Fabricator

Spot is almost ready for the limelight. The creature looks good, but it's bald, has no eyes or teeth, and resembles something you'd see in an intergalactic prison, with a tattoo reading "Mother" in an alien language. Since the director has probably specified Spot to have hair, eyes, and teeth, we'd better give it some.

If Spot's eyes are going to move, they'll be added as part of the mechanics, which we'll get to in a moment. But if not, they'll be added here. Eyes are usually made out of some sort of plastic or glass and cast or ground to fit the holes the sculptor has left. The eyes are then attached to Spot's skull by either glue or stitching.

Next come the teeth. Depending on what Spot's teeth have to do, they will be sculpted from soft materials, such as cast foam, or hard materials, such as dental resin.

Spot's hair, however, is a job all on its own. Putting in hair is a highly specialized task called hair punching, and it involves affixing each individual strand of hair one at a time. Jennie Wanniski has spent a lot of time punching hair. "It's very time consuming," she says. "You have to have a great amount of patience and be a perfectionist." Jennie also suggests a sewing background is helpful, although not necessary: "If you know how to tie things off, it can't hurt."

Fabricators also have the task of joining all of Spot's various parts together. If the arms and legs were cast separately, then the fabricator has to put them together. By the time the fabricator's work is done, Spot is all one creature.

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