Thursday, December 23, 2010

Corpser first sketch on paper (Scale 1:24)

I just tried a first sketch on paper with the monster i have to build up for my last sequences.  It's called a "Corpser" in the Gears of War's world.  It looks like a giant spider.  I was lucky enough to find someone (<  Profess >) on the Epicgames forum to send me some pictures of it from the game, with a human standing on his side. 

The point was to be able to build it with the proper scale, comparing it to my character that is 3 inches tall.  After some arithmetics, the results was that it needs to be 21 inches tall by 15 inches wide (without it's legs).  Kindda big...  I need to say that from begining of my project, the idea was to put everything on the same scale (1:24).

I didn't draw the eight legs on this paper sketch.  They fit in the six holes that you can see and two more comes from the sides.  In this position, the creature is leaning a bit forward.  The head isn't big enough by the way, and the point here was not to do a great drawing, but to get familiar with the proportions of each body parts.  I'm kindda shy to show this after digging all the afternoon Jeff Lafferty's blog :)    

I wasn't really sure that it's was a good idea to build it with Super Sculpty anymore...  Super Sculpty allows the creation of tiny details, but with a beast of this size, it would have had to heavy legs to animate them properly.  It would have also required too much material and would have end up too expensive.  My wife was joking when i told her about my problem, when she told me that i could use "papier mache" to built it...  It's not a very bad idea, but i don't think it would have fit very well with the all the other kind of materials i've use so far.  I also need to say that i only need this puppet in two sequences that are two and four seconds long, so i don't want it to be too expensive and too complicated to build.

I'm now more into the idea to sculpt it smaller, maybe at 6-8 inches high, with Super Sculpty and use clay for the joints.  For the armature, i'll use twisted wires.  Even if i'm not very comfortable with the idea, i'll shoot the sequence that includes both the beast and the character on two differents layers and combine them in post-production.  I'll probably use a green screen for that.

The final sculpt should look like that.

Putting LED lights inside the skull would be very nice, but i think that's a big challenge enough even if there isn't, so i'll probably pass on that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Back to stopmotion with sequence #5 "Earthquake"

Wow !  I never thought it will felt so good to return to my project.  I feel ready to complete this !

The last sequence was done very fast and wasn't very hard at all.  The camera movement setup was already in place, the measurement marks was the only thing missing.  The city setup was done the same day.  The animation was done the next day.  I took another day to clean up the pictures, to edit the video and to add the explosion effects.

Here's it is.

I'm not that good with special effects and i wasn't really in the mood to do them in stopmotion but, i couldn't do this sequence without that effect.   So i edit a free explosion effect founded at  You can't really call that "explosions", but i don't really know how to call them.  It like dust that comes from the ground after collapsing.

Here's the link for the free explosion effects:

Here's the character's support

Camera's support pictures

Here's some setup's pictures

The next step is big, but it will be very interesting.
Sculpting the "Corpser" !

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A new hope

I begin to feel my motivation getting back again.  Many inches of snow had fall around here and there is one week left of day work before my Christmas vacations.  Thats very good for my moral.  

I'm currently working on our bathroom (home) renovations by now.  Which includes: plastering, painting, cutting wood pieces, using my drill and putting props in place.  That's pretty near what i was doing on my project, but at a different scale :)

There's also a friend of mine who had done a music live performance on stage last November.  I shooted it with my DV camera and i am currently working on it to put it on DVD.

My routine was very messed up in the last weeks by these new projects and i have to rebuild one which will include my stopmotion works. I hope to be able to finish the shot i've begin before Christmas, to stick with my deadlines.

Thanks again for your support.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lacking motivation, enthusiasm, energy...

I feel bad about me (my project) and about all of you who support me with my project...

After i finished my last sequence, i started the setup for the next one but, i didn't really touched it in the last month.  Every year, i go through this mood in this period.  I have a big lack of motivation, enthusiasm and energy.  I think this have something to do with the lack of light with the winter coming.  I think it's called "Seasonal affective disorder".  It's generally coming back with the fall of snow (it's only raining by now).

Since the beginning of this project, i commit myself to do at least one hour of work on my project each day and that wasn't really difficult.  It took me around one month to complete each sequence so far.  One week to build a new setup, one week to shoot the animation and one week to edit the pictures.  After that, i took a week off and slowly starting to think about the next one.  I didn't have to force myself into doing my project and i have always thought, that i would never work on it under pressure.  This project is something that i do for fun and i don't feel like working on it right now.

I'm not giving up if this is what you are thinking.  I felt like you deserve to have some news about my progress.  You were here, following and supporting me since the beginningm and the least that i can do is to tell you that i'm still here and that i'll continue this project in the next weeks.