Rigging Your Puppet

Getting your characters to stay upright and stable whilst animating is often easier said than done. Expensive winder rigs and ball and socket jointed systems are wonderful (if you can afford them), if you can't though fret not - I rigged my latest film in a super budget way and my results were pretty decent.

To create my rig I twisted some aluminium wire in a drill. I then pierced a hole in the balsa wood I had cut in the previous blog post and hot-glued this into place.

Here we can see how it enters the back of my character in that balsa wood.

Why in the back? We never want a rig to obstruct our character or any other action. The rig will be painted out later and you don't want to have to paint out a part of your character.

What's under the feet? I put a piece of paper there when the characters feet were not in shot to minimise oily residue from the clay. Over time clay will make marks on a paper floor.

I did the same with my second character who spends most of the film sat down.

The second character didn't require a rig for the seated parts as there was more stability with a lower centre of gravity.

But what was the wire rig attached to? Something fancy you might imagine. Something heavy? Heavy, yes! Fancy? Definitely not! I grabbed the easiest thing I could find...