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Creature Suit Analysis - Part 6 - Comparative Anatomy


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Creature Suit Analysis Comparative Anatomy

In part of my continuing notes on the general subject of creature suits and whether or not one may have been used to hoax Bigfoot sightings (and specifically the PG Film), I just completed a study of human anatomy as compared to the anatomy of the figure seen in the PG Film, specifically frame 356.

An attached chart, titled "Human Figure Study vs PG Film Figure" (using the image file name" "PG Film Figure Body Analysis 1a" ) is attached and referenced. References to panels ("Panel A, for example) refer to image panels on this chart.

To understand what was done, and in the interest of using a systematic method for the analysis, where the circumstances of an experiment must be specified so the experiment can be repeated by others, these notes first establish the methodology that provided the foundation for this study.

Foundation 1 - First, I took a sequence of the film, 143 sequential frames (frames 294-437), and compared the figure size from first frame to last. The figure diminishes as it moves away from the camera, and is smallest at the end of the sequence. My study required a consistant figure size throughout the frame sequence, so the last frame figure was compared with a similar posture in the initial frames of the sequence, to determine the enlargement needed to equalize the figure size.

The initial frame was 900 pixels high. The last frame had to be enlarged to 1112 pixels high for the figure in the film to be equal in size of the figure at the beginning of the sequence. I calculated that throughout the 143 frame sequence, the frames had to be enlarged by 3 pixels for every second frame. So a chart was made whereby even numbered frames were enlarged by one pixel, and odd numbered frames enlarged two pixels greater than the previous frame. So a sample portion of the enlargement chart is:

Frame 1 (294) 900 pixels high

Frame 2 901 +1

Frame 3 903 +2

Frame 4 904 +1

Frame 5 906 +2

Frame 6 907 +1

Frame 7 909 +2

etc. until end sequence frame 143 ( Film frame #437) was 1112 pixels high.

Then each frame was copied into a 1024 x 1024 image space, overlaying each frame above the previous number, to position every figure in essentially the same position as the figure in the frame before. This was done for a potential render of the animation in a stabilized form, but also allows me to bring any frame into the DAZ Studio software where human figure studies will be done.

This insured that a human figure, once scaled to the figure size in one frame, will be the same scale as the figure in any other frame.

Foundation 2 - A Michael 3 default Poser Software male figure (Panel A) was used as the human model, and the software for posing and compositing the human with the film figure was DAZ Studio software. A custom frame of 1024 pixels square was set in DAZ Studio for the camera and render. The PG film frames, already set up in 1024 square format, fill this render completely and consistantly.

Foundation 3 - To align the human figure with the figure in the film, three anatomical points were chosen, because for a person in a suit, these three points are the most crutial for all mobility of the person in the suit, and the three points most reliably apparent in the outer appearance of a person wearing a suit. We cannot easily build a suit that obscures or moves these points.

These alignment points are the eyes, the knees and the feet. The eyes must look out of the eyesockets of the mask. To look out of the mouth or a screen mesh in the neck completely displaces the shoulders and renders the arms completely unnatural. There is no evidence in the film of such occuring, so all presumption is the actor in the suit is looking through the eyes of the suit face mask. The knees are the second point of alignment, because the film shows a walking figure and sometimes shows a knee bend of about 90 degrees. Creating a suit where the knee of the suit has been displaced to a different anatomical aspect than the real actor's knees is not achievable with a suit where it must resemble natural human or primate proportions. Any attempt to displace the knee bend will result in very unnatural proportions of the leg. No such proportions are evident in the film, so the knee of the film figure may be reliably regarded as where the actor's knee is, if there is an actor wearing a suit.

Finally, the feet must align with the actor's real feet in order for the actor to walk, as the film figure does.

So the eyes' knees, and feet are the three fixed reference points I use to scale a human figure in comparison to the figure in the film.

