A LITTLE BIT OF INFLATABLES HISTORY
The above are all examples of concept to finished inflatables. It is important that the original idea or image be drafted into a suitable replica as an inflatable which requires a talented and highly skilled art department. A clay model is then made and that model is scanned as a 3 dimensional image into a computer (much like a cat-scan), which then cuts out giant patterns that are sewn together by skilled sewers. Automation has made inflatables a fraction of the cost they were just 7 years ago when this process was done by creating a much larger (often 4 feet tall) clay model, spraying it with a liquid rubber, then drawing a grid of horizontal and vertical lines to create sections. Each section would be numbered with a horizontal axis and a vertical axis (for reference later when assembling it). The craftsman would then cut each piece off of the model with a razor blade, place the section on an overhead projector and from the large shadow cast upon the wall, a very large pattern was cut from paper. That paper was then laid out upon a very large cutting table, where the vinyl was placed below it and again, a razor or scissors were used to cut the vinyl section. It was then given the x and y axis numbers and then assembled. After initial assembly, the inflatable would then be inflated and re-cuts and many adjustments were made. It was a very labor intensive, long and expensive process.