Sunday, October 12, 2008

Masking Tape Zombie

Just in case you thought that all I care about is cute little stop motion kitties (from my posting of a few weeks ago), I thought I'd post this bit of loveliness. Halloween IS just around the corner, so I'll use that as a further excuse. I'll also blame a life-long and apparently never-ending love for monsters and monster design.

Anyway, this whole fella is made of green masking tape (aka "painter's tape"), on top of a wire armature, that you can see posed in the above picture. He's climbing out of the grave, hence the pose, and the half body aspect. And yes, that's a Wind In The Willows dvd case he's perched on. What can I say, my tastes are varied.

Anyway, I've used masking tape before, basically to "bulk out" trees and such for set pieces. It paints up nicely, and is easy/cheap to work with, so I thought I'd give it a go on something a little more specific, and detailed. Get to know the medium a bit, if you will. It's always interesting to play with materials that aren't typically used for art, as neat things can happen when you colour outside the lines...

I'm not sure if I'll actually finish this particular piece, as it's really just a test for a "life size" effort that I'll throw in our garden on Halloween night, with some spooky lighting. I just wanted to test the tape approach to see how detailed I could get things.

Of course, this little guy wouldn't animate (the tape is a bit fragile, and would cave in as soon as you'd grab it in order to animate it), but I'm sure there's some crazy way to make a stop mo puppet with masking tape.

Below are a few more pics. The in-focus one reveals the green tape, as it peeks through in places, which gives the thing a sort of "rotting, glow-in-the-dark-from-the-inside, Mario Bava" sort of vibe as a base. In this picture you can also how the bits of applied tape lends the face a patched, barely-held-together quality, that suits the "zombie" look pretty well. I saved this technique, which is just basically tearing very tiny pieces of tape into rough squares and sticking them on, till the very end, since the look it gave only matters on the surface level. On lower levels, I just bulked up into the main shapes as I went.

The out of focus image is my fave. It's basically the same framing and lighting as the one above it, but it goes to show what selective focus can do to an image. The out of focus pic does not look like the subject is about 3 inches high, and made of tape and paint. For my money, it looks pretty damn alive (or undead, as the case may be). No Photoshop involved, just in-camera manipulation.

Happy pre-Halloween...


Don C said...

Hey Chris, there is a way to make a puppet with tape, but not masking tape..

Duct tape!

What you do, is use cotton balls to bulk up and then wind the duct tape around and around. It really works, that's how I made both Clod and Flog in Barrier. Duct tape and cotton are lightweight, too. You could use liquid latex to hide the seams frame the tape being bunched up in places.

Duct tape is my favorite stuff in the world, and it has many uses. I fasten sets down with it as well. Since they're cardboard and clay, nothin's going anywhere.

Don C said...

whoops, "from" the tape being bunched up in places...