'Karma Kid'

------------ Before you read on please excuse my so called "Workshop" ------------
------------ My flat is very tiny, and I make do with what I've got. ------------


Karma Kid

This story is about these characters:
(Left) Good Karma, (Middle) Bad Karma and (Right) Karma Kid.
Good and Bad are both twins which later the create Karma Kid.

This story is about how Karma used to be determined for us through these Good and Bad characters.

This Karma is based on the Hindu side of it. As they have many Gods and Spirits of different things, I liked the idea of someone controlling our Karma. What you hear everyday is that " Karma will catch up with them in the end" so this was my starting point of my idea. After many story re-writes I come up with this one.
Making them natural rivals of Good and bad as well as being twins, they like to complete on how many people they serve in their specialty of Karma on their globe that they have of Earth. On their map of the Earth they have glowing lights representing a human.

They both live on this Floating Island by Earths moon out of sight.
They begin a tame fight of giving their Karma and it quickly escalates causing their map of the Earth to come to a standstill as well as doing harm to themselves.
They later come to a decision to sacrifice themselves to merge together to create balance for Earths humans. Giving them the power to determine their own Karma through thought and action. This then creates Karma Kid.

So the making begins.

My old Secondary School, Ash Manor was kind enough to let me use their facilities in the technology department. My amazing teachers gave up their time to help me create my characters pieces.
The character pieces I wish to be cut out of wood.
In order to do these the programme TechSoft Design Tools - 2D Design Software is needed for when using the Laser cutter.

Here is a paper puppet I used to test if the pieces worked.

And here is Mikey Please's work that inspired me to make my puppets in this way.

Here are the pieces ready for cutting.
These include MANY necessary spare parts that may be needed if anything would snap during filming.


Laser Cutting

Here is the machine I used. Still the same from when I was there 5 years ago.

Was so exciting to see the shapes.

As you can see there is many pieces in total.
Lost of organising was needed.

But I couldn't resist !
I had to see my original character take shape.
And with the results I couldn't be happier !


Paper Pulp

I want to give some texture to the characters clothing and hair.
Making your own paper pulp came to mind as its easy to make, and when ready for paper mache its easy to morph into any texture you want.

To making Paper Pulp you need:
- Pan
- Toilet Paper
- Spatula
- Strainer
- PVA Glue (When it comes to paper mache time) 

If you try this at hope, it may spit back at you !

Firstly I tore up and entire toilet roll stacking the spares like so.

Bringing the water to a boil I then started slowly adding the paper.
Notice that the paper begins to break easily this is good.
A good stur will help the process when more paper is added.
All while the water is at a constant boiling point.

Then when all that can fit in your pot at this sort if texture its ready to strain. Just make sure no big clumps is there before straining.
I then poured cold water on the Paper pulp to help cooling process.
Tissue paper can hold a lot of water so when the paper is cool enough I gave the paper a good ring out of any extra water.

Then once thats done I tore it apart into a separate container ready to use when needed for Paper mache time.


Then adding PVA Glue and a small amount of water to my paper pulp.
If your trying this at home, the amount of each varies with whatever consistency you wish. So I just guessed at this point.

Scoring into my pieces is to ensure that the PVA has somewhere to cling onto.

And then with a pallet knife i began to spread on.

And now all of my pieces are drying ready for the next stage.


Base Coat

If my wood had grain in it I would've left it.
As it does not, I have to create my own texture.
So i begin by giving everything a white layer, so when it comes to painting they colours will be more vibrant the first time.

Once all had been sprayed. 
I began the painting stages. 
The only way to ensure no brush marks was to sponge on the colours.

And as you can see these paper pulp looks great now its coloured.



Also a touch of glitter was added spontaneously.
I had a rummage around my nail polish draw and thought "Why not?!"
The characters do have powers !


I brought some ribbon to help break up the characters clothing and at the same time bringing more texture. The use of the lighter is to help melt away any annoying strands that may occur. 

On the more challenging parts that curve, some pins were put in place to help the PVA Glue do it's thing.

So a lot of this was going on in my "Workshop"



This is my dreaded part of armature making ... the never ending filing !
I forgot how clumsy I am. My fingertips hate me right now.
But hay-ho
Was hoping to show you some snaps of my puppets in the armature stages, but I forgot ONE thing from my shopping list ... Shrink Wrap.
So try again tomorrow.

So to give my fingers a break, I stuck on some gems for the characters face jewelry and Bad Karmas head dress.

I also began the bottom half of the Floating Island.
I forgot to take a picture before this stage.
But there is a wire frame under there.

Time to get my hands dirty and get that paper pulp out again !

Here are some mini rocks that will be additional to the bottom half of the Island.
It looks pretty terrible in the cardboard stages.

But after a few more paper mache layers I will have them looking like rocks sooner or later.
But for now they're on their first layer.

And fashioned into some hideous earrings by the looks of it. 
And now my towel rack on my radiator now has a completely new purpose.


Rocks & Building

Bought some rock moulds ! So plaster time !

Some little baby ones that were on the side.

Going to look so good on my floating island !!!

And here is the result of my first round.
Will repeat this a few times in order to fill up the whole area, and maybe break up some to avoid obvious repetition and then paper mache the cracks to patch them together.

