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How to start making puppets?

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by charlynoa, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Almac2

    Almac2 New Member

    Hi Buck Beaver, thank you for updating the link. I am new to puppet making and I also live on a very remote island in the middle of the South Pacific...it is not easy ducking off to the general store to buy products.

    But to get on topic...I started making a puppet as in my Avatar and it wasn't something that I had thought out...just kinda happened while I was playing with some foam...but I have found that the easy way to get started is to browse the web and join forums...there is plenty of resources and information.

    I am in the process of building another puppet and that is thanks to Adam Krutingers (sorry if I spelt the name wrong) whom made a pattern using a hat...the biggest problem I have is that the video that Adam made refers to a second "Attaching the head to a body" which I can't find or was never made?

    Anyhow the upshot is that I have had to learn by doing and through frustration and perseverance we will get there.
    :wisdom:
     
    Buck-Beaver likes this.
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Wow, I can imagine it would be difficult - and expensive - to get supplies in the South Pacific. Whereabouts do you live?

    I really think the best way to learn is by doing, although forums like this certainly help.

    As for that video, you know I'm pretty sure I saw that a couple years ago. Have you checked Adam's blog? Maybe he posted it there? If nothing else, he has some great process photos posted on it - http://adamkreutinger.blogspot.ca
     
  3. Ian Mac

    Ian Mac New Member

    Hi Buck some of the links go to a page not found 404. Is there an updated link for your arm connection tutorial.
    Cheers,
    Ian :)
     
  4. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    That's a really old tutorial, I did that more than a decade ago I think. I'm actually filming new, updated versions of those old tutorials *right now* (literally) and I've been meaning to for years. Hope to have the first one up in a week or two, but until then most of the old one can be found on the Internet Archive.
     
    Ian Mac likes this.
  5. Ian Mac

    Ian Mac New Member

    Thanks for the reply and link I'll check it out :)
     
  6. Hi everyone:
    I have a question. I'm trying to build my first puppets and I though I could try with a kind of anything one. Does anyone know what's the better way to attach provisory eyes or noses? I don't find the real Antron here in my country, then I used a comon fleece, but I notice that velcro doesn't work very well on it. I have made two different foam head structures, and I like them, but they will not be easy to cover with fleece, they are more complex designs than a simple anything muppet or a whatnot. But I also have this complete upholstered head, a simple one, to could test eyes, noses, hair and different positions of all that. It's very difficult to make these things here, most of the official materials are not achieved easily today. I can't find the Antron, I can't find felt (I think I will finally be making it), I can't find felt caps, not easy options for eyes, not thicker rubber for teeth (I think I could use that, ethylvinylacetate), very few options for fur or feathers. I'm trying fishing in a desert!
    Thanks friends.
     
  7. Cryptic

    Cryptic New Member

    Hello everyone, I am very new to puppet building. I became interested in learning the techniques involved in order to apply them in building animatronics and various props.... My question is, has anyone ever applied latex right over the foam base of a traditionally made hand puppet? By traditional I mean creating facial features carved from foam on a roly puppet head and then covering the face in liquid latex?
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.

  8. I've used some techniques like that, but I don't have enough experience about this. There's a guy, Philip Stephens, on Youtube that knows and shares lot of secrets about making puppets and props. Look at this video, he uses silicone skin;
    If you use casts, you can paint the mold interior with latex before empty the foam liquid in it. That makes a skin.
     
    Cryptic likes this.
  9. Cryptic

    Cryptic New Member

    Thanks for the YouTube reference!
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  10. You're welcome. I think I answered your question in another post, but it was for your question about latex skin. Good luck with your puppet!
     
    Cryptic likes this.
  11. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    Diego Fiorucci likes this.

