Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Lulu - wire armature

Louisa will have a ball and socket armature and the final animation puppets for the main characters in the next module will all have ball and socket armatures but for testing purposes I am using a wire armature for Lulu. 

I have used aluminium armature wire laid against the skeleton picture, which I have printed to scale, so I can make sure the joints line up. I have used polymorph (like friendly plastic), a meltable plastic, to fix the wire together, this can be melted in 100'c just boiled water and sets hard. It can also be remelted if you want to reposition the wire unlike milliput. 

I have used two twists of 1.6mm armature wire for the body, arms and legs. This is fitted inside some aluminium tube and for the arms  have used square K&S tubing. This will mean I can make removable hands.

 The armature not only has to match the size of the skeleton from the front but also the shape from the side so I have made sure there is a curve to the spine and tilt at the hips, shoulders and neck.

For the next stage I have used PTFE tape to wrap the armature completely. This is an odd material, somewhere between cling film and ribbon and can be quite frustrating to use! 

I have found the best way is to unwind as little as possible, keeping the reel close to the armature. 

This is the finished armature wrapped in PTFE tape including the ends of the arms and the feet. This will stop the clay getting its way into the wire and joints. The tape sticks to itself but not the armature but can be removed easily

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