wooden ball caps and 1x3 lumber. There will be holes cut in the ends of the lumber, and I'll sandwich the ball caps between two boards, resting in the holes. To keep them together I'll put bolts through the boards in the open space behind the balls, with wing nuts so I can adjust the tension easily. This will squeeze the ball caps into place. It's like a ghetto ball bearing. And since they're ball caps I can fit a dowel into them and it will have a lot of freedom to rotate.
I've been agonizing over this one, debating all sorts of joints and manufactured ball bearings, but I couldn't find anything that worked the way I want it to. I even went so far as to buy some online and they turned out to be completely useless, no tension at all. I mean hell, even earlier today you can see in the first picture sketches that involved rotating dowels instead of using wooden balls. I had given up on ball bearings.
This was all a back burner concern anyway since at first I figured the wireframe could be animated on its own, but that's unrealistic. This will provide a much better support, and maybe will actually do the job it's designed for. I give it 50/50 odds. If it doesn't work I have backup plans, but they'll be a pain in post. I could make a marionette but that's hard to animate, I could make a 3d model but that'll look like a 3d model, I could rig up an after effects model based on images I take but that will take forever to set up and will look slightly off. The AE model is what I'll do if live action doesn't work at all.
So much technical stuff lately. That's why I haven't been posting often. I do have a new version of the animatic, though.