The Process - Scaling the human figure, in DAZ Studio, required that I align the eyes, knees, and feet with those of the figure, imported as a backdrop image. But many frames of the PG sequence did not have all three aspects of the anatomy clrealy evident. The frame I used (in the accompanying image attachment) is to study the hands, but no feet are apparent in this frame. For that reason, I had to equalize all the frames with respect to figure size (Foundation 1 above) so I could scale the human figure in another frame to all three points (eyes, knees, and feet) and then simply switch the backdrop image to the frame with excellent hand/arm detail, and then just align the eyes and knees, and be confident the human figure is scaled correctly.

So once the human was scaled, the intended backdrop image (Frame 356) was imported into DAZ Studio, and the human figure was rotated and positioned so the waist aligned. Then the right leg was bent to align the knee to the figure in the film, ( the left leg was posed as well, but the image has some foreground apparently obstructing some portions of the left leg mass, moreso than the right, so the right leg was considered the more reliable alignment point for this specific frame), and then the torso was bent forward.

Next, the waist was rotated to look back toward camera. Similarly, the neck and head were positioned, thus insuring that the eye/knee alignment validated the correct positioning of the human figure.

Final registration of the figure to the film image was through the eyes, because they are the most clear and unambiguous reference point in this image. Further adjustments were made to get the right knee as close as possible to the image right knee, and othe parts of the human anatomy were adjusted to correspond as close as their positional settings would allow.

As a reminder here, the figure has already been calibrated in scale to the figure in other frames, so in this action, no figure scaling is done, only posing of the body within it's natural skeletol ranges of motion. Thus once a single unambiguous reference point (in this case, the eyes) is aligned, all other anatomical parts are aligned simply to most approximate position of replication to the film figure pose.

Once that was done, the arms were positioned. Panel C shows the human figure beside the film figure, Panel D shows the two overlaid, and Panel B shows the human figure, as posed, from a reference top view so we can see the posed posture from another reference.

Evaluation - The film figure right arm has its fingers slightly curled, but still shows an arm substantially longer than any configuration achievable with the human arm. The extension is about 6", although the curl of the fingers in the film figure makes this conservative and the extension could be 7-8". On the left hand (far hand on back of film figure) the hand and fingers do not show because of a chalky whitening on the palms as seen in other frames, but the wrist of the film figure can be precisely determined, and compared to the wrist of the human figure. Again, we see the film figure has an extension of a least 6", maybe more.

The elbow bends also appear slightly extended, and this will be studied further in the future by putting the same scaled figure against other frames as backdrop images.

From a suit fabrication standpoint, arm extensions may be built, as outlined in my notes ( Part Four ), but in those notes, it is described how an arm extension of about 6" is unlikely to provide an effective result, because the human palm is positioned in the suit wrist, causing the suit wrist to be unnaturally large. There is no evidence in the film figure of such an enlarged wrist. And such a 6' extension would essentially eliminate any effective wrist or finger animation of the extension prosthetic. Subsequent analysis is intended to focus on hand/wrist studies of the film to see if any finger/wrist movement is evident in the film figure. If found, that would further preclude any use of arm extensions.

At this point, the film figure wrist size essentially negates any suggestion that arm extensions are being worn by a human in a suit to produce the film figure.

Converse Evaluation - It is necessary to explore all alternatives in a study, and in this case, we must explore the prospect the figure is a human in a suit and the human's arms are sufficently long to match the film figure, just wearing fur on the arms and gloves on the hands.

So this converse evaluation takes the human figure and rescales him so the head/eyes align with the figure head, and the human hands align with the film figure hands.

But as shown in the accompanying illusttrative chart (Panel E), that results in a human figure with legs far too long to be the figure in the suit.

So the human legs have been scaled in the software to shorter proportions, and the knees have been aligned anew, and the lower legs also proportionately shortened to put the feet where the human feet were previously when in correct position (as validated by putting the figure against other frames where the feet are visible)

Now we do have a human whose features now align with the eyes, hands, knees, and feet, so theoretically, this human could be in a suit replicating the PG film figure. Panels F and G show this.

