realistic dinosaur suit concept - need input!

zekehat

New Member
Hi all! I'm pretty new here, but I've been seriously contemplating building a dinosaur suit. I've seen some decent ones, but my main problem is that they all display the actor's legs, and that completely ruins the image for me. Some suits hide the legs, but look completely unrealistic. I've been thinking that digitigrade stilts would for such a project, preferably some majorly reinforced ones. I've done a little research and scale comparison, and a human thigh and tibia scale pretty similarly to those of a tyrannosaur, meaning that the legs would not look completely wonky. However, If this is implemented, in order to keep the body from looking completely out of proportion, the actor (me) would have to bend their waist at nearly a 90 degree angle, which would cause considerable back strain. My idea for a workaround to this would be to rest my torso on a platform of sorts that would be connected to the tail, which would be counterbalanced enough for me to rest my full weight on said platform, while also wearing a back brace. controls for the head and neck would also have to be placed below me, lest I strain my neck as well. this is something I really want to do, but am concerned about the feasibility of it all. Thoughts? I really want to create a replica tyrannosaur from the first jurassic park.
 
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joberg

Master Member
I think that there's a video on YouTube showing how they made a Raptor suit worn by a puppeteer. You could check that one first:)
 

clonesix

Sr Member
You tube is a place to start.

I also considered this project, and my concern was transporting a 9' tall Raptor in m Honda Civic. What good is a dinosaur if you can't take him out for a stroll? I was unable to come up with an idea of how to make it modular legs, head, tail, etc.

for the record: I prefer the puppeteer's legs visible of inside the dino legs. That's the way that "Walking with Dinosaurs" does it.
 

zekehat

New Member
Joberg said:
I think that there's a video on YouTube showing how they made a Raptor suit worn by a puppeteer. You could check that one first
.
The video I saw was Stan Winston's, and that's definitely close to what I want to do. However, what I am planning will be quite a bit bigger. I have seen that video before and will probably make a neck based of their design.
 

zekehat

New Member
You tube is a place to start.

I also considered this project, and my concern was transporting a 9' tall Raptor in m Honda Civic. What good is a dinosaur if you can't take him out for a stroll? I was unable to come up with an idea of how to make it modular legs, head, tail, etc.

for the record: I prefer the puppeteer's legs visible of inside the dino legs. That's the way that "Walking with Dinosaurs" does it.
That was my first thought too. But having the legs of the actor visible just ruins the illusion for me.
 

clonesix

Sr Member
That was my first thought too. But having the legs of the actor visible just ruins the illusion for me.
I agree with that when I see the dino on the (TV or PC) screen, because I have the advantage of full view. If I were a spectator in the crowd, I am too focused on the head and body movement to notice the puppeteer's leg's, that is if I would be able to see the lower half through the other spectators. And lastly... If I were wearing the dino, I would surely appreciate being able to slip my feet in and out of the shoe built into the inner toe, rather than having to wear the legs like pants and not be able to just take the costume off.

when you have the legs on the outside, and you take the dino costume off, you are just a guy without shoes. If you wear the legs and want to take your costume off, now you're nekkid.
 

runkrod

New Member
I've been planning a similar project for almost a year and I originally thought as you do about the legs spoiling the illusion. However, I viewed dozens of videos now and seen one costume in real life and can say that you very quickly stop seeing the legs when the head is the focal point (if the puppeteer is worth a damn). The problem with digistilts is that no matter how secure you make them, you will never have the mobility and dexterity that "real legs" have. So your costume will be a slow, lumbering "drunken" dinosaur and you will be very limited in how long you can stay strapped into the position.
As such, I am building one with exposed legs, a la "walking with dinosaurs". I don't have a WIP up as I want to get further along in the project first (the last couple of times I did WIPs I never finished the build, so I don't want to jinx this one).
 

joberg

Master Member
There's a bunch of specialized "stilts" out there; one of them is made by Weta and seems to be quite good. Either way, you'll have to do some serious re-engineering to make your gait a natural one (specially since you don't want your legs to show).
 
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