Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finished Film

Chroma from Maxwell Racz on Vimeo.
Chroma is finished & it's bittersweet. On the one hand I'm glad to be done and very excited to be moving onto other projects, but on the other I wish I could have done things differently. The whole year was a huge learning experience- I can honestly say that I know so much more about fabrication than when I started back in September.

Monday, March 25, 2013


The finish line is in sight! Here's the poster for the film:

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Test Scene

Been rushing through every obstacle to get this film done- almost at the finish line!
Here's a test scene that shows some of the animation techniques used in Chroma. It's not technically a "finished" scene, but it's pretty close.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sets & Props: Charlie's Bedroom

Here's the completed set of Charlie's bedroom. Mostly made of polystyrene, some sculpted bits, wood & other bits and bobs. There's another wall that goes up to complete the entire room (with an exterior side for outside the window), but it's only used for two shots.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Test Shot

Just quickly playing around today- Charlie is finished. Now I just need to clean up my workspace & do some real lighting. Stop motion animation starts this week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Little Bit of Everything II

My little space in the corner of Sheridan's stop motion studio.
 It's been a really busy past few weeks- But things are progressing. This is just going to be a quick picture post- gotta get to bed so I can get up early tomorrow!

My Ultracal molds failed-
I made some mistakes with this, so I
lost the mold & the master sculpt!
I was familiar with using resin, so
I decided to make a quick switch and
do my molds this way. Was a lot faster
& it turned out pretty good
First cast of hands & feet in silicone
Completed homemade ball & socket armature-
This was my dad & my first attempt at this.
We ended up having a family friend machine the
plates in steel to get a more secure joint.

In order to have Charlie's eyes as light as possible, I decided make them resin. They were sculpted in Apoxie sculpt, then a silicone mold was made (left). The casts were then cleaned up and glossed several times to give a nice shine. The vase (right) was made as a duplicate of a small vase I found in my basement. Since I'm assuming it belonged to my grandmother, I decided to make a mold of it rather than destroy the original.

Charlie's head was also another long process. I knew that I wanted to have the head hollow (to keep it light)- this turned out to be a lot more complicated than anticipated. In my last post I showed the numerous heads I had dismissed for flaws. Below is a the first cast I did (lots of bubbles) beside the master sculpt, the the first bit of blushing & paint on the face, final details & whole head attached, finally the completed head with wig & digital features!
Charlie's bed assembled-
I'm really proud of the quilt I
made, the pillow cases/little
pillows & knitted throw!
Charlie's sketchbook & pencil, the plant,
fire wood & the bookcase
Drafting Charlie's pajama patterns. After
several tests in broadcloth, this was the
final pattern.
Charlie's pajamas finished. There's a quarter
beside for reference (looks like a penny
because of lighting- whoops).
The set progressing along
Charlie's almost finished- needs his hair done,
body padded & hands painted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Little Bit of Everything

A lot has happened since my last post- It's been a whirlwind of work and I haven't had any time to step back. I'm now home for the holidays, but that doesn't mean I get a break. Three weeks til proper shooting of the film starts and there's still so much to do.

Head mold finished- top half and bottom half will be attached
together and hidden with the wig.
Army of mis-casts of Charlie's head. Issues with bubbles & I
am a perfectionist. Colour variation because I wanted to see how
the pigment worked. I'll get a suitable cast done soon.

New plates for Charlie's armature have been finished. The original brass plates (seen below) were too soft of a metal, so they warped with the tension required to compensate for some imprecision in the cutting. They have been professionally machined now out of steel, so they're going to hold up!

There are 3 more molds I need to make (for the hands, feet and chest). Since these pieces will be made of silicone, so I'm using Ultracal 30 (plaster) to make these. More fancy stuff to learn. First picture is the first half of the mold being made- release agent applied and register keys made. Second is the second layer of plaster poured in and currently being left overnight to set.

I've been working on other things aside from the puppet too:

The outside wall of Charlie's bedroom. Window WIP

Lastly, I quickly set up most of the things I had made for the set. A lot of work left, but things are coming along!

That's all for now- things are always being made, so hopefully I'll have some new things to post soon.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Charlie: Adventures in Silicone Molding

I am currently making a complex 4-piece (2 pieces for each half) mold for Charlie's head. I chose to use this method based on my research in doll & toy making. This is my first attempt at any kind of molding, and actually my second kick at it. We wont speak of Silicone Disaster 2012.

Things are going really well right now! More progress soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Building: Picture Frames

There was a set-back with molding, so I've decided to refocus my schedule to build props this week.

Here are some picture frames I made for the walls of Charlie's bedroom- All the artwork inside are Van Gogh paintings (public domain).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Charlie: Sculpting Progress

Things on Charlie have been coming along- I've been pulling 9hr days in the studio sanding, sculpting, priming and patching the bits of my puppet that need to be cast. It's an absolutely slow process but I'm learning so much!

I wasn't happy with the head I posted last week, so I reshaped the jawline by carving away with a knife and sanded the edges down.

His design has changed a bit as I sculpted (smaller eyes, bigger ears) but I actually am liking it so far!

Hoping I'll have everything ready to be cast by the weekend. I know I said that last time, but... I can do it!