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Bill

Creature Suit Analysis Part 10 - Flab

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Bill

Creature Suit Analysis Part 10 - Flab

In the study of the PG Film subject, an enormous amount of study and debate has been focused on apparent musculature form and motion in the film, and over the years, a frequently quoted mantra of believers has been "Suits can't do that". In my part two notes, I have discussed muscle padding shapes and the physics of them and their limitations. But as I have continued to study the film and various frames, I have noticed something which has apparently been neglected by both researchers and skeptics alike.

Flab. Fatty tissue accumulations. Love handles.

Call it what you like, the film has definite examples of soft, non-muscular tissue and the skin folds that evidence this.

We tend to think of "wild animals" (If you believe the figure in the film is real) as being always muscular and fit. But there's no reason why wild creatures can't be overweight and flabby. And the film industry has, especially in recent years, made some remarkable milestones in "fat suits" and similar prosthetic effects to suggest a person overweight and "flabby" (the most recent and spectacular example being the Eddie Murphy female character in "Norbit" which Rick Baker's fine team at Cinevation fabricated so well they could put the character in a bikini and reveal all that flab in glorious uncovered closeup).

So I thought it would be appropriate to consider the potential of Flab to help us sort out real from fake in the PG Film.

In the last frames of the film sequence, as "Patty" is going into the woods, and we see her back quite clearly, there are some curious shifts in the light/dark patterns of her back, especially going around her torso to her right abdominal wall. And there is a quite distinct roll of apparent tissue slightly above her waist that can only be described as "flab" because it certainly doesn't resemble any musculature I know of.

The attached image chart illustrates the frames studied, with a faded copy beside each and a red line following the back contours being studied. The six frames illustrate a variety of contours that tend to roll more like living tissue than furcloth.

Now I don't believe there is any pressing need to prove flab exists on real individuals. I've got more than I want personally, so I can vouch for it's existance, and enough reports and news stories about America becomming a nation of overweight people (Suffering remote control/couch potato syndrome) abound that I feel I can take the reality of flab as a fair and responsible presumption. And flab can certainly exist in real creatures as well. In days of old, zoos competing for the claim of having the biggest gorilla in captivity rediculously overfed their gorillas to get them up to 600 pounds and more (for reference, a good silverback gorilla weight is around 350-400 pounds for a healthy animal), making them quite flabby. So a persumption that Patty might be a little "plus sized" in her physique isn't unreasonable.

What needs to be evaluated is the process of faking flab, creating a suit for a hoax where flabbly body parts are convincingly depicted. And of course, it is essential to consider what was available in 1967, not just what's available now.

Film flab, today, is based on resinous compounds which I believe were pioneered by a company called BJB Industries. Back in the 80's, they started introducing some wondrous plastic compounds for molding and casting, such as "Smooth On", which could be plasticized for varying degrees of flexibility and elasticity. This capacity to vary the flexing potential by varying the amount of a plasticizer additive was a fairly new and unique new method allowing makeup effects designers a way to adjust the results of the material to their unique needs. Back in the 80's when it was first being introduced, it was a tempermental material, with demanding issues of gel control and surface inhibition which made it hard to mold and cast at first. Stan Winston produced some remarkable results with it, including a full head shoulder cast of a woman (weighted with a real heavy metal ball in the skull area) for a film called "Dead and Buried", for a scene of a mortician doing a reconstructive makeup on a dead girl. The solid Smooth-On cast head, with the massive weight in the skull, allowed the head to be turned side to side and it would stay as turned, due to the weight inside overpowering the natural inclination of the cast Smooth-On to "bounce back" to it's cast shape. I did some work on that film too, and I can say with unabashed admiration that Stan's innovative invention of a soft tissue effect was a real bold and brilliant innovation in the makeup effects field.

But this was 1980, not 1967.

