Stop motion model-Now with movement!

edited November 2015 in General
I am looking to do some stop motion.  I started to think about using some of my dinosaur toys as references, then realized I could just make posable versions out of soft foam with skeletons inside. 

This of course brings me to the first step.  Being as all foam expands somewhat, Am I better off making a hard mold than a soft mold like silicone rubber?  I chose a brontosaurus/diplodicus/apatosaurus toy with of course a big undercut between the legs.  I am not afraid of a casting challenge an I have done my fair share of that in the past.

Heres what I am thinking.

Step1.  Being as this toy has some atrocious mold lines, I am thinking make a starter mold out of something like dragon skin surrounded by a plaster-like shell for support.

Step2.  Cast a blank from the above mold in epoxy so that I can trim those terrible mold lines before making the production mold without ruining the toy.

Step3.  With the now trimmed blank, I would create the "production mold" that will house the foam and armature. 

Step4.  Make the armature/skeleton

Step5.  Cast the foam into said mold already containing the armature.

Step6.  Paint the dino.

Step7.  Movie Magic.

So basically I am stuck on the actual mold making for the foam version. 

Questions, Comments, and Concerns are as always welcome. 

Thank You in advance.
Post edited by Anthony Sterl on


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    Perhaps for the first mold I should use the Brush On Silicone Starter Kit.
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    Your steps all sound great.   I would make a stone or fiberglass mold for the final puppet.  Brush on silicone would work great to help you duplicate the toy so you can tool a copy without damaging the original.

    One general rule of thumb when molding/casting is that if you want a to cast rigid part, you should use a flexible mold (silicone for example) and if you want to cast a flexible part you should use a rigid mold like stone or or fiberglass.

    The Chiodo Bros' lesson series on stop motion animation has a great tutorial on making wire skeletons.  They focus mainly on wire, rather than machined joints as wire is a bit easier to start out with and far less expensive.

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    Here is "The Beast"

    Being as I hope to do some sort of close-up, I am going to try to use a 3d scanner at school.  I'd use pro-emgineer to make a mold for the head/neck from the 3d model.  Then the same casting and painting.

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    I got the smooth-on brush on starter kit over the weekend. 

    By the by, would it be correct of me to use this thread for the whole casting and production process of this stop motion movie; being as it would encompass half of the character creation sub-forums?  Or is there a better place?

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    edited November 2015
    I've done a quick stop motion test in bad lighting.



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    You're good to continue posting updates to this thread, or create other threads as desired. 

    What software did you use to create the video?  Looks like you're off to a good start!

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    I used blender.  I was going to find an open source version of dragonframe but blender does so much, I probably wont need to find it.
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