Sarabi The Gryphon--Puppet with Concealed Performer

edited April 2017 in Cosplay Contest
Sarabi the gryphon is a puppet maned by one puppeteer from the inside. She features moving eyes, eyelids, ears, mouth, tail, and hind legs and is composed of entirely of traditional puppet-making techniques. Everything is on levers, pulleys and strings. 
Sarabi tackles the unique problem of making a quadrepedal animal without the puppeteer having to actively move the hind legs, leaving the hands free to move the facial mechanics, giving her lifelike quality and personality. 
Sarabi stands about 7ft tall and weighs around 50-60 pounds total. She took 360(ish) hours to make.

I love taking Sarabi out to faires and markets because she is an absolute delight to kids. They swarm to her and can't get enough of 'petting the gryphon' and playing with Sarabi. It's absolutely adorable. 
The character Sarabi is of my own design, and my original character. 

(Eyelid, Beak, Ear movement)

(Full Body Interaction)

(In Studio Walk Cycle Test)

Post edited by Chris Ellerby on


  • Well, I think it's brilliant. Great work. Have you considered putting the back legs on some sort of device with a wheel, so that if your puppeteer walks, the wheel will turn and give them a walking motion? Might be something to think about if you do a next generation version. Either way, I'm really loving this.
  • You can't see well in this video but the back is actually on a small carriage to support the weight of the body, and the legs are on a system of pulleys that move them up and forward in correspondence with the opposite front leg that gives a very life like range of movement. Originally I had designed a wheel between the hind legs but in practice there were too many issues--the puppet could not turn well, the ankles would often twist, and the motion Worked, but it did not look quite as life like as the final product. 
    Thank you for the compliment and ideas though, I am glad to hear you love it! I'm working on a second gryphon (larger and more versatile in movement) and I am hoping to eliminate any outside apparatus at all that will aid the gryphon in movement. 

    I'll edit the above post to include some better walk cycle videos!

  • edited March 2017
     Ah, I see. Very well thought out. I'm sure you'll refine as you learn more about each incarnation. Problem solving is 90% of the game. Again, great work.
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