Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Peak Experience

I started in on figuring out how to solve the roof to tree integration dilemma today. It worked out better than I thought and it was a bit of thrill to see the cottage begin to take shape. In the clutter of the workspace you may be able to make out the small wooden planks used to map out the roofs first center peak.

I had a good chunk of time to work on the set today. Yay. Dove in and continued using scrap cardboard taped into place as a first wall template. There was a lot of altering of sizes and placement on the set.

Early into things, I felt unsure about where to place anything and felt illequipped to create the cottage, or any aspect of the film for that matter. In my mind I could imagine spending many months learning about building design and roof construction in order to execute this little set with the knowledge I seemed to require. At that sort of pace, Halfland would be finished sometime in 2023. I felt anxious and overwhelmed for a few moments. And then I decided that in order to get through the project I was going to have to forget all about doing any of this in an educated manner with a grasp on my reference panel's samples. I consciously made up my mind to proceed by the seat of my pants instead and to go ahead and make the cottage, and everything else, strictly as I wished, even if WRONGLY. Gulp.

After that it became fun again and I no longer felt the enervating air of overwhelm. After that insight of the day, Halfland's progress became (for at least a moment) my daily life, moment to moment, inch by inch, rather than a military deployment to be quickly gotten through. I unplugged from the stress matrix for the rest of the afternoon. I am very attached to finishing the entire film and I often worry that I'll be prevented from doing so. But when I can get into this more patient mode, going through the individual steps without my stomach churning into knots, Halfland (or any other project) becomes just part of my daily life, like breathing. I don't worry about finishing "x" amount of breaths in my lifetime.

Seen from inside the front door, Rana, in her soon-to-be cozy, cubby bed, begins her day.

I reduced the width of the bay window and managed to rough in all the walls and the beginnings of a roof line. Looks like hell now, but further iterations will be hugely improved.


  1. I love it, especially that last pic...cant wait to watch you detail Ranas little home-sweet-home, and then to see it come alive in movie form...
    ...she looks so happy with her home, smiling even without a face :)

  2. Yes!!!

    That's the way to do it...whatever works. That's one problem I run into when I use photoreference... I often try to make it look too much like it and my creativity gets hobbled. Ideally I like to collect reference and study it, maybe use it for initial sketches, then put it away and start working from the sketches.

    And I love that more patient mode you mentioned. That's when time loses its hold and you're free.

  3. Nell Morningstar6:14 AM

    This process that you are sharing with us is incredibly exciting and inspiring. I'm an ex-film student returning to animation after years of raising kids and working in the photo industry. I have partially formed ideas hovering around from years ago that I am beginning to pick up again. Thanks so much for your generous documentation, it gives me hope for my dusty projects!

  4. Thank you, Jeffery, You really captured the experience of the fun creating this type of thing is! You know what's it's like, don't you! Well, now I'm learning too. I want to rush ahead it's so fun!! I'll try to be patient.

    Hi Mikeee!! Thanks for visiting and commenting, I know you're bizzy. hee. What you say too is spot on, as usual. You know, I SHOULD know this, about gaining something from reference and then moving into what I know, because that's exactly what I do with all project even "clean" computer graphic design. It always felt like a HAIL MARY pass when I did it on other things. I have never understood the "process" you describe until now. Good to see that.

    And Nell Morningstar, what a thrill to get this message from you!! We've never met before and I don't know where you live on the planet but hearing that you too have long term stories you'd like to tell, and with animation no less?!! I feel like I've found a kind of stop motion friend, a golden fishy caught in the net of this blog. So, welcome and I'm tickled pink at the thought that visiting here might encourage you to start in again a little. WOWIE!!!

    Thank you all very much. ‹:•}

  5. This is nothing short of breathtaking. I will be checking back often - and can't wait to see the film itself! :)

  6. Ranas' home is coming along nicely!!! =) The visual your creating can be seen even in the based in form. This is going to be a great piece! Will continue to check back dailey to see more.

  7. Eléna, I can't believe you happened by! You were MY FIRST BLOG!!! You are the captivating lovely person that I been following since before the birth of your three beautiful kiddles. You are responsible for my discovering the wonderous bloggo-sphere. I don't think I've ever thanked you for that as it's transformed my life in incredible ways, so, THANK YOU! I hope to show you lots of good progress here each time you stop by.

    And thanks CJ! I love knowing you're out there keeping me honest. (hi Buster!)

  8. Go Shelley

    It's great to see you making such progress, breaking down those roadblocks, no- procrastination blocks that keep you from moving forward.

    Rana's dwelling is looking good. Taking shape from the 2D to the 3D, its all coming together. Best of all you have found the joy in the creation and it is showing in your work, nice, nice, nice!

    Exciting stuff, I am looking forward to see the progress continue.

  9. Thanks so much, Mark! You have been watching me struggle to actually do anything, so the small steps I take are like giant leaps these days.

    Action Only©, Man, Action Only©.

  10. Welcome to new visitors from; Kenya, Sydney, Brazil, Alberta, Minnesota, North Dakota, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and any others I've missed.

    I don't know who you are, you are still completely anonymous here, I just look at my cluster map (check the sidebar) and delight in watching the spots grow!

  11. That is an incredible amount of work and detail! wow

  12. Hi Kim Carney!, Meh--that's nuthin', You will understand the Full Depth of My Obsession when you see the hand-dyed, hand-woven fabrics I made for one the main character's skirt! (proof in top photo here: http://notesfromhalfland.blogspot.com/2006/04/sketches.html) or the tiny raspberries made for the teensiest hole-less glass bead clusters, or the... you'll see, and either be enchanted... or dismayed! tee hee.


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