melissa pettitt

stopmotion model making

As a modelmaker, I felt that to make really good props I needed to understand and experience the whole process of stopmotion production, so this project during lockdown in 2020 was to design & construct an entire work and then animate it.

As well as story and character design, making armatures and rendering them, I designed and constructed the set, props, and lighting, and am now studying animation techniques.

It was a very broad undertaking. From making 3D-printed texture rollers for the floor tiles, to armatures and textiles,  via ceramic eyes in epoxy sockets, poseable hands, and countless kitchen props , the project involved a huge range of techniques.

Set and characters for "Dryw"

Here’s a tour of the set for “Dryw” , a story about a lonely old man.
This family of creatures was inspired by an online image by an unknown artist, and is part of a longer storyline in production.

creature development

“Dryw” , a proud but lonely old man, and his family

wire armatures, sculpting foam, textiles, acrylic

construction details - hands

One sub-project was to make tiny poseable hands, with nails and crease-lines.
These were sculpted in Chavant, cast in plaster, then wire armatures made and wrapped in cotton, finally moulded in silicone.

Props and set dressing

I ended up making a huge number of props for this set. Some of the books are bound and open for reading, with script inside. Spoons are carved from matchsticks.

construction details – props

Props were made from a wide variety of materials combined with found objects.
One interesting task was to use 3-D printing to produce small bowls and platters, all slightly different but with related designs.
These were designed by Melissa, 3-D modelled and printed in grey plastic by Ben, and then rendered by Melissa.


Another project was to develop and animate Kitty, who was made as a gift for a friend.

construction details – Kitty

Kitty was felted round a twisted wire and epoxy foam armature. Ceramic beads in foam sockets for moveable eyes.