Showing posts with label Time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Time. Show all posts

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Seasons: Time is a Place


Stowed all together backstage, an 11 Birch tree forest rests its seasons shoulder to shoulder. When the forest gets installed on the set next week, Spring frames the foreground with budding branches, Summer frames the main set edges to obscure the edges of the sky, Autumn near the back of the set, and finally Winter behind the atmosphere scrim in front of the blackest, coldest Night.

Tarn comes out of the Winter Night.

In Halfland, all the Seasons are happening at once, only separated by distance. In this land, time is a Frog and the past, present, and future are distant or near depending on where you are.
Summer branches added onto the previously made tube trees with masking tape, a LOT of masking tape. Some of the tubes had been left to plain and so I spent a lot of time giving them more texture with flexible cement. My beautiful talented angel Christine has been coming twice a week (!) and mixing colors, painting the shading on the entire forest and making the sky.
For the Winter trees I was out of previously made trunks so I took pvc pipe and bulked them out with paper and masking tape as the branches were added. I found that Nova Color's Course Lava Gel Medium made perfect snow on the tips of the mica sparkled branches. Brrrrr.
The Spring trees at the very foreground of the wide shot, are made from dead branches I picked up off the street. Bare twig branches were added (in the technique below) and the joins were textured with, again, flexible cement, my second favorite material to build with. A dry brushing of dark umber picked up the horizontal cement lines on the other trunks. A sprig of Spring emerges on the Spring trees with small paper leaves attached with masking tape. These joins will get covered and painted to blend as if grown.

The opening titles happen as the camera passes through the Spring tree curtain/proscenium. A budding leaf animation will reveal nearly normal words.
This is an excellent method of making branches grow on trunks that developed after several score had been done less successfully.

1. Take a small strip of brown paper and twist it into a skinny coil, attaching it with tape to the cut end of a twig branch with masking tape.

2. Fold up the excess paper twist to one side of the stem end bundle so that the branch grows at the desired angle. The bundle should be tight and firm.

3. Secure the bundle with a band of masking tape tightly at just the bottom edge.

4. Now saddle the top of the bundle with another length of masking tape from the top and press the ends to the trunk.

5. Blend with flexible cement and paint as shown in the previous image above this one, far left, and paint to finish.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Land Ho!

Type of digital way-background art to be made for Halfland's sets

The small daily act on making the physical set fell off about day 9 or so. I got tired and told myself I'd make it up the next day with a double portion. Then the next, and so on. I kept on full throttle, as I have been all these years, in terms of mental energy going towards the film, which is also important and fine, except it doesn't match the carnal labor of building in real life for getting things done.

What I've been doing is being in pain a lot, had to cancel everything last week in order to loll about and take pain meds, occasionally experiencing agonizing cramps and frozen shoulder joint pain. Grabbed Shari's kids King holiday for our annual Art Day here. Appointments, errands, housework before that. Graphic work looms in between everything with meetings, design hours, and presentations.

Concerning Halfland, I often feel like I've got creative spigot on 11 and the physical time tube it's supposed to fit through is only a size 2.

A few cool Halfland progress things to report in spite of the above, I found a book in a used book store called, "Landscapes without Memory" by Joan Fontcuberta (Aperture, 2005). In it he used grayscale images of his body, ear, lines of hand, etc. (ok, even penis), as the terrain input for the marvelous free photo-realistic scenery generator, Terragen™, created by Matt Fairclough. It's for Windows and the Mac OS, free for personal non-commercial use.

I'm currently asking around the web for information on how I might do this for the way-background creation for Halfland. I'll report back my progress on this. The landscapes in the book are interesting in that you wouldn't see them as body parts without knowing the origin, which interests me for Halfland. Not to be used straight and clear, obfuscated, blended with physical sets and digital atmospheres.

This, along with the Terragen concept has got my motors revving.
UPDATE: Even before I came across the book above by happenstance, Rich Van Der Male of g3t Films sent me this incredible image by Mae e Filho (?) (which when I Google and translate means something in Portuguese? Not sure of the artist's name). In any case it's a WOW of an image. I love how you see the landscape FIRST and then the brain/sight shifts to see the Asian woman and child half (HA!) submerged! A very talented and kind Terragen expert has already written me to say he's got instruction for this technique ready to send to me tomorrow! W00t!

There's a POND for the Time Frog!! I didn't know that before! Yes, the stream will pool as it curves around the cottage, down a spell from the kitchen. There's where the frog will have his lilly leaves and attempt to snag a Musca Tempora (Time Flies) !

Going to make the table in the living area a half table (need the room anyway) and there'll be vine-shaped wire candlelier lights, the lanterns might be moth-wing shaped. And I'll be having a lot of fun making the crab cakes for the hermit crab as fancy decorated lemon layer cakes!

Triplets of Belleville and a story of Today's Self-Selection CultureFrom the opening scene rendered in a great 1930 cartoon style
A few months ago a friend sent Paul and I the YouTube link to this clip from the Triplets of Belleville. We hadn't seen the 2003 movie as we don't generally dig 2D animations and let it slide by. We loved this clip and Netflixed the dvd, couldn't get over how wonderful the film was, a devoted labor of obvious love on the inspired maker, Sylvain Chomet's part. His is a distinctive animation style, grotesque and dark, yet somehow he managed to get a lot of pathos, wit, and epic quirkiness into this piece. The integration between 2D, 3D, hand drawn and digital were all used seamlessly in service to the art. We loved it so much we bought our own copy. YouTube>Netflix>Amazon. Interesting.

Fun UPDATE: I was watching these clips and reading further and came across a treasure trove of 1930's cartoons on YouTube, what a world! This one, Opening Night (1933)Nice squash and stretch like Justins! appears to be one of the influences for the opening scene in Bellevile, mas non?!
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