Monday, April 10, 2017

Adding Color to Faded Photo

Before and After Restoration  (click on image to enlarge)
A friend sent me a picture from his childhood that his mother treasured.  It's a good example of the instability of color photography.  For whatever reason the colors fade and eventually become almost monochromatic leading toward sepia.  

Using Photoshop I was able to do a restoration that my friend was happy with.  It was kind of tricky because because detail in areas like the stitching in the collar and cuffs would drop out.  Thankfully, through some trial and error, I worked it out.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Acrylic & Oil Portrait in The Works

I've done my first acrylic painting (it's the flowers and hummingbird picture somewhere on this blog), and found it hard to get nice blends.  Other painters I know said you can paint over acrylic with oils, (but you can't go acrylic over oils!). This is my first painting where I struck it in with acrylics and then ended doing a finish in oils.

I'm liking the speed I could do the blocking in and most of the detail.  It's nice to know I can always jump in with oils over the top and will probably work this way from now on. There's more to do but I  think this is promising.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I found these images while surfing and the synchronicity made me want to put them together. The overall impression I get is a magnetic attraction of everything to a force and the impulse to give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ergonomically Improved

I did this awhile ago but my work-space has been ergonomically improved by Velcroing the keyboard onto my riser holding the mini-Cintiq. No more weird twisting. Here's a side by side picture for comparison.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Acrylic Painting Number One

I've expressed my frustration with the drying time oil paints take, and many fellow painters recommend acrylics.  If you paint, you know the expense involved. You really should keep your brushes separate for each media and not cross over from water color to oils, or oils to acrylics.  I already have an extensive oils set and didn't want to buy something I may not use.  Fortunately I was blessed with acrylic supplies by a friend who was giving up painting.  Now I had no excuse and did this painting for my daughter.

I need to do more to really get a technique down and do better blends.  I may have to do a finished past over the top in oils to get what I want, but this is a start.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stop Motion in the Digital Age #5: The Hybrid Film

           "Kubo and the Two Strings", Laika's latest film, is about to be released.  It looks fantastic.

In past postings on this blog about stop motion in general, and in the digital age, (type Stop Motion in the search bar to see all the posts), I’ve personally wrestled with the reasoning behind this hybrid style because it seemed as though everything could have been done with computers.  Now, I think the penny has finally dropped, and I’m beginning to understand the logic behind it.

Personally, as an animator who has done both stop-mo and c.g., if I were given a puppet that was well built and allowed me to get the gestures I wanted, and having the same character built as c.g., I would choose the puppet anytime.  Let me explain.  The interface of a  c.g. character is not as immediate or intuitive as touching and moving a puppet.  I could move much faster, and keep my focus on performance by not having to pick through menus and processes that are found in computer animation.  Somewhere in this blog are posts about input devices that would allow a person to manipulate a puppet that moves a c.g. figure, so you can see the idea of 'if only I could just grab this thing and move it around', has been thought about in computer animation.

True, the computer allows you to embellish and improve the animation through a process of refinements, but with the new frame grabbing software programs like Dragon Stop Motion, you can see your scene as you are animating, and play it back at real time, and make changes to your animation without re-shooting your whole scene, similar to the computers allowing refinements.  Both styles of animation are time consuming and take great skill, so where's the advantage?

Here’s the logic:  By building your character as a stop motion puppet you have the speed and intimacy of stop motion, plus the new power of digital assistance while animating, in rig removal, facial replacements. And by building a c.g. character, it can be manipulated with no restrictions, (armatures, support rigs,) for facial animation, special effects, populating crowd scenes, and it would interface with particle programs and other c.g. dynamics making the best of both worlds.

We’ve already talked about computers used to export or rapid proto type printing of props and full color replacement heads, and we talked about computers for sets and environments where characters are added into it through green screen. 

The computer has changed the way films are made in every way. Live action movies are loaded with effects no one would know were there until shown.  Computers have change the way animated films are made, people no longer using paper and pencil, paint or even film. So, I think I finally get it.

Kudos to Laika and “Kubo and the Two Strings”.