Hand Armature for Kia motors AD

This year, I had some clients asking me to make a hand armature. Earlier this year, I made a TINY hand armature for the Quay Brothers. And last month, I made a real-size hand armature for Kia Motors commercial series.

In the Kia commercials, this hand turns into a puppet and dance. Its fingers move as if they were arms and legs. Unlike the hinge jointed hand I made for the Quays earlier this year, I’ve used ball and socket joints for this one to create humanoid-like movements.

This armature is made based on a real human hand. So its size as well as the positions of its joints are exactly same as the real model hand. While finishing up this project, I once again realized that the human body is asymmetric. When you look at the fingers, you can see that the joints are machined to have curved surfaces. It takes longer time and harder work to machine parts in this way. And tie-downs are hidden in fingertips.



Wingcle Bear

‘Wingcle Bear’ is an animal character created by Tuba Entertainment in South Korea, which is well-known for a computer-animated series <Larva>. I have been working on a stop-motion animation series of it since this summer. Here’s the first episode. (Stop-motion series are producing in Comma Studio)



The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama in Japan is hosting an exhibition titled “PHANTŒM MUSÆMS” by the Quay Brothers from July 23 to October 10, 2016. The exhibition will travel around the country for two years, and Hayama is the starting point of its journey.

The other day the Quays and I were communicating each other for work, and they told me just before the exhibition opening that they were coming to Japan. To Japan?! It’s right next to where I live, South Korea! Hurray! After going through a challenging seven months, I’d just completed armatures for their next film, and now it was time to see the Brothers Quay again.

And not only that; there was the exhibition as well. I had always thought it was too bad that I missed their exhibitions at the MoMA New York and the EYE Film Institute Netherlands. I could never miss the chance this time. So my wife and I went to Japan for our summer vacation! 😉 The Quays thankfully invited us to the opening at the MoMA Hayama.

I most recently met the Quays in the winter of 2012. I remember that the Brothers and I had an amazing time together back then, drinking wine and chatting at their studio in London. With full of expectations and excitements for seeing old friends and the exhibition as well as being on vacation, my wife and I set foot on Japanese soil. Read more

Customized brass nuts


This is a picture of customized brass nuts, which are used as supplementary parts for rigging. I usually make my armatures in various materials including alloys of steel and aluminum as well as brass. Some clients specifically order brass armatures.

Brass is highly machinable and offers greater corrosion resistance than steel. It is also easy to braze and weld thanks to its relatively low melting point.

Even with such advantages, however, stop-motionists in some countries have underestimated brass as a material for armatures. They say that brass is weaker than steel and corrodes under alkaline conditions.

It’s true that brass has some disadvantages, but I still think brass is a very good material for armatures. With a brass armature, it is possible to create smoother movements and control tension more precisely than armatures in other materials.

I’m going to write about this again some time later on this blog.


Mermaid armature


In early 2015 I made a mermaid armature for an NFTS (National Film and Television School, UK) graduation film titled Fishwitch directed by Adrienne Dowling. Adrienne told me that the film will soon start screening in festivals. I’ll post the link for the trailer when it comes out.

The trickiest thing about this character was that it had to move not only in water but also on land. I figured that the most important part was to make it move naturally in both environments. So I designed all the joints to have different ranges of motion in order to make it move like a human as well as fish. It’s possible to replace the mesh fin in case it breaks.

The hip part is made to install a square brass tube and a screw rig. You can choose to install the tube either horizontally or vertically. The client wanted the mermaid to swim in water horizontally and walk on land vertically.