Friday, 12 August 2011

Costume has arrived!!!

Hi everyone. This is just a very quick post to let you all know "Dan of the dead" now has a fancy costume

Provided by Hillary at the Sewing Room Northwest Ltd. She has done a superb job. She even made a replica as the pilot I'm working on will be shot again when filming the whole film. This film is going to be shot in order of scenes which isn't ideal, but because of blood splats being added as the film goes on, the continuity wouldn't be right if I didn't shoot it in order

That's all for now. I'm thinking of finishing the gents toilets set next. Keep checking in guys


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Dan of the Dead

Hi guys. I'm sorry I've not posted for a while. I've been busy working on the Manchester International Festival.

We have changed the name of the film... "Dan of the Dead" a little joke to the famous George A. Romero's "Dawn of the Dead"

I have been back and forth to my costume people working on Dan's (Jim has obviously changed due to the new title) clothes.

They have done a mock up which you can see below. I'm happy for them to go ahead and make the clothes for the Pilot.

While I'm waiting for them to come back I will be busy working on the toilet set for the Pilot and a few smaller projects for a Rotary conference.

Sorry for the delay in blogs but I will be back on it now work has slowed down slightly.

Keep checking and following


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Jim construction part 5/set design

Hi guys. I've been doing a few finishing touches to Jim. I'm going to start be explaining how I made the neck.

First I sculpted the neck in plastercine.

Then I stuck it to some foam board and also made a perimeter wall ready for casting. I covered any gaps with a small amount of plastercine for a perfect seal.

Then I mixed some resin plaster and poured it into the tub surrounding the neck. Making sure I didn't cover the top of the neck. This is so it's easier to get the silicone out later.

Next I made a slightly smaller version of the neck out of fimo and cooked it. I placed it in the centre of the upside down cast, superglueing it to a piece of mdf. I then made sure the inner piece wasn't touching the sides of the cast. Holding it all together with elastic bands.

Last part was to pour the silicone into the mould. Once done I was able to slot the neck over Jim's armature. Hey presto... One flexible neck.

I think it's about time I mentioned my co partner in this project. Rob Vaughan. He's working on the script and design of the film with me. The script is coming on great, but I couldn't possibly show you that could I? What I can show you is the early makings of the set design for our pilot scene... Gents toilet!!! Sounds great eh

Here's Rob working on the mdf for the four walls.

Here's Rob showing off our clever idea of being able to flat pack our sets and fix them to the set without any bolts showing. Clever that.

In other quick news. I decided against the ball and sockets in the arms. I want more flexibility with him. So this is a new cast with wire and epoxy gum inside.

Thats all for now keep reading my blog and please spread the word. But for now. Good bye and peace out!!!


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 13 June 2011

Jim construction part 4

Hi everyone

Just a quick update on Jim's head.

After many different tests I have finally picked the head and materials to use. He is made out of soft fimo. I did a lot of tests with White fimo which helped work out his head shape. But when it came to colouring I thought it would be better to actually use coloured fimo.

The advantage of fimo is you can make the basic shape and bake it solid, then you can add more fimo on top and repeat the process. You can repeat as many times as you want. Building up the detail.

Next thing to do is fit Jim's head onto the armature and cast his neck. That will need to be in silicone so it can move and be flexible

Keep reading and spreading the word. The stop motion Zombies are coming


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 6 June 2011

Jim construction part 3/Walk cycle

Hi guys

Sorry it's been a few weeks. I blame it on my job! Haha

Luckily I have a few weeks of spare time to work on Jim/pilot scene for Stop Motion Zombies

So I left you last with Jim's 2 part mould ready to have silicone poured in. Well hey presto... Here is the finished arms out of the cast and fitted to the armature.

Next step is to foam out the armature with upholstery foam. This helps when Babs (scope animations costume designer) makes the pants/shirt. She can make a tight fit to the foam. This stops the fabric bubbling when moved during shot.

Here is the finished puppet ready to be fitted by Babs. Not looking too bad.

Also in other news. I have been converting my studio from my back room to the middle room which is bigger. Giving me more room to animate.

Sneak peek of Jim on the new set top. It's a full sheet of metal. Great for using the magnet technique instead of tie downs (which I find a little messy and time consuming)

Here is a quick walk cycle test with Jim

Thats all for now folks, hope its kept you all up to date on my project


Monday, 9 May 2011

Jim construction part 2

Hi everyone.

I've had another busy week at my paid job, but managed to get a few sculpts and casts done.

So... Since the last post I have made Jim's right foot in silicone and attached it to the armature.

Today I will be talking about Jim's hands. I forgot to take a close up of his hands before this blog so you'll have to look at the full armature instead.

I have took the whole arm off from the shoulder joint and wrapped it in cling-film ready to sculpt the arms over the top.

Here are the sculpted arms. I've attached the top arm joint to a special ball socket which will be embedded into the cast. This will be used as a locator/way of attaching the armature in the middle of the mould when casting the silicone. You'll see this more clearly later.

Next step was to cover half of the hands in plastercine. A sculpt like this needs to be made in 2 halves otherwise you would never get the arm out after casting. I've also added square plastercine to act as locators for when the 2 halves are wedged together during silicone casting. The tube of plastercine that connects the arms is there so I can get my allen key in to undo the armature from it's locator.

This is the first half cast. I had to redo a few bits of details before casting. You can see the ball locator protruding out with no plastercine around. This is because it needs to stick into the plaster and not move. next I smothered the plaster in Vaseline to make it easy to pry the 2 halves apart.

Here are the 2 halves cast with the armature fixed to the locators which are stuck into the cast.

