SFX Books


Books on how to make animatronics for both decor, holidays and film.

Animatronics A Guide to Animated Holiday Displays sfx book

Animatronics: A Guide to Animated Holiday Displays

By Edwin Wise

The Ultimate Guide To Do It Yourself Animatronics steve koci sfx book

The Ultimate Guide To Do It Yourself Animatronics

By Steve Koci

The Ultimate Guide To DIY Animatronics explores the fascinating world of animated character creation with the home hobbyist in mind. There’s no need to be an expert as anyone with a curious mind and a will to learn can create their own amazing designs. The goal of DIY Animatronics is to provide a process that is easy to understand, follow, and reproduce. Whether you’re creating a holiday decoration, school project, or something to be used in your business, the procedures demonstrated in DIY Animatronics will guide you through the entire process and get you building your own “Hollywood Style” animatronic characters.

Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists animatronics book

Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists

By Dustyn Roberts

A unique guide to practical mechanical design principles and their applications

In Making Things Move, you’ll learn how to build moving mechanisms through non-technical explanations, examples, and do-it-yourself projects–from art installations to toys to labor-saving devices. The projects include a drawing machine, a mini wind turbine, a mousetrap powered car, and more, but the applications of the examples are limited only by your imagination. A breadth of topics is covered ranging from how to attach couplers and shafts to a motor, to converting between rotary and linear motion.
Each chapter features photographs, drawings, and screenshots of the components and systems involved. Emphasis is placed on using off-the-shelf components whenever possible, and most projects also use readily available metals, plastics, wood, and cardboard, as well as accessible fabrication techniques such as laser cutting. Small projects in each chapter are designed to engage you in applying the material in the chapter at hand. Later in the book, more involved projects incorporate material from several chapters.

Making Things Move:

  • Focuses on practical applications and results, not abstract engineering theories
  • Contains more than a dozen topic-focused projects and three large-scale projects incorporating lessons from the whole book
  • Features shopping lists and guides to off-the-shelf components for the projects
  • Incorporates discussions of new fabrication techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing, and how you can gain access
  • Includes online component for continuing education with the book’s companion website and blog (makingthingsmove.com)

Hands-on coverage of moving mechanisms:
Introduction to Mechanisms and Machines; Materials and Where to Find Them; Screwed or Glued? On Fastening and Joining Parts; Forces, Friction and Torque (Oh My); Mechanical and Electrical Power, Work, and Energy; Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Motor? – Creating and Controlling Motion; The Guts: Bearings, Bushings. Couplers, and Gears; Rotary vs. Linear Motion; Automatons and Mechanical Toys; Making Things and Getting Them Made; Projects

Halloween Animatronics Build a Possessed Doll Volume 1 by wolfram donat sfx book

Halloween Animatronics – Build a Possessed Doll

Volume 1

By Wolfram Donat

We’ve all seen them: horror movies starring a creepy doll that tries to kill everyone in the house, usually because it’s been possessed by a vengeful ghost or a demon. It always starts small, though: little movements, like the head turning, that let you know that something’s not quite right about little Samantha’s favorite toy. Then, by the end of the movie, the doll is in fully-possessed-mode, flying through the air and slaughtering everyone. Meet Amanda. Amanda is a possessed doll that, with the help of a smattering of code, randomly turns her head left, right, and sometimes all the way around. It’s not much, but it’s enough to make your favorite horror fan run screaming from the room. Generously illustrated with full-color photographs, this volume of Halloween Animatronics takes you step-by-step through the process of creating her, from cutting open her head to swap out her eyes, to mounting the servo that turns her head, to the few lines of code to make the servo work its magic. If you already have an Arduino, she can be built for under $40 in parts, and an Arduino can be gotten very cheaply if you need one. For those wanting to create spooky Halloween props and get introduced to animatronics, the Arduino, and robotics in general, this book is a must-have!

Halloween Animatronics Build a Zombie Crawler (Volume 2) sfx book

Halloween Animatronics – Build a Zombie Crawler

Volume 2

By Wolfram Donat

Have you ever wanted to build a crawling zombie, controlled by you? Halloween Animatronics: Build a Zombie Crawler is a guide to building your own creepy zombie to chase your friends and scare the neighborhood children. Amply illustrated, and including a full parts list, the author takes you step by step through the process of building a fully functional radio-controlled zombie crawler named Bartok, all for a reasonable price. You’ll see how to build his body, from his arms to his rib cage, and how to connect his arms to his shoulder motors to make him crawl on command. Also includes a primer on RC tech, for those new to the hobby, and a troubleshooting section. Packed with information, this is a Halloween prop how-to that any serious Halloween fanatic can’t miss!

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