Sunday, December 31, 2006

Low Angle, Inside the Woods

I'm rocking a new shot. Two of these - one near the entrance of the woods, and another farther along. This here is a quick mock-up.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I thought it'd be fun to take stock of all the forest elements i've made so far - there's quite a whack of them. They all represent mostly multi-layer full-sized drawings.

I've got enough of a 'tree vault' now that I can reuse them in various combinations to fill space, without the repetition being evident.

I've been working on filling in the blanks on this composite as well - here's the composite, and all the separate layers. Lotsa crap.


I'm in the process of finishing off my two big composites - filling in the little details. Just finished adding the 'far-away' elements of my 'sideways-woods' composite.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

As people who know us may know, we were previously working on huge project entitled 'The Hell Painting', a 14 minute + stop-motion film. It was put on hiatus due to the immense size of the project - too much work, three years of projected set-building required alone.

However, it has occured to me recently that we might do this project, after finishing the current, but in the same style as 'The Third Night'. I.e., we would scrap the expensive and very time-consuming stop-motion approach, and do it all 2D After Effects style.

The above pictures are some photoshopped storyboard panels from 'The Hell Painting'.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I finally got the composite to the stage that it would be advisable to set the hue/saturation and brightness/contrast of all the various layers. It's nice to finally see a little depth in the image - before setting the levels, it was a cacophany of colour and detail.
Did some flower-bushy-thingys. Got tired of just trees and blackberry bushes.
More bush. Whoop-de-doo.
Here's a few happy trees - they're three little friends.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Well, that's all the work for today. I just finished importing a flattened image of my other composite into my current one, for continuity reference, colour matching, etc.

In the top image, the far trees were drawn specifically as far-away trees, with the requisite simplification and distortion. Im the bottom image, i've just shrunken full-size tree drawings. We'll see if it creates a continuity problem or not.
I'm working on the main .psd file for this shot now - finally get to see it come together after days of tedious tree making. I've only scaled and placed the trees - I still have to desaturate them and lower the contrast to impart the illusion of distance.

I'm going to wait until I get most of the trees and the sky in place to do that. From this point of view, the light is coming directly towards the viewer - i.e. the trees are going to need to look different from the previous composite, which had lighting from the side.
I drew a whack of new trees today; here's the first two to roll out of the shop. Near the eand of my road through the woods, the trees are going to turn to pines.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More trees, hooray.
A quick composite to see how the shot is coming along.


Well, i've got another three days off in a row, so it's back to the tree farm for me. It's not too tedious all considered - its fun to watch a tree go from a quick pencil sketch to an ink and brush drawing, to a photoshopped image with texture and shading. I've already drawn seven trees today, and I hope to have them all photoshopped before I leave.

The two above trees were fun to do - they are complete inventions. Some of my trees are half-traced from my reference photos.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I've decided to hold off on that other 'looking down' shot, as I have't finalized how I want the big wide field to look. Instead i'm going to work on the 'track forward with man through woods shots'. Here's a reference mockup I made using elements from the other shot.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm starting a new composite that will fill the background for likely 2 shots - a shot of the man's legs, looking straight down. I did some tests and calculations, and i've determined that I have to fill this much space with crap. Oh boy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Here's my big panorama, with the back elements doubled up to fill the space (they don't need to be wide because they won't move much in the final shots). There is alot of crap in this composite - it's just a matter of filling the foreground blanks now - I don't need any more damn layers.

I made the most distant layer, the trees on the skyline. It started as the shittiest drawing i've done for this project so far - good old photoshop magic.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Did another little .AVI test - still looks good. This here is the first frame. My intention is(was) to use a 16x9 screen ratio. But, as per usual, i'm falling for the panorama. 4x3 and 16x9 just feels claustrophobic in comparison. Of course there is no monitor with anything like the ratio pictured above - there would be black bars. Luckily, I dig black bars too.

I did all the fartther-away trees today. Involved lots of photoshoppin'. I found that it's quite hard to draw distant trees and make them look good, due to the subtlety of their form. So I chested a little and did some tracing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


On the left side of my 'panorama', i'm gonna have some friendlier looking pine-like trees. Here's the first one.
This is how i'm doin' my drawings - layers of drawings on tracing paper, that are then assembled in the shop.

I stretched out the sky, for to show the part of the panorama i've been working on.


My forest is starting to come together, though there's still the layers of distant trees to come. There's also some more work to be done on the foreground; hence the 'floating' fallen log. I also did a quick .AVI test - the motion looks much better than I expected - the illusion of perspective is quite reasonable, despite the flat 2D layers.

Here's some blackberry bushes. More of them.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mr. Log is getting pretty hairy. All the junk on him is original; soon i'll be making 'stock' leaves and plastering them behind these layers to fill the space.

I've been churning our some blackberry bushes for my foreground log - here's the first bunch. I've finally devised some less tedious ways of making these images, which is speeding things up immensely. Drawing multiple layers of the same image on tracing paper is helping, as are some improved Photoshop routines - almost no 'cutting out' involved. They don't look precisely like blackberry bushes. Big deal.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Started on a big fallen log that will be in front of all the trees. It's going to be buried in vines and leaves. Whoop-de-doo.

I made still more trees. It's getting a little tedious. The four on the left are budget-model trees, the one on the right is deluxe. I just coloured that one in today.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I took a picture of my 'actor', and ran it through a few photoshop filters - this isn't anything like how I intend to draw the character, but I wanted to give it a flat feel. The purpose of this was so that I could see my character within the background intended; I figured that his colorization would affect my approach for the forest. Indeed, it is going to be much more desaturated and have less contrast than my original versions of the trees.
Did a little test to see how it's coming together; feels pretty rich already with just the front trees and a sky. The next step, after stockpiling a few big trees, is to put in distant trees, and some tangled undergrowth behind the front trees.
I coloured in the big fallen tree. I like it. Its suprising how shitty of a drawing I can do and have it turn out pretty good.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Spent quite a few hours colouring in my trees - I also decided on a generic colour scheme for my foreground trees, to be altered later.
I thought i'd add a nice fallen tree into the mix. Ta-dah. This one was extra tedious to do.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Well, i've got 5 'Interior woods side-angle front layer' trees in the bank now. Doing it was boring. Dave, the Photoshop jerk, knows all sorts of fancy ways of clearing out the white in a .psd layer. I only know the retarded slow ways, which I did. I'm going to seriously figure out how to do it, or i'm going to do nuts.
I went to Jericho beach park today, to gather some more reference material for trees. Ta (da).
My first idea, when considering the new 2D direction of this project, was to imitate woodblock printing in the aesthetic. This would be for a bunch of good reasons that i'm too lazy to get into. I'm still testing the concept; I may or may not do it.
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