Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Making Of

Here it is, just like I said it would be.

So that was just a really quick overview of the way the majority of the shots went. Most everything was shot on green screen. Only small pieces of sets were ever used. Some shots were entirely computer: such as the opening shot with the car (though, the car was a model, so, it wasn't entirely CG).
The shot with the hanging cats was assembled out of still shots and animated inside After Effects. The idea behind the shot was inspired from an old watercolor I did.
The shot with the skull door knocker was made using hi-res stills of various wood and plant images that were put together in 3D space with After Effects. The resulting comp contained over 145 separate layers and took approximately three hours to render. The door knocker itself was a wax sculpt which was painted and melted with a lighter between frames. It was then tracked in After Effects and attached to the house in 3D space.
For all outdoor shots, the puppets were filmed on green screen and composited into digital matt paintings. Things like moving skies and blowing leaves were all either live action plates or hi-res stills of clouds.
When Skimpy falls in the mud, I just made a real mud pit on the old Autumn Leaves set. The mud was pottery clay. 

 When shooting was over, the clay dried up and I had to wash Skimpy thoroughly with soap and water.

The indoor shot with Chimpy and Shtubby was done on a small two wall set with peeling wallpaper and a faux wood floor. To get the proper "light rays" I filled my room with fog (from a fog machine, of course) and had to carefully monitor the evaporation so that the fog levels wouldn't change visibly during shooting. Though, with all my diligence, some fog flickering can still be seen. 

The overall "Grindhouse" look was achieved through multiple color, exposure, and saturation passes, just to get the color of 'yellowed film' right. After the tone, came the film grain itself. This was very difficult, as I had to search out all the best quality, FREE, downloadable videos of film scratches against a black or white background. Those kinds of videos are VERY hard to find. I ended up using just five clips and messing with them to get a greater variety of looks.
The Chainsaw Pig Guy (I never really gave him a name). He was made from an old Chimpy puppet. 
When turned to the side you can really see his former Chimpy-ness. I sewed the clothes directly on him, so, they're on there forever. They were made from random material that was lying around the house.
I made the mask out of plasticine, painted it with acrylics and sewed it on with black thread.
The gloves were made using the existing hands painted yellow. The glove ends were made with thread and electrical tape covered in liquid latex.

The boots were solid epoxy putty painted brown with pieces of rubber band glued around the edge.

The chainsaw was made from cardboard and epoxy putty.
The handle was wrapped in electrical tape and the body was decorated with salvaged toy motorcycle parts to make it look cool.
 A lost detail.

Mr. Shtubby was a last minute addition. He is based on a year old sketch I did of, well... Mr. Shtubby. He was never really meant to be anything or anyone else. He's just a weird little hot dog shaped guy with stubby arms and legs. 
He has two heads to allow the "squash and stretch" effect when he screams. The scream itself is a goat, just a regular old goat that happens to make that noise, no manipulation whatsoever! His hair is made of steel wool.
The heads are held on by magnets.
 He's rigged from the butt with some brass tubing and wire. The rigs would later be removed in post.

And finally, the fridge. It is made of an empty sanitary wipe container. It was painted and spattered with red paint.
Other small details were made of clay and cardboard. The magnets were white cardboard on which various names were written that would hint at the influences of the film, such as "Rob Zombie" and "Wes" (as in "Craven.") and "John Carpenter."

Well, that's it for now. Hope you all enjoyed it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Finally, after many months of secrecy, what you've all been waiting for...(hopefully, I haven't over sold it) Watch it in HD!

 Note the real mud

 The weathervane detail
 THE (honorable) Mr. Shtubby in his film debut!
 And he multiplies well


Sunday, August 4, 2013

It's Close.... I can feel it

In the past moth, things have really started to pick up speed. I just got a new summer job and am working on the final tweaks of something. This something is so mysterious, so shrouded in secrecy................... that you're all probably losing interest by now, since I continually talk of something new, but you never see proof.
Well... I am aware of that, which is why, today, right now, I'm going to post my last little tidbit.

Now, if this isn't just burning a hole in you with suspense, then I don't know what will. 
See, it'll be a little while till I can get this thing onto the web. Mostly due to technical problems and other junk. Also, I had hoped to get things done for IlluXCon! but sadly, that won't be happening. Instead, the best I can hope for is to have this up by sometime next month. 
So, long story short, let's just hope this will all be worth it in the end.
See you in September.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Something Stupid This Way Comes

What could it be?

This is a quick little example of some upcoming effects. 
I made a skull out of red wax (crayons to be exact) and painted it bronze. Then I took a flame to it between frames. 

More stuff hopefully coming soon.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Motion Blur

I've been working on some new stuff.

I shot the whole thing on ones, at 24fps. Then I took it into After Effects and used the "Timewarp" function. I set the Speed to: 100 and clicked "enable motion blur." Made it "Manual" and set the shutter angle to: 275.04 and changed the shutter samples to 11.

This method (which I believe is called "Megamotion") was first brought to my attention by Peter Montgomery from a post he did in the Handbook. 
Of course the technique I previously described is slightly different from the one in the handbook. I can't find where I originally got that info, but I know it's based on it... Anyway, thank's to Peter Montgomery for figuring this all out!
More stuff on the way.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Long Time No Blog

Yeah, I know I've often said I was going to "post more" but.... LIFE, you know? Anyway, things are really starting to pick up around here. I've been busy working full time and juggling said work with other side projects.
Project 1:
I just finished a short story that I've been working on since November. It's titled "Flea Dip." It's kind of a Horror/Neo-Noir/Comedy type thing. I wrote about 90% of it at night (when I'm tired and crazy) so, I think it turned out ok. The next challenge would be getting it published...
What's funny is, as soon as I finished it, I found this.
Now I realize, I need to rewrite the WHOLE STORY as a SCRIPT! 
Yeah, I'm not all that familiar with the screenplay format and it's proving to be quite irritating. But I have 15 pages already, so I think I'll be able to make the deadline.
And by the way, that was actually Project 2.
So, Project 3:
I'm currently trying to get certain stop - motion things done in time for a certain event. But, that may or may not happen, depending on how fast I get my script done. Really, it's crazy how many things I want and need to do that ALL have approximately the same deadline: JULY! 
So, until I can finish something, I probably won't post anything new for a little while (ha, you all know what that means....). 
Anyway, till next time.