Home :: 3-Axis Skull Kit FAQ

3-Axis Skull Kit FAQ

This Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) page has been specifically created to answer questions in regards to our new Monster Guts: 3-Axis Skull Kit.

Be sure to check this page BEFORE sending an email to Monster Gut because we may have already answered your question here and you can get your answer immediately.

Q: What animation software & hardware will I need to run a 3-Axis Skull?
Q: Will the Monster Guts: 3-Axis Skull Kit work in a different skull like a Bucky Skull?
Q: Do you offer finished assembled / completed skulls?

Q: Will I receive instructions on how to assemble the kit?

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Q: What animation software & hardware will I need to run a 3-Axis Skull?

There are several 3rd party choices out there so doing "servo driven" animation. Some choices are very inexpensive / cheap but limited in what they can do, and some or a little more expensive but offer a lot more range as to what you can do with them. Your specific choice should be determined by what it is you want to do. You should fully research the choices / options BEFORE you start buying.

-- POLOLU (www.pololu.com): Pololu makes a decent and inexpensive servo controller called the "Maestro". There are a couple different versions of the Maestro Controller Board based on how many servos you want to connect to it. For a basic 3-Axis Skull with only 4-6 servos, you can use the Micro Maestro Controller Board. This board allows you to permanently program a "routine" onto the board using a PC computer, that it will continuously run while the board is powered. Once the board is programmed, you do not need to have it connected to a computer anymore and the "routine" will start up and loop as soon as it is powered up. The software is very easy to use and you can do some terrific animations with Maestro. It is also small enough that you can mount it "inside" your 3-Axis Skull so you will only need 1 small wire running to the skull to provide power to it. The Maestro board will do the rest.

The limitation of the Pololu Maestro is that there is no sound option and synchronizing the JAW servo to sound is next to impossible without some heavy duty enhancements. That being said, the Jaw Servo can be run by a different servo driver board that DOES use sound as the movement method. You will have better luck looking into those options by others who already use that sort of method on forum groups such as HalloweenForum.com and HauntForum.com.

-- BROOKSHIRE SOFTWARE - VSA (www.brookshiresoftware.com): Brookshire Software makes a program called "VSA" which stands for Visual Show Automation. VSA is the creme de la creme of servo animation and is the most used servo animation software in theme parks, attractions, and haunters all over the world. But don't that that scare you off thinking it is way out of your price range. The "Hobbyist" version is the most affordable at $79.95 with (2) audio files (no limit in length) and (128) tracks of animation. That means you can run 128 servos at once. You also have a TON of options and control over each servo and can even program the skull animation with a joystick like we did for our demo. There is a ton of tutorials and information on the internet already about using VSA to "animate" 3-Axis Skull, so more information is pretty easy to find.

The main downside to using VSA is that your skull will always need to be connected to a computer / laptop to run it, but the super side range of options and control you will have over the skull movement drastically outweighs having to have it tethered to a computer. You can use very long cables / wires to put the computer 20 - 100 feet from where your skull it operating.

VSA is the computer software only to program your sequence / routine. You will also obviously need a computer AND a device that makes the link between the computer and the skull. For the longest, time the best option was Lynxmotion's (www.lynxmotion.com) SSC-32 Servo Controller. This is a small device / board that you would connect your skull servos to and then your computer would connect to the SSC-32 Servo Board using a SERIAL CABLE. Because most laptops and desktop computers no longer use SERIAL PORTS, you would have to get a SERIAL to USB adapter as well ... but that has now changed ... for the best!

Lynxmotion now has the SSC-32U USB Servo Controller that has eliminated the need for the SERIAL to USB adapter. Now you can connect directly to the SSC-32U USB Servo Controller which in turn you connect your servos you. SSC-32U USB Servo Controller allows you to connect 32 servos / devices to it at once so if you were wanting to multiple 3-Axis Skulls with 4 servos in each skull, you could hypothetically run 8 different skulls as once. With VSA driving the servos, each servo would be working independently, so skulls could tell stories and have conversations with each other just like in our demo video on the Monster Guts: 3-Axis Skull Kit page.

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Q: Will the Monster Guts: 3-Axis Skull Kit work in a different skull like a Bucky Skull?

We designed the Monster Guts: 3-Axis Skull Kit to specifically work in a Lindberg Model Skull Kit because that kit is CONSIDERABLY lighter in weight than a Bucky skull. In addition, the Lexan servo mounting plate has been shaped / cut / formed to fit in a Lindberg Skull. We chose the Lindberg Skull Model Kit because it is consistently the same exact model in each kit. Bucky skulls have various "quality" concerns and range from 1st quality to 4th quality grade and each one has a slightly different shape inside and the kit simply wouldn't "fit" in each style.

That being said, we have not "shit-canned" the idea of creating different kits for other skull variants on the market, but at this time we only offer the Lindberg style kit.

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Q: Do you offer finished assembled / completed skulls?

Yes! We are currently in the process of assembling a LIMITED-EDITION number of completed / assembled Monster Guts: Complete Animatronic Skulls for customers interested in purchasing them. Please understand the price will be considerably higher than buying the "kit" versions because we will we assembling the entire skull with all internal parts + doing special "paint jobs" to the skull itself so they are literally READY-TO-GO.

IF you are interested in purchasing a LIMITED-EDITION Monster Guts: Complete Animatronic Skull, please contact us using the following email link.

 

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Q: Will I receive instructions on how to assemble the kit?

You will receive full documentation on how to assemble your kit via email on the day your order ships. The instructions will walk you through step-by-step on how to assemble it. Please follow the instructions carefully. Do NOT add your own steps. Do NOT do anything that is not listed in the given instructions like:

  • DO NOT use any solvents or glues on it
  • DO NOT use any chemicals, of any kind, on it
  • DO NOT leave within reach of small children
  • DO NOT put parts in your mouth
  • DO NOT put parts in someone elses mouth
  • DO NOT use it in a place where it may get wet
  • DO NOT leave outside
  • DO NOT use it for any purpose then specifically intended
  • DO NOT run it over with your car
  • DO NOT set on fire
  • DO NOT give it to your dog as a chew toy
  • DO NOT use as a weapon of mass destruction
  • DO NOT drop it on the floor
  • DO NOT drop a brick on it
  • DO NOT open your beer with it

Just follow the instructions, as they are stated, and you will have one kick ass prop to wow your family and friends with.


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