DIY "Bulging" Parts

Hey ya'll. Gary here. I have a question, I really want to make a female muscle suit, only I want it active, as in I want the muscles to flex and bulge as to suggest they are growing rapidly. Now I know the suit has to be rigged in a certain way, but as long as it has the same type of bulging effect i.e. the male werewolf transformation scene in the THE HOWLING (1981), specifically his face. The research I have done has shown me some options but they are expensive. Has anyone had any experience building that particular practical FX, and if so is there a much more frugal way of achieving it without relying on CGI? Thanks for reading and any advice given!


  • Hi Gary,

    Full body suits tend to be pretty expensive due to the scale and their complexity, especially when they feature exposed skin.   Things can be made more simple (and affordable) if the suit is fully covered by wardrobe, like long sleeve shirt for example.

    We have an awesome lesson series that covers muscle suit design and fabrication that should help you out quite a bit:

    The effect of moving/growing/flexing muscles is typically done using air bladders placed under or inside the suit.  The bladders are typically hand-constructed in specific shapes to get the desired effect.  This can be done with latex, silicone, or other plastics/rubbers.  They are then inflated using a hand/foot pump, a large syringe, or connected to a regulated air compressor.

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