OSCAR PUPPET BUILD
Puppet created for the film Expend. The body was cast in tinted foam in a plaster mold while the hands were cast separately in silicone. The hands were cast in silicone as the film required some extreme close-up shots, and I wanted all details from the sculpt to transfer on the casts. The armature was made with aluminum wire and poly carbonate rig cage, pelvis and feet tie-downs.
Puppet sculpt by Naomi Wiener. Costume by Franklin Brown and Kristen Heritage.
OSCAR HAND FABRICATION
The silicone hands were cast in a GI-1000 two part silicone rubber mold. The armature was made with twisted 28 gauge annealed steel wire, 1/8th aluminum wire forearm section joint together with an aluminum tube and Devcon epoxy glue. The armature was coated with a red silicone mixed with an ultra fast catalyst. The cured red silicone was trimmed and fit into the mold before injecting the skin tone.
The nail and bandage details were painted in the mold. Extra bandage dressing was stuck on the hand with Dow corning 732 glue.
Hand Sculpt by Naomi Wiener.
OSCAR HEAD AND REPLACEMENT FACES
The head was cast in urethane plastic, made with replacement faces. The mouth shapes were hand sculpted individually over a neutral face plastic cast. The eyeballs were made to move in the sockets on the head block. The eyelids were vacuum-formed polystyrene replacement pieces.
Before priming the face and goggles, I applied masking fluid to the areas that had to be glued together for a stronger bond. After priming the pieces, they were hand painted with a mixture of acrylic paint and matte medium. The beard was made with faux-fur which was cut into thin strips and glued onto the face with CA glue. I applied a mixture of pommade and museum wax to the hair strands to have more control during the gluing process. The fur was trimmed to size after the glue was set.
The eyeballs were molded from a Delrin ball with GI-1000 silicone and cast in Smooth-cast 300. The rubber mold was supported with a cut PVC pipe mother mold. The iris was drilled with a forstner bit, and a though hole was made for venting during pressure casting. After the iris details were painted in with acrylic paint, the eyeball was put back in the mold with Crystal Clear 302 resin and pressurized to get rid of air bubbles.
The chair prop was built with expandable foam and urethane plastic casts over a polycarbonate armature. All the parts were cast from open faces molds made from chavant clay masters. The prop was then dressed with stretchable fabric glued on with barge.
Chavant Sculpt by Naomi Wiener. Upholstery by Kristen Heritage.
EXPEND PROP BUILDS
BELLOW: The prop was molded from a 3D printed master. The final prop was cast with tinted expandable foam in a silicone mold. The prop was rigged with a set screw clamped on a reinforced center brass tube.
WORKSHOP TABLE: A crucial prop in the film Expend. Since the deer puppet was to be animated on top of the table prop, it had to be sturdy. I wanted the table top to have a bent shape of an old used up table. To achieve that shape, it was sculpt in Chavant and cast in urethane plastic. In order to use less silicone, the mold was curved to match that of the sculpt and used rubber chunks as well. Clay Sculpt by Enna Chow.
DEER NECK ARMOR: The deer puppet was cast out of foam, but the neck armor were vacuum-formed styrene pieces, which were reinforced with Smooth-cast 300 at the peaks.
EXPEND PROPS WITH PRACTICAL LIGHTING
HEART: A key prop in the film Expend. The Heart was the energy source that came from the Cybertronic deer character. The mold was poured as a single part mold and cut down the middle, along the pin holes indicators. The mold was made from GI-1000 and cast with Smooth-cast 300.
This prop had a filament bulb with a pulsating animation effect. In order to fit the bulb into the plastic cast, the wires were soldered directly onto the bulb. The wire ran down the sleeve of the puppet and connected to a dimmer for animation.
LIGHT FIXTURES: The light fixtures was a crucial prop for the final scene of the short film. The prop was made from vacuum-formed styrene top and transparent PETG base dressed with 1/16th aluminum wire. The prop had mini filament bulbs which were connected to a dimmer during animation.
THE MACHINE: My role on this prop was to design the build, rig the animatable parts, and figure out the lighting animation. The gears were laser cut acrylic sheet rigged to animate with levers at the back of the machine. The cables were surgical tubes rigged with 1/16th wire and pinned onto the machine prop. The machine prop was build in collaboration with Paul Rabbitt and Zoe Huddleston.
FOREST SET BUILD
The exterior set on the film. The trees were made with a corrugated base and textured with Celluclay. The set was carved out of pink foam, and the path where the puppet would walk was reinforced with aqua-resin. All the set pieces were modeled on top of birch ply wood which was attached to the table with screws from the bottom of the animation table.
Since expend had a steampunk style, we needed a lot of pipes with straight and elbow joints. In order to ease the process, I decided to cast the elbow joints around the wooden dowel. The valves were laser cut acrylic pieces and the pipes were textured with saw dust and spray glue to achieve the grunge effect.