26 July 2012

Corpse Bride Photo Shoot

If you are like me you are a massive Stop Motion nut, so I fort it would be a good idea to share with you guys some Photos I took of my collection of these beautifully made Jun Planning dolls from Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Based on the stunning Puppets made by Mackinnon and Saunders used in this visually inspirational Stop Motion film.

Made to the size of the real puppets, I know that these dolls are the closest thing I will ever get to animating and owning the puppets from this film. I have been privileged enough to hold and pose some of the puppets used in the Corpse Bride, and I have to say its uncanny just how much the Victor Doll feels like holding the Victor puppet.

I hope you enjoy looking at the photos and as always your comments and feedback are very welcome.


19 July 2012

Viv & Mandy are now 2 time Award Winners

Way back in in May I found out that Viv & Mandy in the Big Clean up Part 1 is now a 2 time Award winning animation. It won in the categories of, The Best Stop Motion and over all second Place of the Staffordshire University Animation Bites society festival. Sadly I could not make the festival as I was on my way back from my first day working at CITV, but I did make the after show drinks, where I then got handed the awards. I would like to say a massive thank you to all who voted for my Film it means a lot to me and makes all the hours spent animating and editing worth it!

Here are Viv & Mandy posing with their Awards.
 “oooooo isn’t it lovely”

18 July 2012

Surge (War of the worlds)

The last project I have been helping out on for my assistant animator brief is a stop motion trailer for ‘The War of the Worlds’ by Zeke Ares, but due to copyright it was changed to the new title of ‘Surge’. I have been very excited about this project for a long time. Zeke told me he wanted me to be working on this way back in 2011 as I am a big fan of War of the Worlds and I jumped on the chance to work on it. I was made the lead animator right away, so I knew I would not be doing much on this project until we came to animating, but as things were being built I could not keep way and helped.
As soon as Zeke had the first small tripod (core pod) puppet test made he handed it over to me so I could do a walking test and show how a stop motion tripod would move. I spent the rest of that day animating the test, taking my time so I could get the motion right. The end result was that the core pod did move very slowly but I was happy to get the motion of three legs right. And for the final animation we would speed up the moment of the legs.
Happy with the test, I wanted to do more tests as we had this idea of making the core pods jump and land on people. To make this jump test look more like a shot from the film I took Zeke's old War of the Worlds inspired diorama he made back in 2011. I spent two days animating this test as I had to work around the limitations of the set, mostly waiting for the glue and paint to dry. The puppet also had to be screwed to the sets and attached to a jumping rigged which was painted out in the editing.

When I showed Zeke the test he was over the moon with the test shots he turned round and told me he wanted to make me the Co-Director of the project. This would give me more of a creative input as to how some shots would look, as well as sharing story ideas, and to help out when doing the after FX and editing. I jumped at this chance and was so pleased that he had let me be such big part of his final film. 
I won’t go into too many details on how the shoot went as the film will not be released online until 2013, and there will be a more detailed post on the animating and editing side of the production then. But what I will tell you is that Zeke and I did the entire Stop motion shoot and we had a brilliant 2D and after FX team. There was also so one big shot that we shot using 3 cameras from 3 different angels all at the same time.

For more info Check out Zeke’s production blog here 

If you can’t Waite until 2013 here are the two test animations I did to give you guys a tees of what to expect. And as always your comments and feedback are welcome.

9 July 2012

Assistant Animator

Back in January as part of my assistant animator brief for university I was allocated 25 hours to help out and assist on the 3rd year’s final films of my choice.

The Monster Picnic:

The first of thestop motion films I have been helping out on is called ‘The Monster Picnic’ by Lynda Barnes. After talking to Lynda about what she wanted me to help out on, we decided that my job on this production will be to sculpt the full size maquettes of the two main characters. The maquettes will not be used in the final film but will be used when building the sets and props so she has a scale to work to and from. These 2 sculpts are made in plastecine with a wire frame, using Lynda’s final designs as a reference for me to work from. These sculpts took roughly 4 days to make, and Lynda was very happy with them.
I very much enjoyed working on these maquettes, and really liked how the little guys turned out. Click below to watch the final film directed and animated by Lynda Barnes.

The Obsession:

The second 3rd year film I have been helping out on is called ‘The Obsession’ by Kyle Bennett. I had been talking to Kyle the year before about his project and we decided that my job on this film would be to help out with the puppet making. Starting off with the armatures for the two main characters. I told him that he would be better off investing in ball and socket armatures, instead of using wire, as theses puppets would be under a lot of wear and tear. 
Once the ball and socket armatures arrived and we measured out, cut and glued the metal pieces for the two armatures. With the pieces cut and the joints made, the armatures were very sturdy and now ready to apply the foam to.
I showed Kyle the simplest way to apply the foam to the armatures, by drawing out the outline of the puppet on to a sheet of foam, cutting it out, covering the armature in spray glue then applying the foam to the armature, holding still till the glue had dried. With the armature now covered we had to cut away the excess foam to get the required body shape. Myself and Kyle repeated this process for both characters. I found myself focusing on more on cutting the female's body shape out of the foam.
Due to other commitments and uni work going on at the same time that was all I had the time to help out with on this project. Click below to view the final film directed and animated by Kyle Bennett.