Halloween Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been on here for a few years and have consistently been amazed by the creativity and ingenuity of those on this forum.

I’ve read and learned.

I’m a multimedia sculptor who happens to love Halloween.

I really want to attempt to build my own animatronic.

I’m not in a rush and want to learn as much as I can as I go along. I’ve seen just how helpful the members here are and hoped I could get a bit of guidance.

I thought the best project for me to start with would be building a basic armature, one where I can learn the basics of movement so when it comes to adding motors I will have a grasp of how everything works together.

I have purchased a few latex mask heads, reinforced them then partially filled them with Gorilla Glue. I’ve left plenty of room to add a PVC pipe to secure to my armature.

I’m hoping someone can point me towards basic armature building plans where I can follow, learn then move on to the more advanced techniques of incorporating motion and sound eventually.

I really want to thank all the members here for all the ideas and inspiration.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
There are tons of videos on YouTube on getting started and simple props. Make sure you start small. Learn how things work and then add complexity as you get better. This is not a quick process. You're not going to be building pro-quality animatronics on day one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,678 Posts
Good advice above. It also helps to decide what type of device you wanna use to animate with, motors, servos, solenoids, pneumatics. Once you decide what category you wanna start out in, look up info pertaining to that type of prop. Get ready to be hooked, it's addictive! 🎃
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,485 Posts
Motors are pretty useful but plan on repetitive movement but they have their place in a haunt. Servos are fantastic and can do great things but probably the most involved in terms of linkage and torque differential. You need to be pretty versed in gear ratio and proper alignment. Pneumatics can move massive weight for a fraction of the price of servo parts and the armature is a bit more forgiving. My first animatronic was a trash can trauma or barrel pop up. Eventually, things will click and you get well versed in manifolds, flow controls, solenoids etc. You got to start somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for all of the replies.

Your advice was exactly the direction I’d planed on going.

My first project is just to build a static armature to mount a latex head I’ve filled with Gorilla glue and mounted a 1” PVC pipe within.

Due to how large the head is the armature will have to be fairly tall to make him look proportional.

I’ve been watching YouTube videos and found I could purchase the needed joints from Spider Hill Prop Works then assemble with PVC I purchase locally. The joints appear to run $25 - $35 for the set.

Am I on the right track?

Once I feel comfortable with armature construction I’ll move on to simple motion. I’ve watched the videos and am sure I could tackle some of the basic stuff but frankly I enjoy the journey.

I’m in advertising and spend so much time in front of the computer I relish my creative time and figure this will be something I can play with ongoing...

I always do some custom Halloween decoration each year, here is mine for 2020. Certainly nothing compared to what most of you do but I was pleased with it.







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've done a couple of videos that might help you decide. I'd suggest you start with a motorized prop first and then move on to pneumatics and servos (my favorite).
Simple Motorized Halloween Props
Simple Pneumatic Halloween Props
Halstaff - LOL your videos were where I started they are absolutely incredible.

Thank you so much for taking the time to produce such excellent videos that explain everything in depth.

You really are a phenomenal instructor.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
895 Posts
Halstaff - LOL your videos were where I started they are absolutely incredible.

Thank you so much for taking the time to produce such excellent videos that explain everything in depth.

You really are a phenomenal instructor.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Halstaff - LOL your videos were where I started they are absolutely incredible.

Thank you so much for taking the time to produce such excellent videos that explain everything in depth.

You really are a phenomenal instructor.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Beeebs, I'm glad that you have found them helpful. Your comment made my day!
As you continue to travel down the path of building Animatronics, you might also find my book useful - The Ultimate Guide to Do It Yourself Animatronics

 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,449 Posts
This site has a lot of good information and animations on basic kinds of movements.
Robives.com : Mechanism – Rob Ives (This site used to be called Flying Pig.)
This site helped me quite a bit when I was heavier into building props. I still love building props, just don't have as much free time as I used to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
I think we have all learned lots from Halstaff’s awesome videos! 😊. And we watched them repeatedly!

My first animatronic was a stirring cauldron witch maybe 9-10 years ago? We were all building them simultaneously and all copying ScareFx’s as I recall ha ha. My husband and I rebuilt mine from scratch other than her face/hands and it took 2 years but she made her debut this year and it’s compliments of all the fantastic people that willingly shared with us all!

We also incorporated a new twist I want to share. It’s an electronic seconds timer. We are using it on the head motor. She looks down, hold, looks up, hold. We created the holds with the linkages but the seconds timer gives it an added randomness since it isn’t synched up with the motor. It just stops her head every 12 seconds for a few seconds so the moment looks completely random. It pretty much is because we never know where it will hold ha ha. You can program the hold time and frequency and it’s a cheap item as an added bonus! Combining that with the monster mask from Adafruit for the eyes blows peoples minds. They think it’s real.

I haven’t tried servos but you can do some pretty incredible stuff with motors and these wonderful folks will help every step of the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
One thing that is critical, that many people want to skip over, is obtaining some education in basic electricity and electronics. What Volts and Amps are, and how they relate to power. Basic circuit elements, such as resistors and capacitors. I don't know if that Ultimate Guide for Animatroncis goes over this in any detail. But, that sort of knowledge is foundational. Another potential subject to obtain an education in, is the equivalent of one semester of high school physics.

