Sesame Street puppets

bleyd

Sr Member
Sounds good. I'm hoping this info will help in my future vetures of making large character heads/costumes as well. Need to know more about working with foam and whatnot.

Ordering that book from Amazon too!

Great thread btw.

There is a thread of someone making an Animal costume at the Muppet forum. Came out good. The hard part is getting a good pattern then just scaling it or carving a solid foam then hollowing it out to operate it. The patterns using flat sheets then sewing them together makes it easier for internal mechanics from what I've seen.

Trent great job on your M-puppets and thanks for the tip on purchasing extra fabric. How many yards did you use for each one and did you apply the skin before or after the inside mouth? I'm guessing applying the mouth after the skin to hide the seams around the lips.
 

Trooper_trent

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The mouth is the first thing i build. It's got a custom fit thumb cup and chamois lined handstrap with finger grips to help keep your hand from getting tired. Then the foam head is attatched to the mouth. Then the Antron skin goes over the head (like the skin is eating it's own head) and I line up the seams and tuck them under to make them nice and neat.

I'll probably be starting a new one some time soon. I'll take detailed progress pics to show how I do it.
 

bleyd

Sr Member
Okay, now THAT I'd like to see. Seeing techniques to improve performance would be fantastic. How much would you say each one cost you just material? I'm gearing up to make about 4-6 of my own not counting doubles.

I think I can get the foam uber cheap so for me the antron would be the most expensive material. I may substitute with something else but if it makes THAT much of a differance I may take the plunge.
 

Trooper_trent

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
hmmm hard to say. I'd guess after all is said and done, around $80-90 for all materials.

Foam, Antron Fleece, Spandex (for the hand sleeve), tubing (for neck and lower body support as well as bottom ring for ease of access for your hand, Doe Suede (for the red mouth lining), sheep skin chamois, rubber, dense foam, and plastic for the mouth plate,grip and hand strap, doll arm hinges, poly fiber stuffing for the arms, eyes, hair material, and clothing, contact cement, and hot glue, materials for the arm rods, and whatever personal touches or features I decide on.
The sewing machine, hot wire foam cutter, and other tools you only have to buy once, so I'm not including those.

Definitely go with real Antron. Anything else will bunch and wrinkle.

Feel free to ask any questions. There are definitely some really good tricks to making them that you wouldn't think of...things that make a huge difference in the quality of the finished product.
 

bleyd

Sr Member
I've seen the doll arm hinge tutorial and I really liked it. Easy and very effective. Buddy of mine let me borrow his fragglerock set so I can check out the behind the scenes stuff.
Still looking for scenes of the workshop itself.
I DID find this via google.

Hensonphoto.gif


eyes1-1.jpg
 
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Trooper_trent

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
the hardest part is getting the foam pattern right. Especially if you're building it from scratch (not from an existing pattern) you really have to be patient with your self and buy lots of extra foam because you will have to waste a few pieces trying to get it just right. You're making a three dimensional curved head with cheeks, lips, nose, dimples, and chin out of flat, straight pieces of foam. Thinking three dimensionally and getting the darts in the right place to make the curves you want is the tricky part. My heads are 6 pieces of foam (3 on each side) and the body is 4 pieces (belly, back, and sides).

It requires different pieces cut a certain way so that when you wrap them and close the gaps, they form the shape you want and not just a ball.
 

Trooper_trent

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've seen the doll arm hinge tutorial and I really liked it. Easy and very effective. Buddy of mine let me borrow his fragglerock set so I can check out the behind the scenes stuff.
Still looking for scenes of the workshop itself.
I DID find this via google.

Hensonphoto.gif

yup, look at the picture on the right. See how the mouth plate is already made and attached to the foam? Then when the Antron skin is sewn together, you take the skin and slip it over the back of the foam head through the mouth (like it's eating the foam head) then you adjust it, get it just right and fold the edges of the antron over the edge of the mouth plate to create lips.
 

bleyd

Sr Member
IC said the blind man. I thought it was skinned already. One of the FR puppeteers pointed out the smile too. It's amazing the thresholds crossed from that show.
 

HMS Mike

Sr Member
This is the basic pattern I plan to make my first one out of just to get the hang of it.


ballhead2.jpg


ballhead.jpg


fc-rotondo-1-big.jpg


fc-rotondo-2-big.jpg


fleece-shave-small.jpg


fc-rotondo-4-big.jpg




Not MY site but some real good stuff here.

http://www.projectpuppet.com/StoreFront.bok


Hi Guys,
The raw foam head is not the same as the covered head they are two differant patterns. Similar but not the same. The foam head is from my free pattern available on my flickr.com acct.
Here:

1763163362_ec1bd25cb5_b.jpg



The other is from the projectpuppts.com It's the rotondo pattern and is a great pattern to start with, But so are all of the patterns that Pasha makes for his site.

Using either pattern will work. It just takes practice and a lot of hand sewing.

Here is one of my puppets at Comic con this year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Y2BHSZc0g




Have fun,

HMS Mike
 

bleyd

Sr Member
Thanks for clearing that up. Sweet! I found your pattern and didn't post it here in case it wasn't meant to be shared. Thanks for sharing it here. Do you have a pattern for the skin pattern too?

Like the Gonzo, btw.
 

Straycatt

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I am debating making the plunge into this one. I have the perfect audience to practice on in a 4 month old daughter, and the interest to do it. Add to that the fact that a chat I had with Brian Henson at the Farscape Con last weekend that reinvigorated my interest in everything puppetry, and I am ready to tackle making one.

-Adam
 

Trooper_trent

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Mike, that Gonzo is fantastic. My all time favorite Muppet. As a kid, I was obsessed with Gonzo. I had several toys of him including "The Great Gonzo" with the cape.

Man, what I wouldn't give for something like that. I've developed a little skill in creating my own characters over the years, but to duplicate something like that and get it so Spot On, I commend you.


So jealous.
 

bleyd

Sr Member
I need to update my supply/ materials list for this project. Thanks for this very interesting thread. Any tips anyone else here wish to share be it building or even performance techniques.
 
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