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  • Jon Hartman

Space Guy


In my junior year at SCAD, I worked on a collaborative fabrication project called Space Guy. Due to sudden personnel changes over the course of the quarter, it was a very troubled production, but I'm still very proud of the outcome. Our goal was to fabricate and animate a short film amidst all of our other classes. The "film" ended up being a rapidly animated (but still quite long, given the circumstances) proof of concept. I was responsible for fabricating the titular puppet as well as designing the set. My collaborators assisted in constructing the set, building the robot arm, and dressing the set with props.

Before we even began working on this project together, I started fabricating the space man character who would eventually star. In my mind, I was accomplishing two things. Firstly, I was building a smooth, clean character in a medium that's often very rough, and secondly, I was learning how to use silicone.

I cast the silicone in two parts from a single mold. I walled in the face section and cast it before before pouring in the red for his space cowl. The armature is very simple, and thus very rudimentary for this kind of puppet, but having known this in advance, I was fairly pleased with the outcome. Though to be entirely honest, I'm more proud of this mold than anything else.

I originally intended to cast the body out of a slightly less gummy silicone, but it ended up being far too restrictive, so I ended up using a two-part flexible urethane foam. Typically, I avoid urethane foam at all costs, but I had to settle due to time constraints. I also had plenty sitting around, because I'd been spending so much time NOT using it.

When designing the set, I wanted to give the science fiction environment as much anachronistic texture as possible. For this reason in particular, I designed a curved, backlit wall adorned with stained wooden slats. The other walls are made of plywood, laminated with carved foam, and weathered to appear as worn metal. Though the curved wall is practically lit, it's a bit hard to see with the final lighting, which is globally far brighter than I had intended in the design phase.

The entirety of the animation is not online, but you can see a clip of it in my real. If you send me an email, I'd be happy to share more with you! Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more!

-Jon


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