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Creature Suit Analysis - Part 6 - Comparative Anatomy


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Soundman

Thanks for your note. You are certainly welcome to ask questions, and I'll do my best to answer.

I should point out that my other thread, "Creature suit Analysis, Part Four" specifically discusses hand extensions in detail and explains why a 6" extension is particularly challenging.

But as also noted, hand extensions with moving fingers are essentially puppetry, which is a craft well developed for centuries. No new technology there.

In regard to the idea Patterson was studying reports prior to his film and may have been influenced (if a suit was built) to create a suit that met the expectations, like it's being a female with conspicuous breasts, that is a strong and reasonable argument for hoax, in that it matches pre-conceived notions particularly well, as if it was planned to that effect. Conversely though, we may argue that if BF is real, 50% of it's adult population is female, and if the anatomy simply is the species type, there's a 50% chance in a real encounter that he'd see a female figure. The same could be said for arm length. It's long because Patterson researched sightings and found reports of longish arms, or Patterson saw something real and they really do have long arms, which is why earlier sightings also report such.

So while there's lots of room to argue about this, I personally don't see it as conclusive either way. So I simply try to set it aside in my own evaluation.

The "analysis of other frames" is my personal evaluation doing the study I posted, and isn't posted formally itself. I do plan to expand this study (it's currently a "first draft" so to speak) and the wrist analysis would be part of the expanded "second draft" along with studies prompted by the comments I receive herein.

In regard to the idea making an arm extension is easier than finding a human with unusual body proportions, "easy" is of course a relative term, and completely non-scientific. Truthfully, an experiment building such an arm extension would be a far more scientific approach, to show what can be built and how it can work, and how it would look, with the thumb folded inward to try and minimize the palm width to shrink the suit wrist, etc. That comes back to the issue of who funds such fabrication research and the documentation of the work and the results. But absent that process, i can simply say, from a person who spent 35 years doing this kind of fabrication, it would be unlikely to get something that looks like the film and moves the fingers. Not impossible, but unlikely. The force the actor's thumb can exert to move a mechanism, and the force the mechanism needs to bend the prosthetic hand thumb or fingers are the question, and only experiments would determine the relative ease or difficulty. I won't profess to give you a definitive answer as I've never made or worn that exact type of mechanical prosthetic.

Hope this answers your questions.

Bill

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Soundman:

I did think a bit more about your question, after the above reply, and realized some of the inner workings of hand extensions haven't been mentioned yet, particularly with your question about folding the thumb into the palm to minimize the apparent palm size to fit better into the wrist, while allowing the thumb to provide the control action to move the extended thumb or fingers.

So here's a bit about the possible underlying mechanics:

To move the fingers, generally a string pull mechanism is used because it's the lowest technology. but a string pull in a one way actuator, a pull only mechanism. So it needs a spring return (or gravity, in puppetry) to pull the other way. So using a string pull, you need some kind of springy material or mechanism to open the thumb/fingers of the prosthetic hand.

And with a string pull, foam fingers will simply collapse downward toward the palm if the string is internal, so you need some type of skeletol structure inside the prosthetic fingers to insure it bends into a curl, and bends at the correct knuckle positions. So you now have a machined set of "joints" that control how the fingers/thumb bend.

The real thumb folded inside the hand to make the real palm seem smaller is your actuator, the thumb bend the driving force to actuate the prosthetic fingers/thumb to bend. But folded into the palm, about the only real good motion the thumb can do is bend at its outer digit, and the most travel it can get is about an inch.

Now you have to measure the travel of the string pulling, in inches. let's say the travel is 2". The thumb's travel (range of motion) may be about 1", so the mechanices of leverage dictate that twice as much effort must be applied to pulling the finger bend, because it's only half the travel (same principle as pulleys and ropes). Means the thumb has to do some heavy work. And the thumb can only push, while a string can only pull, so you need a lever mechanism to both translate the thumb's push into a string pull, as well as magnify the travel (the thumb's 1" of motion must be maginfied to the string's 2" of travel).

So you have an internal lever arm mechanism. You need some framework that holds the mechanism securely enough that only the actuator lever the thumb pushes will move, and the frame does not. And the bulk of this mechanism likely takes up more space that the thumb originally did, so you've still got a bulky wrist on the prosthetic which you were trying to avoid by folding the thumb in.

Then you need a way for the human to hold this prosthetic securely, but the fingers (which are in the prosthetic hand's palm) are straight out to give the prosthetic a flat palm (bending the fingers to grip something makes the palm of the prosthetic too bulky) so you'll need another way to secure this whole thing to the person's own hand. Without that security, the thumb can't move it's mechanism as reliably.

None of this is impossible, but as a person qualified and experienced to design and build such things, I can assure you the word "easy" does not readily come to mind when I imagine trying to make this work.

Just wanted to clarify this for you and all the readers of the thread.

