Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Ain't No Mountain High Enough and Basecoat!

Color virginity LOST!: I gave up trying to arrange the mise-en-scené-mess of how to size and place the distant mountains and was able to fill in the seams in the afternoon and slop apply an olive green basecoat to the main set before sleep last night. Getting rid of the chaos of the surface is satisfying.

Painting the boulders with Ralph Laren's river stone flecked paint was a real thrill. I had bought a pint on sale years ago for this purpose. They will need a lot more detailing and shadow to show as stone on film but in person they look like real granite stone. This morning as I was dropping Paul at his workplace I noticed about 200 cans of dirty rusty old paint cans were sitting by the dumpsters there. Turns out they had just cleared out their paint shed and it was trash to them! Scored several gallons of great quality low VOC/fume free paint (yay) for sky, ground, and clouds. That's some fancy good timing right there.

The shot of (and on) the bottom right is a rough mock of where the distant mountains are so far. I need to position them far enough away to look distant but not so far that there's a gap between them and the edge of the main set. This puzzle is giving me fits so far. I'll keep working on it.

Here's little mock up clip of the opening shot sequence. I've been making dozens of these, to get the idea of how much background needs sky and mountains to flesh out the shot.

Christmas in August: Today Ceri Watling's wonderful package from the UK arrived! And I was absolutely delighted when I opened up the box and found the truly beautiful, witty, and well done school Alphabafish inside! Ceri, they are so incredible! And the hand-crocheted Woolly Glove Fish is equally a WOW! You are so great at making these woolly beasties! I was so excited I made little clips with each of them. THANK YOU! I adore having these works of art in the ensemble of wonderful undersea things!

Ceri Watling made a totally rad bonus fish for Halfland, a school of them. So pretty, especially in person, each hand-painted and embellished with gold eyes and transparent seed beads, all perfectly animatable. I left her epoxy/wire armature and flying rig in this quickie play so you could see how well it works! (catch the word in the middle?!) Well done, Clever Ceri! I love love love these!

(*shot these for heck of it on my new $150 Nikon L15 silverbox with spiffy 2,000 frame stop motion onion skinning feature right in it. I had autofocus on but that can be switched off. Not a bad way for folks to make their first movies. The first hit's free, people.)


  1. Glad you like them Shelley, they were lots of fun to make. Hope they get on well with the rest of the Halfland sea-creatures!

  2. Love them! Thank you again!

  3. Anonymous6:43 PM

    the set is really cool! also, the video really shows the! go shelley go!

  4. Video clips are sooo COOL!!


  5. Thanks, Grant! I love a good gogogogogogo! Much appreciated.

    Hi Justiggity!

  6. Cutecute fish!

    (Oy... Glad I'm not the one PhotoShopping out all those rigging wires, tho! The folks on Peter & the Wolf had it easy by comparison. 8-. )

  7. Hi Sven! I'll likely mitigate the school of fishes rig by hiding it with green screen cloth or perhaps painting it with green screen paint. With the blue hue, distortion, and bubbles, etc. the little imperfect shadows won't matter for this.

    The underwater scene will be unique in that it will show many little vignettes of all the differing puppet styles and gags, all as background to the action.

  8. I really like the camera move you are planning for the opening/establishing shot!

  9. (^ actually: instead of wire removal on the fish? I'd be tempted to make KELP and SEAWEED tendrils to mask and obfuscate!

    (^ sometimes more IS..more
    (^..and less work to bootup.

  10. (^.. and note: just because you got silent lurkers doesn't mean you're not being watched, shelly.
    (^ some of us are actually TRYing to be quiet and let you get on with it!

  11. Thanks, Paul (v42)! That's very encouraging, truly.

    Wow, Edwound, both comments make me thankful. I love the idea of hiding the wires in this case and will indeed try it. And thinking that people are watching eggs me on! I know, I know--I should use crushed eggshells!

    My thanks to both of you.


    (^ play that in the background while patching things together.

  13. (^ everything is connected.

  14. Great theme song choice, Bryend. "If an earthquake happens here, Japan will watch reruns the rest of the year." HA! So true.

    Everything is connected, now.

  15. Anonymous11:39 PM

    The first hit's always free. That's how they get you HOOKED.


  16. I'm cool with that, as long as I have a steady supply!


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