Finally, that re-proportioned human figure is unposed and restored to a straight standing posture, arms extended, as seem at the bottom of the chart, Panel H.

A grid with 6" markers is set up, scaling the human figure to 6' in height head to toe. That same grid, rotated 90 degrees, now measures the armspan (fingertip to fingertip) to be about 6' 8"

Normal human anatomy dictates that a human's height is generally equal to, or slightly greater than the armspan. I personally an 6'2" tall, and my armspan is about 6'1"

CONCLUSION

A human in a fur suit, with gloves on the human hands, would not likely match the film figure's proportions, if the human actor used had normal human proportions of body height to armspan.

The film figure's wrist size does not suggest arm extensions are being used. Further analysis will be conducted on this issue.

So a replication of the figure in the film, by a human actor in a suit, achieving the alignment of eyes, hands, knees and feet, apparently requires a human of uncommon anatomical proportions, particularly with an exceptionally extended armspan, with an armspan ratio of about 110% to body height, as compared to the more normal human ratio of 100% or less.

This study is a preliminary finding, and is now posted for peer review, evaluation, and comments, contributions or criticisms by others. Any such comments will be factored into the study as a second phase of evaluation.

Bill Munns

January 21, 2008

Considerations of Relevence:

In a comment by a research associate, it was mentioned that this study may be related to the IM Index studies of the film figure. I am not relying on any IM Index material herein, and would be the first to acknowledge that trying to determine an IM Index for the film figure would be difficult, because the index requires a precise measurable location for the hip socket and the arm/shoulder socket (among the many measurements involved) , as points of measure, and those cannot be determined with accuracy from the film.

The only anatomical index I am referencing herein is the human body height to armspan ratio (as studied famously by Michaelangelo).

Second, the anatomical alignment points I use (eyes, hands, knees, and feet) are specific to the film industry practice of creating a "creature suit" to disguise a human actor/mime as a non-human creature. They are among the anatomical points of a body least condusive to being moved, and thus are regarded as generally the most "fixed" or constant, between the human inside and the apparent creature outside.

This is not an absolute, however, and under highly irregular conditions of usage, these anatomical points may be displaced (like moving the human actor eyes away from the creature eyes), but this displacement imposes other design constraint results as well as restricting functionality of the suit performance. So when the rare attempt is made to displace these anatomical points, there is generally evidence in the suit or performance indicating the displacement to the trained eye.

There is no evident displacement in my personal inspection of the film to date.

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bipedalist
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. So when the rare attempt is made to displace these anatomical points, there is generally evidence in the suit or performance indicating the displacement to the trained eye.

There is no evident displacement in my personal inspection of the film to date.

Bill, that pretty much tells the tale of the tape , errrr or ape, for me, doesn't seem possible for somebody to be that agile and that

heavily padded to pull this off to me. I will look forward to further commentary, job well done

Edited by bipedalist
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Thanks Bill, for your awesome posts. I've enjoyed them immensely!

It seems that I can volunteer to play a juvenile bigfoot if anyone's interested. My height is 5'7" but my fingertip to fingertip measure is 6'1".

Dwayne

P.S. Costume creature design sounds like such a cool line of work, how do I get started?

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bipedalist
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Dwayne

P.S. Costume creature design sounds like such a cool line of work, how do I get started?

awesome proportion and great fit Dwayne, if you work for squat like Bitter Monk, you start tomorrow :newtongue:

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Bipedalist

Thanks for the compliment;

Obiwan:

Where were you in October 1967?

If I know anyone making a suit, we'll call you. The measurements you mention are certainly rare. It would be interesting to know statistically, what perentage of people may have such an extended arm span ratio.

Hollywood actually has a well documented history of seeking people who possess some aspect of their anatomy that is outside the norm, (giants, dwarfs, amputees among them) to fit some unusual anatomical specifications for a creature suit. That's why in my notes and chart, I didn't preclude the possibility of a person having the anatomical proportions studied as fitting the film figure. I simply acknowledged such people are rare.

