And first, the devil:
From the last post you can see that we wanted the devil to be a Tony-Montana-meets-stock- broker-dandy-meets-goat:
Yoni Bereskin, our art director and lead animator, had a distinctive look in mind:
The idea was to give a different take in the devil's resemblance, using ready made materials that would give him an unique look. The devil's head was taken from a piece of wood found in the forest. He bleached it with chlorine for impact. and to add a touch of "good ole holy-landness" we decided the horns will be inspired from the Nubian Ibex, an animal very common to the desert here.
For even more impact, and having in mind that the devil won't have any expression features we figured it will be a good idea to light up the devils eyes: that was made with an LED simple setup, lighting up some transparent tiger "eye beads" Yoni found.
Now for the armature: Yoni built a stainless steel armature from parts we had custom-made. The armature enable us to move the devil slightly between every frame, creating motion. the armature is hand regulated with nuts and bolts.
As you can see, Yoni added some hair in the devil's back and neck to hide the junctions. The next step is to bulk the devil up using Acrylan (the stuff puffs are made of). His suit was tailor-made by a pro, the size exactly down-scaled from a real suit. We went with a black pin-striped suit, very fashionable right now.... The real challenge was to find buttons and fabrics in the right proportion, not to give away the illusion of the actual size of the puppet.
The hands are made from silicone, casted over a fine, pliable wire to maximize mobility. this was really tough. The devil does all kinds of intricate things with his hands, including tossing coins, reloading guns and smoking cigars. The hands were designed to give the devil some expression and feeling instead of facial expressions, that like i wrote before, are not his "thing".
Weapons: Here, the work was mainly to find a toy in the same scale of the puppet. we actually found one that had the option of changing mags, offering great possibilities for animation.
And for last, the shoes: again, the trick was to find a right size toy to use as a base, and tinker with with so it will be suitable to animation. Every step the puppet takes a hole is drilled in the set to secure it standing.
Well, it added up to this pretty fellow
All that is left now is to build some bears for him to kill \M/ \M/
But that's for the next post: I will be covering the "birth of a teddybear".