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Creature Suit Analysis - Part 2 - Under the Fur


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bipedalist:

to clarify, I said the fluid breast effect was something I recall many of the best suit designers talking about and wishing to experiiment with, but none that I know of had done so at the time. Putting a fluid sac beneath a foamed latex skin was posible them, but a fluid sac under something fur covered would have had it's motion overruled by the fur base motion potential.

But from a physics standpoint, it could have been done then. It is argumentative how it may have looked if it was done, and the level of skill needed to do it.

Will get to the feet, promise.

B)

Bill

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bipedalist
BFF Patron

Roger B)

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Guest OklahomaSquatch

I would suppose as well that if some sort of fluid sac had been used, for it to have effectiveness, a change in outer materials would had to have been used. Such as a thinner latex rubber of sorts for the breast portion, and then the harder foam or rigid backed fur "suit" for the rest of the body. If such was the case I would assume that the transition between the two would be somewhat apparent, as would the transition between other materials used for covering. If it were even something that could be done relatively easy.

I would also think that if a fur suit had been made, the creator would not have used a lighter pigmented substructure beneath the hair or fur. I would assume they would have painted it dark to hide any flaws in the hair. For instance in a gorilla suit, the underlying fabric is normally black and not white. Vice versa if the hair is a lighter shade instead of darker. The areas on the creature in the Patterson film that can be seen beneath the hair, or in areas where no hair is present, seems to be a much lighter flesh tone color.

Am I correct in these assumptions Bill?

Matt K.

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Matt:

First, on the breast fluid sac structure, here's basically how it might be built (keeping in mind this is not the only way, just a relatively easy way.)

1. Creast a basic chest contout in plaster, perhaps from taking an impresion of the chest suit padding you've shaped).

2. Sculpt the desired outer skin/breast shape.

3. Cast an outer negative Ultracal 30 plaster mold of the sculpture.

4. Once dry and hardened, seperate the mold parts and remove sculpture clay. Then go back and sculpt a foam skin thickness back into the negative mold, and cast a positive back. This mold set makes the foam latex skin.

5. Then cast the foam latex into the mold and bake in a curing oven to make the final foam latex skin.

6. To make the fluid chamber, no single method was established at the time. Water in party balloons could be used, but not very high tech. ideally, the intended fluid sac would be sculpted itself, and you'd fit the foam latex skin over it to check it's shape, and then make a two piece mold of the sculpture of the fluid sac. Then in that mold, slush cast regular latex to make the bag. Fill it with water and seal it up.

Then make a chest wall section, maybe of just latex brushed up on the chest plaster cast, glue on the fluid sacs, glue down the foam latex skin over it, and then add fur from the body areas, and on to the foam skin.

But as noted before, the thickness of the foam latex skin and the volume of the fluid sac would be subject to experimentation to get the right amount of motion. You might have to do this (all of the above) several times to get the fluid /foam dynamics right.

All do-able, even then, Just a lot of work for an experienced moldmaker, foam fabricator. Then various hair transition applications could be used for the fur on the foam latex skin to transition into the body fur.

How apparent any transition is rests in the skill and amount of effort applied by the artist.

Second, yes you can darken or paint the foam latex a flesh color as you deemed appropriate before adding the transition fur, so as you thin it out it allows some "skin" color to show through. Big problem is the glue causing a sheen that's obvious. Punching hair into the foam skin helps remedy that, but is labor intensive. If so, you'd punch the hair in before puttting the foam skin over the fluid sac.

But in general, balancing skin tones seen through sparce fur does not present any particular problem.

Bill

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Guest Gigantaped

Bill

From a complete novice in this area, I would like to thank you for taking the time and energy to go through this in detail. Your expertise and writing style have made it possible for me to understand, completely, the possibilities and limitations of the suit. Thanks again, and I wait patiently for your updates on the feet.

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Gigantaped

Thanks for letting me know that the notes are clearing thimgs up. That is my intention, and I hope we can all understand more if the misconceptions are set aside.

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Firstly thanks Bill for the imput :) . I used to be pretty much obsessed with creature costumes (I've been 'clean' for the past 10 years B) ) so my knowledge (such as it is) does not take into account much other than what I think I can see with my own eyes in the last decade's productions.

One is a Muscle Padding Suit, which uses foam structures to create a form resembling the generic muscle mass beneath the fur, in a neutral posture.

The other is a Muscle Dynamic Simulation Suit, which uses physical or mechanical dynamics to actually replicate the elongation and contraction of muscles, with accompanying changes in the muscle shape.

The first is relatively easy to fabricate and commonly used. The second is nearly impossible to make and has little, if any, actual documented successful use. One muscle suit cannot do both.

