May 8, 2010

Czech Puppet Animation

Hello SMFA Animation people!
The last couple of posts are an excellent introduction to my post! I am currently in Prague doing a workshop on Czech puppet design and puppet animation. Its a ten day schedule where we learn about the way that stop motion animation has been traditionally done in the Czech Republic. Well, all that we can fit in such a short time frame. For the last two days we have been making a short animated film with the same style of puppets that were used in Jan Balej's film "One night in one city". It has been an amazing experience to be able to work with these puppets. The are created with a special armature specially designed to allow the most controlled movement of the puppet. The armatures is made of two wooden parts and several metal joints and extremities. The wooden pieces are placed in the center of the puppet, at the chest and at the pelvic area. They join together the specially designed pieces that form the legs, arms, neck and torso of the puppet, which are mainly created as a series of joints.
This particular example does not have the top wooden part. But you can see that the puppet construction is much more sophisticated than a wire armature. The joints at the knees, the ankles, the elbows, etc., are set so there will be no discrepancy in the way the puppet bends his body when he moves.
Later in in the week I will have a lecture on puppet armatures, so I will be able to post a more detailed description of how it all works and where the parts are made. What I know for sure is that the professional armature is relatively expensive, priced at 15000 Kc, the equivalence of 882.5 USD.
For now, I am just enjoying the animation process, in the Hafan studio, where the Czech film, "Fimfarum" was shot.

1 comment:

  1. I am interested in going to the Czech Republic to study puppet animation. Do you have websites or contact information for anyone at Hafan Studio? I have not been able to find a website for them. Also, was your workshop through KID Praha?