Building Armatures
I've read Tom Brierton's article "At Last, Foam Puppet Fabrication Explained!" (Brierton, 2.11) on armature building and foam casting a few times...

I have a question though. Where is a good place to buy Ultracal 30? I've heard it's expensive. I've got plenty of regular plaster here at Whitworth College, but from what I've read, it's not appropriate for putting in an oven to cure the foam rubber. I've had some communication with other stop-motion animators (e.g. Webster Colcord), and it seems best to go with GM Foam.

Thanks for your time,
Travis Cutbirth

Tom Brierton answers: Ultracal can be bought at most art supply shops/houses, but if you still have trouble finding it locally, Pearl Art Supply in Chicago sells it. Their phone number is: 312-915-0200. There's no problem with putting an ultracal mold in a kiln oven in order to bake foam. I'm not sure where you heard that it was bad.

R&D latex used to be the most popular foam, but it is no longer available. Try Burman Foam. Burman is located in Van Nuys, CA. I've not used GM foam. (You can also try Kryolan foam.) Most foams come in two, three or even five parts, and it all has to be mixed up properly for it to cure. The idea is to whip just enough of the ammonia out so that it'll settle while you're pouring or injecting it into the mold. None of this is easy, but with practice it can be mastered. Good luck!

Maurice Noble: Animation's "Old Rebel"
Over the 4th of July week-end, 1997 in Seattle, Washington, Maurice Noble was one of the many guests of honor at The Masters of Animation event. My wife and daughter had the honor of escorting Maurice around for the week-end, and he treated us to dinner that Saturday night.

Karl Cohen's interview "Maurice Noble: Animation's `Old Rebel'" (
Cohen 2.12) was quite extensive and very heartening to see. I find it a bit surprising and disappointing that Maurice isn't a household name doing American Express commercials like Chuck Jones, but more articles like Karl's would certainly rectify this.

The hours and hours that we spent talking about his work in the animation field was priceless, and Maurice is one of the most considerate, kind and easygoing individuals I've ever been fortunate enough to interact with.

Thank you very much for putting together such a thorough and reverential article. I'd be interested to hear back from you Karl and perhaps take a look at your course syllabus and required reading for your classes. I'm slowly starting a 16mm cartoon collection, with a particular interest in some of the race and blacklisted films that aren't available or shown in public. (I've just learned the other day that there were Amos `n' Andy cartoons produced in the Thirties. Have you seen them?)

Brian Edwards Jr.

How to be Furrific!
First off, thank you so much for your wonderfully entertaining, informative magazine. I read it regularly, and only having found it recently, really enjoy browsing your archives.

I came across "How to be Furrific!" (
Fleming 3.2) by Bill Fleming about 3D hair, and wanted to fill in a portion of the "history of 3D hair" he omitted. In 1994, the SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater showed a short called JuJu Shampoo. It was created as an in-house project by Metrolight Studios, and it featured 3D hair generated by Metrolight proprietary hair software, written by Rob Rosenblum. I was the lead animator on the project, which won a 1994 International Monitor Award for Developmental/Experimental Animation. The effect of the hair was pretty remarkable for its time, and the short was included on several compilation tapes.

Jeff Hayes

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