Saturday, August 22, 2009


I have been smitten with learning how to make Anaglyphs, stereo 3D images viewable with red/cyan glasses. I stumbled onto a Flickr pool for Anaglyphs and was taken by images by afficiandos including this one that is my current FAVORITE OF ALL TIME IMAGE. If you have a pair of Red/Cyan's get'em out and go see>>>It's a deep, magical image of a forest that when viewed with Red/Cyan 3D glasses becomes so dimensional I feel as though I could touch the trees and walk onto the misty path.

I've been rabidly researching the principles and various methods of anaglyph creation and was thrilled to discover it's incredibly easy to at least get some sort of 3D effect. Simple to learn, bit longer to get really good at it, no doubt.

When I found this super simple video tutorial for one Photoshop method by Open Tutorial's Photoshop Anaglyph Demo I couldn't run to try it out fast enough.

Who better to test techniques with than the Halfland character sculpt for goat woman, Rana... a RANAglyph, if you will. I attached my camera to the SmooMoo dolly and moved it about 2.5" between the pair of shots, angling the lens towards the puppet for each. I used Open Tutorial's technique and then added some PS sketch filters to see if a modified image would still hold the effect. (This hints at some cunning plans I have.)

This RANAglyph used Frans ('s Pop Out (3D) technique, also for Photoshop, yet entirely different.

There are several free software applications available for PC and Mac that are specifically made for creating Anaglyphs. There are good insights into the logic of how Anaglyphs are made in this translated French tutorials with gif animations. There are even methods of making them that don't require taking two images.

Taking all of that into account and studying this little hand-drawn Anaglyph Key, that Frans also made, makes it easy to get how to make different parts of images recede or come out from the screen by adjusting the red and cyan channels to the right or left of the original image/art.
I'm not sure how this effect might figure into Halfland, but it's definitely a stimulating new toy to have...

Today's Art Bonus: Wooden Lace Necklace
(click through for more details)
"Wooden Lace" Necklace

Thursday, August 13, 2009

UNDERWATER CRITTER: John Sumner's Seaturtle

John Sumner's Seaturtle, originally uploaded by Nobledesign.

A new citizen of Halfland's undersea scene, John Sumner of Machine in Use Studios surprised me today with the arrival of this marvelous SEATurtle! It's a fully animatable brilliant stop motion puppet where the turtle's shell is actually a wonderful chair! A+++ for Half-pun and for pro puppet making! The sketch he included itself is a work of art! (The back had a sketch from John's artist-in-progress, his young daughter Gunner!)

Thank you, John!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Lotte to Talk About

Snaps of our tv during the documentary on Lotte's life and career on left, on right her divine hands at work she loved.

There's already been a lotte written about early animation pioneer, Lotte Reininger. I had heard about her a few years ago online, put her feature length milestone film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, in our Netflix queue in a low priority. It arrived when I wasn't paying attention and I'm so happy it did.

I finally saw it, fell in love with it and the story of Lotte's career described in the fascinating documentary included on the disk A bargain when I think that the original 1925 nitrate film no longer exists except for what has been salvaged to dvd.

I found the film inspiring in many ways for the Halfland project. Lotte's technique is artistically integrated, the paper puppets with their wire hinges, are themselves works of art. She was pure in her art. She did what was natural for her and as such, invented a new art form and/or advanced the craft hugely in a time of difficulty and restriction, regardless of gender or other imposed limitations. Her life was spent this way, making the art she loved most. That creative joy comes through each of Lotte's projects I've seen, making them timelessly beguiling.

Insight into Lotte's animation techniques.

It seems to me that Lotte was able to extract the essence of her puppet characters from only very barest of their representation. She seems to have been able to enact the truth of life in her art. And she knew what she was doing all along...

"What can be less of a person's image than his silhouette.
And how much can this express. Less gold, but the purest."

--Lotte Reininger

One In Hand

Production on "Frankie" the girl Bird in Hat, is underway (top photos). She has her undercoat of down feathers and long wing and tail feathers added. I got wild and cut the nap off of a fancy faux fur scrap I had, using it in the same fashion as I had the more powder-like Fun Flock fibers. I thought the scale of the fur looked more feathery than feathers could.

Then while doctoring up the ruff around the boy Bird's collar, I went berserk and added snips of real wool roving on top of his darker faux fur neck/breast piece (bottom photos). I LOVE the way it looks like feathers in Halfland with it's much more authentic texture and matte appearance. Now when he turns his little head side to side the chest feathers move with the gesture as if they were layers of feathers. I can chalk the contours of his body to add even more detail.

I'm thrilled with the method/technique of bird making now and I'm so happy to have worked all this out before making the larger, main character puppet for Tarn the Crow woman. It's a combination of real feathers covered with trimmed faux fur, topped with finely chopped up wool, sifted onto the surface through a tea strainer (lower left).

And since I'm a fiber nut with every color of wool roving already on hand, I can make Birds in Hats in any shade I'd like. The boy will be in powder blues with green accents, Frankie in warm burgundy and rusts, close to their initial sketch.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Get Down

A constant stream of reference images for Halfland come into my view each day, many from traveling the internet. These get titled, tossed into a folder, printed out every few months, cut out, and sorted by category. When the stack of images gets unwieldy, I begrudgingly carve out the time to paste them down onto large blank boards to post them on my reference wall (tour of the wall below).

My friend Martha Ringer was looking through the original watercolors she had made here while producing her first book and asked if she come come down from Ojai for another art session. She sweetly offered to give an hour of work for Halfland for every hour she'd spend making her own art here. Her art session was a big success as she got the visual concept for her second book that she was hoping she might. Martha threw herself with relish into the task I gave her of pasting the current crop of images down. Thank you so much for the help again, Martha!

I was able to get all that and then some printed out and added in the days after Martha left. And in case anyone is interested in looking at it all the excitement in further detail, a 3 minute tour begins, after this public service announcement...
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