Artem converted the client’s original drawings and flat artwork into a 3D software model of Fred, before bringing him to life through a series of high tech machining operations and more conventional fabrication. The final shell for the head and hat were constructed from lightweight fibreglass which incorporated mechanical mechanisms to move the head. The head was finished with a white matt spray and the facial features added in computer cut vinyl.
Fred’s body and suit were fabricated from a foam core to form the smooth shape and then covered in black polar fleece. A similar process was used to construct his legs and shoes. Fred’s hands were cast in foam latex from moulds created over sculpted masters. Artem even kitted Fred out with a pair of made to measure oven-gloves to present the delicious Homepride meals!
The suit needed to be true to the Homepride brand while remaining flexible so not to restrict Fred making an improvised dance number on the kitchen tiles.
“The proportions of Fred created the first challenge – his head and hat are half his height! The solution was to have the performer kneeling so Fred’s feet were projecting from his knees. Thankfully the puppeteer (Robin Guiver) was great and totally entered into the spirt of the character,” said Artem’s supervisor Mike Kelt.