Puppet Instruction

SanDart Puppets – Basic Animation Instructions
The airplane controller is the heart of the marionette’s motions. By manipulating the control strings of the controller, you can make the marionette walk, dance, wave, or even take a bow at the end of a show. Look below as the different motions shown are explained so you can try them on your own.
The airplane style cross-controller
consists of a T-shaped wooden frame onto which the marionette control lines are secured. The head and foot control lines are used individually during operation. The hands are connected by a single control string and can be moved together.

Basic Marionette Controller Actions


Description of Action Animation Instruction


The feet of the marionette can be raised by twisting the controller horizontally so that one foot control line is raised while the other is lowered. You can make your puppet walk by rocking the foot controllers back and forth as shown in the picture. By just lifting one side of the controller up and down, you can make your marionette tap to the beat.
While gripping the airplane controller in your fist, lift one side of the cross bar up while allowing the other to lower downward. To complete the step, reverse the order by twisting the controller so the first foot lowers and the opposite foot rises.


The two hands are connected by a single line so they can both be operated simultaneously. You can have the marionette wave by lifting on a single hand control line, or pull the hand line through the controller eyelet and lift both hands at once.
While holding the controller in your fist, pull up on the hand line connected to one hand being sure to leave the slack on the side connected to the other hand-one hand rises in the air. Pull back on the hand control line further if you want the other hand to go up. Control the motion of both hands by changing the amount you pull.
A marionette should know how to bow when they have finished a show. The rear control line is used to hold up the back of the marionette while the front and head parts are lowered. The marionette can also bend over to pick things up, or lie down at the end of a long day.
Hold the contoller between the thumb and fingers and grab the rear control line. While securing the rear line at the same level, drop the controller slightly so the head bends over the lower part of the body. Pull up on the rear line to make the marionette bow deeper.
You can put all of the above motions together in order to make the marionette dance. After all, dancing is just moving your feet, waving, and moving your hips. Once you have mastered the above moves, you can do what feels natural as the marionette seems to be animated by the music.
Hold the controller comfortably, and grab the hand control line. Lift one side of the controller up and down so the foot taps, then pull up and back on the hand line so that one then the other hand goes up. As you let the hands fall back to a relaxed position, rock the controller back and forth so the feet move. Now you’re dancin’.
Once you get the hang of the basic moves above, you can adapt the motions to fit the nature of your marionette. They can be as serious or as silly as you see fit.
But most of all, have fun with your marionette friend.

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