Animator Dillon Markey Transformed A Nintendo Power Glove Into An Essential Animation Tool
Stop motion animator Dillon Markey has converted the long-forgotten 1980s Power Glove Nintendo controller into an essential—and aesthetically splendid—tool for animating in stop motion. He explains what he did in this documentary by Ava Benjamin called Playing with Power:
The re-engineered Bluetooth-enabled glove isn’t just for show; Markey has used it to animate on the TV series Robot Chicken as well as on PES shorts like Submarine Sandwich.
The inspiration for a wearable controller came to Markey a few years ago when he was working on a particularly large stop motion stage. “I needed to move from one side of the stage to the other side of the stage, and then back to animate the camera,” he recalled. “And I remembering carrying this USB-attached numeric keypad all around the stage with me, and I was like, ‘Why don’t I just have this on my arm?'”
His quirky invention (retractable tweezers! talking glove!) and outsized personality have captured the imagination of both the stop motion and tech communities, and the mini-doc about his invention has been watched over 300,000 times in the last three days. It helps that Markey’s hacked piece of wearable tech is a legitimate improvement on the standard keypad-operated stop motion controller. Even if not grafted onto a Power Glove, a controller that reduces effort for the physically arduous task of stop motion animation has real practical merit. With Google Glass recognizing eye movements, even a blink-operated controller is not beyond the realm of possibility now.
For the record, Markey’s creative endeavors extend beyond animating and inventing into other fields, like wire sculpture. Here’s a droll kinetic wire machine that replicates the job of a stop motion animator: