Final Touches, and a Start Date — Whew!

So, things are winding down, and it’s feeling like the calm before the storm right now.  The set is pretty much done — there needs to be some practical lighting wired up to dimmers, and some making room for magnets below the stage, but that’s about it!  I can’t believe it.

Now the real fun and frustrations begin!

The very last thing to build is the cabbage, which I kept putting off thinking about, for some reason.  There are going to be two cabbages in the film; one which is suspended from the set, floating in the middle of the stage… and one that gets cut up and made into a soup.  They’re supposed to be the same cabbage, but they require different practicalities in the way they’re built.

I’m using my favourite mediums to make the leaves… two layers of rice paper, coated in clear acrylic gloss medium, with a layer of aluminum mesh sandwiched in between.  The mesh is made for sculpting — it’s some sort of armature medium — but it’s also great for allowing things to be moldable for animation.

I started out with a balsa wood ball — these are layers of balsa wood sheets laminated together, then sawed and filed into a ball.  Balsa wood works great for what I want to do, because it’s nice and light, but can still hold hardware such as screws and screw eyelets, which will allow it to be suspended within the set.

I had some inspirational postcards and photos strewn about, so as I was photographing the cabbage, I discovered an interesting backdrop…

The calligraphic cards are from two postcards I got at the Getty Museum years ago…  they’re images from a book from the 16th century called Model Book of Calligraphy.  The other photo is an old favourite — it’s a building in Toronto that used to be the Ontario Hydro Building.  It’s really cool because it’s curved, and reflects the sky in a huge, distorted grid.  I’ve taken many photos of that building!

Somehow this sums up well the visual themes of the film:  there will be calligraphy, grids, and cabbage!

On to the next stage…  animatics, planning, and trial animations.

(The Start Date:  November 28th, 2008…)

0 thoughts on “Final Touches, and a Start Date — Whew!

  1. Nick H

    Hi Stephanie, Shelley referred me here to look at your cabbages (and I can see why) – but of course I found much, much more! What a great looking production! A really nice textured, crafted style to your puppets, and good hair work.
    That start date is looking very close – Best of luck with the animation! I have a feeling I’ll be checking in to see how it goes.

  2. stephanie dudley

    Shelley and Justin, thanks so much, I’m so appreciative of all your support! Shelley I just read about your cabbage desiccation… It made me slap my forehead with a huge *duh* because I wish I’d thought of that before! What an excellent idea… I was thinking of trying that with a brussel sprout to see what happened?… Something like this might work for my cabbage #2 (which I’ve already built, but it would be neat to see if this approach might work better…)

    And NICK H!!! Holy cow, welcome to my blog! I’m so happy you stopped by. I owe you a huge thanks for all your tutorials, which I’ve read and referred to many times! I think you and Mike Brent are the biggest reasons I’ve started this blog… to put back into the online stopmo resources out there a part of what I’ve gotten out of them. Which is a lot! So thanks so much again, and I hope you do check back in — there’s a long way to go for me for my first film and I hope you enjoy watching the progress…

  3. erin

    the cabbages are AMAZING and so beautiful, Stephanie! never thought a cabbage would take my breath away (even tho i am a fan of cabbages) but this one does, and how it’s made, the fabrication of it!

    parabéns! congrats and what fun to see the progresses….

    grins and more,