Thursday, November 30, 2006


The cut-out puppets are progressing slowly but surely. I keep reminding myself that I only need to do this once... and that is the beauty of cut-outs. There are 150 pairs of replacement eyes, but I never have to draw them or scan them or color them ever again! Once I begin animation, making a character blink will be as easy as typing some numbers into AfterEffects. Of course cut-out animation is not easy... but it certainly has its perks once production comes along. Speaking of those eyes, here's the spread I drew for Roscoe.

First I printed out a sheet with all 5 angles in which the eyes can be seen. I decided on 10 different sets of eyes and drew them all on the front angle. I did this all on a lightbox with my peg bar... oh how I've missed my peg bar. I hadn't used it since February when I did my "3 Musketeers" animation. Probably the best part though is that I side-pegged because of the orientation of the paper. I think side-pegging should catch on - it's the best of both worlds. After I pencil tested and everything looked pretty solid, I redrew the same eyes from different angles on the other 4 head positions. Then I repeated the whole process for Lloyd and Keaton. Amazingly, it took me less than a week to draw and scan all 300 eyeballs, even with Thanksgiving in the middle. That's blazing fast for me. I'm not done coloring in all the lids, but here's a preview of what the eyes will look like when done. I haven't made the final pupils, but I threw these on so Keaton wouldn't look like a zombie. He also needs eyebrows.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Good things have been happening... I finished the clay heads and snapped the photos I need.

There they are! Well, that's one angle and jaw position of each. Right now I'm working making the proper jaw positions for each character and cutting out the mouths. I've only just begin... but here's a quick test animation to show what it might look like.

Weird, right? I hope in a good way. It will be less creepy when there's eyeballs. I can't wait to start animatin! I think I might be in that part of he tunnel where I'm seeing a glimmer of something... or maybe its just the delirium from lack of sleep.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No News is Good News

Well, it's been a while. But that's because I've been working a lot and sleeping a little. Here's something I'm toying with for the title sequence.

All the text will be made of clay and animated. I used the red mat so I can key it out later and stick the text in front of the animation for the intro. I love clay.

Meet the 3 main characters - Lloyd, Keaton, and Roscoe. I had previously mentioned that I was going to use photo cut-outs for these characters, and this is still true. Lloyd is the only one done at the moment, but I've already photographed his head and begun experimenting in Photoshop. The final product will probably end up looking something like the head on the right with a photo mouth and digital eyes and eyebrows. I'll also be digitally manipulating the jaws so they can open when the characters speak. A huge pet peeve of mine is when animated characters talk but their jaws don't move. Each head will be photographed from 8 angles so it can be rotated in AfterEffects, sort of like a stop-motion/cut-out hybrid. I really need to finish these clay heads and throw the AfterEffects puppets together so I can start this animating thing! The basement set is almost done, so hopefully I will begin animation very shortly. I also need to get cracking on the large city set and the monster stop-motion puppet so I will be on schedule to do the stop-motion scenes in January. I'm frightened.