Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Yet Another Animation

I mentioned during the Uncle Sweeter Dabney project that I have one more animation to describe. I decided to wait until after his performance debut. I've had ideas appropriated in the past when I discussed or used them publicly, and I just thought I'd keep this one close until I had it implemented and demonstrated. Surely this is not a new idea, but I've never seen it used nor have I heard ventriloquists or figure makers discuss it.

Here's Uncle Sweeter's left hand as you usually see it.


I can raise his hand in the traditional way that ventriloquists often do.


But Uncle Sweeter can do more than just raise his hand. He can express an opinion.


The mechanism is implemented with linkage in his arm rod.


Here's his palm in its normally closed position.


Here is the animation activated.


The current implementation is a prototype. The rod and linkage are awkward to operate. I had to build one to find that out. The next one will be more elegant with a trigger and a return spring.

I don't use this animation only to register an opinion, although so far that has gotten plenty of laughs. I also use it when Uncle Sweeter wipes or picks his nose, which you can do in a family show.

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