Fur problems

Tips, hints, how to, how not to etc.

Fur problems

Postby stewart ash » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:03 pm

Hi Barry

It's been a while since I last saw you, which would have been on Hamilton Mattress when I helped out for a few weeks, It sounds like you're still very busy.

I moved into the world of CG animation about 5 years ago, and I've been working in film VFX for the majority of this time. I never thought I'd end up working with computers.

So I was really pleased when I was asked to animate a fully armetured puppet for a shot on a film I'm currently working on. Unfortunately the character is covered in short fur. And I really want to avoid that horrible effect that occurs when the animator obviously has to touch the puppet, and the fur looks like it has a life of its own in the playback.
Now, it's going to be short 6 second shot, on bluescreen, and the charcter might only be seen from one angle anyway. So I suppose the armeture could
have points on it where one could attach rods which are then clamped off with some kind of rig, and then all these extra supports could be painted blue.
Which would then mean you could move the majority of
the puppet without touching too much of the fur.
Thats Just one idea I thought of, but it may not be too practical.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

User avatar
stewart ash
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:01 pm
Location: London


Postby Barry » Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:07 pm

Hi stewart and good to hear from you. I'm intrigued about what sort of animal this might be and what is expected from it. Obviously if it is storyboarded tightly and that you only see from a certain angle then having rigging from the upstage side that you can manipulate is definitely one approach. But how long is the fur itself. Is that already all built. What about if the majority of the fur and the shape is part of the sculpting, and a darn good paint job, but you confuse the eye by having enough real strands of hair layered over the top. Hair spray or a suitable stiffening spray will help. If you have to use fur, make sure it does slip about on the surface of the puppet too much. You can do this with stitching or double sided tape. But if you want to tell us any more, without giving too much away, I'm sure other people will suggest things.
When are you shooting it?
User avatar
Posts: 2126
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 pm

Postby stewart ash » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:26 am

The character is made from a soft toy that you can get in the shops, and the art dept guys added different eyes/claws/teeth etc. It looks Like a much tamer version of a Jan svankmajer creature. I'm not sure what the toy animal was, perhaps a mierkat or a weasel, but the fur is about 1cm in length all over, apart from the feet and claws.
So unfortunately It sounds like the armature is going straight inside this, and they're not fabricating a puppet to look like the toy.

It hasn't been decided on what it's going to do yet. It might just stand up and look annoyed, or it might stand up and walk off frame. Personally I think it would be easier if it didn't need to walk off camera, that way we could add rods or supports in the back of the character.

"If you have to use fur, make sure it does slip about on the surface of the puppet too much. You can do this with stitching or double sided tape."

Do you mean put double sided tape between the fabric of the toy and the armatured puppet?
I definitely like the sound of using hair spray to minimize the fur moving.

It's probably not going to be filmed until early April. So I've got plenty of time to try out a few things till then.

I'm going to get hold of some films that might give me some insight, like SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER, which has a stop-motion baboon character.
It will be interesting to see how much the fur moves on that one.

http://lavender.fortunecity.com/judiden ... eot010.jpg

Thanks for the tips, If anyone else has any, they would be most welcome

User avatar
stewart ash
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:01 pm
Location: London

Postby stewart ash » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:08 pm

Thought I'd say that I was wacthing the 'making of' dvd of the 'Curse of the wear rabbit' yesterday. And there was a nice section on the nightmare Aardman had whem animating the fury rabbit.
They also ended up using points along the spine of the armeture where they could manipulate the puppet without touching it too much.
Although they still had to touch it. I Think they also spent a fortune on sourcing some american firm to create some kind of special fabric/fur for them. Which I don't think we'll have the budget for.
I'll let you know how it finally comes out.
User avatar
stewart ash
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:01 pm
Location: London

A far away animated 'Hello Stuart'

Postby Susan » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:59 pm

Stuart Hi,
I hope this is the correct Stuart Ash????? if it is, you remember we shared a house together during our stint at the Bristol Animation course? -Happy Days!
and later work experience on Hamilton Mattress -a fantastic 2 weeks being surrounded by the magic of film making!
Nowadays I'm still surrounded by puppets! Living & animating in Manchester.
I hope you overcome the 'boiling' hair problem with your puppet. Years ago they called it 'Crawling' & I've even heard it called 'Bubbling'!
Anyhow, I hope you encounter none of these problems & wish you success with your animation!
Susan G.

P.S. If I have the wrong Stuart & you don't know me then... OOPS ....
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:54 pm

Return to Animation hints and tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest