Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Mewlips

As a huge Tolkien fan I also became an instant fan of Colin Rudd's music, since I believe it's the closest to sitting in an Middle-Earth inn and listening to a bard as we'll ever get. So I contacted him in June 2007 and asked for permission to use one of his songs, which illustrated Tolkien's "hobbit" poem "The Mewlips", to make a movie. He heartly agreed and off I was to the workshop and animation room... And I was pretty much off for a long while. All sorts of other jobs and problems to solve popped up one by one, so it's not until last week that this project was finished and posted on YouTube. Happily, Colin was happy with the result and now I'm working on the next project, "Ent Song".

The Mewlips are nasty creatures that hobbit parents scare their children with, so the kids don't wander off with foolish ideas of adventure. I had no idea how the puppets would look as I started sculpting them, but here's how they turned out.

Armatures for the puppets were made in my usual, cheap-but-sturdy way. The joints are braided aluminum wire and the "bones" are melted and shaped Friendly Plastic.

One of the mewlips has been covered in latex skin.

But his butt and back still needs to get dressed. As you can see there's some simple muscle shapes made out of foam rubber. The yellow sort is the softer one.

The boys are finished and ready to get moving.

The castle of the mewlips does not suffer any rodent-infestation, but rather an infestation of mudskippers. This tiny puppet is about 8 cm long and was animated separately on a blue screen set, so I could shrink it down when adding it to scenes with the mewlips. Had I built it in scale with the mewlip puppets it would've been pretty difficult to animate.


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Peopleingorillasuits said...

Now I don't know how useful it is to post about older entries, but this one did it.
First: All I read up to now is just... how to say... "Kids, watch and learn. Here is a pro at work". The vampire skull are really outasight. There is even some hair left on them ! That is dedicated handcraft.
The tentacle is... first the cups. Nice, good idea. Then dozens of them in very different shapes and sizes. Then the tentacle. Then the whole thing painted and finished!
Then all that nice film works you did in summer. The pointy ears are great too.
But the Mewlips finally forced me to write a comment, especially after I saw that SPAM-Comment.
Everyone got a character of its own. The whole set. The mudskipper. Their eyes (mewlips and mudskippers). Then again thanks a lot for that detailed how-to's.
A last word: Your introduction gave me some very positive thoughts. Thanks for that too.

Richard Svensson said...

I'm so glad you decided to stop by and comment! This is the kind of comments one hopes for!

Many thanks!