Saturday, June 07, 2014

Scenes From A Bug Party

Clean Up Crew

Poor little buggy is the lone staff at the bug party. He alone will have to clean up after everyone else's good time. Something so sad and forlorn about this little fellow.
One of the quickie Beady Bugs looked so meek and humble, he kind of dictated that he should be the only one working while everyone else was having a party. I had a blast painting his little beetle back with stripes and ugly nub bumps. I gave him a sliced wood tray stacked high with dirty dishes and have him using all his arms to wipe up messes. One of the cups is rigged to swing from his antennae.


It all started with this post on Cute Overload (a source of MANY real life ideas stolen to use in Halfland). The clip shows a Rhodinia fugax caterpillar being gently touched on the tush and the squeaks it makes in defense.

The Halfland version wears a party hat and has a tooting party favor in its mouth. His bottom is getting pressed by a delicate long-limbed four-legged colorful spider hiding under a rock crevice.

Every time tootles gets tickled he lets out a party horn blast. (preview the sound here). I knew the pinch-er had to be lightweight enough so that the gag wouldn't cause any concern of harm for the viewers. A stronger bug pinching him might make people feel as though the caterpillar was being eaten or injured. It's still creepy, I think because the spider's legs are so long, even with just four legs instead of eight. But I tried to make it less threatening using cheerful stripes and bright colors.
Using seed pods, beads and aluminium alloy wire, the most non-threatening spider I could make. She even has a wee flower behind her ear.  She's finished with custom-mixed flocking powders for a soft velvety texture.

The pillar's tush squeeze is made animate-able with a blob of Fun Tack under his green rubber glove skin. It can depress and return over and over without drying out. His party horn ticklers are wired to coil and unfurl with each toot.

Beady Bugs

One of the fast-to-make bead bugs turned itself into an ant so I went with it. Now it's eating cake at the party.
I forget how it started, but I remember I realized I needed to make lot of bugs... oh yeah! it was the idea of making footlight fireflies for the bug party stage that got me going. I knew I wanted five identical little critters, with light up bums, and I didn't want to labor over them. Fast and easy was the notion. BEADS! bingo. I didn't drill them, although that could be done, with a fine hand drill if more care/time were wanted.

I used 32 gauge steel wire from Kit Kraft (my favorite wire), using the holes already there, kept layering and assembling shapes, seeing what might happen. It was so fun. All different bugs came into being really quickly. None of them were useful for the footlights but they ALL got used as guests at the party (see upcoming party scene photos to see if you want to try to spot where).

The point of this post is to tell you that this bead method worked so well it gave me the pathway to make all the creatures listed on the project trays seen at lower right! Hooray for beads!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Band Stand

The full Bug Party set and puppets are ALL DONE! and fully dressed on the fully completed cottage foreground set. It looks pretty spectacular, even to me. It's ready to shoot. More photos of scenes going up on here next. W00t!

 Bug Band fully installed on their sliced wooden stage, including five new light-up bug footlights; four skinny, one fat-bummed as I only had four matching beads. Comedy will ensue as he tries to fit in to the halved-nut lampbox.

Woven Water

Carefully painted with various brands and types of metallic blue. The stretch in the fabric allowed me the satisfaction of following the edges of the pond set very securely. You'll see why that's rather important below. Note too my small tribute to Dali. Upper right shows what lights look like underneath when dark above.

I couldn't get the previous plastic pond water to look unlike plastic. Which bothered me so I took the time (heh) to remake the pond surface water out of a hand-dyed woven wool knit fabric scrap instead. All new.

Here it is all finished with the pupp re-installed, along with Time's new winder at his side, painted to look like the brass of the other clockworks, and one of his stunt tongues. Both additions will animate.

The water around the frog was gathered and glued around his shape as this area will be seen for only a frame or two and blurred at that. I prefer the fabric texture for 1/2L. and hope to somehow make the movement effect work well enough. Blurry and grainy is better for most of the film. "Make the details, then obscure the details" is my formula for storybook fantasy realism.
PS: [sigh] The youngest kitten here does NOT understand how to be careful with 1/2L like the older others seem to. This one is naughty and knows perfectly well that she was not allowed on the new pond water in case she'd damage it. Fortunately it proved it could withstand her special brand of attitude.
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