Monday, April 11, 2011

Stop Motion Puppet Construction

Over the Christmas holiday I decided to try my hand at creating some stop motion puppets. This type of puppet is fully posable and used in the film industry to create stop motion animation in movies like Coraline.

I thought it would be fun to create my interpretation of the strange creature that crawls up from the pit in the 1933 version of King Kong.

I began by carving a wooden skull for the creature and adding some Apoxie sculpt teeth.

Next I used aluminum wire to create the spine and front legs of the creature. Here is the lizards head added to the spine. The small human figure is one of the lizards intended victims.

The wire body of the lizard is then wrapped with cotton.

Then chunks of foam are glued to the armature using liquid latex. It is then trimmed to shape and covered with a foam tape overwrap.

Next I sculpted the lizards head and lower jaw over the armature in clay. I then made a two piece plaster mold of the clay head. I brushed a mixture of acrylic paint and liquid latex into the mold halves.

After peeling my lizard head pieces out of the molds I brushed some liquid latex onto the armatures skull and glued the sections in place.

Next I glued down the neck section onto the lizard and added some spikes I had formed using liquid latex and cotton.

For the lizards skin I made a textured mold into which I brushed a thin coat of tinted liquid latex.

When the latex was dry I brushed talcum powder over it. This prevents it from sticking to itself.

Then I carefully peeled the latex skin from the mold.

Here is one section of the completed skin. I'm guessing I will need about 3 or 4 sections to cover the entire lizard creature. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the puppet up this week.


  1. Thanks for sharing this process, fascinating.

  2. This looks great. Love the textured skin.

  3. My pleasure FabricFascination.

    Thanks Dean!

  4. Looking good, Brian!

    Lee (shran)

  5. Oooooo... the lizard's looking great already!

  6. Wow, you're talented. Awesome!

  7. Thank you so much for such an informative post...
    I LOVE the texture of the skin that you have created! It looks wonderful!!! Looking forward to your next post. This guy will be stunning when you are finished!!!!

  8. Thank you all. I appreciate your comments! :)

  9. This is great Brian. I love the way you have created the texture of the skin. Have you ever worked with silicone?

    Looking forward to the next post to.

    Lorra Luffies

    Debie xxx

  10. Thanks Debie! Yes I have used silicone for mold making. Did you mean for casting the skins?

  11. Brian can you do a post explaining how you made that mold ...or at least what you used to create the texture.
    thanks K

  12. Karin I usually sculpt the skin in clay and make a one piece mold in plaster.

    This "mold" is a sheet of polymer clay which I indented with the tip of a pencil and a wooden dowel. After it was baked I brushed the latex into it to create the skin.

    It saved me a step plus I hate cleaning up after working with plaster ;)

  13. Dear blacknick:

    can you make an article on how to make that yellow puppet.if you could can you list the height,supplies,steps,and anything else i need to make it with.i nevermade a puppet before and i reallywant to makeone.thanks