Monday, July 13, 2015

First Film Festival Submission!

I just submitted our humble little short film to Stop Trik, a Polish international film festival. It may or may not be accepted - but if we are it will be great to have it seen by Polish animation fans. Europe has a deep tradition of making stop motion films and it would be a real honor. If you would like to see more about the Stop Trik International Fest or submit your own short, click here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Zombie Pirate Tales Complete!

Zombie Pirate Tales is now complete! I managed to do the simple flying debris shot and floating hearts today. I will have a final video about the film in the coming week.

Last Puppet Shot Completed!!!

It's hard to believe, but I just inserted the final puppet shot that I animated today into the editing timeline. I need to set up the last two animated shots of the hearts and boards flying in the air. I may try to set up the final shots today to animate soon since I won't be doing sculptures for any of my clients for at least a few more days. It is both a good feeling and sad at the same time.

Only One Major Shot Left!

I'm in-between jobs for my clients which has given me a little time to work on Zombie Pirate Tales. Another shot was completed so now there is only one 2 1/2 second shot left to do, one wood explosion shot and floating-heart shot. Then I will need to go through each shot and tweak the look and audio.

Since my equipment evolved from a 5MP camera to a 12MP camera and an Animation Toolworks lunch box to Dragonframe - the look of the film has inconsistencies. Some shots seem almost smeared while others are very crisp. That's because the sensors in the cameras I used picked up different levels of pixels and the internal firmware caused the images to appear at slightly different color temperatures.In editing I hope to resolve some of those issues, but there's not really a lot I can do beyond that. The film simply won't be perfect - but I think the experience was well worth it.

For not having a big budget, some shots are on-par with what I hope I attained. The Will Vinton Claymation style that the talented artists like Tony Merrithew, Gary Bialke, Webster Colcord, Chuck Duke, John Ashlee, Mike McKinney and others taught me through teaching and inspiration. Hopefully the film will inspire the next generation of animators who never saw those older films to give clay animation a try.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Shimbus New Expression

A new expression for Shimbu for when the fat woman zomby swings down from above. Shimbu won't move and is just in the background. If I did animate him, I would only move him a little - or possibly have him blink. I don't want any distractions to take away from Ruble who is the main focus.

Friday, May 22, 2015

What Exactly is a Mizzen Rope?

Ruble isn't the brightest character in Zombie Pirate Tales. He learns everything the hard way...but that's what is so great about him. This is another completed shot that I managed to do tonight (actually 3AM this morning) in-between some sculpting jobs for other clients. The quality is probably very low here on Blogger since I didn't upload this on YouTube - and I didn't video it in HD either. You'll have to wait for the release to see it in the highest quality. If the video doesn't play for some of you here's a still frame from the shot.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Little Things Add Up

There are only three main shots left to create for Zombie Pirate Tales, but a lot still needs to be done to begin animation. Lately I've been doing more sculpting jobs for Gary Garabedian but in-between I try to get these little tasks done since they don't take a lot of time. Here's a photo of one such job:

While it seems simple, what you see here is a result of some trial and error. Ruble has to hold this mug firmly in his hand in order to animate it. Originally I twisted a wire around the handle and sculpted the clay hand over that wire. It ended up being flimsy when I tested it on the puppet by plugging it into his wrist-tube.

The other thing that happened was the handle broke off, so I had a twisted wire and clay mess. To make things more secure I drilled a tiny 1/16" hole in the center of the mug and epoxied (and crazy glued) it all in place.

Shimbu the monk was also repaired and I made some special eye balls for Rubles shots where he is shocked to see the beautiful mermaid. A rig was also repaired that I made about 10 years ago and the solder came loose. I'll attach our zombie puppet to it where he will appear behind Ruble. Much of this isn't really worth getting into as these things aren't super entertaining to hear about. But as the title says, it's the  "Little Things Add Up".