Character Design and Making

Materials. Armatures. Rigging points. There are so many aspects to a successful character design that it can leave you paralysed on what to do.

The best thing to do is start and work with what you have got. Stop motion is about problem solving and by just trying things out you will learn an immeasurable amount.

I've not made a lot of full-sized characters myself. The characters in my film Genre Neutral would have been best made using silicone casting over a wire armature... but I just didn't have the set-up for that. My funds were limited and I didn't have the time required to cast puppets successfully in this way. So, I just used the skills and materials I did have. Clay, balsa wood, wire and my hands.

Firstly I had to mix the precise colours I wanted. I was aiming for a baby blue and baby pink. Once enough clay was mixed I made two characters of equal sizes, one in each solid colour.

My next job was to cut these two characters down the centre as I wanted them half one colour and half the other.

I simply used a piece of stiff cardboard to cut my characters in half as this made it easy to see both sides of the character at once and make sure they were cut equally down the middle.

Once both character were in pieces I had to combine the two halves together and test out their stability on set.