So here is the basic layout I'm going for.

using 12mm nails as the hinges. Good job they're already white for easy painting later.

And here she is ! But with the arms I think I will bring them further out from the body both ways because the layering of her skirt doesn't allow her her full arm swinging motion.

Same with the back leg and the girls hair. Also with Good Karma's shoes I think I will cheat a little and have her feet on some wire behind the skirt, as her legs will never be on show. So with that in mind I knew my characters would probably need assistance, so a rigging point in the back will be added. My characters will most likely be filmed on green screen. So not too difficult to clean up on After Effects.
Also you can see here I'm gluing hats and fringes to their heads, also Karma Kids hips. After they are dry I will attach the rest together and then paint .... AGAIN.


I've been crazy busy trying to finish everything before filming day confirmed to be on 
Monday 17th March.
Also sorting out Music collaboration.

But here is everything to catch up on !

Epoxy glue my smelly friend !

I applies 1cm KNS pieces to the back of my puppets where the arm hinge will need to be.

And a bit of this going on once dried. Some twisted wire (4 strips of wire I think) twisted to fit snug inside the KNS.

And then fed through the puppet to create a hinge.
More photos on the progress next time. WHEN THE PUPPETS ARE COMPLETE FINALLY !!!

Now back to the set. For some reason I painted this plank of wood green before adding the Scenic modeling grass on top for texture. The reason why I say this is because my set will be completely white, so it really doesn't matter what colour it is so this was a slight waste of time on my part. But oh well its done now.

So now the base is set. I bought a tree from hobby craft which to my surprise could be animate-able !!!

So with that I had fun bending the tree like this to create a fatter look. Concentrating on the front of the tree (as that is all you will see just like my puppets)

Added some foliage !

First concentrating on the branches with the help of my trusty glue gun.

And with the leftovers from last years major project, "A Hole In One", I put the grass turf in the negative spaces of the tree to help bulk it out.

As you can see this works perfectly, and you can hardly notice it once more of the foliage is added on top.
This image here I unfortunately ran out of glue gun to further bulk it out. So once finished I will post the complete look before it comes to spraying time !

Overall I'm really pleased with the overall look of my project. I think I've given myself a very doable project considering I'm making this whole short film on my own.
Next post will be the final touches before I start filming !!!


Right so I have the set and puppets done now !
Few complications on the way as you will see :(

But here is my rocks made from the plaster rock moulds then filled in the gaps with more paper pulp. 
Paper pulp is just the best ... Just sayin !

Added some more foliage.

More white spraying going on. 
(This time I remember to protect the surfaces)

Roots are made and again sprayed.

Obviously more paper pulp !

Sooooo pleased with the outcome !!!

... But of course when things run too smoothly something just has to go wrong.
And this is the image a night after the last. Yes my tree decided it didn't want to be attached to it's roots.
Where it sat on the rod, it teared up the insides. 

This has nothing to do with making it top heavy ... certainly wasn't my fault ;)
Anywho, with the help from more glue, a long piece of wood and able ties I'm hoping to fix the problem.

Realising that I'm filming on green screen thought it would be a good idea to actually finish the puppets HA !
So as my hinges (nails) let a lot of free movement to happen, I needed to stiffen them up.
This looks sooo complicated I know, but its the only way I could think of correcting it. 

But it works so I'm sticking with it :D
Also got a new plan to get my feet to plant to the floor.
Reverse tie downs !
Again supplied by the wonderful Malvern Armatures !

And with a little touch up with paint here are my final puppets !!!

And here is Karma Kid standing !

Not so flat puppets now but hay it works :P

And the rig I'm using I bought off of my lecturer but they can also be found at Malvern Armatures here. A great rig that I have modified with a 3mm tie down on the end which fits perfect into my KNS

Now after 3 days later then expects I suppose I'd better start this film :/


Yes I've done it !!!
I know I've neglected my blog, but its only because I'VE FINISHED FILMING !!!
4 weeks of filming time and I have roughly 4 minutes of my film ready to edit.
And OMG theres a lot to edit !!!

Stop Motion Pro 6.(something) I was using with a EOS 55D Canon with a Sigma 24-70mm lens.
With my trusty tripod :D

Here is a better picture of my magnetic rig.
And this is the green screen setup I had with Bad Karma chilling there.
Easy life for a puppet :P

And the scary crosses on my puppets are put in place to help me in Post Production when I will be using After Effects to help track my characters features.

Also with a quick screen grab of Bad Karma on the Green Screen I was concerned about my Characters yellow shoes, so I had a quick play to find out that my hunch was right and that they went transparent with the Green Screen.

So a quick repaint and they were ready for action !

And here is the floating Island. I had hoped that the white might of bleached out the original colour of green .... sort of.
But to be safe I thought Pink would be better for Green Screen.

And trust me the camera does line up with the pink surrounding it ha !
The tripod was WAYYYY taller than me for this shot.
So no is the time to piece it all together !!!


  1. This is really cool Hannah :3 Love the textures just wanna see the puppets in person now :D

  2. Hi Hannah. All looking GREAT....!!! keep it up, I want to see them in ACTION..!!