Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Leaf-Olympics: Day 5--Slow, Patient, Happy

Another big batch of small leaves were hand-painted and applied to the tree again today. To cheat the perspective, I concentrated the smaller leaves in the upper branches. The over all tree looks too uniform and is crying out for a larger variety of leaf sizes to look more natural. I will add them to the lower branches (as shown on the lower right hand sample branches) to slightly trick the eye into thinking the tree is more grand in height.

I did a quick count of what a batch size is and came up with approximately 300 leaves per, seen above lower right. Seems as though it should be faster to accomplish painting these, considering I am just roughing in the paint for cinematic effect.

It seems to take me about 8 hours to paint and apply each batch of 300 leaves. I use an olive green brush tip-marker to streak on a clumsy vein shadow on each leaf. I'm getting more familiar with how to make the leaves grow on the branches. Can leaves look jaunty? These are starting to look happy to me!

Things are starting to look up. Now we're getting somewhere! (Somebody say montage of the growing progress? I'm all over it.)

I can call adding the hand-painted leaves to Halfland's Answer Tree a bit of a "burning" passion these days. The only way I can position the clusters at the right growing angles is to pinch the blob of hot-glue with the stem held in position. Normally it is merely, au, warm but about a dozen times it was downright painful, with wincing. But hold on I did. (TOOL TIP: If one were buying tools to make a such a thing, I read about a cold heat glue-gun that might, if the glue works at a lower temp, save the feeling in fingertips. It's cordless too, a plus for getting into tight branch spots.)

I am so into adding these leaves, I can't get enough of doing it. There was that "Moment" again while working today where I felt as nature must feel when she makes a tree; slow, patient, happy.

Daisy Chaining

I came across these items bloggy jumping today. One is a brief article about a productivity secret from Jerry Seinfeld called a Motivation Chain, check it out! "...It works because it isn't the one-shot pushes that get us where we want to go, it is the consistent daily action that builds extraordinary outcomes. You may have heard "inch by inch anything's a cinch." Inch by inch does work if you can move an inch every day." (via Not Martha)

The other great item was in the comments at LifeHacker, a link to Loopdo a little Motivation Chain tool that a bright fellow named Ben, living in Beijing (!), made to support those that want to try the technique and get clear community support to boot!

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. --Annie Dillard


  1. Anonymous12:07 AM

    Coming along nicely - looks like only another 3000 to go! I wonder how may leaves on a real tree... probably you don't want to know!
    But - it is coming together with a real organic feel. You wouldn't want to construct a whole forest this way without huge a crew of helper elves, but it's paying off for the hero tree!
    I'll be looking out for the time-lapse of the leaves appearing in the DVD extras!

  2. hellio, Nick! Thank you so much!

    I've seen pictures of a life-sized grove of trees with over 200,000 hand-placed paper leaves on them! When I saw that....

    1. I felt completely sane.

    2. I saw that making one little ol' tree wasn't going to be pioneering anything.

    Ha! I am documenting the progress daily to throw them into a mini clip, just for kicks.

    Isn't it satisfying to watch hand-made projects move into being sped up?! It competes with the intended product itself for most enjoyable creation!

    PS: Would you like a bucket of the largest fabric leaves to use in one of your genius masterpieces? I gots-lots-lefted-overs!

  3. The tree is really looking cool thease days!. Wouldent it look Cool if you did a time-lapse of some leaves popping up on the Tree!


  4. Hi Ben, It tewtally wood! If the whole set and sky backdrop were finished, it wood be an incredible shot to use under the titling for the film. Just a static shot of a branch with its leaves emerging and growing. A super thought.

    Maybe I could repeat this process on one branch just for that purpose after principle photography is finished.

  5. ok, that was a hilarious typo on my part! PRINCIPAL Photography, not principle. Gawd, even my filming method is moralizing now!

  6. oh, shelley, it's looking so good!

    not long ago i read something similar to the motivation chain: if you're having trouble sticking to a schedule for something, change the schedule to do it -every- day.

  7. Oh, thanks, gretchin! I finally get the value of daily action. Wow! It's powerful! Of course, in my case, it had to be coupled with my finally taking the license to produce my art in the manner I see fit.


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