In 1967, any attempt at a fat suit or fat face (with prosthetics) was accomplished by a foamed latex or flexible polyureathane foam material. And these foam materials were so lightweight, relative to their structural integrity and capacity for dimensional memory (the ability to restore to their original molded shape after being deformed by pressure or force) that they"defied" gravity. They moved somewhat when an external force was applied to push or pull them, but gravity alone had no force or influence on them. By comparison, the fat suits of today, with heavily plasticized resins cast as gel structures, have more mass and less memory, and so gravity does cause them to have splendidly natural "flabby" motion characteristics.

But in 1967, we just had various kinds of foam. And foam only does "flabby" well if it's shaped to look flabby and not moved. As soon as it's moved, foam tends to collapse (what foam does best, because it's really mostly empty air chambers surrounded by a thin framework of resin or latex connective material).

A second consideration is that the furcloth covering a suit tends to move like cloth, not flab. It folds in lines and cross-folds, as the base structure re-arranges it's form while keeping it's linear dimensions around the folded contour. Foam underneath furcloth has almost no real potential to push the furcloth into "flabby" masses, because the cloth structural material has more strength or structural integrity than the foam has capacity to deform it. If the foam tries to push for flab, the cloth pushes back to fold and drape in clothlike form, and the cloth wins every time.

Even today, with spandex-backed all-way stretch fur (which NFT introduced in the 1980's), the spandex fur, when stretched, will tend to impose it's one elastic shape dynamics on any fat suit gel mass underneath, and will not give a realistic "flab" look and contour motion to a fur-covered suit.

So with this in mind, I have been looking more carefully at the PG Film figure, and I am seeing what can best be explained in my mind as "flab" on Patty, and what I see, especially in the back and abdominal side walls, does not fold or buckle like any furcloth I know, or like any cloth dynamic I am familiar with.

For the record, let me state that I am trying to set up research plan to take this to a more finite and factually documented study, but the results won't be likely until later this year. For now, I can offer my estimation of what can occur, based on 30 years working with the materials.

So while it seems that people advocating that Patty is real, love to point to the apparent musculature as evidence of a real creature, (and I have already offered notes on how muscle padding doesn't move as realistically as the hype claims it does), it may well be an even stronger argument for reality if you consider that the fatty tissue bulges and contours seen late in the film, the "Flab" is even harder to replicate, with 1967 technology and particularly under a furcloth outer suit material.

It's hard to argue with gravity. I've tried. I lost. So would any suit technology of 1967.

Bill Munns

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Guest CrimsonGoblin

What a keen eye you have there Bill. Interesting observation for sure.

In humans, females have a higher bodyfat percentage than males. Does this relationship occur in other mammals? Especially primates.

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bipedalist
BFF Donor
Creature Suit Analysis Part 10 - Flab

In the study of the PG Film subject, an enormous amount of study and debate has been focused on apparent musculature form and motion in the film, and over the years, a frequently quoted mantra of believers has been "Suits can't do that". In my part two notes, I have discussed muscle padding shapes and the physics of them and their limitations. But as I have continued to study the film and various frames, I have noticed something which has apparently been neglected by both researchers and skeptics alike.

Flab. Fatty tissue accumulations. Love handles.

For the record, let me state that I am trying to set up research plan to take this to a more finite and factually documented study, but the results won't be likely until later this year. For now, I can offer my estimation of what can occur, based on 30 years working with the materials.

So while it seems that people advocating that Patty is real, love to point to the apparent musculature as evidence of a real creature, (and I have already offered notes on how muscle padding doesn't move as realistically as the hype claims it does), it may well be an even stronger argument for reality if you consider that the fatty tissue bulges and contours seen late in the film, the "Flab" is even harder to replicate, with 1967 technology and particularly under a furcloth outer suit material.

It's hard to argue with gravity. I've tried. I lost. So would any suit technology of 1967.

