Robot Pics

Just some shots of the robot being filmed against the greenscreen.  I’d forgotten I’d taken these and just found them on my memory card.  They’re quite cool  – I quite like the way the robot looks in black & white – so I thought I’d post them.  When I have time I’ll probably add them to the main page for the robot on my website.

Measure of Man Music Video

So, currently working on the Measure of a Man Music Vid. I’ve done four or five shots so far and it’s going OK.  The chroma key shots are coming out fairly well.  I did have abit of a problem with the ammo clip on the gatling gun which I’d absent-mindedly painted green.  Because of this it was turning transparent once the chroma key filter had been applied.  I ended up painting it black, but you can still see through it in a few shots!

Other than that had a minor disaster when the robot puppet took a nose dive off the table halfway through animating a shot!  It broke into a few pieces but was luckily easy enough to fix.  Gave me a heart attack though!

Some shots are unfortunately requiring me to go through them frame by frame in order to incorporate some of the robot shots.  As you may imagine this is rather time consuming (the current shot has 64 frames for example).  Hopefully it’ll be worth it!

Here’s a short trailer I’ve done for the video which incorporates some of the shots I’ve done so far.

I’ve decided that the interior shots will all be black and white while the exterior shots will be in colour.  This is partly to try and differentiate between the band and robot shots, and also to make the video look slightly more stylistic.  It also means I can have some cool shots where the band are in black and white and the robot is in colour.

A Tale about a Tale from the Endless Stair

So this animation has kinda been put on hold so I can work on the Measure of a Man Vid, however it is still being worked on, albeit abit at a time. I had a problem whereby the set was pretty much taking up my entire front room.  This meant I hardly had any space to work in and as the set was raised only about 10cm above the floor I couldn’t get any low shots as the lowest my tripod could go was about 40-50cm.  This meant I could only ever get shots of the puppets from above which was somewhat limiting.

I’d also encountered a problem with depth of field; basically my plan was to photograph the puppets in front of the set so I didn’t have to worry about green screen, however the models appeared as though they were only a few feet in front of the set.  This is because they were ; the puppet and set were both built 1/6th scale, so if they were full size they’d be a couple of hundred meters apart, however the camera isn’t fooled in the same way as the human eye and the effect was that they appeared as though they were very close together. You can see this in this short trailer I produced:

In miniature photography, smoke is often added to help with depth of field, this wouldn’t work in my case however as the smoke would not look convincing when photographed for stop motion animation – it would move and disperse and so the end result would appear to flicker as the smoke moved between photographs.

In order to get around this problem I decided to photograph the set separately and then use green screen to composite in the puppets at a later date, the same method I used for my previous animation Real 10.

This means I can dismantle the sets and actually get my flat back!  Here’s some of the pics I’ve took.  I’ve used photoshop to extend the sets beyond where they oiginally ended and also to add artificial blurring to elements that are further away.  This lets me fake the depth of field effect.  I can also then blur the background elements seperately whilst keeping the puppets in focus.

The bastard offspring of Johnny 5 and Wall-E

Another update on the robot.  It’s now got a head and right arm.

The arm’s a large gatling gun.  I’m painting it military looking green to suggest it’s a new addition – the idea is that the robot was originally some kind of industrial piece of machinery which has become self aware (that always happens with robots) and nicked a gun from some military robot.

Need to add details to the neck which is looking kinda bare still.

The feet contain fuel tanks and a fenced off power generator.  I figured if you had a piece of machinery like that you’d want key sections near the floor so you can easily service and refuel it.

The left leg has ladders and platforms so the former pilots could easily get up  to wherever the cockpit is.

Robot Update

Been working on the robot, here’s some pics.

Here’s some pics of the details on the back.  It’s all made from found objects; the big pistons are mini bike pumps, there’s bits of action figure in there and pieces of my old camera which I accidentally smashed.  The pistons all work and will move as the robot walks.

Turning my attention to the head now.  Not 100% on it yet, so might change what I’ve done….