Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I could really use some advice to save me time and aggravation. See my video first: https://youtu.be/dUAD_fsq1fA

I'm having a couple challenges with the head. First, what should I do to get the head to come up more vertical? At its highest point, it is still too angled down for my taste. My short metal piece is around 5.75" and longer one is 8".

Second, the reason why the head is positioned directly on the spine (instead of on a 90 degree elbow) is because I'm trying to also introduce a side to side motion according to this idea: https://youtu.be/DtuUMaa2YPY

Clearly that's not working, maybe the rod at the very end is not heavy enough, but I'll worry about this issue after I fix the first one.

Thanks for any advice!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,353 Posts
Really hard to say from here but I would do away with the double linkage and try a single bar from the motor arm to the pvc. You really need to start by positioning the head upright where you would like it to be at the highest point and then configure the linkage from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,353 Posts
The other thing that's killing the movement is the tee configuration. The pivot point is way above the pvc that you're moving, so the whole assembly is acting like a swing instead of a seesaw. You'd get much better movement if you use a 4-way fitting between the shoulders and get the linkage connection point much closer to that pivot point. Your motor arm is only giving you a set amount of movement in 180° so the closer the linkage attaches to the pivot point, the more movement you'll get. You may have to add counter weight to the other end for that deer motor to operate because the closer the linkage is to the pivot point, the more force it will require to raise the head.
 

·
Prince of Arkham Asylum
Joined
·
2,536 Posts
I've seen a version with a lower pivot point like yours. I don't think it's an issue if you fix your shorter metal connector to the motor. If you don't allow it to swing around the screw so loosely and fix it tight, you will have greater swing, more than 10".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,353 Posts
Here's a diagram showing the difference in pivot point location. The first example has the pivot point above the arm being moved, similar to bluesjumper's configuration. The second example has the pivot point in line with the arm being moved. The blue lines represent the distance the linkage has to move to get 90 degrees. Using the same linkage attachment point in both examples you can see that it takes nearly twice the amount of linkage movement to get 90 degrees with the arm below the pivot point. These drawings are not to the dimensions of bluesjumper's setup but you get the idea.
linkage example.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Looks much better now. I used the same method with mine. One thing I did differently is I put a piece of wood dowel in the horizontal bar to add weight so it stayed in contact with the main structure. It allows a smoother operation of the turning of the head.
 

·
Oak Lane Cemetery
Joined
·
1,964 Posts
I have a question for you guys that use this type of head movement rig. Why are they almost always made so that the head turns when it goes down and straightens when it's up? If I were stirring a cauldron and leaned over to look into it I wouldn't turn my head away. Just seems to me (being picky) that the animation would look better reversed with the head looking down into the cauldron when it's down then turn to look at visitors when it's up. Just an observation and again, just me being picky and particular. (Touch of OCD perhaps) I didn't animate mine this way so I'm not 100% versed in this method of doing it. Mine just goes up and down and uses gravity to drop the jaw open when it's up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,353 Posts
I have a question for you guys that use this type of head movement rig. Why are they almost always made so that the head turns when it goes down and straightens when it's up? If I were stirring a cauldron and leaned over to look into it I wouldn't turn my head away. Just seems to me (being picky) that the animation would look better reversed with the head looking down into the cauldron when it's down then turn to look at visitors when it's up. Just an observation and again, just me being picky and particular. (Touch of OCD perhaps) I didn't animate mine this way so I'm not 100% versed in this method of doing it. Mine just goes up and down and uses gravity to drop the jaw open when it's up.
I have to agree with this. (I have OCD as well!) :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
I posted a reply to your youtube video

J-Man, you are my hero! I applied your initial ideas and it didn't take much experimenting to get the motion I wanted. And the lateral head movement started to work as well. Here is how it looks now: https://youtu.be/tlpGGj5-MXQ

Thanks again!!
Just wanted to let you know I posted a reply to your youtube video with a little tip to help.
 

·
Oak Lane Cemetery
Joined
·
1,964 Posts
I don't want anyone to think I'm nitpicking or anything. You make your props however you want them to look. I'm a bit of a weirdo who thinks way too much into things to the point that it get a bit ridiculous sometimes. Who really thinks "now if I were a skeleton stirring a cauldron, how would I move my head" besides me? The kids really don't care and won't notice how it moves, only that it does and that's what matters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
985 Posts
Our thanks to everyone who responded so far. We had our cauldron creep out last year and we loved him. But dang, was he a tough thing to put together. He has more drill holes in him than a drain pipe trying to figure out where to put the motor and linkages. Now, with the worst behind us, we're hoping to tweak him even further so that he looks up from his cauldron even more. You all have been a wealth of information on how to make those changes and even add a bit more. I think if we can get that head movement going, we will do what Oak Lane Cemetery suggested and make him looking down when he's looking into the cauldron. I guess we're a bit more OCD than we are willing to admit. :)
 

·
Oak Lane Cemetery
Joined
·
1,964 Posts
Just wanted to give a different perspective on the head movement for this build. Here is how mine looks using a second deer motor mounted sideways on the creep's back. The motor connects to a L shaped linkage that runs up into the neck. The bend of the L pivots in a small eye bolt on the top of the skeleton's spine. I opened up the holes that the jaw connects to the skull with so that it flops open very easily, giving some mouth opening and closing action. Mine only goes up and down, but it's pretty smooth and I didn't have to hide a bunch of PVC, which allowed me to keep most of an entire skeleton exposed. Skip ahead to 2:08 to see it in action in this video...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
985 Posts
Just wanted to give a different perspective on the head movement for this build. Here is how mine looks using a second deer motor mounted sideways on the creep's back.
I really like the fluid motion of your creep. Ours tends to be a bit jerky, so this year, we're going to try a few of the suggestions made here to see if we can smooth him out a bit. Your videos that show you retooling your props as the years go by are rather comforting. We're not quite as concerned now about how fragile they might be to the idea of being tweaked into something different. Thanks. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Here's my final version of the build, before I move on to decorating the cauldron. I'll eventually delete and re-post new video that brings everything together.
https://youtu.be/GBiPUtyq3Z4

You think the creep would be better with a cape and hood (and some creepy cloth), or just 'bare bones'? Here's video with cape on...
https://youtu.be/wviEs2mR8to

Having just been to New Orleans for jazz fest, I did a swamp tour and brought back an alligator skull and have great swamp sound effects. I'm contemplating how much of a swamp theme I want to build upon. If I do, the cape version may be the way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,353 Posts
Looks good but it does appear a bit weird with the whole spine moving back and forth with the head. I would secure the spine so it's stationary but again that's just me. (OCD) :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
J-Man, yeah, I had noticed that as well. The problem is that I have nowhere to anchor it to. The entire PVC shaft on which the head rests swings through the plane where it needs to go. I may just have enough clearance to attach it to the sternum, but then it would look weird to have the spine attached to chest! Does your OCD instinct suggest to forget about the spine altogether? Here are some photos. Last one has no spine.... IMG_6577.jpg IMG_6578.jpg IMG_6579.jpg
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top