Monday, 24 September 2012

Laika Creative Challenge... again

In between doing a few freelance doodle jobs I decided to attempt Laika's Monthly creative challenge with another stop motion puppet. The trouble was I only had a week to do it.  I do like a challenge especially a tight deadline :)

The challenge was to create a character that is missing from Paranorman and why they weren't in the in movie.
I created the character Ralph.

"This is Ralph. He works at 'Lost Barks Animal Rescue.
He has been missing since he accidentally ran over a dog (Bub) a couple of weeks ago. It is feared that he has been run out of the city by the Blithe Hollow stray canines"

If you haven't seen Paranorman then this video will introduce you to Bub


If you would like to vote for me and you have a Facebook account please go to this link and 'Like" the picture. I would be most grateful. Also be sure to check out the entries as they are fantastic!
Voting ends Friday 28th September

Making Ralph

Me being the geek that I am, I tried my best to make it look like it could fit right in with other background characters from the movie.

I did a quick doodle of what I had in my head just so I had something to loosely work with.

Once again in my manic work load I didn't get the chance to take photos of every step I took. Mainly the armature build. I just made a very basic wire armature with a rigging point in the chest and the hips. Then I bulked out the body with cushion foam. I always find cutting this foam to be quite relaxing.  This is where the shape of the puppet started to change from the drawing. Not too much though.

Due to my current living situation I knew that I'm not going to get to animate this guy any time soon so I opted to give him a hard sculpted head and hands.  I also wanted to give him a prop which would be a dog catching pole.

Next up was painting the sculpted parts. I did this with a mix of airbrush and brush painting.
But before I started I did a quick digital paint of how I might want the head to look.

After doing this I watched one of the Paranorman trailers a few times and compared it to one of the characters that I have a fondness for. I decided I would just try to get it as close as I could to this guy.

Stages of painting

The finished head

The clothes really gave me so much trouble so I had to get help with those. I did try really hard but it was taking far too long and I was running out of time. Thanks Mum!!! :)

With the clothes done very swiftly, he was done! 

Here is a few more photos of the finished fella

Until next time!! 
P.s  Go and watch Paranorman!!


  1. This turned out amazing, Ben! I especially love seeing your work in progress photos. Gives me some tips for learning how to make puppets on my own!

  2. You are making Laika Level work, Ben. aka; Best in the world skill.

  3. Really great ! I love it, especially the way the final puppet match your sketch.
    Now, you have to animate it !

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  5. Your puppets are the stuff of my dreams! I'd love to get into puppet fabrication at some point.

  6. Fat puppets are so much more fun to work with haha I love the proportions of the foam build-up. This guy fits perfectly into Norman's environment. You're creating some inspiring stuff. :)

  7. Thank you so much everybody! You are all amazingly supportive. Much love x

  8. dude! can u just like work for Laika already haha

  9. Nice! would be cool to see him animated :)

  10. Hi Ben,

    I’m a big fan of your work. What kind of material do you use for the heads sculpt?

    I hope you’re willing to share!

    Thank you.