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!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Charlie: Head Progress

I figure it's time for an update on the blog! I've been working quite a bit over the last few weeks- I've just started sculpting head for my puppet. Sculpey & Apoxie sculpt- in the middle of priming and sanding. Hopefully he'll be done by the weekend and ready to have a mold made.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Leica: First Pass

Since my mentor meeting went amazingly well, I'm going to post the first pass of my film's leica. It's still a work in progress, things are constantly being tweaked and fixed, but this is essentially the story.

When I wrote the story and came up with the concept, it was created around pieces of music. They have been combined and became the rough scratch track you see here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Design: Props

All of the props I have designed for this film have a unique ‘organic’ feel. Emphasizing that no straight lines are used. Everything will try to have an interesting shape- with a slightly wonky, melted appearance.

Character Design: Chroma

The monster, or antagonist, of my film is a drawing of Charlie's that is accidentally brought to life. This is called the Chroma. Here is a rough model sheet I have done of him- His design is still not final.

He is going to be animated traditionally (frame by frame) in Flash CS6 and compiled onto the stop motion footage in After Effects. I feel that with this technique it will effectively convey that this creature is not of the same world.

Character Design: Charlie

The main character of my film is Charlie & he is the only puppet I am actually fabricating for this production (everything/everyone else will be animated afterwards in Flash).

• 12'' tall
• Ball & Socket Armature
• Cast plastic head
• Hands cast in silicone, painted details.
• Faux-fur wig

This is the first attempt in approaching a puppet in a completely 'feature' and 'professional' way. However, since I want to be a puppet fabricator, I think it would be an excellent exercise in honing a skill set relevant to the industry.

Introduction & Premise

Welcome to the blog focusing on my final year thesis film.
I am currently in my fourth and final year in the BAA Animation programme at Sheridan College.
When I graduate, I am hoping to find work in puppet fabrication for stop motion films.

As has always been the standard, in our final year we produce a thesis short film in medium of our choice. I have chosen to do my film as a stop motion hybrid. I am calling it this because it combines a stop motion environment and character with other elements and characters that will be animated after the fact traditionally using Flash. About 75% stop motion, 25% traditional.

Over the summer I was lucky enough to have an internship at Cuppa Coffee Studios- now I am going to put what I've taught myself and what I learned there to some practical use.

My film is tentatively titled "Chroma", Greek for colour. For this film I have decided to go as professional as possible, especially with puppet fabrication. Beginning with my own custom fabricated ball and socket armature (a big thank you to my dad for this), casting hands and feet in silicone, making a head that is cast in plastic, et cetera.

This blog will document the process of the film as it's in production. It's definitely going to be a learning experience, but I'm sure I can do it!