Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Larger Than Life: The Macro Garden Set Begins

A quickie mock up of the Macro Garden underway. The large snail puppet will make his way through a grassy trail dotted with over-sized dandelions (the one above is the size of a plum) and other flowers. See some of them below...
On the left, Carol helped me decide on the initial placement of the tall grasses for the large ambling snail puppet to stroll home through one rainy evening in the film. We found that if we positioned the tall foliage behind the cottage it couldn't be seen in the long shot of the cottage front on the other side. Carol does a great deal of gardening in real life and so she is a natural at taking whatever greenery I give her and making it look just right and completely natural. She's into it and comes every Friday that she's able.

Carol has begun the Macro Garden Set-on-Set on the far side of the cottage. First she coated the area with matte medium dusted with mulch and then when dried, vacuumed up the extra. Then she took pieces of scrap wood and started attaching large blades of faux grasses I had been collecting with hot glue and long staples.

A bonus accident was that by making these greenery tufts on moveable/tie-down-able pieces of wood I can take them away when the extreme scale of the giant grasses isn't right/or would show for a scene. A very flexible effect!

Carol also made these breathtaking Peony for the Macro Garden. She took palest pink doublette crepe paper (from THE source for crepe, Castle in the Air, owned by reader the marvelous Karima!) She cut all the peony petal shapes and shaped and formed each by hand. While she was gone I used the sun to gently fade the color even further. This gave delicate variation of shade to each petal so that when Carol put the blooms together, the effect was pretty life-like. I used Google to get reference images to copy the flocked floral center (center bottom).
I tried some too for no reason but my crepe paper colors were not as fugitive as the pale pink's and so the sun didn't change the colors at all. So I whipped out some bright fuschia silk dye powder and sprinkled a bit onto alcohol dampened petals for a variegated look. may or may not use them. I made larger flowers to get more familiar with the material and so might come at it again for the garden later on.
Meanwhile, I made a few in stark white as I thought a good way to transition from the macro garden scene might be to have the landscape turn to white (just by panning the camera across from full color world to an all white area) as we fade into Rose Red's (Jessica's) white paper puppet version of Halfland at the very end.....


  1. Gorgeous!
    Oh, and I love the idea of Halfland fading into a white (and ephemeral looking) world. It's very similar to the effect I want to achieve when the Underworld become a silhouette world the deeper the character steps into it. I'm quite curious how it will look eventually!

    How many square feet of sets are covering your space so far? I sometimes think that I need more space as well, but on the other hand limited ressources often are an enormous source of inspiration…

  2. Thanks, Jessica. I think I'll have to make the white flowers larger... Hmm.

    I'm building these set-on-set. There is just the one giant main set you've seen with several mini sets built right onto it; the pond (finshed but for 1 small thing), the mushroom cafe (finished), the macro garden (just started), mouse house exterior (finished).

    There are only two other sets in the series; the desert (which ROLLS UP!!!! and slides away all together) and the undersea (which is much smaller that the main set and fits in an unused corner.

  3. my eyes soaked in every image on the page - it's all looking fabulous! I shall be back to soak up all the words! x

  4. SO sweet of you to say, Ms. DJ!


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