Friday, August 01, 2008

Here's what you get when you trace the contours of the foam, and fill in the blanks between (those parts having been removed to allow a full range of movement). Looks a bit like an underwear model.

I'm aiming for proper human proportions with this character - going to be steering for realism overall. I think there's a degree of removal with stop motion animation, likewise with puppeteering - the real within the unreal-looking. I also think there's an eeriness that increases in degree the closer you get to realism. The familiar, but with one degree of removal - like seeing your dad clean shaven after decades with a beard. For example.

Of course it's key that it still ring as unreal; don't want the puppets to ever be mistaken for real actors (not that there's much chance of that happening).

Now all I needs is hands and feets. Feets will be easy; hands are dependant on tests with liquid latex.

Head is going to be interesting.

Here's Johannes doing some slutty Vogue poses, each sluttier than the next. I gave him a smaller than average waist and chest. The result being he's a little girly. Which is fine, as he is supposed to be young.

The foam scultping may prove to be overkill; we'll see when I get some clothes on him.

I'm being suprised at how easy this is so far; everything is working on the first attempt, without any major backtrack-requiring glitches. It's also not taking very long at all. Which might be a first for me - always seems to take three times as long as I expect, and cost four times as much.

The pink stuff is 1" polyurethane insulating foam. I hated the stuff at first, but now i've got the hang of how to shape it without it crumbling and breaking. It's also very forgiving; if I don't like a part, I just shave it flat, epoxy on a new piece, and then shape that bit.

I don't intend to get too fancy with the body mass - it's just to fill out the costume.

Another quick armature test. Still working good. Though, wooden joints don't move smooth like - tends to be jerky - stopping and starting. Gonna put some powdered graphite lubricant on them. Should fix the problem.

Added some cheesy camera shake just for shits and giggles. I'm probably going to be doing that more than I initially planned. I'm not sure if my 'painterly' asthaetic is going to survive. Might end up just going for 'cinematic' and 'neat-o'.

I've also realized another major benefit to greenscreening armatures into scenes; motion blur. If you play back video frame by frame, you'll see that objects in rapid motion are actually very blurry. Stop motion animation, by contrast, is crystal clear in every frame. Therefore, motion blur is going to add realism, and also disguise sucky-ass animation. I intend to do a good job with the animation, but any opportunity to cheat i'm going to take.

This here's my working photoshop file for design. The grid is on it's own layer, so I can move it around to measure things. It's all to scale. My armature has a skinnier chest than the design. I might bulk it up yet.
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