The Advanced Art of Stop-Motion Animation: Building Puppets: Part 1
For the feet, the ends of the legs are cut and twisted to fit snugly around a nut for creating a tie-down (Figure 3.20). A little dab of hot glue may help keep it in place initially and can be trimmed away once it dries. From this shape, epoxy putty can be placed in one slab over the tie-down to cover it and another piece sculpted behind it as a heel piece (Figure 3.21). Leaving some wire between these two epoxy shapes creates a bend in the foot that will help in creating some realistic foot posing in any walking animation. The important thing with these shapes is to keep the bottom of the foot flat the whole time. This is a tricky shape to sculpt using epoxy putty because it must be done quickly before it sets and can get rather messy, but once the battle is won, it works. One thing to watch for amid all the scrambling to get the shape right is making sure the tie-down hole doesn’t get filled in with putty (Figure 3.22). Once it hardens, you won’t be able to get the bolt into it. This will inevitably happen when applying the epoxy from the top of the nut, so while it’s starting to set, I typically push the eraser end of a pencil into the nut to push the epoxy back in, and screw the bolt into the tie-down to help ensure that it will screw into it (Figure 3.23). When it’s all finished, the epoxy should be flat on the bottom, with the tie-down empty and flush to the sole of the foot (Figure 3.24). As this process unfolds to include both legs and arms, compare the proportions back to the armature to ensure that they are level, not crooked. The last thing you want is to have one leg much longer than the other one. If they are part of a plug-in armature, all of these limbs are still removable and can be worked on independent of the torso (Figure 3.25).