How I Made The First Animatronic Rig For A Usurper Wolf

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asy0uw1sh

New Member
Here's a little background info on how I designed the animatronics for a recent commission I was contracted to do.

I was sent the mask which helped immensly, the mask is truly a work of art, but unfortunately, this particular one, was prepped and assembled for display purposes, it was very heavy and the dreads were embedded a few inches each into a rigid foam inside of the crown, that all had to be painstakingly and carefully removed.
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Here's a shot of a few of the dreads I managed to pull through the mask before removal from the foam.
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Once that was achieved, I carefully and exactingly measured with a caliper the entire mask and then modeled the inner Rig, based on the measurements, they included eye to eye, eye to crown, inner chin to crown, brow to chin, fang to fang, just to name a few, the key and major challenge to this rig, is that due to limited space available within the mask I would need to leave the back and sides open as much as possible to allow for the wearer to have room and for the dreads to be re-embedded back into the mask, just not as deeply as before.

Once the Rig had been sculpted and measured time and time again, I cast it. Here is a shot of it in ultracal...
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It then had to be recast in fibreglas, so I had to make of negative mold of the newly made ultracal positive mold, So I used silicone and cast it in fibreglas here are those shots...
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Here are the two side by side.
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Next I had to trim the fibreglas and cut out the appropriate eye holes, then it was time for a test fit...
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I really lucked out, had it not been for the insane number of measurements, it would have taken a lot of tweaking, fortunately I only had to dremel one small area and sand down the brow a bit, then it fit literally like a glove.

I then wired and mounted the servos and attached the lower servo arms and encased all of the wiring for the lower mandibles, and added another servo with a cable attached to a joint pivot I made from scratch and strategically attached to the front of the mask to control the limited movement of the upper singular fang then I wired it all to the RC receiver and power supply.
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Then I attached an inner form fitting face mask inside of the rig. I don't have shots of this aspect of the build, sorry. Next I added elastic to keep the rig firmly attached to the wearer's head and that's pretty much it.
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Oh I almost forgot! I also made and installed pressure pad switches that fit comfortably onto the wearers fingers under the gloves. Simply tapping your fingers together operates the mask. This is wired to a second transmitter. I also included a traditional small transmitter that looks like something that would operate a RC car.

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Pretty cool huh?
 

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L HULK

New Member
I will email you a picture of them shortly then get them sent out to you if that's ok

Just want to make sure it's the right part brother

Thanks again
 

asy0uw1sh

New Member
Pepe, I'm sorry to say, you can't, unless you move to Canada. The mask and rig
shipped back to it's owner early last week.

-Alan
 

BoSkarr

New Member
That is awesome. In the movies they needed a larger remote behind the camera. So this is better.
I would love to see it in action.
 

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Snake14

New Member
Alan - great posting. Was torn on letting this go to Greg but the addition of the rig will do the mask justice!
 

asy0uw1sh

New Member
The servos are very strong, but the mask was cast very thick so you get limited movement, if this mask was available in silicone, the movement would be AMAZING. Other limiting factors is that the mask was designed with a thick "webbing" between the lower mandibles and chin and the upper fang joint is literally sculpted in a way that it is completely attached offering very little possibility of movement. The mask itself is truly beautiful and anyone would be lucky to own one, it just was never intended to be animated.

Here are three videos, the first just shows the unlimited range of motion achievable by the servos themselves and the second video shows the rig with the mask over it and the ranges of motion achievable...


http://youtu.be/qXzJsV7JZVQ

http://youtu.be/Pdc_8siCSlU

http://youtu.be/U23k8Vta6P8
 

asy0uw1sh

New Member
Thanks guys for all of the positive feedback! I really appreciate it! I can see why you were hesitant to part with it Snake! And Gene, thanks for the words of encouragement! I can't wait to begin work on that silicone P1 you're doing for David! That build should rock!
 

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asy0uw1sh

New Member
BoSkarr, they needed 3 remotes operated by three individuals to fully animate this mask in the film. When this mask was originally developed by ADI and up until the Beserker Predator in Predators, the Wolf was the only Predator mask to feature animatronic eyes in place of the actors eyes, the ADI version of this mask is HUGE!
 

BoSkarr

New Member
Okay. When I was watching something in the special features of AVP they had a rig with a stand with 4 joy sticks controlled with two hands. But that was AVP. We're talking about AVPR, so they might have upgraded it or something.
 

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