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funkycheese7000 Posted: Jul 14th 2010

I was thinking about making a stop-motion film, but I am not sure where armatures (skeletons for your models) can be purchased? Or is there a simple way of making one? I'd be grateful for any help. :)

Shaun and the Ewe Posted: Jul 14th 2010

funky, you should be able to purchase one from an art shop. I have seen plenty of them. A bit vague if you like, but you can get them at Tate modern if you can get there easily, they always have loads. Hope this helps.

iantimothy Posted: Jul 14th 2010

Really? must be a good art shop... shaun and the ewe, are you sure you weren't seeing wooden art dummys? If so then those will not work as armatures... they will not hold a pose and are not very flexible.

iantimothy Posted: Jul 14th 2010

Armatures... if your film isn't too complex or long then you can easily make them yourself... All you need is some wire and epoxy putty. Here is a good tutorial...
if I can make a suggestion though... it says use 14 gauge steel wire... don't use that... it will be too thick to move...
make sure you use 14 gauge ANNEALED alluminum wire (that is caped because it is important)
then you just put some epoxy putty for bones and you should have a nice armature...

If you want to buy one, they can get pricy, I have an armaverse I use for Twigs, in Beaver Creek, I have had it for two years and it has worked great. It is not the best armture out there, but it is the cheapest "ball and socket" armature and it works fine for me. here is a link to there site

if you have any more question, please ask.

funkycheese7000 Posted: Jul 14th 2010

I think SATE must have meant those wooden dummys - I went to the Tate Modern a while ago, and I say loads of dummys but no armatures.
I've just been looking at that wire armature tutorial you posted a link for - what's magic sculpt? Is it like air-drying clay? Also, what's epoxy putty? I've never heard of these thing before. :)

iantimothy Posted: Jul 14th 2010

i don't know what magic sculpt is, but I use epoxy putty... It is the stuff that plumbers and handymen use to fix stuff, it is like a putty, you knead it around a bit and mold it to what you want, then it drys rock hard, it gives you a good solid structure, There was a great thread on here somewhere about armatures, let me find it.
Where are you from?
There are different brands different places, I am from the US, I use either Loctite brand or might putty.

iantimothy Posted: Jul 14th 2010

Alright this has some good tutorials

funkycheese7000 Posted: Jul 15th 2010

On that thread you posted, someone says that Fimo is a good alternative to epoxy putty, if it's easier to get hold of. I have some already - do you think that would do? Also, if you're just using plastacine for the model, is it OK to just put the plastacine staight onto the armatury once the putty/Fimo is completely dry?
Oh, and I'm from the UK. :)

iantimothy Posted: Jul 15th 2010

Hmmm... fimo is a polymer clay, so you will have to bake it, It would not be as good as an epoxy, I know there is a brand of Epoxy Putty in the UK, I don't know I would ask...... um.... I think I remember from another thread that crackingtoast used it on his armatures... you could try askin' him what an english brand is.

iantimothy Posted: Jul 15th 2010

and yup, you can just put it straight on, but, I put some cloth tape on the armature so the clay sticks better.

funkycheese7000 Posted: Jul 15th 2010

I'm going shopping at the weekend, so I'll have a look around. :) Thanks very much, Ian! And good luck with finishing off Episode 5 of Beaver Creek. ;)

Shaun and the Ewe Posted: Jul 15th 2010

Oh right, sorry, I thought you meant the wooden ones. They hold poses quite well though. I think I did see an armature once, although it was a one off art shop. Just try looking, search your area, art shops and see if they sell them.

funkycheese7000 Posted: Jul 17th 2010

Ian - I was just reading the wire armature tutorial that Nofby posted on here:
It says something about tie-downs, which I think is screwing your puppet to a surface? If you wanted the puppet to walk around, you wouldn't need tie-downs, would you? I have also found a good arts and crafts shop near me which sells some alluminium wire, and apparently we already have some Milliput, which is the English version of epoxy putty, so all is going well so far! I've come up with a few characters, one of which will definately need an armature as it stands upright. Another character I thought about having was a fox - do you think it would be easier to make it without an armature and have it on all fours, or have it standing upright aswell?
Thanks very much! :)

shaun the lamb Posted: Jul 17th 2010

If it's going to be on all Fours then I don't think you'd need an armature. But if it's going to stand like a human then it should have one.

funkycheese7000 Posted: Jul 17th 2010

Thanks Shaun The Lamb! :)
Does anyone know if JLipSync is a good lip-sync program for stopmotion at all? I watched this video (here: on how to use it, and it look quite good...

mmasonghi studios Posted: Jul 21st 2010

Yes I Love It, it Works Well ;)

iantimothy Posted: Jul 21st 2010

no no no no no no no no no no non no no no.... no.... if it is made of clay and you are using lights, and you want good animation, then every character needs an armature. and no, I have never used tie downs, I have never felt they are necessary.
and yeah, miliput sounds familiar, I have heard people on here talk about that before, so it is the right stuff.

mmasonghi studios Posted: Jul 22nd 2010

Right! Everything Needs An Armature

funkycheese7000 Posted: Jul 22nd 2010

Ian - was the no no no no no part in response to 'is JLipSync any good'?

mmasonghi studios Posted: Jul 23rd 2010

No It Was A Reply To STL Saying "If it's going to be on all Fours then I don't think you'd need an armature,"

iantimothy Posted: Jul 23rd 2010

yeah, what he said, I have no idea about JlipSync

mmasonghi studios Posted: Jul 24th 2010

Like I Said I Think Jlipsync is good

kameatrix Posted: Aug 4th 2010

You can get high quality armatures pretty cheap on this site- .

iantimothy Posted: Aug 4th 2010

but the only ones on that site that are cheaper than armaverse are the wire ones, and you can make that kind, you wouldn't need to spend 40 pounds on it.

kameatrix Posted: Aug 4th 2010

Oh, sorry- I've just noticed the prices are in dollars- oops.

Animational Posted: May 10th 2011

How much would it cost to make a fully animatable puppet from scratch? Is there a cheap way to make a rubber puppet? I'm a computer animator, but I'd like to do stop-motion if the materials weren't expensive...

waldo15 Posted: Jul 8th 2011

How do you cover the armature with clay? when I tried, the clay just broke at the joints.

iantimothy Posted: Jul 8th 2011

what kind of clay are you using?

waldo15 Posted: Jul 8th 2011

sculpey bakeable clay.

cheesehead302 Posted: Dec 11th 2011

There's accually a pretty good tutorial on how to make a ball and sockey JOINT. It shows just how to do 1 joint.

cheesehead302 Posted: Dec 11th 2011

Oh. sorry. Socket.;)

yianni Posted: Apr 2nd 2012

use picture frame wire, bionicle parts or you can make ball joint armatures easilly you just need metal beads strong thin metal tubing and wire:D

good luck

yianni Posted: Apr 2nd 2012

hey waldo use fimo but make sure they are very firm

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