Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Running behind

A good percentage of my free time this week was devoted to making that animation. And really that's all I want to talk about, so I'm just going to rush through the other ones.

1) Trader Joe's Sparkling Blueberry Juice
2) The chili Stephanie and Paul made.
3) First Episode of season 2 of the wire
4) Better Off Ted - has promise (and Portia de Rossi)
5) Tree man
6) This didn't find its way into the commercial, but I had fun building this "Gregasaurus"

7) Finished Good Omens - twas hilarious
8) Made potato flag - had leftovers for eternity
9) In preparing the sets for the animation I got to build some really cool things: a castle wall with a secret door, a clothing store, the inside of a space station, a crazy unfurling bridge, this awesome rocket ship:

and a living room with this crazy cool couch, which other AFOLs think is awesome too!

10) Finished a new animation. Yes it took me a full weekend to do, not to mention all those hours preparing. But I was literally squealing with delight as I watched the footage play back for the first time. I love bringing things to life. Also, this movie just blows my past ones away in terms of image quality, so I was excited about that too. I had done a test with uploading HD videos to youtube about a week ago, and I knew I was going to upload this one that way, so I shot everything in widescreen and had much better lighting than previous endeavors. it turned out gorgeous. I have probably watched it 20 times. Anyway, let me talk about the various scenes.

This scene was very straightforward. The only thing unusual about it was that I built a base to raise up the set, because I decided I wanted the camera angle to be upward.

This was the first scene I animated, because I had already set up the lighting and whatnot a week beforehand. I made a few mistakes in this scene and remembered some of my old tricks. Like for instances marking the location of the character's feet so that if I accidentally knock them over I can put them back in place easily.

This one was a lot of fun. But what else would you expect from a tentacled space plant?

In this still you can actually take the time to figure out that the guy is buying the same outfit he is wearing, which was a detail that I put in there before I realized that no one would have enough time to notice. If you watch the pile of clothing you can see it shifting/settling. It was held together by tape, but not well enough.

I tried to use forced perspective here to give a sense of a path leading off into the distance (and forest), but I don't think it quite worked out. You can also see a couple animation issues in this scene. If you watch the left window you will see wire that is powering the lights above the torches. Also if you watch the light above the torch that she pushes you will see it move not quite with the torch. And as the secret door opens, the "flame" is replaces with a flame piece I filed down so it fit through the doorway.

I really like these robots and I was glad I found a way to work the green hair in.

This was the very last scene I animated. I again used forced perspective to try and give a sense of distance to the river. The bridge animation I planned out ahead of time and wrote down fram by frame which hinges moved when. After the bridge unfurled I didn't have many frames left to get them together, but leaving them apart just seemed wrong, so I put in some jumpy running, so they could hug at least. I know it goes by too fast, but what can I say, the emphasis is on green anyway.

This was one of the last sets to be built. Even as late as saturday I was not sure what I was going to do in this scene. I had built everything else and my supply of green pieces was running precariously low. I originally made a bedroom, with a vanity for the girl, but it didn't work well. The couch was a happy accident and the popsicles were almost an afterthought. The girl kicking her legs is the animation I'm proudest of in the whole piece. The cat moves too, though obviously the focus is on the posicles. I considered adding a dog, but it would have complicated things (much like a real dog).

This scene was the second to last to film and it was the hardest to set up. It took me half an hour just getting the lighting on the rocketship set up. And then there were wires all over the place:

But I used masking tape and a small wall of black bricks to hide them

Oh by the way, this is what my animation set-up looked like sunday morning. See how bright it is on the other side of the curtain? That's with the blinds closed in the living room! It was a really nice day out. Great for picnics, bad for animating, but thanks to my new curtains and that blanket I was able to cut out most of it.

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