Bill

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Guest Schilleville

Now I know why my family calls me ape arms, LOL.

I'm 6'1/2" my wingspan finger tip to finger tip is 6'6"

The measurement to my knee is 20" (compared to 18")

That's where the differences end though. I'm 40" where patty is 36", which is actually properly proportionate, 2 inches longer in the lower leg and 2" longer in the upper leg.

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Schilleville:

Thank you for the measurements as well. I will definitely look into more statistical data on the frequency of such proportional armspans, as well as seeing if I can verify height from foot to mid knee (the patela, for example) to see how close the knee comes to the diagrammed position.

So we may reasonably conclude that the comparison I did may exclude some people specifically, (if their limb proportions are along the lines of 100% armspan to height), while the comparison may allow that some people do in fact fall into the specified arm length ratio.

Good science follows the data where it really leads, and not where somebody tries to push it to go.

Bill

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Guest Schilleville

Bill. I am a big basketball fan, how this relates is prior to the NBA Draft each year players go through a measurement process. Bare foot height and Wingspan are 2 of the measurements taken. If you'd like I can dig up some examples for people i the say 6'2" to 6'4" range. We won't get the knee measurement stats though.

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Schilleville:

As I had noted above (somewhere) these notes are a sort of "first draft". I'd welcome your contribution on the statistics you referenced about the NBA Draft, and I'd be pleased to cite them when I move to a "second draft"

Thank you for contributing.

Bill

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Guest Schilleville

Just to pass on an average, for the 2005 NBA draft the average barefoot height of all players at the predraft camp was 6'5-1/2" while the average Wingspan was 6'10-1/2"

Here are some samples

Height (WS)

6'3.75" (7')

6'1" (6'3")

6'2.25" (6'2.75")

6'1.25" (6'9.25")

6'2" (6'5")

6'2.5" (6'7.5")

6'2.25" (6'9")

6'2.75" (6'10.75")

6'3" (6'6")

6'3.25" (6'8")

6'1.75" (6'6.25")

6'1.25" (6'10")

That's all the players measures prior to the 2005 draft that were between 6'1" and 6'4". THese measurements are taken by non-biased doctors.

Edited by Schilleville
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Guest SoundMan
None of this is impossible, but as a person qualified and experienced to design and build such things, I can assure you the word "easy" does not readily come to mind when I imagine trying to make this work.

Just wanted to clarify this for you and all the readers of the thread.

Bill

Thanks, that was enlightening.

Soundman

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Guest OklahomaSquatch

Since wrists are definitive articulation points, shouldn't we be more concerned with the wing span measurements from wrist to wrist, instead of finger tip to finger tip. Hands and fingers are separate appendages from arms, and come in a much wider proportional variety than do arms. I'm not sure how far along you've gotten in your still frames, but in the past I've been privy to quite a number of excellent copies of the still frames from the work done by M.K. Davis. I have personally seen, what is clear to me, hand and finger movements in the frames and various animations. Due to your own citings of hand movement work done in costume and special effects, we can reach the conclusion that the mime's hands were not located somewhere in the wrist or forearm area. That is, if I'm understanding you correctly. Therefore their wrist, would need to be at the same point as the costume's wrist. Hand size would become irrelevant. My own palm measurements from the base of the palm to the tip of the longest finger is 7.5". Together this would add a little more than a foot to my wingspan measurement.

If Patty's arm, shoulder to finger tip measures say 3' and her shoulder to wrist measurement is 2' 6" that would mean her hand is 6". But if the mime had a shoulder to fingertip measurement of 3' but their shoulder to wrist measurement was 2' 3", meaning their hand is 9" wouldn't this create a major obstacle? I just think including hand size is adding too much of a variable into the equation.

The argument for Patty being a person in a suit is highly based on Bob H.'s testimony. Not saying he's the only person it could have been, but that is the skeptical side's representative. So, does anyone happen to have Bob H.'s measurements as they were in 1967?

Here's another thing I never quite understood. Perhaps someone can answer it here. Why couldn't someone take the image of Patty's foot when she is walking away from the camera and has her right leg bent at a nearly 90 degree angle, and use that as a measurement scale to measure her height and other appendages, since we do in fact know what her foot length and width are?

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OklahomaSquatch:

I think (and I'll qualify this as personal opinion) that trying to pull any measurements out of the PG figure is made difficult by the lack of precision in locating such critical joints a shoulder socket, which you'd need to know to calculate Patty's armspan or wrist span.

Extremities, such as fingertips, are more determinable, as are bends like the deep knee bend to find the knee joint. That's why I chose those points for my analysis.

But you are right, in that wrist mobility of the figure does impact on analysis and the only way to achieve great wrist mobility in a suit is to put the human wrist exactly were the suit wrist is.

I'll look into the use of the foot to try and scale the figure, using my models. What's the reported foot length, heel to toe, of the footprints cast there? Do you know?

