Thursday, September 25, 2014

Skull Bounce Test

          For this scene I needed the skull to bounce away from the skeleton, shot from a straight-forward angle. The method I attempted utilized a crane-like rig that held the skull from behind:

While I have had rigs before, this was my first attempt at something so apparent in the shot. The crane was made out of wooden dowels, old k'nex pieces, and painted black to try and hide amongst the black mountains and fence in the shot. I would have just used a wire, but I wanted to be able to control the rotation of the skull. To make it a smoother process I went ahead and clipped off the head before the animating began, so for the first moment the skull is actually just resting on the body. The rig required a hefty amount of post production to get rid of. I'm no Michelangelo with after effects, but I think it turned out alright:



The majority of the work was taking bits of the sky & ground from other in-between-fence segments and transposing them over the parts with the rig that were showing frame by frame. That is part of the reason why there is a short pause in the beginning of the animation, so that I would have a tiny loop of static footage to use for masking it out that would still have a natural shifting grain to it. Add the color correction, bit of digital rain, and slight camera motion, and KAZAAM hopefully the finished shot for the final edit. 

Thanks for checking out the blog, and I hope this was interesting! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

In-Progress Stills

      A couple of new stills from the animation I've been working on. Officially started animating today, the lighting is working out really well, as I am still learning how to set up a believable - yet interesting - night scene. The backdrop is working better than I thought, I think this will be something to further explore. I'm all for practical effects, where applicable. 

     Next up is the skeleton popping out of the ground, I'm going to have to gather all my animation chops for this one as I haven't yet used model with so many joints. On a side-note my computer is holding together ok for this process. I am still having to delete a lot of things to make room for this, but I think it's definitely worth it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pre-animation Graveyard

Some quick shots of the majority of the pieces I'll be bringing into the studio tomorrow to set up/possibly start animating. (try and ignore the awful lighting :P)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Skeleton Model

A figure I've been working on for a logo animation:

I tried a new process with this one. Instead of using oil-based clay that would stay soft while animating, I went ahead and sculpted it with clay I could bake to harden. After working it right onto a wire armature, I put the entire figure (wire and all) into the oven. I built it with this in mind, leaving space in between the joints where bare wire would allow for movement after baking. It worked out really well, as no harm was done to the wire frame, and now I won't have to deal with an oily mess of clay melting off of figure while under hot studio lights.

Here is a look at the figure unpainted and unbaked:

I'm really excited about this process, albeit nothing too crazy or new, it makes things a lot easier. It being a skeleton let me get away with more exposed joints, though I imagine if it were a more organic character, I could hide them with fabric or something. 

Cool! Neat!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

One on Twoism: Volume 6

       My good friend Paul Rabe and I submitted a full cd design around a couple of months ago to the Twoism music forum for the 6th compilation album coming sometime this summer. The album consists of all user-created music, not necessarily following a theme. However, knowing how like-minded everyone is, it isn't hard for them to create a really consistent body of work. They are a really talented group of people and I've been really thankful to be a part of it through all of my music-making, BOC-loving ventures.

Anyways, the selection was made between multiple designs, slowly narrowing down to a just a few. the process ended up taking a little while, but it was a pretty cool critical thinking/designing period. Last Wednesday they came to the consensus to use ours:

Now I'm going to say, Paul deserves as much (and more) credit for this one as I do, it wouldn't have been possible without his photo-wizardry. Here are a few more links where you can check out some more of his work:

Anyways, I remember sitting up in bed one night and thinking how great this imagery would fit with the forum's aesthetic. I promptly got ahold of Paul and started putting together the layouts and doing a bit of digital manipulation with his scans. I added a bit of paper texture to them, trying to achieve the feeling of an old scifi paperback book. We submitted, and you've already read the rest of the story.

All that's left to do now is get some more imagery over to the person/people working on the website for the album and to retype the back tracklist and credits with the actual people who have made it into the mix. Can't wait to hear/see it all put together!

The Teacher...

"The Teacher" by Perch

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chapter 1 finished

Hello all

My pet music project is finally starting to get new installments! This one in particular is pulling from some recordings I did around 2 years ago. Though the front aesthetic stays a bit cryptic, even has puzzles built in to recordings and page descriptions to hide secret messages, I'd like to be open about the recording processes.

Here is the main page with the album:

I've already posted the artwork, but I'll go a little into depth with what I was thinking on that. I wanted to emulate some of my favorite old book illustrations, ones that weren't necessarily realistic landscapes, but moreso just representations of different characters/places bound into one form. The gamekeeper is entering the woods on the left, the tree described in the opening piece divides the image, and the space I imagined for "Siskin" is seen through the gap on the left. I wanted the two openings to represent opposites (black on white, white on black) as to reference the title "Monster in Context".

The two main pieces, Whom and Monster in Context both derive from the same recording sessions I was doing 2 years past. After finishing Whom, I felt that the final product was very playful, and thought that it would be an interesting project to try and return to the source material and work on something darker using the same sounds. The tail end of Monster in Context returns to the more playful tones, sort of to round off the body of work.

Quite a few instruments/objects were used for these pieces. Percussion ranges from a handful of hangers, to ripping fabric, to overturned clothes baskets. The synthesizer noises were a handful of digital synths, along with an antique organ that produces a really great, flat sound. I recorded the funky guitar parts while I was at home in Virginia Beach, thinking that Whom needed something that would really characterize it, not just have it be some forgettable, lofty 2-chord track that it started out as.

The opening piece was an improvised recording of digital string/wind instruments passed through a four track tape recorder. In fact many of the sounds were passed through the same tape recorder to add some more natural sounding grain to everything.

A few samples were used, beginning with Mr. Minter's recording of "The Gamekeeper at Home". A few more were the violin sounds in Whom, the trumpet in Siskin, the bell sounds in Monster. I'll leave the rest to be discovered, I suppose.

I don't know if I could encompass everything that has gone into these pieces, some of them have changed drastically in the time they've been worked on, some are 2 or more pieces combined into one, but I can say that the learning process has been immense- and that all of the pieces, though combining to a relatively short playtime, have quite a story behind them.

Anyways, thank you for listening if you do! This is the first of many bodies of work I intend to produce, audience or no.