The bears we built with a lot of trial and error, mainly going from one prototype to another until we had the right proportions and feel.
We had one requisite: the bears would be the leaders of the plot, and have to hold (even without facial expressions) the feeling and the sympathy of the viewer.
We based the design on a few toy bears we found, having strange discussions on "what makes a bear cute" and what are the right proportions for the bears to look almost human. So the first mock-up looked like this:
This green bear was made with mop cloth, and didn't respond well to dies. we then tried it with a special type of Egyptian cotton, and even tried one as an anamorphic person thing, but realized that these characters can be only bears.
|strange dough puppet. too creepy even for this clip|
The furs are tinted with acryls and cloth paint. i did some tests to get the right tones, and we actually did two bodies and two heads for each, so we can replace them if tragedy happens.
The insides of the bears are of simple foam, and the extremities are filled with acrylan. the eyes are stone beads, that are more light reflective....
The bears heads are made of hardened soft clay, and Yoni modeled them one by one to create slight differences and features. Here is what we came out with in the end....
In order of getting them to stand, move and be completely still while animating,the feet are equipped with threaded holes, and the bears are secured to the set with tie-downs--literally bolted to the floor.
That enabled us to pose the bears in extreme positions, as well as control their movement entirely:
And this is how they all ended up:
May they all rest in peace....
In the next post i will talk about a little about the set building, and some of the mechanisms that the devil played with.