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Discussion Starter #1
I've always wanted to build my own animatronic prop, but I'm very new to how animatronics actually work.

How hard would it be to build something like a full-body zombie with some basic movements? Movements such as head turn left, head turn right, head tilt back, body lean back, and eye blink?

How would I go about building something like this? How-to's, pictures, and any info would be great. I'd like to build something awesome, but I'm very new to this.
 

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Terror Syndicates sells a series of books that deal with prop building and simple motions. Motions more along the lines of what I would call "pop-ups". When you get into things like head turns and eye blinks you are talking servos with increaes the difficulty level a great deal.
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Head turns are fairly simple to achieve using an oscillating fan motor.
Also, there are plenty of good tutorials around that incorporate a simple wiper motor and linkage for some basic animation.
My advice would be to start with some basic animation using simple electric motors and lnkages until you build up confidence and experience in the basic principles before moving on to more complex multi-function set ups incorporating servos etc.
 

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the head movement is what is called three axis the lean forward lean back is a little harder but could be done with something like a 4 link pneumatics the head face could be done with a mask or clay and latex or paper mache. look at some of the zombie props here and online to see some how to's the one your talking about can be done but it's not a first timer prop.learn the techniques of each type first then you should be ready for something big time like that prop.Most of the people on here have been doing great cool props for years and I have seen anything at that level posted on here yet so I would say that is a big dog prop(Disney).if you do decide to make one or any type take photos as you build and post them.we would love to see and feel free to ask as you build there's many on here that may be able to help you on your journey.
 

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Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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There are several different ways to build what you are describing. Can you provide a few more details?

Will your zombie be standing? Sitting? Laying down? This helps determine where mechanisms and wiring can go.

Are you hoping to run this off a battery, or plug in to an outlet? This helps figure out the servos, motors, and possible wall-warts you may need.

How are you going to build your zombie? Are you going to build something from scratch? Or are you going to use pre-existing materials? This also helps determine the various motors you might be able to use.
 

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Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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Baron Samedi makes a good point with the fan motor. Going to a thrift shop and buying a cheap, oscillating fan is a great way to get a head to rotate back and fourth.

As for the blinking eyes, that's a bit trickier. Some will suggest you purchase a "singing tree" or other prebuild holiday face.

Here is an example: Animated tree Face
 

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Good advice start with a hack maybe Boris or the tree that way you get a feel for what needs to happen and your patience level and quickly produce a result
 
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