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Tidy Up - December 2003

Tidy Up  was an early incarnation of the character Isambard Sprocket who would later appear in other animations. It was produced using a simple webcam and using Anasazi freeware stop motion software.


The  limitations of the webcam made the images quite poor. I also tried producing a little stop motion of my own hand a technique that I had seen on the BBC's morph stop motion, it was easier than I thought to hold my hand steady whilst clicking the shutter. The onion skinning facility on Anasazi made it quite easy to capture the movement.

The Isambard puppet was inspired from the BBC Trumpton stop motion from when i was a child. I used sculpey oven  bake clay for the hands and the head is a plastic practice golf ball covered with tape and then sculpey. I part baked the head to make it hard then added the features and then baked it again. The main body armature was made using aluminium wire I got from a bonzai specialist and just padded it out with foam. The arms I used pipe cleaners. The feet are made from steel plate, about 1 mm thick and covered with sculpey. For the neck articulation I used a ball joint from a Lego robot . The clothes were made from felt. I was disappointed with the result as his movement is very restricted. There is a lot of springback when positioning the arms. The clothing also proved to be too thick. Isambard now sits on my desk and continues to watch me making mistakes! I would recommend any budding animator to skip this type of armature and build a brass one. See elsewhere on this site for plans.