Puppets for film animation
Students work with leading Czech experts on how to build puppets for stop motion animation plus they learn about contemporary Czech animation. This workshop includes a trip to the Anifilm International Film Festival in Trebon, Czech Republic.
Description of Animation Workshop
This workshop is 14 days long and includes a trip to Anifilm - an international animated film festival in the Czech town of Třeboň - Anifilm May 2019. .
Students meet professionals working in all aspects of puppet film animation. The teachers explain techniques of designing and making a stop motion puppet - including the unique technology of the Czech armature. Students will visit a professional animated film studio.
Professional film-puppet designer Zdar Sorm leads students through the process of building a puppet, metallurgist Milan Vins demonstrates how the traditional Czech armature is welded and animators will help students in animating and filming.
Other topics will include film equipment, computer technology, the current status of film animation in Europe and the evolution of the Czech film animation puppet.
Do I keep my puppet?
At the Animation workshop students will work with puppets with armatures borrowed during the workshop. Students will design and construct their own puppets with WIRE SKELETON (made of wood, , latex (hands) and foam) which they do take home. Students, who prefer to use the professional armature, have the option to purchase one for an additional cost of about 600 Euros.
The workshop is 14 days.
The daily schedule is intensive: students work from 9,30 to 5,30 p.m. with practical work and lectures.
The workshop includes visit of film studio, one day with latex creating latex hands, one afternoon with a metallurgy to observe, how an armature is created. Student also learn about puppet design and carve wooden head for their own wire puppet.
On the last part of the workshop students will learn more about filming in improvised studio and animate a test film with their own newly-created puppet.
The last day of the workshop we will go to the Anifilm International Film Festival in Trebon, Czech Republic.
Who is the course designed for?
It is an ideal opportunity for animation students, professional animators, and artists who want to learn Czech method of creating a puppet for film animation. Click here for Comments from former students.
Students will be selected on the basis of their experience, and all applicants should send photos or their work with the application. There will be a maximum of 12 participants.
23,000 Czech Crowns (about 900 EUR/1030 USD)
OPTIONAL: Students can purchase armature for an additional 16,000 Czech crowns.
Price includes all materials and registration to Anifilm festival. For actual exchange rate see here.
To confirm place in the workshop, applicants must send a deposit (details will be sent upon acceptance).
The fee does NOT include accommodation during the workshop.
Accommodations with shared bathroom facilities can be arranged for participants in Pension Jana, a comfortable, clean hostel located in a residential area a five minute walk from the workshop. The price is about 400 Czech crowns (approx. 15 Euro/18 USD per night) for a double room, 600 Czech crowns (approx. 24 Euro/ 28 USD) for a single room (includes breakfast), or 380 Cz crowns for a triple room. For more informaton, go to the Pension Jana web site: www.dhotels.cz.
If participants prefer other accommodation, we can provide contacts to booking agencies in Prague.
Participants can cook meals in a small kitchen in the workshop, or eat in local Czech restaurants (approx. 5 Euro for lunch).
Location of Workshop
The workshop of Miroslav Trejtnar, located ten minutes by tram 22 from the historical center of Prague in the Vrsovice neighborhood, on Holandska Street. See map and Street View.
The workshop is taught in English.
Our team of Teachers
Leader of workshop
Zdar worked for the Jirí Trnka animated film studio at Barrandov studio in Prague for 20 years, and is now a freelance designer of puppets for film animation and theatre, as well as a graphic and furniture designer. He is one of Prague's leading experts in the technological design of puppets for animated films.
Latex hands, hair, costumes
She has worked for many years at the Anima film studio in Prague. She is expert on hair, costume, shoes, hats, and props for animated films.
Milan worked for 10 years for the Jirí Trnka animated film studio at Barrandov studio in Prague. Now he makes armatures and animated puppets for most of the Czech stop-motion animated films, which are currently being produced.
"Thank you for such a wonderfully rich, insiprational, life-changing two weeks. I loved it." - Jonathan Storey, UK, May 2016.
"I will go home with a lot of inspiration and the feeling, I know now how to make a puppet animation film, and it is possible to do it." - Julia Libiseller, Austria, October 2016
"I really felt like I came to the right place, the whole experience was magic, I appreciate all the extra energy and commitment that you gave to your students, and what you show and teach us. There is no doubt I will be back" - Grace Emily Manning, London, October 2016
The puppet's armature was invented by Jiri Trnka in the 1950s. Five decades later, this technology is still being used with only minor modifications. The maximum size of the puppet is about 25 cm. In addition to the metal parts, the construction includes wooden shoulders and hips. Hands and heads can usually be removed and changed on an armature.
We start with lecture about the fundamentals of construction and the technology. In one day the students also visit a fully-equipped film studio, which is used specifically for animated films.
Students will meet profesionals working as animators and directors, who coordinate the work of the animator with the movements of the puppet and camera.
After becoming familiar with puppets construction, students work on their own puppet designs. During this phase of the workshop, they get to know the fundamentals of construction and the technology for specific parts of the puppet. Each student works on a detailed technical drawing based on his, or her design.
Each student makes hands for his, or her puppet. Students spend one day working with specific equipment modeling puppet hands and plaster mold. Second day each student will go through the whole process of latex hands production, using new mold.
Animated puppet hands are simpler and usually have fewer fingers, than a real hand. Hands are made from latex with wire inside each finger.
This building phase of work includes creating a three-dimensional puppet head using wood. Students learn basic techniques of woodcarving and carve head based on their own design. Students are introduced to basics about wood, chisels and other tools and equipment.
Students spend half a day with a metallurgy workshop, with Milan Vins, who makes armatures. Milan, a professional metallurgist, shows how he welds an armature - and, with his help, students make one joint of armature themselves.
The workshop includes presentations by other professionals, artists and creators of animated films, who works successfully in the commercial arena.
We visit also other studios and meet professionals.
We visit art exhibitions and museum expositions. Here students saw an exhibition of the puppets and scenery from Fimfarum - a film based on short stories by the Czech writer Jan Werich.
Here are some useful links to animation film studios in Prague.