How to Make a Knight Armor and a Giant Talking Head
Ever wanted a suit of Knight armor? Or what about a Jim Henson style Giant Puppet head that talks? This episode of the viewer-submission show Your FX has all that and much more! Plus, one of the best 'Random Effects Montage's' to date! Featured filmmaking tutorials get a free Indy Mogul t-shirt!Submit yours at http://www.IndyMogul.com/SubmitWebsite: http://www.IndyMogul.comTwitter: http://www.Twitter.com/IndyMogul
How to Make a Knight Armor and a Giant Talking Head
Zack Finfrock: Hey Indi Mogul Zack Finfrock here for backyard effects. Today is your effects where we show you your effects, you know tutorial you guys send in, the first mogulween your effects is by Dave Thomas and he did some mini evil knight armor and no it’s not for Dave Thomas from Wendy’s. I was disappointed myself, alright, let’s check it out.
Dave Thomas: Today on the effects we’re going to be creating our very own suit of medieval armor. Shopping list; craft foam, hot glue gun, glue, metallic silver spray paint, scissors, masking tape, some sponge, a pair of old gloves, newspaper and an oven.
First we’ll build a basic breast plate; for starters I’ve created a stunt dummy torso based on the classic VFX build, check out that episode if you need help. This way you have something to build on that fits your actors proportions in case you don’t have an actual mannequin dress form or any friend. I stuffed my dummy with an old mattress topper, I have lying around to give a bit more stability while I worked.
Now that you have a dress form start attaching newspaper to it with masking tape. Try to cover most of the torso with about two layers of newspaper. I went a bit overboard with the masking tape because I wanted my pattern to have more durability. But you can just use the plain paper if you don’t intend on making more armor from this pattern.
When you’ve got your basic shape cut the pattern off of your dummy at the back and shoulders. Flatten this out and you’ve got yourself a nice template. I cut my full pattern in half and only used the one for tracing so I could guarantee that both sides of the breast plate would match.
Now depending on the size of your foam sheets you may need to hot glue some of them together to have a large enough starting area. Now you want to transfer the pattern of the foam and carefully cut it out with scissors. Since the foam hasn’t been sealed yet it’s easily punctured so be careful. Once you’ve cut out both halves of your breast plate, hot glue the seams of the shoulders. At this point you can trim the two halves until they fit together properly. Now you can glue to the two halves together at the front.
To give the breast plate a bit more shape, cut it in angles from the bottom to create a dark in the foam and then glue them together. Again use your reference photos to help you get the right shape. Next I decided to add a skirt to the breast plate. A manly skirt of course. Anyway, the last step is to add small details and trim to cover any hot glue ones and give the armor a smoother look. I chose to add trims to all of the visible seams on the armor. You can add more designs if you wish, go ahead, be creative. And no, we aren’t done yet, but don’t worry it gets easier.
For the helmet I just cut out sections of craft foam and attach them to an old mannequin head I just happen to have lying around. Slowly you build these foam pieces into the helmet design that you want. I went for a sectional plated sort of look. If you want to get hard core about it, check out www.armorarchive.org for actual armor patterns. With a little modification you can use them to create your craft foam pieces. No welding required.
Once its firm enough remove it and hot glue the seams inside the helmet as well, lastly you can cut out holes for your peepers. At first I want with few individual ones but ultimately I just need one long open strip.
The last pieces of armor I made were simple gauntlets. I made a quick pattern using some old poster board and then cut it out of the foam. Now since craft foams springs back into place when bent I had to employ a different technique to shape the gauntlet.
Craft foam can actually be shaped using heat so with safety first, I place the foam on an upside down pan in the oven for 30 seconds at 250 degrees then I quickly removed it and shaped it around my forearm, wear gloves and an old thick shirt, the foam won’t be too hot but that’s no excuse for being an idiot. And as you can see the gauntlets are shaped and ready to roll or defend actually.
Now you might be thinking Dave then armors nice and all but aren’t you forgetting something? Like paint? Correct. However craft foam can’t be painted straight up, it actually absorbs paint like a sponge. So first we’re going to need to seal all of the armor with good old mud pongee. Paint on one to three smooth and even coats and the foam should be ready to tackle a sexy metallic paint job.
