Back in the Saddle Again

I've been animating and editing mostly for the past two weeks, so now its time to ramble...see previous post's clip.....OK...with said clip I set out to test a few things: Nola 2 (who ended up not getting much attention), the newest set pieces, and that lighting from the Bait Series of b/w photos (way back in the Nola 1.5 days ;)

Here's a screencap of the entire film in Sony Vegas....

The first track is my logo, brought in as a jpeg. The second track is text, the words 'Ubatuber Productions'. Third is the fire track, which has a chromakeyer effect on it, along with a glow effect. Next track contains the clips from StopMotionPro, and has a slight orange tint to it, to properly reflect the firelight. The remaining eight tracks are audio. By closely studying this pick one might tear apart my editing techniques, which involve sometimes repeating or reversing clips :)

The fire was created with Particle Illusion, an incredibly easy-to-use program which provides particle effects: fog, shimmery water, smoke, fireworks, that kind of thing. I got it for free with a computer magazine, or DV editing mag, I don't remember which, so there are probably freeware versions out there somewhere...lots of room for improvement with the fire...Just looked too cookie cutter...I created it on a black screen, layered it on top in Vegas, then removed the black with a chromakeyer.

I wanted to use mostly sound effects here, instead of just plugging in some random bit of film score. With the exception of the heartbeat and a couple of thunderbolts, all of the sound effects are mine...the repeating bass note was recorded using my brother-in-law's DJ software (FL Studio), which has oodles of instruments and mixes and options, for future scoring if I decide to give it a whirl. The cicadas and frogs were capped live, lots of cicadas this time of year here, and I've always loved their sound. The fire crackling is just me with a plastic bag.

I used a clamp-on desk lamp, aimed at an angle, one with a bendy neck. For every frame, I bent the neck, sometimes a little, following a kind of arc, sometimes a lot, to get a jerky, random, fire kind of feel. The original thought was to retry my foil lighting idea from the reflective water test, but we were out of foil, D'OH!

I like the way the sets look, they are a bit shallow at the moment but with more 'tree islands' and a bigger set-up, I'll be good to go. Nola 2's eyes are not connected together the way Nola 1's were, so it was more difficult to change them out. I'd say I spent twice as much time fiddling with the individual eyeballs. So, mental note: if feasible construct replacement eyes like little pairs of spectacles, joined together with a bit of armature wire. I painted them with a varnish so they would gleam a little bit, which I like. You can see it in the pic posted below with the video. I'm starting to tire of the same five pairs of eyes, so I may make new sets soon to go along with them...I plan on having as many as possible, scared, sad, squinty....all in a little foam lined cigar box...

I have to get used to animating Nola with her scarf on...her arm movements become extremely limited but I want that to come across in the film, so its something I have to develop more...and I've decided I should be animating more, even if its just a random clip a week, 2 seconds, 2 minutes, whatever...so if you, dear viewer, do not see animation regularly on this blog, bug me about it :)


Ale said...

Now THAT's bloggin xD

I see what you mean about the animation...Have you got a book on timing and the animation principles? Half a year ago someone at a dark forest (also known as sma forums) said I should do that...and the improvement is AWESOME! I'd recommend doing easy animateable stuff; kind of what I'm doing with Tiny Fighters.

I'd also go with some stage performance like you did on Chaplin's clip.

Anyway, the key is to practice!

(I'll try to get that effects soft you mentioned...it seems really interesting!)

herself said...

great post Ubbie, Are you running a PC or Mac? Vegas for PC right? You like it? The sound was incredible. You've already left me in your dust. Grat work. You know I'll be buggin' ya for more.