Animatronic Model Services in Chicago, IL

Animatronic Creations

What does E.T, Jaws and Jurassic Park have in common? Well, aside from being
blockbuster movies, they all used what we call “animatronics”. Animatronics,
in a nutshell, is a mechanized puppet. A puppet, put simply, is a toy that
you can control using strings. With animatronics, one uses far more
advanced technology such as teleoperation (commonly known as
“remote control”) in order to control the animatronic from afar.

The capabilities of our designers and fabricators
allow us to bring to life animatronic fairy tales
creatures, historical characters, and gigantic
moving statues of animals, insects, and much
more at your request (including moving trees).

If your models are unique our designers can work alongside
you to create your ideal world. You can manipulate the
size, shape, the quantity of effects, and the performance

Animatronic Creations

Stages in Creating Animatronics

  • Mechanical
  • Electronic
  • Structural
  • Surface
  • Put It Together
  • The mechanical component is created by Engineers, who work on designing and building the mechanical system. This includes everything from the most basic gears to the more complicated hydraulics.

  • This is the more fun part of creating the animatronic creature. The engineers working on the electronic system focuses on creating controlling devices for the animatronic through custom circuit boards. As some people say, they are building “toys for the big boys”.

  • All of the mechanical and electronic components must have something to hold on to, and this is where the “structural” component comes in. The structure will be the frame of the mechanized creature, which is made up steel and plastic materials. The structure is shaped according to how the creature will look in real life, which increases the reality of this mechanized creature.

  • The surface component is everything that we see on the outside of the creature. This ranges from the skin, the hair,the parts of the face and all other small details. If the structure helps increase the reality of the creature, the surface will make people wonder if what they’re seeing is fake or real.

    There are different materials used for the creature’s skin, with foam rubber being the most common. This rubber, which is very light and spongy, is made by mixing air with liquid latex rubber and then cured to make it hard. Silicone and Urethane are also used for the surface, but they are rather hard to work with which is why foam rubber is still preferred by many people.

    The materials used for the structure are shaped by using molds. The materials are simply poured into a mold and then they’re pulled out once they get hard enough.

  • Once all components are done, it’s time to put everything together. This is a laborious process, and probably one of the hardest stages in creating animatronics.

    The team will start with making sure that the frame is good to go. They then proceed with putting the mechanical systems in place. As each system is placed, the team makes sure that it’s running smoothly before the next system is placed by testing it. After testing (and the system is A-okay), they proceed with placing the next mechanical system. This becomes a cycle until all mechanical systems is placed.

    After the mechanical systems, it’s time to place the skin or the surface. While the team is doing this,they make sure that there are no unwanted folds, no stretching or no place where the skin is too tight. In case any of these problems occur, the staff would need to detach the “skin” and reattach it in a different way.

    After all these are done, the team would need to test the animatronic again to make sure that nothing’s wrong with it.

  • The most widely-seen form of animatronics today are those used in movies. Popular movies such as King Kong, Jurassic Park, The Neverending Story and Chucky all used animatronics to bring these amazing creatures to the screen.Let’s take Jurassic Park, for example, which is one of the first movies to innovate animatronics in the field of movie-making. If you were awed by Jurassic Park when it first came out in 1993, I’m sure you were amazed even more by Jurassic Park III which showed more complicated animatronics compared to the first movie. While it was the T-rex that made us scream in the movies during Jurassic World I, it was the Animatronics Today Spinosaurus on Jurassic Park III that gave us the nightmares. Just to give you an idea, here’s what the staff has made to give us this great movie: The Spinosaurus animatronic was 43.5 feet (13.3 m) long – almost as long as a bus. It was completely powered by hydraulics, even the blinking of the eyes. This animatronic can work in both land and water. All large steel pieces were cut using waterjets (a tool used to cut metal parts with a very high-pressure stream of water). The animatronic was completely controlled by remote-control. Another form of animatronics are those used for display in zoos, museums, carnivals, charity events and even birthday parties. These animatronics can either be moving or static, depending on your preference. Some of the “creatures” used for these events have friendly faces so they don’t scare even the youngest of the audiences. This is the kind of animatronics being offered by Dinomotion.

  • They sound almost the same, which is why many people get confused between them. But, what really is the difference between animatronics and animation?

    It’s actually quite simple to remember. Animatronics is something that you can actually see or hold, while animation is usually 2D or 3D – something that you can’t hold.

    Let me explain further. Animatronics are like robots covered with “skin” to make them look real. If you have tried the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios, the moving dinosaurs are actually animatronics.

    Animation, on the other hand, are like cartoons. They are wholly created by the animator using certain software and program, and does not involve real-life actions. You can watch animation, but you can’t hold it because they don’t have any physical body.

  • How Animatronics Started
    The very first “animatronics” started way back when the first advanced mechanical clocks were made. No, it wasn’t anything grand but making the characters in the clock move in perfect timing with the sounds and time of the clock gave way to the modern animatronics we know today.
    Leonardo Da Vinci, while known as being a great artist today, was also a very great inventor. He was believed to dub in early animatronics, as told by the stories of the Automata Lion – supposedly created by Da Vinci himself. While there was no solid proof of this invention, stories tell that this automated lion walked and present flowers to the King of France at the end of its performance.
    This brings us to modern animatronics, which was first developed by no other than the great Walt Disney in the early 1960’s. One of the earliest examples was found in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York Hall of Presidents.

    As you can see in this video, the mechanical Lincoln moved with perfect timing to the recorded Gettysburg address. Amazing, isn’t it?


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