Bride and Groom
To integrate our wedding (September 3rd 2005) into DC, we added a bride and groom prop that was a joint project with myself and Bo from Unit 70 Studios (www.unit70.com). Seeing their new bride and groom props at the ’05 transworld show (www.transworldexhibits.com) it was obvious that it was destiny to have them as our main prop in the 2005 DC Cemetery. However we didn’t just want the simple movements that are stock with the Unit 70 design, so the project of fitting a full robotic armature into their existing molds began. We started the project by purchasing a couple of blank skeleton forms from Unit 70 to use as a basic guide for measurements and worked within those constraints. Over the next 4 months dozens of sketches and CAD designs went into the project and as those progressed into metal armatures, a fully animated armature materialized. The armature features a base platform that has individual 24” cylinders for each of the bride and grooms feet that push custom slides through a set of guide rails. These slides have a 3” stroke cylinder attached to the lower leg and the slide that allows the feet to actually rise while the corpses are walking.
Moving upwards, the lower legs and slides support all of the weight of the bodies, so I went with 3/4” solid round bar with 1” round welded as stoppers. The knee transforms into 1” tubular steel which continues upwards throughout the body.
The hip section was the next challenge. I wanted the body to move as fluid and natural as possible so it was required that the hips can pivot and swivel approximately 60 degrees in any direction, yet return back into its stationary position to keep the knees and legs pointing forward. This was by far the most detailed and complicated part of the project and in the end may have been overkill, but it works extremely well, was a great learning experience and the entire mechanism looks really cool.
In the end, the bodies each have full leg movement, a custom hip mechanism, forward body tilt, shoulder and elbow movements, and a 90 degree head rotation.
The controls and valve setup for this project was our most complex to date, integrating a fogger, lighting, four 5 way valves, fifteen 3 way valves, and approximately two dozen cylinders, all running in sequence with opening mausoleum doors synced with an evil bride wedding march sound.
The bride and groom will return in 2006 with a ton of modifications and a much more detailed and elaborate set of controls.
So check out the pictures below, and enjoy