As for getting into the creature business, nowaday, there are many makeup schools around the world that teach advanced techniques like prosthetics and creature costumes. That's what most people do today, to break into the business.

Bill

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Guest Crowlogic

So far this is the best human to PGF creature scaling I've seen! I have known a few people with long torso and arms and realitivly short legs not unlike the modified human figure in the photo F and if such a person was needed to fill out such a suit undoubtedly such a person could have been found. However what the scaling does show quite conclusivley is that Bob Heronimous (SP) was not in the suit at Bluff Creek being filmed by Roger Patterson. Mr Heronimous has proportions indicating long legs and average length arms.

The shortened leg F example is such that to my eye if the proportions were any more scaled in the direction of the F example that the resulting human would appear physically deformed.

Great work Bill!

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Crow Logic:

Not knowing Bob H's appearance, but seen him endlessly debated in the forums, I suspected this study may discount his participation, but left it to others who know more about the man to offer comments on that. Thank you for your comment.

:newtongue:

Bill

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Nice work Bill. I haven't been over it exhaustively but it appears to be a clear articulation of what many of us have been arguing for years. Will point out to others who may not know, that we should also recognize and give credit to Wolftrax and Nightwing for starting this approach almost 4 years ago as discussed here and elsewhere.

-A

Edited by Apeman
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Apeman:

I wasn't aware of the prior studies, but am pleased others are working on it, and hope I can contribute to the overall effort with my method.

I realized after posting that I didn't have an illustration of my calibration of the human figure scale using a different frame, so here attached is frame 302 used to scale the human, because the eye location of the head, plus the right knee and right foot are pretty clear, and give me three anatomical points to reference for the human scale. Once this human figure was scaled, and once I had equalized all the film figure sizes, I can look at any frame and move the human into it, and simply pose it to compare anatomy.

Makes studies of comparative anatomy easier and more consistantly reliable.

:newtongue:

Bill

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Apeman:

I wasn't aware of the prior studies, but am pleased others are working on it, and hope I can contribute to the overall effort with my method.

Hey Bill. Yes, it's kind of good that you didn't so you're work is unbiased. And to be clear I wasn't trying at all to take anything from you, I just wanted to make sure those guys got their props since they're probably too humble to point it out themselves.

-A

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Apeman:

I'm 100% with you on giving proper credit to all who contribute, as well as all who have gone before us. So be asured I never thought your remarks were taking any credit from me, just giving proper credit to others for their similar effort, as you should.

Sometimes we build on the work of others, as we are aware of that work, and sometimes we do independent studies unaware of other efforts, and each plays a vital role in our understanding of the larger issue. Coming at the problem from two different foundations of what we know to have been done before is like a paralex view, allowing us to see the result more clearly.

Bill

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Ok, now I've read it all. Again, nice job. A couple questions:

1. Do you know from the program what the exact measurements (or proportions) are for the standard human figure?

2. Ditto for the figure that actually fits.

3. Is the torso length the same in your two figures? Or can you put them on the same grid to more easily measure their proportional differences. I remember thinking that shorter legs were actually a better fit than longer arms, using a fixed torso size...but maybe I'm misremembering.

And a comment: I've been fairly convinced for years of the same conclusion you've tried to show here- that a human figure is the wrong proportions for what we appear to see in the film. But the big problem with trying to "prove" this is the issue of human variability coupled with the inability to precisely measure the figure and establish accurate anatomical reference points (like you've said). A program like you (and Wolftrax) have used helps to work around the reference point issue because you need the overall fit, but the problem is that there is really no such thing as standard human figure. Sure there is an average for any measurement, but that's only an average... or a median, or a mean. For example, the supposed standard 1:1 arm span to height ratio can actually be as high as 1.12:1 (I think that's the highest I found?) which starts to throw a wrench in this whole excercise. And trying to work backwards, by fitting in a model means making some subjective determinations of where the joints and other reference points are. So Q#4 would be, how do you see getting around that- and is there enough info in your program to work with specific measurements?