I'm please I reread your posts and saw the above. I was going to ask specifically which productions used these (especially in the last 10 years), 'cus I've never ever heard of anything like that used in any of the big 'make-up shows' of the 80's & 90's. I'm talking suits - not 'Change-O' puppets for example.

Therefore the wonderful work done through the 80's & 90's was done with muscle padding suits. Doesn't mention of 'Muscle Dynamic Simulation Suits' muddy the waters somewhat in trying to get to the truth about this film?

From 1967 (when I started) to the mid 80's, every makeup effects artist I knew and chatted with loved to debate the wonderful day when somebody would really make a breakthrough and allow muscle padding suits (common even then) to become muscle dynamic simulation suits.

So all the great work we see in films such as Greystoke, The Incredible Shrinking Woman etc, was done using 'technology' that was basically available in 1967 (and before - albeit doubtless refined). It's often been said on here that the 'technology' didn't exist in those days (something I wholeheartedly disagree with and have posted as such previously).

So - logistical (support) & budgetary (who paid for a ventilated hair suit) aside which is the most likely:

A giant (though not on the PG film) undocumented primate which has never been clearly filmed for comparison since (let alone documented)?

A performer wearing a costume that could have been made using processes available at the time?

Unfortunately I at present vote for the second option.

Edited to add: That doesn't mean sasquatch might not be there somewhere. I just think this film (among other things) diverts attention away from the truth - though perhaps that's no bad thing if the phenomenon is based on a real, elusive creature).

JMHO

Edited by JohnWS
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Doesn't mention of 'Muscle Dynamic Simulation Suits' muddy the waters somewhat in trying to get to the truth about this film?

With the wonders of 20/20 hindsight I now don't think this may not be the case B) . I think I misunderstood the point of your posting reference to that.

I have seen mention on here the notion that there is in fact some super-technological 'Muscle Dynamic Simulation Suit' in use in Hollywood. You may have also seen that posted here and were merely correcting the notion.

Carry on!

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With the wonders of 20/20 hindsight I now don't think this may not be the case :) .
B) Should have read:

With the wonders of 20/20 hindsight I now think this may not be the case :rolleyes22: .

I am not having a good day!

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A performer wearing a costume that could have been made using processes available at the time?

Unfortunately I at present vote for the second option.

But John, why have we never been shown practical other examples of this from circa '67...or even later????

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John WS

The principle component lacking in 1967 but available in the 80's and more recently, is stretch fur, which allows muscle padding, and the dynamic tension of the foam, to at least make some kind of impact on the fur's apparent underlying structure.

Whereas in 1967, with all fur cloth being rigid backed, the tailoring of the furcloth essentially defined the shape of the suit, and overpowered any padding beneath, which could only push the fur cloth outward to it's tailored form. And the bending nature of furcloth dictated the look of the fur when the mime was in motion.

That is essentially what was most different in 1967 to the 80's.

Bill

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G. Hand tied ( or ventilated, as the process is often described) human, yak, or synthetic hair - Saves the glue, but just a toupee costs a few hundred bucks and up. Multiply that by a hundred or two, to cover a body. To do a "Patty" suit, Josephine Turner (the grand dame of wigmakers) could have paid off the mortgage on her house from that job alone, if you hired her. She was the "go to" wigmaker for any serious vetilated lace custom hair work (as Rick Baker did for the Sidney suit in "Incredible Shrinking Woman"). Doubt if Patterson could afford her.

Bill, regardless of the cost of a top practitioner, this process*, as above, was still an option though?

Please don't think I am being confrontational :) .

*Edit - which I have previously tracked back to the '40's in costuming.

And to add - Lyndon - 'Later Dude' B) . I will get back to you!

Edited by JohnWS
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JohnWS

The ventilating into a stretch mesh could produce a stretch fur suit then (1967) but it would not have produced one of hair density as seen in the PG film. Ventilated suits are of a much sparser hair density, so it must be left longer and shaggier to give an illusion of density or hair mass.

So you can have a ventilated hair on stretch backing, or you can have short dense fur, but not both, in 1967, as you can today.

In 1967, choose one.

B)

Bill

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Thanks Bill.

----------------------------

Lyndon - It's probably best not to derail Bill's thread with stuff that's already been gone over with no satisfactory conclusion.

So I won't B) .

Edited for brevity.....

Edited by JohnWS
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I have a couple of questions for Bill.

1. Was is possible that the hair used was dynel?

2. If you click on this link, The Patty on the right is from the Cibachrome images, it's the only one I know of on the web. How does this picture effect anything you are saying, or does it not affect your thoughts about the type of fur used?

http://www.sasquatchresearch.net/images/pattyrightfoot.jpg

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