STOPMO JAM 4 Behind the Scenes!

Post your behind the scenes photos here. I took a couple of snaps from the Robot Dance Title sequence. I made the puppet out of Sculpey and Armature wire in about a week. Animation took 5 days and Rig removal took about the same. It was very last minute as I was extended on Pinocchio by 6 weeks which cut into my time a bit, but I got 'er done! Please feel free to post your pics and share your experience.


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    • Such a great look James, really nice having that arch so there is a sense of a ceiling to the cave.  The steps in the distance look really good too., it leads the eye back and makes you feel there is more to this world than you can see.  That set deserves a longer piece with more time to tell a story!  But then you'd be needing other camera angles and making more set, and maybe an exterior view, and adjusting the lighting rig to work with those angles, still more work, that's how it goes.

    • Hey Nick,

      Thanks, yeah that arch / ceiling idea, I think makes all the difference.. that's what it was lacking before I build the cave out.. I mean I started with just the steps, and that mound to each side.. then a bit of foreground rocks, then the more I realised it was a cave idea that I was going for, I felt it needed more set built.. plus as you know, I was trying to keep the camera as far back as my set up allowed.. to increase the DOF on the set.. and I want to thank you for that Nick, awesome suggestion / advice.. I think that may have been the singular moment that helped me to know what I was doing, because I had no idea at that time what camera angle I was going for, what the finished set would look like.. it took a long time before it all came together.. yeah I think the moment I did the steps was the first moment I had when I knew the eye needs to lead upto the top of the steps.. so that was my backdrop, then the green screen behind.. wasn't sure what I was going to use at this time.. although whatever I choose for the key background I knew it had to be the source of the light on set.. like the moon, or planet whatever..  perhaps I should push on with this set and tell a story.. but yeah it would need more set built to get other working angles to shoot.. and lighting would have to change again, but I guess I'm going to have to start thinking one shot at a time, and not worry about trying to set up for the whole scene.. just work one shot at a time, get the lighting right.. I don't know, I'll figure it out as I go along.. that's what I normally do.. 

    • Woah, that's incredible! Super Nice set, James.


    • thanks Chris, glad you like.. 

    • Hi James. Really you did a tremendous effort and amount of job for a unique 20 seconds shot; but it resulted visually spectacular!

      As a curiosity: will you destroy completely your set or will keep it for future usage? it looks be large for store in anyplace.

      About my shot I will do a "behind the scenes" video soon. The final scene of falling was a complicated work in post, I spend a lot of time adjusting precisely the size, movements and syncrony of all layers. All elements were filmed separately : the astronaut, the background, the flying creature and a near plane of back of the creature for do the oscilation at hit.


    • Hey Antonio,  yeah it was alot of work, I didn't realise actually until I was upto my neck in it lol.. but I couldn't stop after I started.. just plod on, 5/6x months I think.. since I did put so much work into building the set more than anything.. I guess I should try and do more with it.. before destroying it.. now that I know what works and what didn't work so well, I think I would possible destroy it though and start again, improving where I can.. but I should be able to cut the expansion foam off the set.. and keep it in blocks.. but I don't think I will use TILE ADHESIVE CEMENT next time.. great effect to finish for the textue.. but so so messy, dusty, I even thought it caused me a skin reaction.. itching.. it's cheap to buy but not clean.. and I ended up bringing that into my clean flat lol.. so not ideal.. once it dried it was ok, but still not ideal.. I wish I had the attic in use here, I could store these pieces out of the way.. all this stuff takes up so much room.. but another think I realised using the expanson foam and the foam boards.. all this insulation type material isn't cheap to buy, and I must have bought 4x / 5x maybe more,cans of expansion foam, if I knew any builders, I could actually salvage old used pieces to reuse.. it doesn't have to be new.. although there's always an issue with the dust etc.. 


      can't wait to see your bts video.. that's fascinating, I guessed you probably filmed parts seperately.. I wanted to actually do that on my project.. I planned to have more than one character and have them all interacting on set.. but I haven't learnt how to do that yet.. I could have had some action going on at the top of the steps and I could have keyed that in later in post, and have it syncing with the action going on inside the cave.. but it just felt complicated so I didn't even try in the end... 

    • Wow!, cement!, dust!... Terrorific for my clay, the dust and fluff are the enemy number one; they sticks to plasticine and stains it completely. I even have a dust filter machine running while work with puppet.

      Really the space for storing sets is a problem. I like keep all sets and puppets I did, for this reason I use a very small scale for them (around 1:12).

      As idea for experimenting, You could put a second puppet in the stairs easily if it don't cross with the near puppet, don't need keying; simply shoot first puppet and witouth move the cam, shoot second puppet. After cut one image following some line in the background that none puppet cross, put in layers and superimpose both. Is a tipical technic used in old movies. If you want puppets interact then it becomes more difficult. 

    • LOL yeah dust, and fluff hey.. that's alot to deal with.. you be done in if you got pets then.. with the hair everywhere.. is that expencive the dust machine.. is that like carpenters use in the workshop to extract all the wood shavings etc. when sanding, drilling, fileing etc.. ??    

      I never learnt all this scale business like 1:12 .. is that 1" to one foot is that right.. so if your doing a house scene, and the house is typically 24x feet in real space, then your house would be 24" and your puppet 12" .. see what I mean lol maths and my brain don't gell well 🙈🤣 


      layering the puppet shots on the same scene.. oweee I never thought of that.. although I still don't know how to save on FCP or DR .png file.. I don't think there's a way of doing it.. and I tried the other day and couldn't do it.. I will try again.. all so new to me..  I get the idea of what you mean though on not needing to key adding another puppet to the shot, that's clever.. even though there are limitations... to the interaction 

    • Scale is easy thing: 1:12 means one inch in your set are 12 inchs in real life (it works the same with every unit, in my case centimeters). In my scale, a man who is 180 cm height will be 180/12=15cm. So my puppets are around 15cm height (5.8"). The room in that I'm working now is 60x40cm floor and 30cm heigh (approx. 23"x16"x12"). This is a a manageable size and I can store a lot of sets in my little storage room.

      For the layering we are speaking about You don't need PNG nor special file type. You must do it in your video editor, load first part of scene in a layer and second part in other layer and then use one kind of tool (like pen, or masc, or matte path) that let you cut drawing over superior layer and thru cut part you will can see lower layer.


    • I'm still trying to get my head around the numbers lol..   you have a room 23x16x12 feet?   I'm going to try and do a test on FCP or DR layering.. I never learnt how to use masking tools.. it maybe easier on FCP 



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