Thursday, September 29, 2005

Nice Novelty!

I've been busy all week working for the whimsical puppet directors at Screen Novelties. I've mentioned Mark, Seamus and Chris before on my blog in high praise, and now having a few days work with these guys at their studio has made me remember how much fun stop-motion jobs can be. I can't say much about the project, other than it is a Halloween themed commercial for Hallmark, but it looks like it will turn out really nice. Shared animation tasks with fellow animator Sarah Meyer, in addition to Seamus, Chris and Mark. I'll see if I can post some pictures of the project once the commercial is out.

So my film is taking a back seat this week, hopefully I will get to do a shot this weekend!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Motion Control comes to AngryPuppet!

It's amazing that in the chaos of trying to make my own film, sometimes things just work out. Every once in awhile it seems like things just come to me at the right moment. Enter the motion-control mad scientist- Dick Kaneshiro! I met Dick recently when he decided to dedicate much of his free time to interning on Moral Orel. Dick works in sound recording, but is a closet stop-motionist who has many talents. This guy actually managed to piece together his own motion-control rig and he figured out how to control it using modified Director software on a PC. While I am a big fan of "hand-mo", manual camera moves, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to have some super-smooth moco in my film!

When I was setting up for this shot, I found one more big negative about the CD-R based camera I am using. Since I built the set on its side, the camera would have to be on its side, and for some reason it can't record images to the little CD-R unless it is right side up. I thought I was going to have to borrow another camera, but Dick solved this problem by building an extra step into the moco move. After each exposure is triggered manually, the camera rotates 90-degrees to let the camera save, pauses five seconds, and the rotates back and moves to the next increment. See the action here:

motion control rig movie (4.8mb)

Dick didn't want to be pictured on my blog- so here is a representative blur:

Friday, September 23, 2005

Down the rabbit hole....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Set is up.

This is a set for a five second tracking shot down into the underground containment facility. It is built on it's side at roughly 1/24 scale. It still needs lighting and camera set up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Something fishy

I've been out in the garage for a few days now building the new "Access Shaft" set. It's coming along pretty good. I'll post some in progress pictures soon. In the meantime here is something old.

The robot drones in my film were originally inspired by a type of deep-sea angler fish. The end result doesn't look much like a fish- but I feel like basing some of the shapes on an actual living creature gave it some depth. You can see from my ugly Photoshop design that it was going to be more organic originally. When I got to building it I decided to go more mechanical.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Let's all dig deep.

I'm sure all of you are just as shocked and upset by the suffering that Hurricane Katrina has caused. I could go on a rant about what I feel is a total failure of our government to serve and protect the citizens of the stricken area, but I think people will draw their own conclusions about it.

I was on the Red Cross web site making a donation and while it is great that they have raised over 52 million dollars to help the victims of this storm, I was kind of shocked to see that only 371,000 people had donated. I strongly feel that EVERYONE can and should give something- even if it is five or ten bucks. We can all give something, no matter what your own situation is. Please follow one of the links below and make a donation. You can help people in need!

Red Cross

Second Harvest

Habitat for Humanity

Noah's Wish (Don't forget the animals!)

Friday, September 02, 2005


The tower sequence is done! Took care of the last little shots and elements that were needed, mainly some more robot shots. Spent some time rigging the robot in a different way than I have wires this time. It's going to mean spending a few hours painting out the supports, but it gave me a solid control system. Now it's time to take everything down and switch over to set building mode. I'm going out monday morning to buy a section of that big cardboard tube that is used to form concrete pillars. That will form the basis for a set I'm calling the "Access Shaft". More to come....