Props

Preserved Kitchen Table (in progress)

The kitchen table was modeled after 1960's drop leaf formica dining tables. The initial shape of the legs are laser cut, and then are sanded down for a rounded profile. The edge of the table is trimmed with Plastruct to invoke metal lining. Finally, the legs are painted to look like wood grain and everything is painted to look aged.

Preserved background props (in progress)

Little pieces add onto the story, like posters, torn-out ads, and sticky notes. They help with the theme of clutter and obsessiveness.

Character

Hair

Hair is a very long process! To me, though it is repetitive (washing, punching, dying..), it is very therapeutic. My first hair experience was from my stop motion 1 class, which was made with my own hair and glued onto a wig caps in careful wefts. That experience does not compare to truly punching and styling hair, which I did for the characters in Art House and Preserved. I used alpaca wool and dyed them with fabric dyes and semi-permanent hair dyes. The hairs are then punched into the silicone cap. Depending on the hair, it is styled with heated brass rods, various hair gels, and silicone glue.

Eyes

Eyes are made creating molds of  delrin balls that are coated in Krylon Crystal Clear spray paint. The sculpts are made with a specific size, which is later translated to the head core so that the eyes can be easily pushed into the receiving holes. Multiple eyes are cast from plastic and then drilled with machine drill bits to simulate the iris and pupil. Then they are painted and finally, are coated with clear urethane so that drilled holes are filled. A small pinpoint hole is drilled into the front after the final cast so that animators can move the eyes.

Hands

The hands, due to the complexity of the animation, were created separately. First was the sculpt, then silicone molds were made. The armature is made of 24 gauge floral wire due to its flexibility and soft white wrappings, which prevent it from  puncturing through the thin silicone and can be easily painted. The hands are silicone painted before and after they are cast. Then nails are made by using the same silicone molds and casting plastic hands. Nails are sculpted on top of the plastic hands and are vacuum-formed. The plastic is carefully cut and glued onto the hands. Actual nail polish is used!

Head Caps

Because the film was based around the character's obsession with their appearances, it was important that the faces were made of silicone. Plastic, even if painted to be realistic, would always lack that life-like glow and translucency. But since the heads needed hair as well, a rig was required that allowed there to be multiple faces but only one hair style per character (hair is very time consuming). Heads were sculpted, molded, and then cast in plastic. Then a cap-shape was drilled and dremeled to a precise measurement. Silicone molds were made for the caps and the inner cap was cast in plastic, the outer silicone. Then the outer cap was glued onto the inner and was punched with hair.

Body/Armature

The body armatures are made with 1/8" wire, polycarbante, and brass tube. Brass tube allows for the head and hands to be interchangeable.

For the silicone injections, the mold is "painted" with a thing layer of the outer skin silicone color. Then the armature is placed in the mold, the mold is strapped together, and then is injected with the inner skin color.

Fixing any issues uses the pigmented silicone used during the injection, mixed with some silicone glue (if it is required).