Sunday, April 28, 2013

04-28-13: Baby's First Stop Motion Animation!

Hey, all! Yesterday I teamed up with my good friend Chris Freihofer for our first bit of stop motion animation ever! First, we worked out how we wanted the shot to go. Then Frei manned the monitor and planned our shot out with DragonFrame's awesome arc tools, and guided me through posing our mantis character for each frame. (He was a little jealous that I got to play with the puppet, but I insisted his guidance was what was making the shot work!) We hit a couple of snags with old batteries not holding a charge for very long, but even with the challenges of switching batteries and re-positioning the camera, it was an immense amount of fun. What a great way to animate!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

04-18-2013: Adventures in Stop Motion!

This quarter I am embarking upon my first forays into stop motion animation! Honestly, I don't know what took me so long.

Directed by Robert Vilushis, the film is about a small fairy man who lives in the woods. He runs a magical forge with which he smiths seeds into tools for his farm. Three critters assist him; a praying mantis, a pill bug, and a slug. He's built various tools to help the animals - he made a shell for the slug, turning it into a snail. The snail shell has been my major sculptural contribution so far.

Sarah Mannino, our lead puppet artist, sculpted the
body of our slug - I helped make the mold to cast him.

The shell was designed to look like acorns, sawed in half,
hammered flat, and nailed together like shingles.
Collecting reference was fun.

Sarah was kind enough to sculpt the
base shape of the shell for me. Super time saver!

Here's my basic plan for the details, with real acorns
and another of the seed-smith's tools for reference.

After approval from the director, I fleshed the
design out a bit more and brought it into relief.

Agh! I forgot to take pictures of it before it went off to mold-making.
But here it is afterwards, a little worn, but still holding some details.

And here's the mold! 

I'm pretty thrilled - it looks like the silicone caught a lot of the detail.

Stay tuned! I'll post the plastic versions once they've been poured.