The cast has worked really well. I need to sand down a few rough edges, but hopefully in the next post I will have 2 perfectly good working arms/hands.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to follow this blog for more updates


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Jim construction part 1

Hi everyone. When I first got into stop-motion animation there wasn't many books or videos on how to make puppets etc. There are more now but mainly on plastercine. My model will be constructed in silicone. I intend to write full descriptions on how I construct Jim from start to finished puppet.

First I started off by having my drawings of Jim and working out the size I wanted him to be. Big enough to manoeuvre fingers but not too big that my sets would have to be ginormous. Jim is around 20cm tall.

I draw out Jim to 20cm on paper to use as a template for my armature. The armature is made up of metal ball and socket joints. These hold the shape of the puppet and make it possible to move in small increments. From my picture I can work out where the knee, arms and hip joints need to be. So I can cut my armature to the correct size.

This is the armature made to the correct size for Jims body. The armature was supplied by the ProPlus range. It has everything from fingers to toes, once the rods were cut to the correct size everything was threadlocked into place.

This post is going to concentrate on Jims foot.

Here you can see the armature for Jim's foot. I have screwed the foot to the board. This board will be the lid to the top of the cast. It's important to have the foot screwed down so the armature stays in the exact same place for moulding. This will come more apparent later in this blog.

Next thing I did was superglue some upholstery foam to the armature. Making sure not to glue the armature screws. It'll make it hard to unscrew and locate later. The reason for using foam on the foot armature is to help bond the silicone to the plates. Silicone will not stick to anything. It is a very oily substance, very much like our fingers. If you superglued your fingers. The glue would crack over time due to the moisture we give out. Same applies with silicone. So the foam acts as a sponge. The silicone absorbs slightly into the foam and fuses together. This is important at the toe end.

Once I glued the foam to the armature I wrapped it up in cling film. Then I started to make the foot around the armature in plastercine. The cling film stops the plastercine sticking to the foam.

Here is the finished foot sculpted in plastercine around the armature. I have screwed 2 screws into the board to act as locators for later on. There is also a small blob of plastercine by the back of the foot. This is so I have a way of prying the cast apart from the board with the armature/plastercine foot on. I have used foam boards to make a wall around the foot. This is now ready to be cast with plaster.

I am using a resin plaster to make my cast. This is much stringer than your ordinary plaster/stone plaster. I got mine from a craft shop in manchester called Fred Aldous.

The resin plaster takes roughly 20mins to set. I leave mine around an hour. This means the plastercine inside is still a little warm from the chemical reaction the resin plaster has when mixed with water. The screws that were protruding from the board are now stuck into the plaster as locators. next thing to do is unscrew them from the plaster, the board is now free from the plaster. Using the area where the blob of plastercine was at the back of the foot I can pry the board and armature from the cast.

The plastercine around the armature is normally completely ruined but that doesn't matter if the cast has worked like this has. Next is to remove the cling film from around the armature.

Now onto the tricky part. Mixing the silicone. The silicone I use is supplied from

It's a silicone base with a catalyst that's added. For Jim's foot I poured around 30g of the silicone base into a cup. Then I can add coloured oils to this base until I get the desired look. The oils are also supplied with the silicone

The smallest of droplets make a massive difference to the colour. Once I was happy with the colour I left it for 12 hours to let the bubbles come to the service. Then I was able to add the catalyst to the mixture. It's 5% of the base. So 1.5g of catalyst. Doesn't seem a lot but it's enough to make the silicone cure. You really have to fold the catalyst into the mixture so it gets mixed in fully.

The next step is to pour the silicone into the mould. The higher you pour the easier it is to get rid of the bubbles. A thin stringy layer was poured to the lowest part of the mould until it was filled to the top. Then I placed the board with the armature on into the silicone and lined the holes up so I could bang the screws into the board and cast. This squashed everything together and made a tight bond between the silicone and the armature. It was then left for 18 hours to cure. (making sure the cast was placed so the bubbles would surface away from the main detail eg. Bottom of foot, top of arm etc)

Once the silicone had cured for 18 hours I unscrewed the locators and armature screw so I could prise the board away from the silicone. The armature is now inside the silicone nice and flat. Then taking my time I pulled the silicone foot away from the mould. Nice and gently.

I then trimmed the excess silicone from the bottom of the foot and attached the finished shoe to the armature.

There you have it. My first attempt at making a silicone shoe for Jim. It turned out that well I'm going to make the other.

Keep checking back guys. My next post will be making Jim's arms


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Original idea & poster

Hi guys

I thought it would be a good idea to show you my original idea and poster. This gave me the inspiration to go forward and make a stop-motion zombie film.

The idea has now developed into a mini story involving the main lead in the poster. Jim, a recovering alcoholic walks in on his wife being attacked by a zombie and his whole neighbourhood turn into flesh eating zombies. Does Jim fight for survival or hit the bottle?

Still very much in the development stage. Not got the middle or ending written. But survivors have been introduced. Expect a fun filled zombie experience with many gags from your favourite zombie films.

My next blogs will show the construction of Jim.

Cheers for reading


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 2 May 2011

Stop-Motion Zombies blog

Hi guys and welcome to my new stop-motion blog.

My latest project needs no introduction and I am sure everyone will be familiar with my blood thirsty instalment. It's Zombies!!!

Think of Team America meets Dawn of the dead in a new comical adventure. It's going to turn Zombie films on it's head.

This blog will keep you all updated on the making of this project from start to finish. The story is still being written and I am unsure whether it's going to be a film, short film or webisode. All will come apparent soon.

For now, sit back and enjoy the postings of this project unfold before your eyes. It's going to be great fun

Bye for now