Sunday, January 24, 2010

One Week Later... (& studio shooting set-up)

Aside from looking somewhat undead, it's not doing too badly.

And a sample of my studio set-up:

This was from the first shot I did, (second shot in the film). I've got my back-set (grandma's room), her bed, and the foreground hall-way pieces hot-glue-gunned down to my animating 'deck', the suitcase butyl-ed (think sticky-tack that's actually sticky) to the bed, and the puppets screwed onto little wooden platforms with magnets on the bottoms, which are then held onto the set via magnet wands underneath (stronger magnets on short, thick wooden dowel - you can see Leonard's poking out there under the deck by the hallway pieces). My puppets are tie-downs, meaning they've got nuts inserted into the bottoms of their feet so I can secure them into place with a bolt going through the set floor. In shots where you don't see their feet though, that's a bit of an unneccessary nuisance to contend with, hence the wood contraption (compliments of Chris Walsh).
The black foil and foamcore you see on/above the set pieces help direct some of the light in the shot to frame it in a way that directs the eye to the middle of the composition, where all the action takes place (you can sort of see that on the screen there). The bluish back-piece there being held up by the grip-stand is the sky, acrylic mixed with dish-soap (it thickens it up nicely so I can slather it on in a painterly type of style) on plexi-glass.

The lighting set-up I have going here (also compliments of Chris) I can't comment on a whole lot; I don't know much of the technical jargon for light names and wattage and the like, but basically those two big ones there (foreground light at the far right, and the next one to its left, further back) are bouncing light off the low, white ceiling to create a soft look that fits the mood of the scene. It's a bright and hopeful morning, and the orange filter on the first light adds some nice warmth to it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Little Lessons in Safety (Or, Things I Already Know)

Well, this was a bit of a step up from a paper-cut:

Whilst attempting to adjust a grip-stand (sort of like a tripod, except they hold on to things) in the studio this afternoon I was concentrating on loosening a tight lever and, in a stroke of pure genius, forgot to hold on to the top part of the stand which then crashed down rather promptly on and pinched one of my fingers. It`s swollen and blue, and a bit cold from ice/frozen chicken, and I probably won`t be animating any more of this weekend, but it could have been worse.
Stop-motion animation, needless to say, comes with a whole new terrain of safety issues.

Sunday, January 3, 2010