A Tale from the Endless Project

Finally getting to the end of the animation.  Hoorah!

I’ve been over Tom’s today recording some music, well I’ve been playing the odd note and he’s been doing it all for me.

Here he is pressing buttons and fiddling with knobs:

I’d edited the animation using a few temporary songs from various soundtracks that I liked and that evoked the correct atmosphere. The main ones were the prologue music from Battlestar Galactica and the Adagio in D minor from the film Sunshine. We needed to record some music that did the same job.

This one was also kinda inspired by the soundtrack from 28 Days Later (what is it with Danny Boyle films?!)

Main Theme

Angel of Death

I’m just finishing off the last few shots for A Tale from the Endless Stair. One sequence I’d left til last was exactly how the demon enters the story. I’d started on a sequence where he crawls from the pit at the bottom of the staircase but hadn’t completed it. Once I’d finished off the intro sequence and had included the shots of an angel, I thought it’d be cool to make that idea abit more integral to the plot so I decided to include an angel character who summons the demon.

I knocked together a quick puppet which was basically a re-dress of the german soldier puppet covered in a cloak made out of a black t-shirt. I had the angel covered in scrolls and with writing on his chest, the idea being that he kinda holds the stories of everyone’s lives and comes to collect your soul when you die. He also has the same symbols that the demon creates carved into his chest – yep he’s abit hellraiser too!

The figures detailed with various bits and pieces from action figures and some scrolls I made out of some textured paper. There’s also real sealing wax holding them in place.

Shadow Puppets

I’ve turned my attention to an intro sequence for A Tale from the Endless Stair.  This has basically been done with a bed sheet, a cardboard puppet and a light.  I’ve added a variety of video effects to the footage.  The intention is to give an introduction to the idea of the afterlife and the ‘Endless Stair’ hence the angel figure, I plan to have her flying around a silhouette of the staircase as well as having a variety of other images associated with death and ‘passing on’.

The most violent puppet movie. Ever.

OK so well overdue an update.  Work continues on the animation which is actually proceeding alot quicker than I imagined it would.  It’s also ended up being rather more violent than I’d originally intended (as the below video will demonstrate), but I guess I never got to indulge my horror fetish on Real 10, so no harm done ;0)

The film’s clocking in at over 8 minutes at this point which is also abit of a surprise as I’m still not done – I still need to animate the dead soldier’s ‘conversation’ with the demon and his ascent to heaven (I’ve pasted the storyline below if you dunno what I’m on about).

I’m also starting to think about audio and music.  Think I might try my hand at doing a theme tune with this rather cool web app.  The majority of music will be turned over to my brother to compose though (hope  you’re reading this Tom ;0)


‘The final story is as follows. A pair of soldiers during WWII wait in their trench. Conversation turns to one of the soldiers girlfriends, Edi, who died in a bombing back home in England. The soldier has only a photo and her necklace to remember her by. The necklace is in the shape of an eagle.

That night they are attacked and killed and their souls find themselves wandering towards the Endless Stair. They encounter the blue demon who attacks and ‘kills’ one of them by crushing his head with his groin tentacles (!).

After trying to kill the demon and failing, the remaining soldier ends up trying to communicate with it by deciphering the symbols that appear as it ‘speaks’. One of the symbols that repeatedly appears is that of an eagle. The soldier gradually realises that the demon is trying to tell him to ‘ascend’ like an eagle on the wind and find his beloved in heaven.

That’s still subject to change of course………;0)’

Exploding Heads

So I’ve been having great fun blowing up puppets today.

I created a silicon press mold of the existing puppet head then pressed sculpey (which is a flesh coloured polymer clay) into the mold.  I cooked a thin layer with a heat gun then filled the rest with sculpey and then sculpted it frame by frame to make the head look like it was exploding (heheheheheehehehehehe).

Here’s a vid showing the animation at various stages:

WWII Trench Sequence

Here’s a sequence of shots dealing with the WWII soldier characters from A Tale from the Endless Stair.  The idea is that they’re killed in battle and find themselves in the afterlife where they encounter the blue demon and the endless stair.  I’ve used the same footage of the moon for the background that I used on the previous shots of the staircase, however once they ‘wake up’ having died, the staircase will be visible in the background (it only appears to you when you’re dead or close to death ;0)

I’ve tried doing some ‘hand held’ shots for when the characters are knocked over by the explosion.  This basically involved holding the camera in one hand and the puppet in the other and moving them bit by bit. You get quite a shaky movement but it kinda works as the characters are supposed to be dazed.  The next few shots will have a bunch of german soldiers closing on their trench and shooting them dead.

The shots still need some touch ups as you can occasionally see where the set ends, things like that.  I also need to add some dialogue and proper sound effects.


WWII Shots

Might’ve mentioned before that the film’s gonna feature some soldiers that get killed then find their way to the Endless Stair.  Here’s some pics of the trench set that I built.  The puppets are just some WWII action figures I found.

Addendum, was just watching some DVD extras for the Robot Chicken Star Wars special which as you may know is done using action figures.  They had some cool ways of stabilising the figures for animation which basically involved a stand with some bendy wire that could be wrapped around the figures legs.  Think I might have to do something similar here……

The sets need a little more painting so I can get the shots I need, but I’ll mostly be extending the sets using greenscreen and photoshop.