They belong to the Man, and in the finale there will be a couple of close-up shots of them. Other times, the Man will be wearing shoes so I never bothered giving the full-sized puppet feet.

The toes will have to be able to move independently, so they all have their own armature wires. They are then secured onto a K&S with epoxy.

I made a base for the feet out of a foam block. They were scultptured out, and the toe armatures installed. Then I just felted on and around the foam to finish it off!

And lastly, I made the replacement mouths for all the talking characters. All my attempts with felt and yarn have failed at this point, and I decided to move on. 

The mouths are made with thin cardboards, coloured with sharpies. Later on after I have done some test animations I might add a few more mouth shapes.  

Here you have it, la familia.