  12. It's not different from a typical muppet puppet. You need to cut the shapes on foam using a pattern, then you glue all the pieces and cover all the figure using antipill fleece or Antron fleece, and some furry fabric. All the fabrics are sewed using the ladder stitch, or Henson stitch. After that, you can be creative making the eyes, noses and any other detail. Well, that's the whole idea. The real problem is to know how to design the patterns, the sizes, and how to divide the fleece pieces. For that, you can look for a tutorial in YouTube and many sites about making puppets, even the Stan Winston School (https://www.stanwinstonschool.com/). They also have a YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/StanWinstonSchool) with short videos as previews.
    Look at these videos, the last one uses another technique for modeling with foam:




     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  13. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    I've been meaning to set up a YouTube channel with some tutorials on for a while, but other projects have stalled me. Plus finding the time and space to actually set up the camera and such while I'm working is tricky so I need to do a few builds aside from the normal ones I am working on. Hopefully I will start getting some of these started quite soon. The main ones that I have planned on doing are building a Kermit Replica (as I have almost finished the Kermit I have been building from scratch so now have a better idea about what works and what doesn't on him), as well as a generic character build to include things like various mouthplate attachments, eyes, stitches etc. I know there are a few out there already but I think as this thread proves there can never be too many.
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  14. I want to build my own Kermit one day. I still can't know how must be the real patterns used in the current Kermit. I've seen different shapes and sizes. And I think there's something more into his head, something like another structure to could keep the shapes when he makes different expressions. Is possible that "The Muppets" Kermit and "Muppets Most Wanted" Kermit were a little different? I'm not confusing him with Constantine, of course.
     
  15. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    You are right in what you say about different Kermits. There are a few reasons why Kermit's shape has changed over the years. First, from the really early Kermit, Jim was obviously able to find better materials and also enhance his shape once he officially became "Kermit The Frog".

    Also, due to the design of Kermit, his head shape depends a lot on the puppeteer working him. Although it does look like newer Kermits have some kind of skull holding his shape (and I have built a Kermit with a kind of foam arch inside his head before) most of the time there is nothing inside but a hand and a grip or finger loop. So when ownership of Kermit moved from Jim, to Steve Whitmore who all but a couple of Kermit appearances since 1990, the shape of the hand inside the head changed therefore making the two Kermit periods look and act differently.

    If you watch closely, most of the time you can see a misplaced knuckle or similar under the fleece, although I do know what you mean that sometimes he does look to have a solid head. As there are multiple puppets used for productions - especially the films - I think it is fair to assume that if no expressions are needed then a foam skulled puppet might be used.
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  16. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    This seems really helpful :)
     

  17. traduce un documento.
    Cancelar
    Mostrando traducción para If you watch closely, most of the time you can see a displaced knuckle or similar under the fleece, although I do know what you mean that sometimes he does look to have a solid head. As there are multiple puppets used for productions - especially the films - I think it is fair to assume that if no expressions are needed then a foam skulled puppet might be used.
    En su lugar, traducir del If you watch closely, most of the time you can see a misplaced knuckle or similar under the fleece, although I do know what you mean that sometimes he does look to have a solid head. As there are multiple puppets used for productions - especially the films - I think it is fair to assume that if no expressions are needed then a foam skulled puppet might be used.
    Yes, in some cases you can see a side line from their cheeks and falls toward the front of the lips, they are as triangular shapes that define the sides. Nasar also seems to be a septum, at times.

    Yes, sometimes you can see a side line beginning on his cheeks and falling toward the front of the lips, they are as triangular shapes that define the sides. Also it seems to have a nasal septum, at times. Moreover, it sometimes seems that the only center seams in the face were behind the head and the lower jaw, but not on the front, between the eyes and mouth. I don't know if it's because they are very well hidden or if the two sides are really joined, if it's a single piece of Antron.
     
  18. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    Do you think the same could be said for the design for Lenny the Lizard from the Muppet Show?
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.

  19. Yes, it's possible. It has similar shapes.
     
  20. ashkent

    ashkent Active Member

    As has been said, yes it is possible. There are a number of minor characters who follow a similar pattern - which Jim once called a glorified sock puppet, which was then picked up by Project Puppet for one of their patterns.

    In essence, anything that doesn't have a foam skull is technically a sock puppet with added extras. I remember ventriloquist Ron Lucas doing a part of his act when I was a kid where he took a sock and turned his "naked" hand into a turtle with nothing more than a sock, a rubber band, and a cardboard cutout of a turtle body which he then stuck his hand through. To me as a 8-9 year old that was as close to genius as you could get. And I think it pointed out that you can work with absolutely any material to make a workable puppet.
     
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.


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