Making it Move
Photo courtesy Stan Winston Studio, photographer Chuck Zlotnick
The telemetry device for controlling the arms
Eight puppeteers operate the Spinosaurus:
- Basic head/body - swivels head, opens and closes jaws, moves neck back and forth, makes body sway from side to side
- Tongue slide levers - moves tongue up and down, side to side and in or out
- Eye joystick control - eyes move, eyelids blink and eye ridge moves
- Front arms - full range of motion; hands open and close
- Cart/body - moves creature back and forth on track
- Breathing potentiometer - inflated bladder inside chest cavity simulates breathing
- Tail - full range of motion
- Body raise slider - raises and lowers body
Rosengrant is the coordinator, and he makes sure that all of the other puppeteers are working in concert to create a realistic and believable motion. The telemetry devices used to control the Spinosaurus range from simple handheld units, reminiscent of a video-game joystick, to bizarre contraptions you wouldn't find anywhere else. For example, the puppeteer who controls the arms has a device that he straps onto his own arms. He then acts out the movement he wants the Spinosaurus to make, and the telemetry device translates his motion into a control signal that is sent to the circuit board controlling the mechanical components that comprise the arm system of the Spinosaurus.
Mouse over the arrows to rotate the dinosaur's head.
As you move the head, hold down your mouse button to open the mouth.