Thursday, May 17, 2007

Stretchy Sky

It was a smaller step today, but intriguing. I took a scrim of white nylon and stretched it over a piece of plywood. Then I had fun finger-painting a cloudscape with dilute blue acrylics and daubing on titanium white to make fluffy cloud shapes on the bottom half. When dry, this backdrop remained stretchable and offered a lot of effect possibilities.
Here's a little diagram of what I came up with that I'll be testing on my practice area before building full size. Soft lighting thrown on the back most layer, as long as the transparent sky was also front lit, might look interesting. I'll have to try things out.

It occurred to me that I could place a plain cyclorama of gradient blue at the back of my testing set, stretch this new sky scrim onto a wire/or thin pipe structure affixed to the set floor via tiedowns, as a setting for Halfland environment behind the landscapes.

On the full-sized set (and boy, do I mean full-sized, this thing is HUGELY huge!), if this idea works well, I'd create the curved pipes out of gently bent electrical conduit or something equally sturdy and easy to get.

I plan to also experiment with adding a layer of projected sky into this set-up to see if it adds a luminance and a sky-like dimension on camera, in camera, as it were.

The Hills Are Alive:
Tomorrow, I'll show how my wild plan for the distant contours of Halfland hills will look on this schematic. (It involves using the enlarged Xerox nude of me-self that was laying around.) I swear, I have everything around here! Name something, anything used for arts or crafts (I love this game) that you can think of and I'll see if it's in here. If you do manage to "stump the shop" I will admit it publicly and never play the game again... online.


  1. Ace, Ace, I wondered how to paint sky and I tried, but it diddn't work out, Ace idea with the Sponge and watered down paint!!

    And also, I might be able to pass on advice from the maker of Blood tea and Red String if she returns my mail on the backdrops!


  2. Hi Bennie Bens, Please understand that there must be a million ways to make a sky for film art. I'm experimenting with this way to see if it does what I want.

    Some people I've noticed use polyester fiberfill tufts as 3D fluffy clouds. But I want the 1/2L. sky to behave more like I experience the real sky, as distant atmosphere in the background.

  3. Anonymous6:34 PM

    Hey Shelley, that's pretty cool!

    I remember making stopmotion backdrops like that, the curve really adds some depth to the set, especially if you have clouds. I used to spray-paint white onto light blue poster paper and tape one end to the floor of the set, behind the raised platform the characters stood on, and houses and such, and taped the other end to the arm of a spring-loaded desk lamp. It worked really well, but to get the arm of the lamp to stay propped up and pushed out over the set, I had to load it with two springs on each side of the arm instead of the standard two it comes with. This meant that I had to borrow the springs from another part of the arm. It went crashing down a few times because of that ;)

    Poster paper/thin poster board is a GREAT thing for making skies or seamless backgrounds for a Pib and Pog effect.

  4. ok--I had to Google Pib & Pog, but now I know!

    I've had a few "rigging" snafus myself, Pram. Ah, the joys of shoestring budgets!

  5. Anonymous7:51 AM

    This is in reply to another thing you wrote in the same post:

    Stump the shop,eh? Do you have...Calipers?

  6. Yay! Thanks for playing, Pram! Calipers--YES!! Yes, I have them due to career in graphics that predates the computer! Yay!!

    I gotta create a thing in the side bar where people can try to stump the shop and I can post pics, if I have the gear, in reply! Too fun!


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