Friday, April 18, 2008

News Splash!

Untitled from herself on Vimeo.

I'm testing out an idea for animating the flowing water. I'm testing the idea with layers of blue cellophane affixed to the set and made to cascade by running a hand along the course. Very simple yet effective I think.

I've been thinking about the water in the stream in Halfland. Many options. My choice was based on ease of animation, my solution requires a simple caress of the layers of cellophane between each click, and the lack of mess, I didn't want to lug in jugs of smelly hair gel to stock the stream bed--not with three Halfland exploring cats.

I also like this solution's hand-crafted look, just a little sparkle of light and sheer color to suggest moving water.


  1. Great to see some animation in Halfland!!!

    That looks pretty good.... gives a definite feel of motion! It would work even better if you actually pulled the plastic wrap forward each frame too. But of course then you'd need miles of the stuff!

    Maybe you could sort of pull on the clingwrap so the wrinkles are elongated in the direction of flow? Know what I mean? "Currently" (nyuk nyuk!) it looks like water in a pond, with waves moving in all directions rather than in one unified flow.

  2. Thanks, the Strider who is Dark, yes, my trail quicker test, before I bought blue cello, was very flow-y with the technique to describe!

    I will indeed be developing the knack for flow illusion by the time I shoot.

    I animated these scant frame with me silver box and iMovie. Tested out my swell $10 USB mic too since I had to control the frame rate in iMovie vs. QT.

    If I want a moving flow surface I suppose I could try plastic wrap on a restaurant-sized jumbo roll! Hmm.

    And you know, the water is only in shots slightly and flowing stream sounds should boost the gag enough!

    More tests! Cheers!

  3. Love it, the water has great dialogue too! Water is always the stop-motion animator's nightmare. But when you find what's right for your scene, it's magic. I used thick amounts of Christmas tree tinsel for water shots once and it looked super cool and moved so beautifully.

  4. Tinsel, eh? that's a great i-dee, Ryan! Yeah, I'm happy with Halfland water's style.

    Last night I tried pulling the cello as Mike suggested and Paul said it fooled his eye from where he stood.

    This morning I thought of running the cello through two holes in the set! One up one down! Yay!

  5. LOVE love love this effect when its done within the right context - and Halfland is certainly the place for it!!

  6. GREAT test!

    I really like this whole concept.


  7. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Like Mike said -
    I'd try cling wrap, right off the roll, and actually pulling it along onto another roll under the set. Some smooth bumps underneath would give some shape to it... you know, how a river tends to form the same ripples in certain places even though it's not the same water....
    You can get huge catering rolls of cling wrap.
    Possibly a bluish stream bed would mean the actual stuff doesn't need to be coloured... but I'm speculating, haven't actually tried this.
    Still image of water looks great!
    Check out the water effects in Blood Tea and Red String, very relevant, and there is some "making of" info on the DVD.

    Great hen bird, only I can't help wanting to animate it! Just substitute armature wire for steel wire, add tiedowns...

  8. Hey, Tennessee! Thanks for that feedback AND if there's some water effects done this way that you could point out--I'd love to see it! Haven't ever seen this technique used.

    Thanks, Justin!

    Hiya! Mr. Nick! That night I tried the cling wrap pull method, looked like rushing water. Great idea on painting the stream bed blue, that will add an add'l depth to the color.

    last night I painted clear cellophane with watery blues and used that as the top layer of a "current" pull, like Mike suggested. It definitely looked like water moving forward rather than the pond effect I got earlier.

    I actually think something in between is best for this cases, rushing in places and babbling in others. OH-- and this morning I realized the coolest thing!

    I realized that the Kyra (mermaid) puppet can be seen THROUGH the top layer of painted cello as she swims/rides the current toward Rana's cottage!

    This is an epically cool thought.

    Stand by for more tests!

  9. More to Nick: I believe BTRS used hair gel as water. Very nicely, it's a great effect. I recall Miss Christine said she bought jugs of it a the 99¢ store and that it smelled the whole place up like peach. bleckkk, not for me, with cats no less.

    I would dearly LOVE to see what you would do with that hen! Gah! Maybe I could mail it to you (or Mikee) as a "side trip" before it goes on to me mum!

  10. I was going to suggest the flow thing, maybe using two rolls and setting up a makeshift treadmill-type conveyor belt to move the plastic wrap....but you've covered that already I see...

    Animating Kyra under the water's surface will be beautiful I'm sure, and very cool to do....I've got a couple of shots of Jenny planned that way, but I'll be going the messy route I think :)

  11. HI Ubbie, great idea putting the water on a treadmill! I will likely do that for a part that will show flow in close up.

    I think for the rest of the stream shots I'll likely just sparkle it by running my hand along the length.

    Love how your set is coming along!


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