O Boneco (the Puppet) is a short animation piece created as an experiment for testing and demonstrating the animation platform "Ex^P: Expanded Virtual Puppeteering". The project is a technological-artistic collaboration between the VISGRAF Laboratory - IMPA and the Bando Cegonha de Criação. The production took place from mid-February and mid-April of 2019. During these two months, a multidisciplinary group of media scientists / perform artists perfected the toolset for puppet animation, and simultaneously, rehearsed and recorded the live piece. Below, the development-creation process is described through a reverse chronological documentation.

Final Appearance

This is the finished product of our journey after a process of technical and creative development that truly accomplishes the concretisation of our dreams.

Live Recording 16/04/2019

Second Appearance

This is the second rehearsal of the theatrical / cinematic piece. At this point, the puppeteering tools, as well as the camera control tools had been developed for testing.

Rehearsal 26/03/2019

First Test

This is the first rehearsal of the film. Then, we had only the basic puppet manipulation control mechanisms. The camera was linked to the manipulation modes.

Rehearsal 21/02/2019

Getting Acquainted

This is the first time that our creative collaborators had the opportunity to experience the under-development production platform.

Try-out 12/02/2019

The Project

The project started with an invitation from the VISGRAF Laboratory to the Cegonha Bando de Criação to join forces in a research about new forms of Media using Virtual Puppeteering.

Technology: X^P – Expanded Puppeteering

The Script (25/01/2019)

The Group

The team is integrated by researchers from IMPA’s VISGRAF Laboratory and artists from Cegonha Bando de Criação.

Project Direction – Luiz Velho

Puppet-X Development – Bernard Lupiac

Media System Supervision – Djalma Lucio

Staging and Screenplay – Vida de Oliveira

Puppet Animation – Miguel Araujo


“It was quite challenging to understand the software’s system to do suggestions improvements that would bring greater organicity and expressiveness to the puppet. We had to bring our theatrical practical experience and find out how to get the physical result in the digital puppet, observing the body movements and the possibilities of the puppet’s expressive gaze beyond the physical limitations of the scene.”

Vida de Oliveira.