Saturday, April 26, 2008

Depth Charge

I'm getting a kick out of how successful the sense of depth is from placing (a test latex skin of) the Kyra Mermaid pupp under the layers of water blue-painted cellophane stream.

This is going to work. I'll be adding a maché lip to the entire stream now (perfect timing!) that will serve to keep the cello layers in the bed as they're pulled (as Mike suggested) and shaped. I'll run swaths of translucent blue paint along the cello water lengths on the reverse so that the topside remains reflective/shiny. I'll paint the stream bed (as Mr. Nick suggested) sand color to contrast with what will be the chocolate brown skin of the puppet. Animating this way should be enough to suggest the character is traveling the creek. Very excited.

Title Concept:
Sampling of folk art cutouts stolen (um, found via) great beauty collector blogs like Ulla's and Meggie's.
Teased a while back, these are examples of a paper cut folk art called, Rimbamelles. I plan to make simple silhouette shapes of the characters in Halfland arranged on a tree shape, folded in half. My lovely actress, Jessica, will be seen cutting out the shapes on folded paper and opening each character as an intro to their vignette in the film. And the opened, finished Rimbamelle will serve as art for the closing credits.


  1. Eee! Those snails are so cute! And the water looks super fabulous. So pretty. You're coming along so well!

    In another few weeks it will be very pretty here in Pittsburgh - good filming weather. Thought I'd let you know. :) It's already quite pretty, actually, but I want to make sure the foliage is enough to overcome the layer of fall leaves that still covers the ground in the park.

  2. How cute are those cut-outs!, I love the one with the Bears

  3. Wow! That water scene looks amazing Shel! I love the orange/blue contrast, as well as the contrast of the dark shaded areas to the bright lit areas are so beautiful! This is gonna be great!!!
    P.S. I'm sculpting away on your fish:) gonna finish it after I get back from NY.

  4. Nick H7:10 PM

    Water effects seem to be going swimmingly!
    Great idea, the lip to hide the edges of the cellophane/wrap as it slides along - I was trying to figure out how to keep it conforming to the irregular banks of the stream without buching up or leaving gaps, and hadn't worked it out yet. Yes! perfectly simple!
    I feel a great urge to hijack your solution and try it myself, with this piece of the puzzle in place.

    Still one difficult thing - reaching the puppet under the cellophane, to animate the undulating mermaid tail as she swims.

  5. looks GREAT Herself!!

    I can imagine the shot completely!


  6. @Jessica! Way cool! Can't wait to begin filming your scenes! Not only do I get the perfect actress in you but she comes with the perfect magical setting! (and her own camera man!) Yeehaw.

    @Ben Thanks, Benjamin!

    @Ryan! Thanks for digging it, Ryan. WHAT!? you are making Halfland a fish!!? No way! FANTASTIC!!!

    @Mr. Nick Holy smokes, I'd LOVE to see you do this effect--so I could know what to do! The shore lip construction has begun--and it works--but It does look like viewing the water through a trough in the ground rather than gravity keeping the water in the bed more naturally. HOWEVER-- for the brief amount of time that the stream will be shown, I think the effect is sufficiently great.

    Another option would be to use sheer fabric, with stitched rivulets, attached to the stream bed walls through tracks cut into the set. Hmm, m'bee.

    About the animating--NOT A PROBLEM. It's only a few frames of cut away to the puppet swimming underneath the water and for those I can pull her from under the set via an attached stick or drag her along via a transparent cord. Maybe lifting the top layer to undulate her tail, crinkle the cello back down after each click, since all cello motion looks like water motion! HA!

  7. Shelley, looks great! I particularly like the paper cut outs. Very Halflandish.

    My only question would be how you're going to animate the puppet under the cello?

  8. Oh... Ignore that. I just read the other comments *shame faced* my bad.

    I can't wait to see some footage on this project. It's just so exciting!


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