Friday, November 15, 2013

Making the Satyr: The Digitigrade

This is it, the part that's a big mystery to everyone who wants to make a detailed satyr costume: The digitigrade legs.

In comparison, humans have what are called plantigrade legs. We step with our entire foot, toe to heel. Digitigrade animals, meanwhile, step on mostly their toes, the heel of their foot extending upward before finally reaching their knee.

I had to look at furries in the name of learning.

The problem with making a satyr costume is making plantigrade legs look like they are digitigrade legs. Some people have really elaborate metal leg brace systems that they end up balancing on, like stilts, others use foam to achieve the appearance. Massive metal stilts are very impractical, not to mention I don't have the resources nor the knowledge for such a thing, so I chose the foam method.

For the foam I chose a less rigid type than what most people use because it was cheaper and I felt would be easier to work with. To me it was more like layers of quilt batting than actual foam. They ended up being 16 inches long by 5.5 inches wide (I didn't measure the depth since I didn't think about it). I made four of them, two for the top front of the legs and two for the back bottoms. Keep in mind the person I am making this for is 6 feet tall.

The original plan was to shape them into the desired curvature, but instead I decided to leave them square and put them into a tightly sewn section of fabric that would hopefully cause it to curve. It did, but was a pain to stuff, the action requiring the effort of two people.
Afterwards we taped them in place to see how it would look in terms of shape with the intent that we would later sew them to the green pants set aside specifically for this project. 
 I a later post, I will show you how it looks once the pants are finished and the padding put into place.

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