By: Natalia Santiago

For my breadth animations, I decided to get inspiration from the natural hinges in the body such as the shoulders, knees, and neck. In order to achieve these different ranges of motion, I experimented with the placement and attachment of the cardboard on the plastic bags.

  1. Arm Lift

In order to get the 90-degree angle opening motion that an arm has I taped the two long flat pieces of cardboard on opposite sides of the end of the bag. I then taped one of the cardboard sides to the wall so that when the bag was inflated the opposite piece of cardboard would lift in an upwards motion. To pinch the shirt in place I put a foam piece inside of the sleeve that allowed me to pinch it onto the cardboard. I also taped a ruler to the end of the cardboard so that the sleeve would lift completely.

2. Leg Kick

In order to get the lifting motion of a leg or a hinge that would open from 90 degrees to 180, I needed to attach the bags on the same side of the bag at opposite ends. Then I taped one side to the chair so that when the bag would inflate it would push the piece of cardboard that was hanging up. Although my goal was for the piece to move up to a 180-degree angle, it does not completely achieve this. I believe that to improve this I would probably need a longer bag that would completely lift the piece of cardboard.

3. Head Lift

In order to achieve this range of motion, I put two pieces of stiff foam board horizontally on opposite sides of a bag. This allowed the bag to push itself off the surface and push the head of the stuffed toy upwards in a bobbing motion. The large bag allowed me to create enough force with air to lift up the heavy head of the stuffed animal.

Initially, I approached this exercise wanting to create complex moving pieces such as a piece of plastic that unrolls off the straw and re-winds itself or a bag that pushes a platform through a cylinder as it inflates. However, I did not have the materials at hand to properly construct these ideas or sometimes the knowledge on how to achieve these ranges of motion. I tried working with rubber bands a few times but I did not have enough force to stretch them. Therefore I decided to work with bigger bags and ranges of motion. That is how I ended up using various forms of hinges to recreate bodily motions.