Monday, August 7, 2023

5 Minute Hyper-crash Course: Making a Puppet to Animation

This was from about 7 years ago. Peter A. Montgomery & Nick Hilligoss collaborated on this as a behind the scenes promotion teaser for the indie feature 'Dark Earth', which has an H.G.Wells signature style ... Victorian period, and especially, a menagerie of animated creatures & other worldly life forms ... in the spirit of Retro Harryhausen. The release status of Dark Earth is still unknown. Hopefully, the wait will not be as long as 'The Primevals'! 😉

After you watch it the first time, and if you are on a laptop computer ... play it back again at reduced speed (slow motion). If you are really observant, this presentation amazingly shows you just about every step!

Nick Hilligoss (in the video) for most of the animation jobs he has done, he uses 'wire armatures' and the use of ball & socket armatures, not as frequent. I am guessing, due to the usual time pressure deadlines & lesser budget allowance. Over the years, Nick has developed his wire armaturing methods that has been successful for him.

I always wished that Nick had a more precision armature for this creature, but nevertheless, he astoundingly is able to execute reasonably fluid animation with a 'wire armature' which are Springy & can be difficult to exactly position & pose, frame to frame. Thank the GODS for the technology of 'Frame Grabbers' such as DragonFrame, Stop Motion Pro, and other similar software, which has revolutionized the quality of modern stop motion. Even with wire armatured puppets ... you can get smooth results. It just takes a bit longer to animate. 

I think  ... a fairly convincing, surreal creature design having high production aesthetics quality, created with an abundance of talent, skills & dedicated sweat effort, in spite of the restrictive budgetary resources!

StopMoNick Youtube

Peter A Montgomery / Dark Earth Youtube


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