6.27.2007

Smoky Visions

Its official, I won't finish this short for June 30. Not even close. I could be working on this film through August, with the amount of time I expect to need for the digital effects/greenscreen work. Its nice to be working without a deadline, for the first time really. "Pandora" & "Widow" were both done for StopMoShorts.com's Visual Haiku. When "Only Skin Deep" is done I may shop her around to some festivals. In the meantime, I'll be plugging away and updating as often as possible. I'll be working on a couple of other projects simultaneously, including art for a comic book story and some effects work for theatre.

I've spent the last few days working on a few effects for a sequence in my short involving smoky visions. Here are a couple of screencaps.


6.21.2007

Herbie Smokes

Today I toyed with my effects software, learned how to import an image sequence and key frame my smoke effects.....very pleased with the results......what you see here is, first, the raw footage, about 185 frames, 15fps, then the fx'd clip, set to a little Duke Ellington, 'cause it just felt right :)






Herbie Smokes from Ubatuber on Vimeo

Filming Has Begun (finally....)

Here's a cap of the first scene filmed, and then a cap of the effects-laden footage....I got about 30 seconds done yesterday...








6.19.2007

Herbie and His Habit

LOOK! Pics! :)

This is the starting point of filming....Herbie sort of flashes back/reminisces about the past, seeing visions in the smoke from his cigarette as he sits awake in bed, Su asleep in the dark beside him....



Heeeere's Herbert.....looks a bit like Sean Penn, yes? I plan to repaint his brows and eyes and smile for other scenes, not animated though...


Here's a pic of the tiny ashtray, which will also be repainted and used on the cafe table....the ashes are real :) , the tray is air-hardening clay pressed by a pencil....

6.18.2007

Bobbing along....

A little update, I'm still without my camera so no pics again, sorry...I haven't filmed anything yet, but I've got the dialogue laid out, titles set up, and all of the scenes timed and planned....should end up about 3 mins 30 secs......almost twice 'Widow', which was filmed in 10 days.......it'll be tough but I'm still trying for the SMS June 30 deadline....

6.14.2007

'Only Skin Deep' Update

Painting of the nude Herbert and Suzanne is almost complete. Its been a bit of a nightmare. I botched the seam job on Herbie, tried using my woodburner for the first time to remove the seams, and ended up melting away small grooves in one of his arms (I think the tool was too hot)......now when the arm bends, it wrinkles at each little groove.....ugly as sin, but I may be able to shoot around it or hide it in shadow.....I'm not loving the pups, they've been such a pain in the ass.....needless to say, I start filming tomorrow, yay! The final scenes will be shot, then I'll costume the pups and shoot the beginning.....I might, just *might* be able to finish in time for StopMoShorts, Jun30....if not, I'll keep plugging away, make it as good as I can on my own time, and then share it.....Sorry no pics this time, my camera has been loaned out.....

6.09.2007

Seven Random Things About Me

The Fair Lady Lair over at the Scarlet Star has tagged me with a little game.....to share 7 random bits about myself.....so here goes :)

*I credit Joss Whedon with introducing me to my wife. Y'see, we had many common friends, but hadn't ever met, like the moon and the sun orbiting Earth.....until one of those friends started having 'Buffy Night' on Tuesdays.....all of us would meet at her house, watch the newest ep where there was much pasta and hearty grog, many nights of food stupor and delirious giggling.....it didn't take us long to find each other there, my ladybug and I...we had our first date on Christmas Eve Eve 2000, we were living together within a couple of months, and married by '02.

*I originally went to Tulane to be a Veterinarian, planning to take pre-med courses there and then transfer to LSU for vet school. After one semester of college-level pre-med science courses, and a few 'D's, I decided that, while I love animals, it wasn't to be. So I moved to Psychology, studying animal behavior and the human beast, and completed all of my BA requirements within a few semesters. With a couple of years worth of electives left to take, I migrated to the art department, thinking I'd 'kill time'....little did I know, I'd find my calling there.