Give each coat about 15 minutes to dry and finally, use a coat of metallic silver spray paint to finish the job. Fan-freakin-tastic.
Zack Finfrock: Alright, next up is the mogule win your effects random effects montage and I have to say personally I’m very proud of this one because you guys actually did send in a lot of awesome practical effects. Let’s watch it.
The next effect is a giant talking head by Mike Cameron; he’s going to show you how to do it in Canada because that’s where he’s from because you see the logo in let’s watch.
Mike Cameron: This week we’re pulling to move Neil Jim Hanson play book because we’re building a giant talking head. We’re going to have two parts to our build, a giant talking head and a pair of oversized hands. A meter and a half of stretchy fabric, a quarter meter of different color stretchy fabric, a quarter meter of see through black mesh, a meter and half of quarter inch foam, plastic eyes, a small magnetic motor, three nine volt battery connectors, a one and a half meter length of electrical cabling, a clicker switch, hot glue gun, metal coat hangers, scrap wood, zip ties, duct tape, electrical tape, an old stuffed animal, a pair of old gloves.
Start right taking your metal coat hangers and bending them into the shape of your head connecting the separate vertical and horizontal pieces which you ziptize and duct taped. Make sure to measure your actor before hand so you have adequate room for their head and for the moving mouth in front.
Next, measure the distance between the front and back of your upper draw frame and cut your scrap wood to size, drill two holes on each corner to attach your scrap wood to the frame, attach it with zip ties through the holes. Now take your motor, three battery connectors, an electrical cabling and use a pair of scissors to strip the ends. Connect the ends together using your electrical tape in the following order; the motor to the red end of the first battery connector, the three battery connectors going from black to red, the black end of the last battery connector to the electrical cable and then the electrical cable back to the motor. At the end of your electrical cable, connect the clicker switch.
I’ve tried a number of ways to create the moving mouth, but what I ended up going with was creating a solid lower draw line and taking one section of coat hanger to be the lower section of mouth connecting to the rear of the upper draw line.
Use any kind of L connector to secure the motor aiming downwards to your scrap wood and attach the pin to the back of the lower lip sliding through a thin metal piece to secure it. Create a container for your batteries on top of your scrap wood, I just used a small paper box and attached it using the zip ties and duct tape. Now, everytime you tap your clicker it will activate the magnet in the motor pulling up the pin creating a quick talking look. Make sure to leave some space between the bottom of your lower lip and the top of your chin for the foam and fabric.
Then take some of your black mesh and sew it to the interior of your mouth and its foam time. Measure your head and cut your foam fabric into separate pieces. Hot glue the separate pieces to your frame cutting each piece here and there as you go to match the curves of your head. Be careful, hot glue is very hot. Cut out some large holes through your eyes and take two more pieces of your black mesh and hot glue it onto the foam.
Hot glue your plastic eyes onto your black mesh leaving enough room for your actor to see out, the hard part is done. Take your head measurements and cut out the fabric for your skin, sew it together and slide it on. Make sure to leave some extra at the bottom so you can tuck it into your actor’s clothing, cut out the holes through your eyes and mouth and hot glue the extra in behind.
Lastly, chop your extra fabric to match your jaw line and attach. Now to make it pretty, you can decorate your head if you like but I decided to go with the puffy nose, big red lips and Vulcan ears. I use stuffing from our stuffed animal for the ears and nose and just to punch up the talking motion a little bit more I tossed in a another section of fabric below the bottom lip.
For his hair, goatee and eyebrows, we cut up said stuffed animal and hot glued each piece on. Try to get a large furry animal; mine are sort of small so I didn’t have enough for the entire head which gave him kind of a crazy, nave, smurf biker bud. To make the hands take your old pair of gloves and duct tape the fingers together in two rows. Measure your gloves and cut your fabric to size, sew it together and slide it on. Voila, monster hands.
Zack Finfrock: That’s it for this your effects. Both of these effects can be found on the Indy Mogul YouTube page, Indy Mogul extra because they’re both audition episodes. On the complete side note, we hear that ways like creations just release a teaser for our fall out themed fan film, fall out nukabreak. You can go to www.nukabreak.com to check it out. It’s got plenty of cool costumes and effects and it’s going to be released hopefully soon so you can check it out then. Alright, see you next week.
How to Make a Knight Armor and a Giant Talking Head
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