Monday, September 19, 2011

Video Project with Little Tybee - Phase 5 - Anglerfish

This is one of those projects that sounds simple when you first approach it and turns out to be way more work than you thought. Sure most projects, or pieces, are like that but this one kicked my butt.

I dove right into making the fish, based on my full-scale drawings. I cut and bent a section of hardware cloth and tried to create the fish's shape on the fly. After a few hours of frustration, I decided I would never get the shape I was after.
I thought it would help to sculpt a small model out of foam and create a pattern from it's form. This made more sense. After creating a shape I was happy with, I made a small paper pattern, doubled it, and then blew it up on an opaque projector. I spray-mounted the full-sized pattern to the hardware cloth and proceeded to cut it out.
Cutting out the hardware cloth and stitching it back together proved to be very challenging - and painful. The sharp ends seemed to be constantly scratching and cutting my hands as I wrestled it into shape. Once that was done, I figured it would be simple to hot-glue on all the little bits of plastic paraphernalia. I underestimated the amount of stuff I needed to cover the surface and was constantly searching for more stuff to glue on. I thought it would take one day to glue all the pieces on and it ended up taking 2 and a half. I was so looking forward to painting it all one color and aging it down. Maybe I was impatient with the gluing, but it seemed to be an endless job.

Here are my in-progress pics, click them for a larger view........

The form of the anglerfish starts to take shape. I added a couple of pieces of wood to help hold the shape.

The top and bottom part of the mouth. You can also see the pink foam model I used to create the pattern.

The small paper pattern I got off the model.

Starting to cover the fish with plastic pieces, which I used to add texture.

Almost done. There's a hinge for the mouth, and the eyes will move, and the fin will flap.

All covered. I couldn't wait to cover all of this mess with one color. I figured out I used at least 500 buttons and I have no idea how many other pieces.

A close up of some of the pieces.

A small test piece I made so I could play with the color and aging.

The top piece painted. Here I'm adding the teeth which are made from a plastic milk bottle.

The bottom, with the teeth added.

The tongue, covered in a generic variety of Cheerios.

Front view of the anglerfish.

This is probably the view we'll see the anglerfish in the video.

Another view. I still have to finish the eyes and add a light out front - it is an anglerfish after all.

A close up of the pieces after painting and aging.

Now on to the tents and props for the Fortune Teller's scene.......