The Advanced Art of Stop-Motion Animation: Building Puppets: Part 2
Ava’s hands are constructed with aluminum wire to fit to shape under her fabric mittens (Figures 3.47 and 3.48). Her head is coated with primer, and her eyes (as well as Charlie’s) are masked apart from the rest of her face and sprayed with Crystal Clear high-gloss acrylic to give them a smooth shine and finish (Figure 3.49). Next, her eyes are masked and the rest of her face exposed so it can be airbrushed with a skin tone (Figures 3.50 and 3.51). Additional paint and doll hair complete the necessary detail on her head (Figure 3.52). The final steps are to sew together tiny clothes in fabric over her body (Figure 3.53) and cast silicone boots to fit over her feet (Figure 3.54). She also has a tiny backpack made of canvas, with a tiny snap rivet holding in a roll of fun foam (Figure 3.55). Her pupils and replacement mouths, which can be attached, moved around, and removed from the plastic head with Vaseline, complete her facial expressions (Figure 3.56), and she is ready for animation (Figure 3.57)!
Ken A. Priebe has a BFA from University of Michigan and a classical animation certificate from Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts). He teaches stop-motion animation courses at VanArts and the Academy of Art University Cybercampus and has worked as a 2D animator on several games and short films for Thunderbean Animation, Bigfott Studios, and his own independent projects. Ken has participated as a speaker and volunteer for the Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter and is founder of the Breath of Life Animation Festival, an annual outreach event of animation workshops for children and their families. He is also a filmmaker, writer, puppeteer, animation historian, and author of the book The Art of Stop-Motion Animation. Ken lives near Vancouver, BC, with his graphic-artist wife Janet and their two children, Ariel and Xander.