Ahhh Summer! Nothin' but BBQs, everyday.
Naturally, for June, I made a hot dog puppet.
Being in the 6th month, I'm finding it pretty easy to be inspired or think of a concept that can fit within "30 days". Of course, I'm terrible with deadlines (why I set up this project in the first place) but I am dealing with it.
I pile up quite a few things up until the very last minute. Then, the deadline becomes pressurized and I just HAVE TO DO IT. That's my process, I guess. I'm doing better with time management by spreading things out more or less, but now that it's summer, I just want to be outsiiiiiiide!
Anyways, I wanted the hot dog to look similar to the Oscar Myer Weiner, colourful and tempting.
My partner had the brilliant idea of having the puppet get dressed to go to work in the morning as the storyline, and I was immediately excited. He gets the credit for that.
I decided to work with Sculpey again, because I love it. It's so great because you shape it to become whatever you want and then you BAKE it. It always makes me feel like a mad scientist.
For the wiener, I had to mix a few different colours to get the right "hot dog brown" but after a couple attempts, 'he' started to come together. I say he because there is a moustache, but I feel like hot dogs are transgendered.
Anyways, the challenge I set up for myself with this animation was to get a shot in a mirror. I also wanted a few different camera angles, so figuring out how to do that was a little tricky.
To K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) for the mirror, I cut through some balsa wood with an exacto knife to make the frame. Then I painted it and stuck it onto an existing mirror. I pasted some fun "wallpaper" around it and voila! Balsa was very delicate and easy to use. It bent quite easily too. I would say it's an essential material to have in your animation studio.
The hands were made using armature wire, liquid latex and pigment (like that tutorial I once did). They were probably what took the longest?
The bottles of ketchup and mustard were also made of Sculpey.
The most challenging issue with this puppet was the eyes. I used white beads with vaseline (another essential animation tool) in the sockets for mobility. I used black clay to fill the "eye hole" and a pin to move the eyes around when animating. If you look closely, you can see the reflexion of the vaseline on the puppets body. At one point the eyes fell out and the pupils kept changing size because the clay was too hot under the lights. Lesson learned!
After completing this 15 second video, the song "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry came to mind. In true summer fashion, I grabbed my portable Casio Keyboard and made homage to it.
Here's my little HD getting ready for a big day! Enjoy your summer... and Happy Canada Day!
This stop-motion animation was shot using my Canon T3i (40mm lens) at 12FPS on iStopMotion Express. From start to finish, it took a total of 24 hours.