Visual Media

Foam Latex Puppetmaking 101

How to make stop-action figures

With digital editing tools, stop-action animation (think Wallace and Gromit, or Tim Burton) has become more forgiving to make and therefore more new artists are trying their hand at it, making stop-action film more common in commercials, shorts and MTV-ish channels. But it’s really difficult to make a decent flexible figure for stop-action that will not move unless you want it to, but will move exactly as you want it to when you do, and even more challenging to make one that looks alive. I know I’ve tried. There’s really no other way to do this; you have to make a special armature figure. I can’t imagine there are more than five readers of Cool Tools interested in how to make a really good latex puppet for use in animated videos and films. But for you five, here’s some gold: an all-you-need-to-know step-by-step DVD from a gal (Kathi Zung) in New York City who’s perhaps the only professional animated latex puppet maker in the galaxy. She does everything in her loft kitchen, and is very eager to tell you what she has learned. It’s as thorough a workshop course as I’ve seen, with no detail or potential problem unattended.

-- KK 09/9/05


© 2022