Bill Munns

Bill, thanks for the outlining of the suspect deposits and your usual fine research. It is interesting, that your pics of Patty's derriere here made me observe something worth commenting on, that is the small of the back of this creature along with cleavage of gluteus maximus is seen clearly in one pic, and it is here that it is obvious that the pilonidal indentation area of the lower sacrum/tail bone is very pronounced and depressed. I do not believe this would normally be the case if this were a suit. What do you anatomists think of this observation?

Edited by bipedalist

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Bill

Bipedalist:

"obvious that the pilonidal indentation area of the lower sacrum is very pronounced and depressed. I do not believe this would normally be the case if this were a suit. What do you anatomists think of this observation? "

Could you say that in more basic anatomy terms. I'm trying to figure out the spot you're referring to. My copy of Grey's Anatomy" isn't handy.

:coverlaugh:

Bill

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bipedalist
BFF Donor
Bipedalist:

"obvious that the pilonidal indentation area of the lower sacrum is very pronounced and depressed. I do not believe this would normally be the case if this were a suit. What do you anatomists think of this observation? "

Could you say that in more basic anatomy terms. I'm trying to figure out the spot you're referring to. My copy of Grey's Anatomy" isn't handy.

8O

Bill

the cupped area above her butt crack? :coverlaugh:

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Bill

Thank you. Words I can understand. LOL!

Yes, that shadow area where I'd describe it as the center of the small of the back, curiously flows into the supposed "waist seam line" and that rounded shadow sure isn't a seam line of any kind. Completely invalidates any "waist seam" argument I can think of.

Bill

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bipedalist
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Thank you. Words I can understand. LOL!

Yes, that shadow area where I'd describe it as the center of the small of the back, curiously flows into the supposed "waist seam line" and that rounded shadow sure isn't a seam line of any kind. Completely invalidates any "waist seam" argument I can think of.

Bill

I'd still like somebody like Zenor or Meldrum or Sarmiento to comment on things like this? I'm sure it has been discussed elsewhere, my anatomical vocab. prob. would not be sufficient to search that info. out though? Any help here? Appreciate your insight Bill.

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Guest Apeman

Hi Bill-

This is an intriguing angle but I have a couple thoughts/observations.

1. Sure, plenty of overfed zoo animals get fat, and there might be some habituated (and fed) monkeys with some extra LBs hanging around temples in Asia, but a legitimately fat and flabby wild ape? That stretches my imagination a little. But....

2. I'm not convinced we're looking at a fat animal (or costume). I'm not even fully convinced there are rolls or folds in the images (which are overly contrasted) as you've interpreted. Couldn't it just be changes in the hair pattern- like near folding or bulging enough to change the lighting? For example, in the middle left image the line across the shoulder blade is about as dark as your love-handle/muffin-top fold, but surely you don't think there is such a deep fold over the shoulder blade? Likewise, compare your upper R image with frame 72- same position but closer and better images with nowhere near this interpretation of a deep crease. I suspect you've exaggerated your marks for demonstration but hat makes this a bit misleading.

3. In light of the question of how much anything is really bulging or folding, can you really compare this to current Hollywood flab and judge it to be too complex for a fake? Honestly? Even if it is as creased as you imply, why couldn't a plain suit fold/crease like that? I understand what your saying about stretch and memory but is there really enough info in these frames to make a judgement on those grounds- or what if there is no foam involved?

Partly playing the devil's advocate...

Apeman

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bipedalist
BFF Donor
Thank you. Words I can understand. LOL!

Yes, that shadow area where I'd describe it as the center of the small of the back, curiously flows into the supposed "waist seam line" and that rounded shadow sure isn't a seam line of any kind. Completely invalidates any "waist seam" argument I can think of.

Bill

If Patty is wearing a flak-jacket all bets are off though. :coverlaugh:

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Bill

Apeman:

The Devil's Advocate is always welcome.