*I haven't cut my hair since Katrina. Not even a trim. Its down to about the middle of my back now. The summer of the storm, I had cut it short, like regular guy short, for the first time since graduating high school. It felt great, I remember being able to wash my hair with a penny sized glob of shampoo....wow.....its getting hot here and I'm ready for a trim again, ready to shed these heavy, stress-infused, storm damaged and moldy locks :)

*I've never been out of the South. I haven't been farther west than Texas or farther north than North Carolina. We went to Universal Studios/Disneyworld for our honeymoon in '02, that was my last vacation, unless you count the month of evacuation for Katrina in '05.....Its safe to say that my next vacations will be to L.A. and Portland. I was hoping to make it out to Cali for Comicon in July or the Lovecraft Fest in Portland in October, but I dont think either of those trips will happen this year....

*I love to cook. My wife does not, so it works out :) As long as she loves to eat, I'm a happy chef.....my favorite dish is artichoke stuffed chicken with spinach manicotti and a spicy diavolo tomato sauce. MMMMmmmmmmm.........

*I hate seafood. I live in New Orleans. I get a lot of flack. I don't eat fish, or shrimp, or any crustaceans....no clams or oysters or seaweed or sushi.....I just dont like the taste or texture of any of it. Plus, we don't know whats down there, in the deep......eating seafood is like eating shit from space :)

*I love anthologies, Tv shows like Twilight Zone, Tales From the Darkside, Friday the 13th the Series (a haunted antique shop, not Jason), Monsters, Outer Limits, Ray Bradbury Theatre, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Tales From the Crypt.....

OK, now I tag fellow bloggers.....Justin Jriggity and Shel, Michael Granberry, Grant, and if he's out of early retirement ;) Strider.....

6.07.2007

Suzanne's Hands

I trimmed away the excess foam, shaped what was left around the palm, then painted on a few layers of liquid rubber latex, globbing it in places like the knuckles and palms....looks better than I thought it would.....should animate nicely too....



Suzanne.......Cast?


Suzanne, casting #2......yesterday I recast Su, had no foam problems but when I pulled her out of the mold, I found her chest hollow......again.......not nearly as bad as last time, but still.....apparently breasts are rather difficult to cast....like little air-bubble magnets, they are....I'm gonna TRY to make this work, the outer skin is mostly there, but the left side is hollow all the way up to the shoulder.....gonna try filling her with pieces of upholstry foam and liquid latex, I really just need the boobs to hold their shape, they don't necessarily have to be pretty, they won't be seen and they shouldn't be in the way of animation if they're a little stiff......I patched the right one already, with just liquid latex......will have to patch her chin also.....I'm wishing right about now that I had just gone with build-up pups.....small scale foam isn't fun (these pups are just a tad taller than Nola, clocking in at about 5.5")....

Anyways......patching and seaming continues.....


6.06.2007

Stubborn Suzanne

OK, foam run #2 yesterday......after batch #1 gelled in the bowl (see previous post's update), I mixed up a second batch, this time with 12.5 g gelling agent instead of 14, and with 2 minutes cut from the refining time (I added the gelling agent sooner, basically)....and viola, a success......I have to say, it was a complete adrenaline rush, working the second batch into the mold, fighting the clock....I didn't consider the fact that I would be casting two pups at once, which means I had to work twice as fast to fill the mold.....apparently I worked a little too fast because Suzanne, stubborn Suzanne, is now without much of her chest cavity and will unfortunately need to be re-cast (today)......Herbert on the other hand, is ready for seaming....


For the hands, I decided to just lump clay onto the fingers, knowing I would cut away all of the foam to create my liquid latex buildup fingers and knuckles.....that's why Herbie looks like he's got flippers......just in case you're wondering :)

6.05.2007

Ready for Foam...

Dead sculpts pulled from the mold, its become one of my favorite parts of the process....grotesque mutations :)

Foam casting today, possibly painting too if I have time....the plan, I think, is to shoot everything 'nude' first, then costume the pups and shoot the first half of the short.....
UPDATE:

My first foam disaster.....gelled in the bowl seconds after shutting the mixer off (but not so soon that I didn't start pouring it into the mold-- D'OH -- gonna try again, with less gelling agent and a shorter refine time)....