Saturday, June 26, 2010

Allllll Aboard!

Here's the latest from The Railway Steam Gallop, the stop-motion short film I'm working on with animator Kaj Pindal. It was a lot of fun shooting this scene as much of the previous shots build up to this moment of tension where the trains just miss eachother " - by a MILLImetre!" It's also been a super-neat experience and pleasure working with Kaj so far, who is an endless source of ideas, experience, advice, (good stories!!), and not to mention humour. Anyways, enjoy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stop Motion: Passion, Process and Performance

I received Barry Purves' 'Stop Motion: Passion, Process and Performance' as part of my graduation present, and I think I can say with all honesty that it's probably the best book I've read within the past year or so - if not longer, in that it truly encouraged an excitement and embracing of something I'd previously had only brief (though not forgotten) encounters with. I initially borrowed the book last summer and was immediately enthralled with the fact that it's not simply a basic overview or dry list of techniques - it's a very personal and insightful reflection on the world of stop-motion animation and what it's like, as an artist, to breathe in the unique joys and challenges of that medium on a daily basis.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Post on Props

Initial prop concepts and designs for my film. These included a miniature rubik's cube; a somewhat contentious piece to figure out in terms of sizing and functionality. I created a small one that featured a functional top layer (two very tiny magnets inserted between the top layer and the rest of the cube that allowed some swivel). For all purposes though of a close-up, I had to make a much larger one in order to get the framing and lighting (and capability of movement) that I wanted. More on that later.

A variety of props. As a note, the freezer was a lot of fun to make as I aimed to endow it with features of the typical family freezer - around here at any rate; freezer burn, rotten bananas (these are for baking purposes and every time we clean out our freezer we find about 10 of them), and vegetables stored in milk bags.

As a solution to the rubik's cube problem I created two larger ones (a little bit bigger than actual size) out of three pieces of styrofoam each. The first version turned only horizontally, and the second one, turning only vertically, was made to match up visually with where the first one ended so that I could replace it halfway through and create the illusion that it was a fully functional cube. The fingers were made of clay and alternately pinned to the cube or propped up with one of those helping-hand mechanisms. The cubes themselves had a piece of brass stock inserted into the bottom, and could be slid onto another one held in the gripstand.

Overall I think the transition worked pretty seamlessly, as can be seen in the final shot:

Friday, June 4, 2010

This is what I'm currently keeping myself busy with, and so far (as I think you can tell in the clip), it's been a blast!