I'm loving how this is turning out, I've still got to tinker a biot with the compositing/fx on the ghosts...I basically just shot them in front of a greenscreen and layered them onto the Herbie animation using a string of video effects...
I'm just about done figuring out the lighting on the cemetery set, I'm still working with miniature "Christmas Village" spotlights, which you can pick up now while the holidays are in full swing, if you're interested in testing them out. They are fantastic moody little spotlights, I've used them and only them to light all of Unearthed so far. I sprung for a plug-in adaptor for them as well, so I wouldn't have to worry about batteries fading (bonus: each adaptor can power 3-4 sets of lights). On the setup below, I have a few lights mounted to strips of wood that are attached to the underneath of the set floor, holding them about 8" out form the set. Also attached there are the battery packs for each set of 2 lights, for easy access to the on/off switches and less fumbling through cords when I'm ready to animate. I also have a couple of lights mounted higher, one on the very tip of the brick wall and another on a gauge. They swivel somewhat loosely so I've used wads of clay to hold them in place. Alls I have left to do is secure a couple at the back of the set to light Herbie as he walks down the path between the angels. In previous shorts I have changed lighting around depending on the shot, but with Unearthed I have tried lighting the sets as a whole so I can run through my shots without having to change anything around. I may need to add a spotlight on a close-up of Herbie here or there but it should pretty much work as is (I've positioned Herbie at key points on the set to make sure he is well lit).
That being said, the change in weather has caused my muse to change personalities a bit these last few days. I've been cleaning the studio, packed away the Seaclops and Mermaid for now, and have re-set-up my cemetery set for the next scene of Unearthed. I have the "stopmoshorts" film bug. Last night I figured out how to transfer my StopMotionPro license to my laptop, worked out some video-capture kinks there, and am now ready to animate without being tied to a computer desk, which will be nice. Once I get the set lit, and revisit the storyboards, I'm ready to move on with the next phase of the short, which has been in production since 2007 (my, how the years fly by). So stay tuned, exciting things happening...
Hooray, finally found the time to cast my Seaclops puppet!! Another foam latex success! This is by far the largest (and thickest) puppet I've created to date, about 10" tall, but a small bowl batch of foam was enough to fill the mold.....just barely enough :) I've already started painting and embellishing him with fins and catfish whiskers, now I just need to polish up the details of the script for him and the mermaid, finish up the island set (it'll be much easier now that I have a puppet to place on it to make sure I get the scale right), and then its on to animating! (And then back to "Unearthed", I promise :)
I find it sort of synchronistic (a word?) that I am in the middle of developing two water-based beachy characters while this whole oil-spill marsh-land-destroying wildlife-killing fiasco is going on with BP so near my home. I have images of my mermaid character coated in oil and may revisit the story to make it more.....proactive? We'll see what happens when I get the pups done, still a top priority for me as far as my creative projects go...
First I plopped down a bunch of water-based clay for the bed, to create the wall for my mold. I used a crayola brand earth clay that we sell at work and it worked fine. Was a little too soft maybe, required a bit of extra cleanup when removing the clay at the end, but otherwise okay.
Next I smoothed out the clay bed, about halfway up the sculpt (between the fingers is the worst, possibly my least favorite part of the whole process).
Then I sprayed the whole thing with a quick layer of Clear Coat, mixed up a pea-soupy batch of Ultracal, and brushed on my first layer.
After two more layers of soupy Ultracal...
And about 1/2" layer of Ultracal coated burlap...
Next came the super thick, clay-like layer of Ultracal to finish it up...
And finally, after the top half set up, I flipped it, peeled off the clay bed, cleaned up the residue of the water-based clay with a soft damp brush, and now I'm ready for the second half...
Ideally, there should be a little more space around the edges, particularly near the feet, fingers, and head, and also more space between the arms and torso, but I had to squinch him in a bit more than I should have because of the size of my toaster oven. Now I'm off to finish the sculpt of my mermaid...
Coming along, hope to finish him up this weekend and then nexy week start seriously plugging away at my Seaclops short which will hopefully be a part of Ray Harryhausen's 90th birthday event :)
Baby Dangerfield gets no respect :)
I'm back!! Sorry about the huge non-posty gap but I've been busy with baby, and still unpacking the new house. This week I got most of the studio set up, almost all boxes unpacked and organized, yay! On the baby front, its been extremely tiring having a newborn in the house, but we couldn't be happier. Roman is so cute and sweet, I cant stand it...
Two little monsters...
Today is Mardi Gras here in Nola, and an especially celebratory one for the city as our Saints won the Superbowl last week :D In the spirit of the holiday, I resurrected an old unfinished pup of mine, Bacchus (search it to see some posts on the blog here from back in 2007). I'm going to try to finish him up between today and tomorrow and hopefully shoot a micro-film with him before retiring him to the annals of shadowboxy puppetdom.