Valve Thought This Was Impossible
August 10, 2011 2:27 PM   Subscribe

I had plans to cosplay as Edward Elric this year at Dragon*con. Building the arm seemed like fun and I always enjoy seeing good Edward costumes. Then Portal 2 came out. And I played it. And everything changed. The decision that I had to build Wheatley was pretty instant...

An articulated "Wheatley" puppet, including the expressive "eyelids" that Valve developers thought would be impossible to implement in a real object. Wheatley also features a built in 10 phrase soundboard and speakers along with the puppetry controls, so the puppeteer (who will be going around Dragon*Con as Chell, not surprisingly), can operate him and play to the crowd. Check out the video of him in action at the end of the blog!
posted by BZArcher (26 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not that it isn't completely and totally awesom, but it's "cosplay," not "pupplay," isn't it?
posted by crunchland at 2:39 PM on August 10, 2011


Not that it isn't completely and totally awesom, but it's "cosplay," not "pupplay," isn't it?

For a (small) part of the game Chell carries Wheatley around. So arguably a Wheatley puppet (or robot) is necessary if you want to cosplay as Chell in that part of the game. It'd be different if she were simply carrying Wheatley around while dressed normally or perhaps disguised as Wheatley's "management rail."
posted by jedicus at 2:42 PM on August 10, 2011


She mentions that she's also building the "Long Fall Boots" next, so yes, she'll be dressed up as Chell and lugging him around. :)
posted by BZArcher at 2:52 PM on August 10, 2011


Yesssssss
posted by The Whelk at 2:52 PM on August 10, 2011


This is indeed awesome, but the space sphere would have been a better use of resources.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:52 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will definitely keep an eye out for this at DragonCon. It really does a great job of "coming to life" when you see it in action.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:03 PM on August 10, 2011


Valve developers thought would be impossible to implement in a real object

Out of curiosity, what is the source for that claim? (not skeptical, just curious as to why they would think that)
posted by ShutterBun at 3:04 PM on August 10, 2011


One of the in-game "developer commentary" nodes talks about the design of Wheatley.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:10 PM on August 10, 2011


Out of curiosity, what is the source for that claim? (not skeptical, just curious as to why they would think that)

The in-game commentary says that you couldn't cram the geometry of the eye-lids into the sphere properly, so they cheated by letting the polygons clip through each other.

However, this puppet doesn't completely replicate Wheatley's features (e.g. slightly popping out of the outer sphere and moving the 'eyebrows'), so who's to say.
posted by jedicus at 3:11 PM on August 10, 2011


I'll come back here once I've finished. On Chapter 8 now, terrified of spoilers.
posted by oneironaut at 3:12 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are so many things to love about this, but the thing I love most is that this was clearly such a labor of love.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:12 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


You could change it to the other cores by changing the color of the light, couldn't you?
posted by roll truck roll at 3:22 PM on August 10, 2011


roll truck roll, the other cores have different iris/pupil characteristics beyond color.
posted by phatkitten at 3:24 PM on August 10, 2011


The guy who made the excellent portal gun started off with this method. He's since graduated to vacuum pulls and resin castings and has done some really great stuff.

I can't wait to see this gal's stuff progress.
posted by Wossname at 3:39 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Make sure you watch the video of him in action. Not only is that a great puppet, that's a fantastic puppeteer bringing him to life.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 3:40 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I keep getting more glad that I'm going to Dragoncon this year. This will be amazing to see in person.
posted by nonasuch at 3:51 PM on August 10, 2011


That is so full of awesome... Great find. Thanks so much for posting!
posted by hippybear at 4:22 PM on August 10, 2011


Yeah, the puppeteer really brings this to life in a wonderful way.
posted by odinsdream at 4:34 PM on August 10, 2011


Wow! It's amazing watching it come together into something that is really completely convincingly real. Marvelous!
posted by stoneweaver at 4:59 PM on August 10, 2011


I'm going again this year, will keep a lookout for her. No, I'm not trying to plan a meet-up this year too, I give up in that regard.
posted by JHarris at 5:04 PM on August 10, 2011


The Best of Portal 2’s Forlorn, Fan-Made Music Videos
posted by homunculus at 6:02 PM on August 10, 2011


Why is Valve not selling me this for Christmas? Do they hate America and/or baby Jesus?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:16 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


*outstanding*
posted by rmd1023 at 8:53 PM on August 10, 2011


The photo of him reading Machiavelli upside-down has just killed me and I am dead.
posted by emmtee at 5:06 AM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is just... Brilliant. Wow. I really didn't get a feel for it till I watched the video, and that girl is a FANTASTIC puppeteer. She really captured Wheatley well.
posted by antifuse at 6:19 AM on August 11, 2011


Best. Cosplay. EVER! Yip Yip Martians @ DragonCon 2011
posted by homunculus at 11:23 AM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


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