Some do's, maybes and dont's of stop motion

As I've mentioned on other posts, I've been researching into different ways to make my stop motion. At the moment I'm concentrating on working out how to make each model. In total there will be 3 peacocks and 1 snake- mad I know! But lets just hope it works out well and looks good.
So I think when people think of stop motion they think 'ooh Morph' or Wallace and Gromit style or on the opposite level- Nightmare Before Christmas/Burton. It tends to make people thing of pure plastercene stop motion or the more detailed Burton style which he is famous for (and pretty obviously I adore that style and his works on it. Whilst I admire and appreciate all the styles- the 'full' plasterscene style isnt what I'm after for my animation. I want the overall thing to have a bit more depth although it does have more of a fun storyline. I really want to focus on the look and make sure I get it right.

At first I was toying around with thoughts of making it more texture based, out of fabrics and then going the whole hog with that theme but I've brought it back a bit and I think its just going to have elements of that included- such as perhaps buttons on the peacock tailfeathers in the centre of them as the 'eye' on the feathers. But as of yet I dont know everything that Im using or the scale it will be or how I'm making my set yet for the forest (although I'm pretty certain the base will by from styrofoam which will be shaped to style).

There are lots of things you can use for making a stop motion model which includes:
- sculpey clay
- fimo (not a fave of mine)
- plastercene
- foam (urethane) like the sponge/foam upolstry padding in chairs and cushions
- latex
- styrofoam
- fabrics

And probably a lot more. But in order for any of this to work you need a good armature under it all! And to use the right glue even- such as if you use the wrong glue on styrofoam, it will just melt (and certain paints) and you shouldnt put styrofoam in the oven either if you were to be baking some clay as part of the model because this releases toxic fumes and its dangerous- thankfuly I didnt have to learn that the hard way! Just a bit of wondering and online research soon helped that before I even thought about that any further! So its things like this that have to be thought about and taken into consideration but the main thing is- movement of the model!

The legs of the peacocks need to be able to move and need to support the body- it cant become top heavy. The neck also needs to have some level of movement and more importantly the face has to have moveable eyes and beak. So I think the eyes unless they are somehow fitted in a way in which they can move around (like eyes move in their socket) with the eyelid over- then they will be interchangable eyes and beaks. The other parts such as the tail feather end- that will be made from wire and easy enough to move. The body 'may' be made from shaped styrofoam but this is something I want to test and I would need to figure out how I would want to cover that too.

The snake needs to be able to fully move. So I want to look a bit into the worm on the Corpse Bride to watch the way in which he moves and to try and figure out the main points within the body- on the armature of where its moving joints would be. His face also needs to have changing expressions and for his mouth to be able to open. But this model will be made in quite a different way which I'm excited about. I'll build the armature from wire but then pad it out and shape it with urethane foam and then.... attempt to use liquid latex to create the skin! This looks effective and would be appropriate but also allows for more flexibility. I'm saying all of this now- in theory it sounds like a good plan but lets just see what happens with some testers first!

But these are the videos on youtube which have really helped with this idea and technique for using the foam. Its a good method and even for making other models- to bulk out the body using that method is good too if you were making a human and then adding clothes. It seems to work really well from what I've seen.

This is how to create the skin using liquid latex and then you just apply it on in patches using more latex to the model when its ready to be attached. I dont think i'd be creating a mould and everything though- more of making skin sheeting if that makes sense?

And this is how to pad out the armature and shape using the urethane foam- which it turns out you cant really buy in haberdashery's anymore! But you can still buy it online or if you know someone who knows someone kinda thing! (which luckily my dad knew someone who had some)

Oh and if you watch those videos- put it on mute. The music soon gets annoying but the video is still really, really helpful. So this has turned into a much longer post than I thought and I still havent posted everything I wanted to yet. But this is a bit of a 'summery' of things I've been looking into and thinking about and now want to test.

But like I said on my previous post- I have a lot of catching up to do and seriously dont want or need anymore set backs now! for the rest of this course!

Tomorrow's plan is to get all my character expressions done and to post on here about different things I've tried out so far and my whole opinion on different types of clay I've tried for modelling. So for now- goodnight and more to follow tomorrow (should be anyways)


  1. You seem really prepared though Ashleigh, with research and everything you seem to know where you're heading. Can't wait to see more of your stuff. I'm intrigued by the new snake character. see you soon :)

  2. Awww thanks! Hopefully I'll get things together properly. ...and have a name for the snake lol. See you soon!




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