Saturday, 14 May 2011

Skinny skin skin

Well well well, what do we have here then! I'm currently making up a generic puppet to practice with. It is so I can do some basic principle shots to put on my showreel.

To start me off I have gone back to my head mold from an earlier post and carried on where I left off. I have also decided to leave my attempts at making a sophisticated head armature and am going to just make a very basic one with eyebrow and mouth movement.

I have an inner core for the mold so I can cast a skin in silicone. This was made with Polymorph ( I think it's called friendly plastic in the U.S)  I just whacked a load in to the mold and then clamped each half together. It only takes about 10 minutes to harden depending on the amount you use. It needed trim the excess plastic of which I had to do with a Dremel drill.  It's not as pretty looking as I have seen them made but this is all trial and error so it will do.

Then its time to cast the skin. I still have some Dragon Skin left from last year so I used that.  It is my favourite Silicone so far. Easy to use and only takes 30 - 40mins to set and de-mold. I also have some flesh colour pigment to tint it. I forgot how little you actually need of the pigment and went a bit overboard with it.

I'm not going to say this was a success as the casting has revealed loads of imperfections in my mold and also the original sculpture that I hadn't noticed.  Also there is a really thin part on the back of the head but I managed to patch that up with some of the excess silicone from seaming the head.
That was also another thing I'm not too happy with is my really poor seam job. Another thing,  I completely forgot to do when casting the skin was to set the actual eyes into the mold to save cutting back the silicone in the eyes which I have done a bad job of doing :S So lots of little things went wrong but like I say I'm not too fussed as its for a practice puppet. I learned a lot from the process of making the skin and it will still work out ok.

I have also made the skull that goes inside the skin. I made this by spreading a layer in on each side of the mold with Polymorph. I let them set and chopped them down and split up the the top of the skull and made a hole where some wire will attach to the eyebrows.

I have started the armature for the skull but I have got a little stuck with it at the moment and will figure it out while I am making the rest of the puppet.
So that's how far I have got with that.

As for my last post about Animation Mentor, I have sent in my application for it and am now waiting to hear their decision. This will take a few weeks. There is the chance I wont get excepted or will get refused the loan but I have my plans now so I feel I am kind of on the right track with where I am going.

Here's a newer version of my work in progress video. Now with added sound so you can hear just how awesome I am at voice acting ;)

So that's all for now. I hope everyone is well!


  1. Great post, I’m going to have to give the Dragon Skin silicon a try. I really like the way that face came out.


  2. Yeah man ! As Jeff said, i also really like the way the face came out. The products you are using seems very cool.
    Very inspiring post Ben !

    PS: Your avatar picture looks like a lion roaring to me. The same fiberglassing effect occurs on us when you show us your talent.
    Keep the world shaking !!

  3. Beautifully! Is head-soft? In what substance you cast it?