Games By Jan. 20, 2015 5:18 pm
This Robot Chicken animator works with a custom NES Power Glove | Games |

For gaming fans of a certain age, the Power Glove, the notoriously busted motion controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System, is remembered for one reason only: its appearance in the cheesy 1990 movie/Nintendo commercial The Wizard. “I love the Power Glove. It’s so bad.” But for Robot Chicken animator Dillon Markey, one thing the Power Glove isn’t so bad at is helping him complete his work on the show’s time-consuming stop-motion animation. Watch this short documentary, Playing with Power, by Ava Benjamin to find out how.

To bring Robot Chicken’s twisted toy sketches to life, animators like Markey manually adjust puppets and scenery frame by frame to achieve a smooth look. It’s tedious and surprisingly physically demanding work. Markey must contort his body and hold awkward poses to get shots. So when Markey imagined a tool that could make his tasks a little easier, being a lifelong gamer, the Power Glove immediately came to mind.

With the help of a friend, Markey converted the accessory into a Bluetooth device that allows him to remotely control stop-motion software. Using the buttons and d-pad, he can take single shots, record multiple stills at once, and cycle between frames anywhere on set so he can edit while staying close to the action. He even added a pair of retractable magnetized tweezers for finer animation.

Considering that Robot Chicken already has a kind of DIY spirit, most “puppets” are just repurposed old action figures with clay joints and paper mouths, it’s fun to see that same spirit show up behind the scenes, even if Markey says co-workers don’t find the contraption nearly as radical as he does. Makes you wonder what other terrible video game peripherals might find new life as niche film equipment one day.

Now read: NES Power Glove used to control psychedelic, full-body rave suit

This Robot Chicken animator works with a custom NES Power Glove | Games |


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