Stan Winston School


I have been drooling over the courses offered at Stan Winston School for many many months, and now I am officially a student!  For my birthday, my Queen and Little Prince bought two courses on dvd for me, one teaching stop motion puppet fabrication with the awesome Chiodo Bros (six hours long!!!) and the other focused on how to create a monster puppet with rods and cables.
I've been following the school on facebook for awhile and have been flabbergasted by the sheer diversity of courses offered, streaming or on dvd, everything from simple latex how tos to complex animatronics, costumes, set making, creature design, you name it, all taught by industry professionals.  You can even sign up for a monthly service to stream four courses per month.
I cant wait to get kracken on a rod/cable pup! I just need to decide what kind of creature I want to make.  Stay simple with no legs (audrey two?) or go whole hog (a deep one from lovecraft lore?) or maybe go somewhere in between (a zombie that would require no puppeteering in his loose hanging arms?).  I plan to use silicone for the first time here also (yay new materials!).


I'm Having Krampus...

Krampus puppet, feeling shy...
Nose-picker? NAUGHTY!!
Santa's hands

One of my ongoing stopmo projects is a short short featuring Krampus the Anti-Claus. Krampus is Santa's twisted companion, responsible for the naughty children of the world.  Coal is his calling card, and he is often depicted with bundles of birch branches for swatting bad boys and girls before dragging them to Hell.
My short will be presented as an old-school PSA speaking out against Christmas.  Due to the depression and elf layoffs, less toy production means more Krampus as Santa is forced to re-evaluate his definition of "naughty."  My tagline is "Ban Christmas for Krampus".
The short will be around one minute, b&w, and will only feature a handful of shots.  A homeless elf in an alley (done).  A truly naughty girl about to stab someone (done).  Classic shot of Santa checking his list (closeup, only his arms produced, not a full puppet). A nose-picker labelled as naughty who will then be our example of what happens when Krampus calls on Christmas morn...


I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack...

Its alive.....ALIVE!!

I've been away from my blog for too long...been trying to troubleshoot posting from my phone so that updates will be easier to make and I ended up settling on an app called Blogaway for Android which is the first that has allowed me to successfully add images...so this post is a bit of a test...if all goes well, watch for more postage comin' atcha.......


Unearthed - Charcoal (so far) Composited

Unearthed - charcoal composite from Ubatuber on Vimeo.

A few more seconds of charcoal animation done, and composited into the Unearthed footage.  Still needs tweaking, but I will wait for a final pass once the 2-D work is done.  For now putting it on hold to refocus on Krampus for the holidays...


Unearthed 2-D - Frame One

Here is the first frame of my charcoal animation.  I haven't actually started animating yet, but it begins here.  When working out the story, I ultimately decided to start with a crucified man.  The religious imagery came naturally, organically, even though I am surprised by myself because I am not a religious person per se.  I was raised Catholic and have serious issues with institutionalized religion.  Nevertheless, beginning the story here at this recognizable image gave it a mystical vibe right off the bat.  Quick impact, get the story going.  Its been difficult nailing down the specifics of this story because of the nature of what has to happen in the 2-D sequence.  It is, essentially, exposition.  I am explaining the history of a particular artifact that Herbie is after, that he has killed for (I have described Herbie in the past as a Darth Indiana).  I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to portray the item's history without dialogue, with only visual information.  But by George, I think I've got it.....maybe you'll understand better when I have something moving to show you :)

I left a few inches of paper around the taped-off image space, a gutter, so that I can work charcoal there if I need to.  A lot of times when I am using charcoal, I like to use my fingers to smudge for delicate shadows.  By drawing heavily in the gutter with my softest stick, I basically give myself little piles of charcoal dust to dip into when I need a subtle tonal shift.  I have a jar of charcoal dust also, but that stuff is messy, especially with a ceiling fan going, so I usually prefer this method.  All of the "dust" sticks to the paper until I rub my fingers into it.


Unearthed - The 2-D Sequence begins...

I've been getting myself set up to begin my first charcoal animation, which will be a 2-D sequence in "Unearthed". I'm aiming to do the entire animation on a single sheet of paper, image area approximately 12" x 16"....