I spent the week doing 3 shots from scene 6 (Omulosi drumming at the shrine) and they worked out really well! This despite several breakages in the armature as well as the puppet’s hands. I was in the middle of shot 63_1 in when his left arm broke off at the shoulder. I was miffed and disappointed. Then I removed the puppet from the shot, did a quick fix on the shoulder and replaced the puppet. By the grace of god and some skill I managed to match the position of the last frame that I had shot so I completed the shot with no other major issues.
Then the next night I had to deal with a similar thing in shot 63_2, this time with the hand snapping off right at the elbow. This was much harder to fix because the breakage happened at a point where there was very little wire to use to re-attach it. Still I managed to force a quick fix and finish the shot.
Now I have to perform major surgery on Omulosi before proceeding further. I also have to plan in advance, taking breakages into consideration and making multiple parts that I can replace quickly. I always felt that the drumming scenes would be hard on the puppet so I was sort of expecting it, I just didn’t think it would happen so soon after I started shooting.
Frankly I felt really discouraged last night after the hand broke off. It was fun animating the puppet before the breakage. After the fix I had to concentrate more on positioning the hand without having it fall off or slide off. All this made the whole animating process less fluid.
So, one puppet is up for radical hand and shoulder surgery this weekend.