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Atari Time-Warner wanted to experiment with a less complex Digital Input Device that was pioneered by Tippett StudAtariios. They asked me to fabricate a human armature & requested that the entire armature be of a black color. I had the steel armature parts black matte plated & the aluminum parts black-anodized. Atari was going to place reflective markers at all the major joint points, then shoot the test animation sequences in a darkened room; the idea being, of "capturing" the moving markers (with video cameras) & inputting the data into the computer. After I finished that job, the character fabrication department of Danger Productions (doing Bump in theNight) took on a job from Atari Time-Warner to make some complex armatures & finished puppets for the interactive video game Primal Rage 2. Danger then gave me some work to fabricate all the hands for the these puppets. The hands were fully jointed. After the production of Bump in the Night ended, the studio closed, but Atari needed some more puppets and asked Tony McVey (Menagerie Productions) to complete the armature & puppet fabrication for the additional characters. Tony then gave me the task to make these intricate armatures.

Motion Capture Armature



Armature Hands


The Lost WorldThe animation supervisor for The Lost World, Randal M. Dutra, had at the ILM studios, the silicone molds of all the dinosaur characters from the movie. The dinosaurs were sculpted & molded by the well known Stan Winston Studios in Southern California. These molds were primarily used to cast the dinosaurs in a hard resin. After the dinosaurs were cast, ILM then scanned these models, to enter the contour data into their computer database. Randy wanted poseable puppets, using the silicone molds to cast the foam rubber dinosaurs. The dinosaurs sculpted by Winston were larger than an average stop motion animation puppet and so I had to use somewhat large ball joints for these poseable puppets. When a ball joint is too big, it is more difficult to control, but fortunately, these poseable dinosaurs were not going to be animated....again, only for posing demonstration purposes.



Tyrannosaurus Rex



Lizard Whomper

Lionel's Scorpio-Crawler

Goshi Beast





As I stated a few times elsewhere on this site, I usually did not have time to photograph armatures, puppets, sets, etc.. This wasThe PJ's also the case on The PJ's series. I worked on the first season of The PJ's and other crew people continued to work on the subsequent seasons in the Armature shop (which I helped set-up) and Puppet Fabrication departments. Someone who worked on the last season of The PJ's was generous to email me some photos he took of the Thurgood armature. This was my design and all the other characters where similar. All using basic ball and socket armatures. The long square tube at armature neck is where the hollow resin head slips onto, then behind head there's built-in set screw to tighten against the neck tube. Anyway this could be a unique photo of one of the PJ's armatures. I do not remember seeing online pics anywhere. As you can see in one of the photos, many armature duplicates of the Thurgood armatures/puppets were constructed and also duplicates were made of the other main puppet characters.

Thurgood Armature & Dupe Puppets


As usual, I again did not have time to take photos and I missed the opportunity to shoot the completed Davey Armatures, however, I did Davey and Goliathmanage to capture the Goliath Armatures. My hand is in one of the shots so you can see the scale size. Basic ball and sockets ..... very clean and efficient design. Stop Motion Animators Anthony Scott and veteran Peter Kleinow did the animation. You will note wire attachments for upper & lower lips, the ears, and for the tail. The wire ends are screwed into threaded holes on various parts of the armature. A better system, might have been a plug-in wire for faster turnaround repairs, but with finesse & delicate animation you would be surprised how long wires last. The early and old Goliath armatures had wires soldered onto armature and you can imagine the difficulty in replacing wires. The puppet skin was cast in foam rubber latex and then flocked for the fuzzy look.

Goliath Armatures


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