Thursday, May 7, 2015

Filming Techniques

The marionette is filmed in this 3' tank (approx. 200 gallons).

The caustic lights on the coral are made by animating panes of dappled glass frame at a time. 

Each layer is shot separately to give me more freedom compositing. For this camera move,  I attached the camera to a track and moved it by hand to animate the stop motion camera move. I do not have access to a motion control rig at this time, but I should when I revisit this scene in the fall.    

Aquatic Marionette

This puppet is super small and does not need to be very detailed because it is a background element in this shot. The silhouette and movement of the fabric is the most important part, so it took a few tries to get the weight of the costume to be the correct buoyancy. 

Pretend you don't see the burned legs... I need to invest in a toaster oven that is not from a thrift store.


Next, I refined the foam by hand and applied primer. From there, I upholstered the pre-dyed fabric. To do this, I soaked the fabric in a 1:1 mixture of white craft glue and water. I pulled the fabric tightly around the set and used pins and staples to hold the fabric in place while it dried (over several days).

Hundreds of Pins Later... 

I also started sculpting additional forms out of Sculpy to dress the set with once it dried. 

Future Tube Sponge
I sculpted over the heads of pins to make a bunch of quick additions.

Foam Sculpting

First off, sculpting foam with a hot wire produces very dangerous fumes and should be done using extreme caution. 

In a well ventilated (and sadly very cold) area, I roughed in the shapes of the coral reef.