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Topics - Robert K S

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Not my auction but I came across it and I figured someone here wouldn't mind knowing about it (and reading the funny certificate of authenticity):

https://www.ebay.com/itm/164214696757?ViewItem=&item=164214696757

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Crow T. Robot / Netflix Crow sucks
« on: December 06, 2018, 11:32:29 PM »
There, I said it.  Fight me.

I'm not referring to Hampton Yount.  He's fine.

I don't even mean the double-bulky arms.  "I'm different!"

I mean the new mouth actuation mechanism.  It has much lower responsiveness/bandwidth than the direct pull-string of old Crow.  Any multi-syllable word results in Crow's mouth mostly just staying open for the entirety of the word.  Sometimes Crow's mouth never closes for the entirety of a sentence.  It really lowers the verisimilitude of Crow as a puppet character.  If you try to read his lips, he only ever says "AH-AH-AH-AH-AH" now.  Once you notice this, it's impossible to get over.  MST3K is ruined forever.  Well, at least any of the bits where Crow is talking.

Point is, if you're going to build Crow, don't waste your time trying to build him with the new mouth actuator.  Do him justice and put in the old pull-string.

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Crow T. Robot / New official view of Crow's legs
« on: November 19, 2018, 02:09:07 PM »
It's rare that we get an official image of Crow's legs, but here's a new one.  Is there anything to be learned by this art?

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...bot builders might get a smile from this T-shirt...

https://www.zenmonkeystudios.com/products/mst3k-crows-blueprints

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The "Netflix pitch" video is fairly close up on the new bots.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obv_0VpimPc

I spent a lot of time looking into Crow's mouth to try to figure out how the new RC actuation mechanism works.  The mouth is attached by a stainless steel metal hinge (a Home Depot type part) and a single-piston actuator appears to be hot-glued inside the right side (from Crow's perspective) of the mouth.  It seems like Crow's neck still has the "trach ring" for the mouth actuation string but no string anymore.  It seems like the new mouth is not as high bandwidth as the old string-driven mouth so the verisimilitude of the mouth movement isn't as convincing as old Crow, but the mouth seems to move a lot more solidly and stably.

There are also good shots of Crow's arms.

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While watching "The Return" episodes I noticed these names in the credits:

Quote
crow puppeteers
GRANT BACIOCCO
CARLA RUDY
HAMPTON YOUNT

tom servo puppeteers
RUSS WALKO
ERIK KUSKA
BARON VAUGHN

So are Baron Vaughn and Hampton Yount no longer the primary puppeteers for their respective bots?  Didn't Trace Beaulieu and Bill Corbett always puppeteer Crow during their respective turns on the show?  Didn't J. Elvis Weinstein and Kevin Murphy always puppeteer Tom Servo during their respective runs?

The only other puppetry credit I can find on the old series is for Patrick Brantseg ("technical puppetry," 1992-1999), who was also the voice of Gypsy.

I can see why Baron and Hampton might need some occasional help, but the credits make it seem like somebody else is doing the puppeteering now--perhaps during the theater segments?

I have noticed that Crow's mouth just sort of flaps randomly when he's speaking in the theater.  Crow's mouth is not synced to his voice at all.  So now I'm wondering if the riff portions aren't done like they used to be, but instead have all the riffs dubbed in in post.  It would serve to explain why the mouth motions of Crow appear entirely divorced from the speech.

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