And a request. It might be helpful as a demonstration for you to do this same exercise (but quick and dirty) with a picture or clip of costumed person. Pick whatever convincing costume you like (we'd all love to see the Jack's Links sasquatch or Hairy) and simply show how easy it is to fit a standard human model into it.

Now I've got to go back and read all your other threads. Thanks for playing with us Bill. :newtongue:

Apeman

PS- I hadn't fully read the picture captions initially so now see you shortened the legs....

Edited by Apeman
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Apeman:

Answers:

1. I don't know offhand what the human measurements are for the human figure I used, which is why I specified a Michael 3 figure default proportions, so anyone interested could get the model and measure it.

2. The figure that actually fits has relative proportions , but no true height measurement.

3. Torso is the same because I just needed to shorten the thigh to get the knee in correct position, but conceivably, a person of slightly shorter torso and slightly longer thigh might fit. The software didn't give me as much option to resize the torso, because it's broken into several components for the figure posing capability.

We could conclude that a "normal" human figure is wrong for the figure in the film, and that may exclude specific people from claiming to be the person inside. But you are correct in that human anatomy has a rich diversity of size and proportion.

so #4. We simply need to set priorities as to which anatomical points are relevent and impact on the study, by allowing many intermediary points of the body as not critical, and the extremities being the least ambiguous and thus the most relevent for comparison. I'm not sure which measurements you were referencing, so i can't say if the program could work with them.

But keep in mind, I did approach this as a creature guy trying to figure out how to shove a human into the film figure, and so i picked the anatomical points I felt were essential to his giving a "performance" in the hypothetical suit. That's why, other than extremities like hands and feet, I chose eyes and knees.

:newtongue:

Bill

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Guest SoundMan

Bill,

First, very nice job of putting this thing together. It is quite impressive. I just started following the recent, fairly in depth debate over the suit versus real deal though and have a rather direct question, I hope you don't mind helping to answer.

If Patterson and others had been studying BF for years and then wanted to show something convincing to the world including many who had were also familiar with detailed reports and sketches, and knowing this would be filmed and distributed, would they not attempt to increase the arm length as they undoubtedly would have been familiar with this now common attribute certainly associated with many earlier sightings?

And if yes, could they not have very easily rigged up a simple contraption to move the thumbs toward the open hand occasionally as is seen in the footage. You say "the film analysis of other frames studying the wrist size and elbow placement of the film does not support any argument that arm extensions were employed". To what specific analysis are you referring?

This would seem to me to be the weakest point in the argument as an assumption of a large but very abnormal body shape would be much more difficult to accomplish. In other words, if you're trying to create something that would fool knowledgeable BF enthusiasts, why spend your time looking for an outlier body type when you can build a 6" extension fairly easily, relatively speaking. This being the weakest point, in my cursory judgment, would demand the strongest counter argument but the language used as quoted above seems rather innocuous and nondescript.

I hope you will pardon my ignorance on any analysis as I will admit I have not heretofore scrutinized this particular aspect. I always assumed that this would have been way too complicated for the times. It strikes me now that minimizing one's wrist by folding the thumb inward, the tip of which could then be used to manipulate a lever hooked to an artificial hand/thumb and then padding the hand and forearm for concealment would not be all that difficult, unless I am missing something. Which I certainly may be.

If this is getting off topic and you want to steer me elsewhere please just provide a link. Thanks.

Soundman

Edited for addition below:

After posting I came across another of your articles which expounds upon my question. However, when I fold my thumb in like described I can reduce the width of my hand to only about 1 1/8 inches beyond my wrist. Is the argument one of bulk? And if so, it seems illustrating this would be worthwhile to show how it either doesn't work or was beyond the means at the time. Thanks again

Edited by SoundMan
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