Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Project: Dragon Smith

This the plan, I want to make an Animatronic character, a remote controlled puppet operated by a performer to portray a character that can be interacted with in a two way manner .
Do I have a background in this?  Not really, except for making monsters.

What will this need, what's the pitch?
The armadillo lizard, totally the style of dragon I wanna design.

Essential Goals:
  • A Sculpted dragon head.
    • Larger than a normal human head to appear as a large character. (22"+)
  • Multi-part Fibreglass mould to be able to cast the character from.
    • Using this to cast a character with a soft skin, and a hard under-skull separately.
  • Animatronically controlled pieces.
    • At least the eyes lids and the mouth being electrically driven.
  • Controlled by a single operator.
    • Every functions can be controlled by a single operator behind a curtain. 
  • Vision systems for the operator.
    • A camera mounted in the mask feeding through to video goggles behind.
  • A frame to hold the face up as a neck.
    • So the head can poke out behind a curtain to be interacted with one side, and operated the other side.
Handsome fellow from is a great inspiration
Those are the essential parts, the basics of what I'm trying to achieve and what I am confident I can really make happen.  Even those are stretching what little skills I have, but. lets go a step further, we can make it bigger, better, much cooler.

Desired Goals:
  •  Silicone skin over a fiberglass, or resin cast skull.
    • Less of a skill thing, the skin is going to be latex, but if I can afford it the professionals use Silicone for the skin.
  • Fully expressive face!
    • A full eye mechanism, eyebrows, nostril flare, lip movement, ability to smile and a waggling tongue.  All controlled by arduinos.
  • Head Tracking mechamism for full immersion.
    • A 2 Axis gyroscope/accelerometer to track where you are looking and translating that to servos controlling the head position, for a full VR experince with the video goggles.
  • Jaw Tracking technology.
    • Automatic jaw tracking to lip sync the mask to the operator. (I have already mocked this up, so I may be cheating)
  • A fully decorated neck.
    • The extension of the neck frame being a fully constructed neck, likely made of foam and latex and painted up much like the head.
  • Dragon Legs!
    • Chunky legs on sticks to poke through under the curtain to make it look like a sitting dog, and maybe so it can be handed things.
  • Audio Systems.
    • A way of listening through the mask and a voice changer attached to a speaker to speak out of the mask.
  • Anything else I can think of!
    • Give me suggestions as we go.

This is ambitious.  But those who follow me on Facebook will be aware I've started and you know what, I mean to finish.
That's her tastey side.

I'm not pen and pencil artist sadly, but I've included reference images I'll be working from, animals or other artwork that are inspirations for the sculpt I want.  I have loads of other images but I don't want to bore you by showing you through them all one by one.

It's his good side.

Who fancies joining team Armoured Brownies through this ordeal?  (Digitally at least.)



Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Welcome to my accountability Blog.

People asked me to start a blog, so here it is.
Welcome to everyone not in my brain.  This is where you get to see what I'm working on and make sure I keep doing it.  And even more, make sure I'm improving as I go.

It's me in a Skaven, with bonus face armour.
 My intention will be to lay out what I do, how I do it, and what I plan on doing to share my learning experience with anyone else who is interested in similar subjects.

Friends have let me do terrible things to them!
I do planet of little things, masks, prosthetics, costume pieces, but my ambition is towards big projects!
Monsters, dragons, beasties, full sized stilt monsters, quad suit character and on top of everything, Animatronics.

I have a history of dragons, large, dragons.
Once a month I will lay out what I have been doing over the last month, and keep anyone who reads this up to date with my little pieces of progress on my overly ambitious projects.

I'm going to try and make sure everything is tagged up nicely so anyone can filter out all my little updates and only see the monthly walk through / talks.  Maybe I'll even do some video stuff of my work, but that may be a threat rather than a promise.

Shall we begin?