Monday, October 25, 2010

The "Puddle" sequence

Hey there !
The "Puddle" sequence is done ! 

I wasn't expecting this one to be done so fast.  I did the setup last week very slowly.  I wasn't really in the mood since the rush i imposed to myself for the last two sequences.  Friday night came and i thought that some more lightning test would be great to be prepared for the shooting on saturday.  The camera rig wasn't gone throught tests neither.  I was surprised to have good results so fast and before i knew it, half of the sequence was done.  The other half was very thought but since i got that far, there was no way to quit that and lose my momentum.

Here's the results

Here's the setup

The only light bulb that was used was the one showed below (I set my camera's exposure at 3.2 seconds).  This is a general household spiral bulb.  The only ones used in this project with the leds used as streets lights.

The spiral bulb Enersaver specs

- 40 watt
- 4100K
- 500 lumens
- Medium base
- T2 smaller size
- Cool white

For the camera rig, i built pretty much the same mecanism as i did for "The city" sequence.  A hinge was screwed to maintain the rig.

To maintain the camera in place, i had used an old support.  The five screws in it are to maintain the tripod adapter that is under the camera.  Note that the screws are half way in the wood.

Popsicles sticks were used as measurement marks.  One Popsicle stick per frame (72).

A 2.5 lbs dumbell weight is there to maintain a constant pressure on the popsicles sticks.

Here's what it looks like in motion


(Note:  For the shot, i had to put my video camera on the rig in order to take these pictures with the camera that stands on it normally.  It's just there so you can figure out how this works)

Some pictures with the real camera on the rig


A normal mirror was used to simulate the water.

For the water ripple effect, i was lucky enought to borrow a computer for the week-end with Adobe After Effect on it.  I didn't really worked with that software before.  It's very powerful, but you get lost very easily.  Without this tutorial (done by Cirus), there was no way i could have make it.

Finally, for the character's animation, i had to pin it down in order that it doesn't moves everytimes i had to touch it.  I put through a wooden board, two nails for each legs and a steady wire that goes... in the butt.

I drilled two holes in his right foot, one in his left leg and another one in his left foot.

Here's the last hole drilled for the steady wire.

It didn't need to had glue for that.  The holes were tights enough so the nails and the wire stayed in place.

A little bit of soil and the wire disapear. (Yeah ! No wire removal required on this shot)

As the right arm doesn't need to move on that shot, i glued it on the right leg with crazy glue.  It can be seen on that picture.  I thought that it would become transparent, but it turned white.  I had to add black color on it in the post-production.

I was ready to let this toy for dead after that shot since the joints were very tired.  I placed an order for a new black Stikfas before putting crazy glue on it by the way.  Here's a picture after the shot.  The plastic melted on both members.

Here's a final shot from the sequence


  1. wow! Great job on it vincent! There's a lot of work on this 6 seconds! hey btw what fps do you use?

  2. That’s some ingenious rigging for the camera tilt and the shot looks fantastic! Inspiring stuff Vincent.

  3. "Wire up the butt" sounded so wrong.. yet so right to keep an Alpha Male still.. Again, greatly detailed!

  4. Thanks everyone.

    Alex : i'm working at 24 fps.

    Jeff : The camera rig was built really fast and intuitively. I'm a little disapointed because i have to dissasembled this type of rig after every shot, because i don't have the space to store them and they are usually fixed directly on the set. Anyway, they aren't very hard to create as you can see. I would love to have machined steel rigs controlled by computer like you see on professionals movie making-of. I'm glad if it got you inspired.

  5. Rastasia : Yeah, sounds very wrong, but i didn't find better words. Maybe it was too explicite as explanation. =)