1. I'm just wondering if in October, a creature in colder environments might not "bulk up" for the winter, given there will be a scarcity of food. And I wonder, if such creatures may potentially lurk around human campgrounds, or maybe trash areas, and have some chance to indulge in classic human junk food occasionally, pigging out on the tasty junk that really puts on the pounds. Just thoughts, :coverlaugh:

2. I also see what looks like somewhat artophied tissue in the bicep area on two backward arm swings in the look back sequence, where the bicep mass does not look to be in prime physical muscle tone. So while I'm not arguing "fat fat", I don't think it's unreasonable to see a bit of extra folding of subcutaneous fat deposits combined with the muscle masses. And yes, changes of hair dynamic and reflectance could be exhaggerating the contours.

3. I can't prove it yet (hoping to sometime in the future) but, yeah, I think the folds are beyond what a suit can do. Especially the shifting form, seems to have contours I more associate with real tissue ability to shift, than furcloth shifting form on abody in motion.

8O

Bill

An edited afterthought:

Apeman (an all here in the Forum)

I had an afterthought following my last post reply to you, and thought I'd add it now just to give all interested a bit more "history" of the subject.

I knew about prosthetics (foam latex appliances, in particular) even before the PG Film existed, but first learned to actually make them myself in early 1969. And at the time, they had two common uses, monster makeups and old age makeups. In aging makeups, we build up smile lines, jowels, and double chins, the more common attributes of old age. But the foam latex never really moved exactly like real jowels or double chins. And so I have been looking at ways to add a fluid pouch or similar weighted mass into aging prosthetics since then (never did figure it out, but neither did anybody else). So from 1969, I've been thinking about how natural tissue folds and how prosthetic simulations fail to replicate that.

Same goes for suits. To fold in any natural way, they need to be "baggy" and that "baggy" quality is simply uncontrolable in terms of getting things to fold exactly as you plan. So suits generally never tried to do any kind of soft tissue folds.

But I bring it up simply to point out it was an issue I was paying attention to as far back as 1969, and looking at both the problems with the technology of the time and the potential solutions I (and everybody else) thought of but never get working). That's why the heavily plasticized BJB compounds of the 80's stand out in my mind. They finally started to do what we dreamed of in the late 60's and even into the 70's.

So when I appraise the potential materials of the time, I reference this prior interest, study, and intent to try and find ways to simulate exactly what I see in the film, and did not see being done by makeup people until the 80's.

Edited by Bill

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Guest

Very very interesting. I was struck by the pattern of fat deposition. I seem to recall that humans store subcutaneous deposits of fat in a diagnostic distribution, on the torso with love handles and a fatty apron on the back and front when under certain metabolic conditions. I'd also heard that when the other great apes put on weight it's more likely to be located differently and within the muscle and organ structures. Could the fact that the pattern of fat deposits on Patty resemble human patterns be significant? I'm caregiving a diabetic and see a similar pattern and am led to believe in my reading that it is indicative of the syndrome. Just a thought.

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Bill

Dogu4:

Your observation is interesting. The breasts of Patty may be generally described as more humanoid than apelike, so having fatty tissue similarly following humanoid patterns is consistant.

Bill

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Bill

Dogu4:

Another afterthought:

the footprints as well seem to be more humanoid than apelike, the toe positions and proportions, etc.

So we see quite a few humanistic physical aspects in the creature.

Bill

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Drew
Call it what you like, the film has definite examples of soft, non-muscular tissue and the skin folds that evidence this.

So you can think of no other explanation for what you see there?, You are claiming 'definitely' that that is 'flab'? No other explanation possible? Woo doggy! that's quite a claim there.

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Crowlogic

Those possible flab lines on the back have been noticed and marked on the photos elsewhere so Bill is not the first person to notice them. I've never seen any Gorilla costume with anything like that. Almost looks like the fat lines seen on the backs of Sumu (sp) wrestlers. If it is a suit than it points more than ever to its creator as someone with knowledge light years beyond that of even the clever Roger Patterson.

Amazing the stuff cowboys can do with horse hide these days! Opps! I mean amazing the stuff cowboys did with horse hide in those days!

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