Regular readers will know that I have been working on a project called The Great Adventure... you will have seen already that I helped to design the cooker for the show, which I was responsible for animating. However the cooker was not my main reason for working on the show - no no... the main reason for me working on the show was Geoff the Parrot!
You can see here that Geoff is a friendly looking parrot who has movable wings. My challenge with Geoff was to build a parrot puppet whose wings could flap, but without any visible rods.
What I ended up doing was creating L shaped wire skeletons for the wings which pivoted at the edge of the foam body of the puppet. The short end of each L shape has a to rod attached to it which hangs down the inside of the puppet's body. This enables both wings to flap either together or individually depending on how you pull them down.
This is all made possible because the body is is quite simply huge! You can see from the photo of the cast below the size of the completed puppet. The puppet wasn't simply large to fit in all the mechanics, practically speaking it needed to be large as The Great Adventure was performed in a 600 seater auditorium stuck right at the back of the stage... Geoff needed to be large just to be seen!
I am pleased to say Geoff was a huge hit with the live audience - I hope you like him too!
Take care - Dave