Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Shtubby No.5

It's been a long time, but I finally finished Shtubby No.5. 
It would've been here a lot sooner, but stop motion animation and working full time don't mix well.

All effects and editing were done in After Effects and almost every scene was green screen except the indoor 'light rays' scene, which was filmed practically on a set.
In order to achieve the "ultra slow" look, I had to shoot the animation at 30 frames per second, as opposed to the normal 24 fps. When viewed at captured speed, every shot looked terribly fast. But when slowed to half speed, things began to take shape. Even so, the slowed footage was still too fast, so I ended up applying a combination of "Timewarp" "Frame Blending" and "Time Remap" effects to get the final look.
The opening shot can be broken down like so: Shtubby was filmed on green screen. Then I did a live action dolly shot of my own bathroom (yes the bathroom is that fancy, at least in black and white, everything looks fancy in black and white).  I didn't have a proper dolly, so I improvised with some duct tape and a model car -- the ruler was used to gauge the distance the car needed to be moved. Of course, the raw footage was pretty jittery, so I stabilized it in post.

I then motion tracked the toilet and added Shtubby with a little color correction and live smoke.

The end titles were made with a practical effect, combined with some light compositing and tweaking in post -- I set the camera to shoot from above, focussed on a blank piece of white paper. I then wrote "Shtubby" with warm water. While the water was still wet, I dipped an ink soaked toothpick into the sides of the letters. The ink would quickly snake around, filling in the title.
I took the footage into AE and inverted the color. The title was then composited into the shot with a flourish of "Turbulent Displacement" some live action smoke and a fade in.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Just a quick look at some of the shots for an upcoming short.

Is it TOO obvious that I went to the Fincher school of cinematography? Probably, but I'm happy about it anyway!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Still Working...

I've been really busy the past few months. Mostly working retail. So to all out there who also work the retail scene, you'll know what I'm talking about. And you'll also know how Christmas went...

But I've been getting a few little breaks here and there and have been trying to do some catch-up.
I'm currently working on a few different things.
1) A fake perfume ad. The idea behind it: ever notice that the fancier the perfume, the more disconnected the imagery? Well, that's what I'm going for. I'm doing it in black and white (of course) and just trying to do as much beautifully offbeat stuff as possible.
The only catch, it's slow motion. And as you know, stop motion is essentially a slow motion performance already. So, it's been tough.  But it's working out quite nicely.
And of course, Mr. Shtubby is the star.

These are a couple stills of production. This set is an outdoor street scene, that was constructed by my uncle. It's lit entirely by Christmas lights and I put varnish on the sidewalk to make it look wet. 

And here's a little rig for a low, zooming shot. Didn't have a dolly, so a toy car and some tape served the same purpose.

I still have a while to go on this, but I'll hopefully have it done soon. 
In the meantime, I've been working on short stories and trying to get another script written.