Friday, March 23, 2007

Background Composite Tests

The big question for 'The Hell Painting' is, howmy gonna make the backgrounds, and to what degree will they be sets verses photographs or real objects, paintings, etc. So i've been doing a few tests. I grabbed a photo of our 'Red Death' character from 'The Masque of the Red Death' for reference. I then slapped him into a cartoon background. Looks like crap. Then I slapped him into a photoshopped Dutch painting. Definately some possibilities. The less set building I get away with, the better.
Alright; 'The Third Night' is in post-production, so there's not much to show for that one. So, from now on, this blog is back to being officially the 'The Hell Painting' blog, which now has funding.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

That's it, i've given all the .avi files and sound clips to Mike Addison; we'll see what he can whip up with them. There's a few odds and ends that I might add in, but that's about it - it's done from my end.

Friday, March 16, 2007


My grant application to the Canada Council for the Arts was successful - so the ol' 'Hell Screen' project is back on track. However, the old 'tons of gigantic sets' plan is out. The current project has paid off - it's given me an education on the possibilities of digital compositing. So, here's the new plan:

The original plan, of 3 years + of toil and set building is out. So I ain't gonna do that - not interested in spending that much time.

I'll still be using armatures for the actual characters, as my 'The Third Night' cutout technique isn't very satisfactory for expressive movement. All animation will be done against a greenscreen. I'll be finding a way to do onion-skinning with live action footage, and so will be just 'tracing' movement. I'm pretty confident that this will work well, and will be super fast to do.

Big, full-scale sets are out - that was the major time and money snag with the original plan. Instead, I plan to make extensive composites with 'table top' sets - not even sets really. For example, i'll take a photo of some sticks against a green or white background, cut it up in photoshop, and then build up the image via extensive copying and pasting. Any actual 'sets' will be very basic, plain, and in a very small scale - basically raw material for photoshopping. I'll even do alot of the 'lighting' and texturing in photoshop.

Everything will be composited in AE - no actual camera tracking will take place. Moving flat layers around worked quite well for 'The Third Night'.

The original vision of the 3d Hell set is out; it'll be just photoshop layers in AE, and won't have such crazy tracking.

These revisions mean that the completion time frame for the project will be more in the neighborhood of a year and half, maybe even less considering how fast I did 'The Third Night'.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I've been hacking away on a final 'helicopter shot' of the clearing and abandoned buildings. It's sucking pretty hard so far. The perspective is wrong, and the grass/field/trees aren't integrated very well. We'll see if it's going to be possible to save it.
Top panels: I added the dude to the intial clearing shot.

Middle left panel; the brick wall, the end of the movie. I thought i'd make it mundane looking. Hopefully it works.

Middle right/bottom panels: A track out, fade to black shot. For the end.

I've finished messing around with the music. It's pretty simple - no big, dramatic Hollywood stuff. I managed to make something with an electronic music program that doesn't sound too fake. It's a bit cheesy, but what can you do. It should work nicely.

I also made a little drum track for the opening credits. It's immediately apparent watching the opening credits with the music that I have a Kurosawa problem.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I haven't been slacking off - i've been hacking away on the 'music' for the film. I've been using some software that's intended for making cheesy dance music - a little hard to produce something 'organic' sounding. But I think it won't suck too bad.

And i've got the last few composites together.

So, almost there - and then all the clips will go to Mike Addison for editing.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm entering the hardest part of the project; the last 5-10%. The thrill of seeing everything come together is dead, and its just tedious work to finish it - no more 'magic' left. I'm not working with nearly the same enthusiasm as when I started.

Currently, i'm going through all my finished spots and looking for glitches, fixing them, and rerendering them. No fun at all.

Monday, March 05, 2007

That's the title sequence all done. Some Japanese-ish bars and a nice big branch that I didn't end up otherwise using.
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