Sunday, 1 March 2015

thinking about filming

So I am now mostly finished my set and have my puppet and props finished. I have animation space booked for tomorrow and I hope to be animating by tuesday as I only have the space for a week because of the way the spaces are needed over the next little while.

Just before I got started I thought I'd have a little look at my storyboard and my animatic and see what needed tweaked. I know I wanted some zooms out while I focused in because Neil said that would be a weird movement for a viewers eyes which is really what I'm wanting. I think I have figured out the scenes where I want this to happen. The other things I have noticed in preparation for filming is that my animatic really isn't slow enough. I really do want the scenes where he's frantic and panicked to be in a real contrast to the scenes where he's cautiously moving around the room. This also allows me time to play around with the tension of the scenes.

I think one of the things I have drastically overlooked here is the development of the shadow. We don't really get to know him at all. I really want the audience to think he's malevolent and evil before we find out that he's just a trick of the eyes and a little boys imagination. I think I'll film some scenes where the boy is looking off into the distance and the shadow can be watching him or scheming in the background. Or shifting past the camera in order to appear scary for a little while. I also hope he builds from some of the angles which I wish to have from the shadow's P.O.V looking down at the boy so I can try out developing this character differently.

Kind of feel like I still have so much to think about before I film and I really don't have the time. Ideally I'd like to tweak my animatic but I'll just have to keep in mind what I have said here and hope I get a chance to build them in.

Thursday, 26 February 2015


So while I'm waiting to make my set I'm just remembering music and things. I already had a chat with Andrew about it and he's helped me figure out some options one of which I've picked. I haven't seen him to discuss it any further though. I have decided to go with an ambient child like but scary music that andrew suggested. At the moment I have an animatic which gives me a rough idea of time but until I animate at least the stop motion I'm not going to have a clear idea of where the time will be. And I assume to make music a composer will need that.

The other thing I'm worried about is that the last few times I've wanted music I haven't managed to get any one interested in helping me out. I have asked twice and never this close to the end of the year. I'm worried people will be far to busy to help me out and I might have to resort to free music which means I might have to compromise on the quality.

I know it sounds silly but maybe I'll have a go myself. I took music for a long time at high school and have a grade 8 so I might mess about with some stuff myself and see what I can come up with. I just know I don't want to leave it till the last minute and have it become an after thought because that'll will just cut the quality in half.

The Puppet

Ok so I'm going to walk you through my puppet making process. I've written it into my sketchbook so I don't forget for the future and so you all know how much effort I put into making him.

Ok so step one: I drew out a life sized picture of my puppet so I could move his measurements over onto this board which has a whole bunch of holes for pegs in. This is what it looked like at this point.

 Ok so after three attempts I ended up with this puppet, who's legs and arms were the right length. Which was the biggest problem I was having with the two previous versions of my armature. The arms and head then had metal attached to them in order to allow the head and hands to be removed during animation to change them. (Made making the clothes a thousand times easier as well)

Then I made the head and hands. The head is just balsa wood and the hands are milliput and wire.

Here's what he looked like when I put him all together and shaved his skull down to the right size, he also sticks to the wall

Ok so onto hands now. Like I already explained the hands are milliput and aluminium wire. Then I dipped them into coloured latex, which I was hoping would just slightly skin colour them but they went a bit red. However the latex does keep them nice and flexible while covering them and keeping the wire from stabbing you. It also means that they look quite naturally like hands although mine ended up a bit fat. Doesn't really bother me though because children have quite fat little hands anyway. The hands now just have to be painted which will be acrylic paint and copydex so it sticks and won't crack. I'll update this post when that has happened.

So moving onto his head now. Once I'd filed the balsa wood down to a rough skull shape I hollowed out holes for eyes. To make the eyes I bought some wooden beads and painted them white and added blue pupils around the already existing holes in the beads. Once all the paint was dry I very carefully coated the beads in clear nail varnish. The difficulty with this is if you paint it on it will remove the acrylic paint and you'll have to start again so the best way to go about this is to drip it on and slowly coax it around the bead. Then to stick them in I used a small blob of plastcine behind the eyes. The good thing about this is that if I wish to move the eyes I can just put a piece of wire into the hole in the bead and pull the wire around. This is a technique I learned from RedKite animation and have been developing myself for a little while. I think I'm almost completely happy with it I just don't know if I think the pupils are to big to make it worth actually moving his eyes.

Alright, now there's some clothes. This was the biggest pain in my ass. I am so getting a costume designer to do this in the future.

So this whole process involved me finding patterns online and manipulating them to the size of the puppet. I drew out the correct size designs on grease proof paper and then cut them out and pinned them into the fabric then I cut them out, checked their size against the puppet, then I turned them inside out and stitched up the seems. Which worked for almost all of the seems. Following this the clothes had to be tried on and alternations made. His collar needed cut down as it was to high up to begin with. Also his shirt was to long and was making him look, for lack of a better word, half assed. Then my biggest problem came. Getting the sleeves in! Eventually I decided to just glue them in which actually worked out great (thanks mum).  And once all that horrifying ordeal was over I could embellish a little by adding a collar and buttons. Then he was clothed.

So still to do he needs his feet painted to look like feet and his hands painted too. The ne needs some placticine on his chest and shoulders as well as parts of his fore arms and shins so that he's fully covered. Also hair, for his hair I intend to use model magic as this is light weight and will stay in one piece. I've ordered it and he should have hair by the weekend.

P.S. He has no mouth yet because I don't want to put an expression on him incase its wrong.