Bill

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Here's another thing I never quite understood. Perhaps someone can answer it here. Why couldn't someone take the image of Patty's foot when she is walking away from the camera and has her right leg bent at a nearly 90 degree angle, and use that as a measurement scale to measure her height and other appendages, since we do in fact know what her foot length and width are?

I've done this using CAD in the thread "Using CAD to measure Patty" and I believe it agrees with Gigantofootecus who used a different method. This is also posted on my website at My BF page if you don't want to wade through all the posts in the thread. The measurements were expanded on as the thread progressed. Patty is about 6'1" +- an inch depending on the angle she is to the film plane and the accuracy of the points I've placed in the photo. I used CAD and Gigantofooticus used math (Trig?).

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Bill, you've done an outstanding job aligning the poser model for comparing the body proportions of Patty. Best I've seen. Your methodology for scaling and aligning the images looks good, and the poser model appears to be a great tool for estimating the arm span to height (ASH) ratio of the mime in the suit. IMO, the ASH ratio is one of the most reliable anthropometric measurements that we can estimate for Patty. There's been a few discussions of Patty's ASH ratio on the forum. Here's one of the 1st ones. After crunching the numbers to determine an error range for Patty's (or the mime's) ASH ratio we have to test it against the range of human variability. I'm not sure why Apeman never mentioned that some estimates for Patty went well beyond 1.14. But he's more pessimistic than I am regarding measuring Patty's images.

The distinction with your approach is that you've attempted to estimate the maximum ASH ratio of the mime in the suit instead of Patty the BF. But Patty's ASH ratio includes an extra wide back and I think the back of your poser figure should be widened accordingly. I estimated Patty's average ASH ratio at 1.28, which IMO is beyond the range of human variability.

The reason I think the poser's back should be widened is because Patty's arms hang straight down from the end of the shoulders yet are correctly proportioned. A mime's humerus would appear too short if the top of it was 6" inside the shoulder pads and angled into a prosthetic arm.

However, if you give the poser a normal human back width, you aren't accounting for the foreshortening effects due to the angle of the mime's arm into the prosthetic arm. This would effectively reduce the visual length of the arm, which means you would have to scale up the poser to place the hand inside the glove (if that's your scaling criteria). Then you would have to shorten the legs further, which wouldn't change the ASH ratio, but would scale the legs too short relative to the torso. IMO, I don't think this is the right approach anyway, since this would make it difficult if not impossible to maintain the correct arm bone proportions as evidenced in the film. Thru some averaged measurements I found that Patty's legs were approximately 12% shorter and arms 10% longer than an average human her height. This would give her an IMI of approx. 88. However, it's her back width that really puts her ASH ratio outside the human range. IMO, a mime couldn't hide this in the suit without using prosthetics, which I don't see any evidence for. At the very least, I think this rules out BH.

IMO you're right on the money regarding the issue of locating the top of the femur and top of the humerus on a human, which is why I tend to focus on limb ratios that only involve the tibia and radius. However, we can extrapolate the endpoints of the humerus and femur by applying the average human brachial (radius/humerous) and crural (tibia/femur) indices, which are less variable than the IMI itself. At the very least it provides a good approximation for these endpoints which can be tracked and refined over several frames.

Word of warning that many forum members don't trust these methods to accurately derive the body proportions. There's also no consensus what constitutes "beyond human range". But IMO, the methodology is sound and I look forward to more of your informed analyses.

GF

ps. Patty's foot length is 14.5", which makes an excellent ruler for measuring her arm length (frames 61,72), which inturn can be used as a ruler to measure her body parts in other frames. This overcomes any foreshortening considerations due to body orientation.

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ps. Patty's foot length is 14.5", which makes an excellent ruler for measuring her arm length (frames 61,72), which inturn can be used as a ruler to measure her body parts in other frames. This overcomes any foreshortening considerations due to body orientation.

Assuming that the cast produced was actually cast from a footprint made by the subject of the film.

Other wise, you have no way of determining the actual length of the foot.

Right?

Edited by Drew
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Not necessarily. First of all, the clearest shot of the foot in frame 61 is a perfect match for the track cast. This alone, however, cannot connect the 2. But we can confirm the foot length using some photogrammetry. We know the foot length relative to the frame height and if we knew the distance from the camera for a given frame we can estimate the arm length. If we know the arm length we have the foot length. There are several methods for determining the distance from the camera that require knowing the height of the figure. All we have to do is assume BH was in the suit (which you do don't you?), then use his known height to determine the distance from the camera, or use his height directly to measure the arm/foot. There's also some geometric methods for determining distance from the camera using the trackway. I won't bother getting into using Patty's step length of 41" as another measuring tool. I do agree, however, that we need access to an uncropped version of the film to demonstrate this formally, otherwise, I doubt you'd accept the methodology.

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