Puppets for film animation
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 2017. .
Students meet professionals working in all aspects of puppet film animation. The teachers explain techniques of designing and making a stop motion puppet film - including the unique technology of the Czech armature. Students spend two days in the Hafan Film studio, a professional animated film studio, making test film.
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 in Hafan Film Studio 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 wiht armatures borrowed during the workshop. They 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 workshops is 14 days.
The daily schedule is intensive: students work from 9,30 to 6 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 and one afternoon editing film on the computer. Student also learn about puppet design and carve wooden prototypes of heads for their own puppets.
On the last part of the workshops students will learn more about filming in improvised studio and animate a test film with their own newly-created puppets.
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 14 participants.
20,000 Czech Crowns (about 720 EUR/820 USD)
OPTIONAL: Students can purchase armature for an additional 16,000 Czech crowns
Price includes all materials. 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 for the 2014 workshop is about 400 Czech crowns (approximately 15 Euro per night) for a double room, 600 Czech crowns (approx. 21 Euro) 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 from the historical center of Prague in the Vrsovice neighborhood, on Holandska Street. See map and Street View
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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.
Puppet animation, storyboard, postproduction, editing
Barbara is a graduate in animation from the Prague Academy of Arts and Crafts. She works as an animator at the Hafan Film Studio in Prague and other studios, and recently finished her own film .
Rudolf graduated from the Prague Academy of Arts and Crafts.
"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.
The group divides the work so that each student tries each aspect of filming. Students take turns animating, taking pictures onto a PC, and working as 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.
Students spend one day working with latex, working with specific equipment used for creating puppet hands. Each student makes hands for his, or her puppet. They learn the whole process of latex hand production, including how to model them using the original molds.
Animated puppet hands are simpler and usually have fewer fingers than a real hand. Hands are made from latex with wire inside each finger. An important part of the workshop is about how to develop hands.
This building phase of work includes creating a three-dimensional puppet head using wood. Students learn basic techniques of woodcarving and they carve heads 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 where Milan Vins makes armatures. Milan, a professional metallurgist, shows how he welds an armature - and, with his help, students make part of one themselves.
Students also work on film editing on a PC with a professional film editor. They work in small groups on the film they created in Hafan Studios, editing their own version of the film.
The workshop includes presentations by other professionals, artists and creators of animated films, who works successfully in the commercial arena.
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.
Hafan film Fimfarum Czech TV UPP post production QQ studio Mirage Kratky film Animation cz AAA-studio
Here are some useful links to animation film studios in Prague.