Girl puppet design and process for upcoming Thesis Film (Chicken, 2021). This sassy college girl has an addiction to chicken strips and is the main character of my short film.
All the fabrication and animation of this short film was done remotely from my hometown garage due to limitations from covid-19. A video I made showing the process of creating this puppet got over 1.4 million views on tiktok
My puppet's armature is built from aluminum wire and wood chest base with brass tubing arms and Propoxy putty leg bones. Since I wanted my puppet to wear a casual short sleeve T-shirt, I designed my puppet to have replaceable arms rather than replaceable hands so that her bare arms would have no obvious seams.
For this puppet I devised my own method for making replacement faces with the basic materials I had while creating this short remotely at home.
I used Sculpey clay to make a plain face shape which would act as the base for all her expressions. I then used raw Sculpey clay to form a mold around the base face with help from cornstarch to keep it from sticking. After baking and curing the clay mold, I used raw Sculpey clay and cornstarch to form multiples copies of my base face. I then added clay eyebrows, mouths, teeth, and other details to form each expression and finished each one with acrylic paint.
Her clothes were sewed from fabric scraps. I used a combination of machine sewing and hand stitching for details. I then used old socks and glue to give her socks to hide her feet tie-downs.
Her body was finished with a coating of liquid latex/acrylic paint to serve as flexible skin. Her hair was sculpted from Scupley clay and painted with acrylic paint. Her eyes are also baked Sculpey clay, painted with clear nail polish so that plasticine clay pupils can stick onto them but are able to move freely and expressively on top of them