Fred seems to be having a blast this past week as we've been having a lot of fun animating him - as you can see above.
We've managed to plough through quite a lot of tricky shots that include both Fred and Grandpa dancing. Jen and Katie between them have been making dope sheets for the dance moves from the video footage of the dancers. Then in Dragonframe we put the video in as a reference to refer to along with the dope sheets frame by frame. This is a new way of working for all of us, so has been really exciting following the dope sheet and seeing the end result of the puppets dancing perfectly in time with the music.
As our set is really large, it has been a bit of challenge animating some shots. We designed the set so that it would divide into three sections to allow easy access to all areas. However, Pete, who cut the wood for the sets, had to change the design, so we are animating through the doors and windows. We have had to carefully stretch over our set and props as some shots are tricky to handle, which Jen is happily demonstrating for us above.
Under the heat of the lights and the exaggerated dance moves, some of the puppets' limbs have come loose and had to be repaired. Both puppets have been designed so that we can access the armature bolts quite easily.
We have drilled holes in the set floor to fix the puppet's feet securely. Each puppet has a hole in their feet and a corresponding key which we screw up through the floor. Sometimes it takes two people to do this. Here Katie holds Grandpa still from above and Jen tightens his feet from underneath the set.