On both subjects, I don't have a specific book or web site that has a good program to follow. Perhaps you can just purchase a book. Again, a book geared towards high school students is sufficient. Perhaps others can recommend a program... and I do emphasize a program, because picking up bits and pieces here and there tend to mean that you will gloss over some foundational information.

-Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Beeebs, I'm glad that you have found them helpful. You're comment made my day!
As you continue to travel down the path of building Animatronics, you might also find my book useful - The Ultimate Guide to Do It Yourself Animatronics

I saved this book in my Amazon wish list... I’m sure it will go into the areas I plan to branch into in the future. I assume it’s not available as a digital download? I really like being able to utilize my iPad to highlight / take notes and refer back.

I’m a multimedia sculptor in addition to doing advertising so I have the tools and am very familiar with the sculpting side of these projects. I’ve made molds and worked with latex for many years. I developed a process for sculpting leather in ‘97.

Halloween is just my favorite and I love animatronics but am typically underwhelmed by the mass produced products.

As I’ve lurked this forum over the past several years I’ve really been amazed at what is possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
Just do it. Start off just making armatures and learning how to get the movement you are looking for. Use books, videos etc. as guides but there is no replacement for experience. Even after creating several new automations I still modify and redo armatures until I am happy with the effect, including tearing down and starting from scratch. Don’t be afraid to try your own ideas, and don’t be afraid to mess up many times :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
895 Posts
I saved this book in my Amazon wish list... I’m sure it will go into the areas I plan to branch into in the future. I assume it’s not available as a digital download? I really like being able to utilize my iPad to highlight / take notes and refer back.

I’m a multimedia sculptor in addition to doing advertising so I have the tools and am very familiar with the sculpting side of these projects. I’ve made molds and worked with latex for many years. I developed a process for sculpting leather in ‘97.

Halloween is just my favorite and I love animatronics but am typically underwhelmed by the mass produced products.

As I’ve lurked this forum over the past several years I’ve really been amazed at what is possible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You are correct that we don't have the book in digital form.
I'm jealous of your talent as a sculptor and your ability to make molds. Those are skills that are on my learn to do list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
You are correct that we don't have the book in digital form.
I'm jealous of your talent as a sculptor and your ability to make molds. Those are skills that are on my learn to do list.
Halstaff -

Like the vast majority of the members here, I love teaching others what I know.

Sorry for my delayed response. I’m in the midst of sorting / selling / pitching / packing in order to move in the spring. I’ve been in western NC for 22 years and it’s incredible just how much stuff I have accumulate.

I‘m moving back to Sarasota, where I grew up. I’ve been asked to teach private sculpting lessons when I return which I plan to do. I absolutely love working with other people, teaching and learning from their discoveries.

Here are a few of my Leather Sculptures:
743097
743098
743099
65F5398F-EC36-4F9E-B4D0-0B09EFCD4141.jpeg
631197E0-0A62-4027-B9FA-B4D6BAF621DB.jpeg
0FD1EBAA-5F38-4CC7-80A5-5E812A6F4D08.jpeg
65F5398F-EC36-4F9E-B4D0-0B09EFCD4141.jpeg
631197E0-0A62-4027-B9FA-B4D6BAF621DB.jpeg
0FD1EBAA-5F38-4CC7-80A5-5E812A6F4D08.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Halstaff -

Like the vast majority of the members here, I love teaching others what I know.

Sorry for my delayed response. I’m in the midst of sorting / selling / pitching / packing in order to move in the spring. I’ve been in western NC for 22 years and it’s incredible just how much stuff I have accumulate.

I‘m moving back to Sarasota, where I grew up. I’ve been asked to teach private sculpting lessons when I return which I plan to do. I absolutely love working with other people, teaching and learning from their discoveries.

Here are a few of my Leather Sculptures:
View attachment 743097 View attachment 743098 View attachment 743099 View attachment 743097 View attachment 743098 View attachment 743099 View attachment 743097 View attachment 743098 View attachment 743099
Not sure how I managed to post the pics multiple times 🙄
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
895 Posts
Halstaff -

Like the vast majority of the members here, I love teaching others what I know.

Sorry for my delayed response. I’m in the midst of sorting / selling / pitching / packing in order to move in the spring. I’ve been in western NC for 22 years and it’s incredible just how much stuff I have accumulate.

I‘m moving back to Sarasota, where I grew up. I’ve been asked to teach private sculpting lessons when I return which I plan to do. I absolutely love working with other people, teaching and learning from their discoveries.

Here are a few of my Leather Sculptures:
View attachment 743097 View attachment 743098 View attachment 743099 View attachment 743097 View attachment 743098 View attachment 743099 View attachment 743097 View attachment 743098 View attachment 743099
WOW! Now I'm really impressed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
WOW! Now I'm really impressed!
LOL.

It’s funny cause I stand in awe of you.

Sculpting has always come very natural to me.

I love thinking outside the box and pushing the limits of what materials can do or what they are intended to do.

That’s one of the things I love about this forum.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top