Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Could Do This All Day, Wait! I Did!

It doesn't look to me from this photo like two full day's work was made on this tree, but that's what it was. This isn't the best angle to show the difference either, but it gives the idea of how the relative height was added to the tree without cutting what had been already built. I added about three new heavy branch armatures to the middle as if they grew up out of the existing trunk. That added about a foot in height to the top and gave and impression of more height overall somehow. I hope to be able to show how it all looks when covered in its first coat of brown paper from another angle to really demonstrate how much more pleasantly substantial this larger tree looks compared to the final cottage size.

It might have been clever to start with a scale drawing of the characters, then build the cottage and the tree per a calibrated blueprint. But this is an "eyeball" kind of project. It started by building a fireplace broom. That was the first item in Halfland. I cut the bristles off of a real broom and fashioned my miniature, complete with soot on the bent ends and red string stitching at the base. Then came the apples and the rest of the tiny food stuffs and a few other props and pieces of furniture. The food sizes came from the broom size, the character sizes came from the food sizes, the cottage came from the characters, the tree then had to be enlarged to complement the cottage. And so it went.

I really got into doctoring the tree branches the last two days, adding newspaper and tape to bulk up thin spots and make the twigs look more like natural grown branches. I got in a groove that felt peaceful, as if I was creating a real tree at nature's own patient pace. That's in large part what this project is for me, the creation of a world.

Next moves: include, papering the trunk and landscape base, and painting on a flexible plaster compound onto the entire branch and trunk structure. This can be textured, painted and finished to my liking before I begin hand-placing, what, about 5,000 leaves?


  1. Well that's just freakin' AWESOME!!!

  2. Thank you Mikeums, (I know don't ever call you that in public :D)

  3. How fantastic to see progress. I loved when you said:
    "I got in a groove that felt peaceful, as if I was creating a real tree at nature's own patient pace. That's in large part what this project is for me, the creation of a world."

    What a great way to look at this project. No fuss, no rush, no hassle, just the peaceful creation of a new world.

  4. Thanks, Paul. Yeah, it's bloody great alright, except now I'm being naughty and not doing my graphic jobs because all I want to do is work on 1/2L. This is what I was afraid would happen!

    Still, good to really be working on it though!

  5. Anonymous12:46 AM

    Wow! 5000 leaves!! You amaze me with your details of creativity!!

  6. Well, that was only an estimate of leaves. It could be more or less, I'll hope to heaven to see how many it takes soon!

    I do have more patience with this project's numbers these days, over 36,000 frames for my 6 minute film? No problem. 5,000 leaves on the tree? no sweat. Etc.


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