Saturday, August 14, 2010

After the Hunt

Doing my daughters nursery picture, (see earlier post), got me into the painting mood so I've started a new one. I took the sketch and enlarged it onto 8"x11.5" pages which I taped together to make the canvas size I wanted. Then I took transfer paper and traced the pattern onto my canvas and went over it with burnt umber to make my under sketch. Now I've got to let it dry and then do color toning. It feels good to smell the turpentine again and get messy.

This next bit may confuse some but I took a Cadmium Red and toned the whole picture with a thin wash. Even though the picture has primarily rolling green hills and trees this wash of red will unify everything and give it a depth I want. The last image is an over-all tone leading up to detailing. I hope I find time to finish it.

Cadmium Tone

Tone Pass

This is a first pass at detailing after my toning was done. I may need a few more sessions before it's finished but because it's oils I will need to let this dry. I may have to get several paintings going in various stages if I want to get a body of work done.

1st Pass

2nd Pass

Thursday, August 12, 2010

El Tabador Returns!

I was fortunate enough to work on the latest El Tabador spots for Koodos. You may remember an earlier post where I talked about how fun the first commercials were too.

I did the running shots jumping over the cup and running up the books plus the very beginning where he rises and says, "Join me in the fight for phone freedom!", which is used on all the spots.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nursery Picture

My daughter is having her first child and wanted a painting of a ladybug for the nursery. Her husband complicated it by wanted a baby riding the ladybug so this is what I came up with. I don't know why my camera won't take more focused pictures.

Click on image to enlarge

Friday, August 06, 2010

Claymation tools

Will Vinton

A fellow animator was asking how certain things were accomplished at Will Vinton's Claymation Studio. Here is a paraphrased version of the questions and answers.

Q: When you join pieces together, how do you erase (blend) the seams? Especially when reaching across a crowded set to get access to the puppet at a 45 degree angle.

A: You might want to consider ways of gaining access to your characters so you don't have to bend in unnatural ways. If you can pin register props like tables and chairs you can remove them and get to your figures and then replace them for the shot. I've had walls on hinges that swung out of the way so I could get to characters. If a character is seen from the waist up or never walks or is seated, we sometimes mounted them on a square platform and registered them with 'L' brackets screws to the floor. We lift the thing out and drop it back into the brackets.

Q: What kind of tooling technique is used to get that mottled/carved wood look? Gairy Bialke was probably best known for that style. It looks awesome, especially on arms and legs.

A: The chiseled look to some Claymation probably started with Barry Bruce who used what became known as a Barry Stick. It has a flat surface with a blade on one side and a round edge too. We made our own custom tools in the wood shop and a variation made by Jeff Mulcaster became my favorite tool. It's small and extremely versatile. (See diagram)

Click Image to Enlarge

Basically the flat side was used to spread the clay, kind of like frosting a cake. We were using the soft Van Aken and the flat tool side also was used to block out the shapes giving you that carved kind of look. The sharp blade created creases and the round side was used to smooth and blend . The curving tip was used for prying open spaces, smoothing and detailing, and on the Mulcaster tool it was great for detailing small areas.

Q: In EB's mustache at the end of Claymation Easter, how was it modified from fame to frame to appear as though the lines were bending (looks almost like morphing or deforming, but the lines would have to be re-scribed, and it doesn't look like they are).

A: The mustaches were clay replacements you could bend and shape so they looked like they were morphing until you replaced it with the shape you wanted. We has a mold to make copies.

Q: How was the lip sync done on the Raisins? This is probably my biggest question because I can't tell if it was completely torn apart and re-sculpted every frame, or if it was a single expression being re-worked frame to frame. Even with live action reference, I would have trouble with some of those mouth shapes. It's incredibly fluid.

A: The lip sync was done using live action reference of the actors preforming their lines. We all had Moviolas at our sets and tried to match the lip shapes the best we could. Generally the mouth was carved out leaving a cave from cheek to cheek and nose to chin which was lined with black clay. The mouth was built up using rolls of flesh colored clay spiraled around the edges of cave until you got the mouth size you wanted. Then you smoothed out the spiral and added the lip details. If you were very careful and remembered where your cave was you could cut these mouth shapes out and use them again like replacements.