Monday, July 23, 2012

Past work: John's Grouch

Here's a fun character we built earlier this year:

This one is a live-hand, sack-monster type puppet with an eyebrow mechanism, meant to look like a Sesame-Street-Grouch-like character.
This is a great example of one of our "Full custom" puppets, with new patterns and shapes made from scratch.

Here's a video of the build progression, and some shots of the final puppet in action:

See some early design work after the break

We did quite a few design sketches exploring the possibilities of this character's design.

Our final design was something of a combination between the dark blue one in the middle row, and the light green one on the bottom row.
...which yielded this:

We built to this design, but ended up using a different color fur.
We had taken care throughout the design process to make sure that this character was distinct from any existing characters.  Due to the last minute color change, the resemblance suddenly became much stronger than we had intended.  We were worried for a bit about how much this character had begun to resemble Oscar the Grouch.  We were relieved to see that the resemblance lost strength when we put the two of them together:

We were particularly happy with how the eyebrow mechanism turned out.  That extra bit of animation really brings the character alive.  It was fun to watch people light up reacting to him.


  1. I seen the puppet first hand. My brother is the one that purchased it. It was simply amazing, to say the least. You did an outstanding job designing this character. I just can't say enough. The way the eyebrows moved, it gave it such character. It just made the puppet come to life! I enjoyed the puppet show tremendously!!! What an artist you are.

    1. It's really amazing how even a small bit of movement in a character's face can make them seem so much more alive.

      Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed him.

  2. I really like the sketches. They show one character while at the same time showing many,can't wait to see more!

    1. Thank you very much!

      Every puppet involves design images of some kind, so there are plenty to see.
      I have been considering having a post in the future that features just design artwork. Keep an eye out for something like that in the future!