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Invisible puppeteers?

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by piggy989piggy, May 6, 2016.

  1. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    So as some of you may know I am a very big muppets fan,and I noticed that in the muppets movies and shows almost in every show or movie made,the muppets apear like nobody is controling them like they walk by themselves,also with no handrodes,obviously this is impossible...

    So first I thought it was a simple computer trick,but now I am not so sure about it,because in some scenes it looks almost impossible to make a full puppeteer invisible,also they apear that way since the 80s...

    Does anybody know how they do that? i'd love to hear some information about this.

    Here are a few videos so you'l understand what I'm talking about:

  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    They do a lot of CGI and chromakey these days.
  3. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    I know,but It is realy hard making something invisble during a video with a moving perspective with chromakey I dont think they would make the effort on a regular episode basis,and CGI might be possible in the third video i posted but not on piggy's videos it looks just too real,and as I said you can find videos like these from the 80s with some realy good qaulity.
  4. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    Is there anyone else that REALY knows what methods have been used based on reliable information?
  5. Muppetboy09

    Muppetboy09 Well-Known Member

    The person above is correct. They use a lot of chroma key and CGI. Their rods are edited out in post, and with full body shots, they have puppeteers in full body suits.
    There's your proof!
    Colbynfriends and muppetperson like this.
  6. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    Cool! thanks for the effort!
  7. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    P.s is the "sorry" video of MissPiggy I posted was made with cgi? and Where did you get those photos??
  8. Muppetboy09

    Muppetboy09 Well-Known Member

    The sorry video was most likely puppeteered by someone in a full body suit like above, although I can't say that with 100% certainty. All those pictures were from Muppet Wiki. You should check it out sometime. They probably have answers to all of your questions!
    Pig's Laundry likes this.
  9. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    This is actually a very, very old puppetry technique...the Muppets have been using variations of it since the 1960s. Stage puppeteers have been doing variations of this live using special lighting and black curtains for at least a century.

    Here's a neat video of Paul McGuiness, Eric Wright and Haley Jenkins demonstrating it (not Muppets, but they've all worked with the Muppets or on Sesame Street at various times)

    Colbynfriends likes this.
  10. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    That was cool! I really did love that. I'll have to post this on Facebook now to show all my friends who don't think that Puppets aren't cool.
  11. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    WOW! thankyou!
  12. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    They also use radio control, like them riding bikes, so the Puppeteers aren't there at all!
  13. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    Realy? radio control? I watched the movie "The World of Jim Henson"(you can find it on youtube) and they say that riding bike is done by marionettes.
  14. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    The bikes were controlled like marionettes(cables) but the Muppets were totally robotic on long shots.
  15. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Here is a youtube clip of behind the scenes of "Muppets Take Manhatten" which briefly shows Jim Henson working Kermit by radio control and also the rats.
  16. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    Ok,you realy WOWED me this time!

    I had no idea such things exist in the muppets aspecially the scene whene jim is remotly controlling kermit...

    You know,I adore miss piggy and it looks like you know about the muppets realy well definetly more then I do,so I would love it if you could tell me some information and post videos about the mechanics and some other things used on misspiggy that you think can be interesting to me or usefull for the my piggy project

    By the way you realy dont have to do that if you dont feel like doing this than dont I'l totaly understand it if you wont, but if you do wanna do me a favour I'l be very thankfull!:)
    muppetperson likes this.
  17. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I will try if I can, but only know the basics.
  18. piggy989piggy

    piggy989piggy Well-Known Member

    Anything could help

    P.S I realy appreciate your replies and all the effort!;)
    muppetperson likes this.
  19. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    For a lot of the radio controlled puppets they'll use what's called a Waldo.

    Jim's testing out this rig to later be used by Steve Whitmire for performing Waldo C. Graphic on the Jim Henson Hour.

    Richard Hunt can also be seen using the device in this behind the scenes clip from Fraggle Rock. That one is more along the lines of what Jim was using to control Kermit in the previous clip.
    muppetperson likes this.
  20. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    I think the earliest use of that is of when Jim did the Cloverland Dairy Commercial! apparently the earliest form of Chroma key back in those days.

    Of course Let's not forget the First time it happens from the Great Muppet Caper (Specifically the part where they Show Miss Piggy Dancing from the Waist Down)


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