Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tiger Shark Ready to Swim

I finally pulled my thumbs out of my arse (a Swedish expression) and finished my contribution to Shelley Noble's "Halfland" project -the Tiger Shark. I just have to find out how she'd like the puppet supported during the animation. Right now it's attached to a bendable rod of braided aluminum wire, but that wire must in its turn be attached to some kind of foot or stand. I'll await instructions from Shelley.

The puppet in itself is a big experiment for me. It's made only out of silicone, with some cotton padding. It's also painted with tinted silicone. Only the teeth (latex rubber) and the claws (plastic) are not silicone. The puppet turned out way too toy-like for my taste, but that may suit the overall style of Shelley's project, so if she's happy I'm happy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Save Prince Plutonium!: Go green!

I was lamenting a couple of posts back about how badly my BLUE screen compositing experience turned out. While filming "Save Prince Plutonium!" this summer I used a GREEN screen instead and the results have been like night and day. I've been able to key my diminutive actors into new backgrounds without any heartache. Just take a look:

I hardly have to do any adjustments in the Keylight keying software to get everything the way I want it. Apart from this I've had tremendous difficulty actually getting the footage into my PC. I shot all of the live-action scenes using a HDV cam borrowed from a boarding school, where I help out teaching art on occasion. Problem was all of the footage was saved on a memory card and I needed the necessary software installed on my PC in order to have the camera "talk" to the computer. The CD with the software had been mislaid by the very slack drama teacher of the school and I've spend the past two months trying to figure out ways of saving my precious footage. This past weekend, with the help of a friend working with cameras and different softwares, I managed to transport the film clips from card to PC. I also found and bought a software that will transfer HD footage into standard DV footage, `cause I really don't need it in HD. In fact, I can't edit HD on my PC at present. But my plan had always been to utilise the higher resolution of HD even when transferred to DV, and this software allowed me to do that. So I'm happy again!

So now there'll be a few months of piecing together of footage, backgrounds, pyrotechnical effects, model work and stop-mo animation. I haven't started on building puppets yet, since I have a bunch of older stuff to finish first. But I'm already happy with how this is turning out. The kids did such a good job acting in the film, I'm really happy to know now that the chroma key effects and all the other stuff will turn out very well, and they'll have a film they'd be proud to show their friends.