Monday, September 8, 2014

New Apartment

My new Apartment!

It's a little cramped, but I think it will work.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Effects Comparison

I really love before and after shots of effects in movies. It gives you a look into how the effects were accomplished.

Here are some before and after shots from my latest animation. All effects were done in After Effects.

The fade and blur around the edges helps to center the focus on the character.

Just in case you wanted to know what a man riding an upside down unicorn looks like. 

I didn't know what the character was drawing when I animated this piece so I had to add the unicorn in post.

This shot is composed of three completely separate animations. The thought bubble was shot on a green screen and the eyes were shot on video and cut out in photoshop.

There were guidelines draw in pencil on the paper that I removed in photoshop before animating.

Both the eyes and mouth were edited in photoshop before animating.

He is terribly sad.

In this shot, I added a faint reflection in the eyes. It was not in the original storyboards but I was using the same effect on another project and just thought it looked really good.

The fade and blur really help the draw the viewers attention the the center. Especially in this scene with so much clutter in the background.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Artist

New stuff! My newest film "The Artist" is alive on youtube and vimeo. Check it out!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Leather Bag

I have found that, at least when working in small scale, leather is very easy to work with. It is flexible enough to get almost any shape you want, yet stiff enough to hold that shape. It also takes to super glue very well. Anyway, I needed a few vintage leather bags for a scene and did not want to spend any money on them.

To do this, I cut up an old laptop case for the body, and an old belt for the sides. The belt leather is quite a bit thicker and will help the bag to stand on it's own. I then ironed folds in the leather to define the edges of the bag.

Using super glue, I glued the first piece of the belt leather to the bottom of the bag.

I then glued the sides in place...

and glued the sides to the front...

and finally back of the bag. Very simple.

I wanted to add straps to give it a little more character so I cut some thin strips of leather out of the old laptop case.

I took a paper clip and bent it around the rounded edge of a pair of needle nose pliers to make...

tiny metal loops for the straps.

I then glued the rings into the small straps...

and glued them to the front of the bag. I glued the long straps to the backside of the bag and threaded them through the metal loops on the front. Finally, I added a metal button to the front flap.

Using sand paper, I roughed up the leather to make it look well used. And that's it!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tiny Books!

It turns out that making a tiny book is almost exactly the same as a making a regular size one. The only difference is that when making a real book you want to use acid free everything (ie. paper, ink, glue, fabric etc...) so it will not degrade over time. But I don't need this to last forever, so I am just using whatever I have around.

I started by cutting out a cover out of cardboard, a stack of pages out of newsprint and an endsheet out of 80# paper. The endsheet needs to be sturdier than the rest of the pages because it will be holding the pages to the cover.

I cut the endsheet slightly smaller than the cover then folded it to match.

I then glued the pages into the endsheet starting with the spine and then the front and back pages. I then trimmed the excess on the face, head and foot.

Next, I cut a piece of fabric for the outside cover.

I trimmed the fabric so I could fold it around the cover without too much of it overlapping.

If this where a regular sized book, you would want to use glue for this part, but it's not so.... I used double stick tape to attach the fabric to the cover. You can see the tape is a little bit shiney on the cardboard.

I did use glue to attach the endsheet and pages to the inside of the cover. I did not want the tape to be visible around the seams.

And that's it!

I should mention that this book was made to be seen. It will in the foreground for most of the animation. I made several other books to sit on the shelves in the background. Because the background books are not meant to be seen close up, I did not put nearly as much work into them as I did this one. Most of those books are just a cardboard shell with foam inside to give them volume. And that is a pun.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tiny Furniture (Book Shelves)

Basically, I needed some furniture to occupy an office set I was building for an upcoming animation. In the past I haven't spent a lot of time on the furniture (and you can tell) so this time I decided to step it up a bit. I started with some 1/4" plywood and cut out the various pieces I needed.

I wanted to make these shelves "Fancy" so I added a bevel to the front edge of the top and bottom pieces.

I used my my homemade Dremel router table to make the bevel.

Router tables for the Dremel are fairly easy to make and it do a very good job. Here's a shot of the underside.

The bevel is a little grainy but with a little sanding...

I started assembling the pieces one by one.

I added a little wood glue on the edge. When working on something this small, It really helps to blot the glue with a rag before putting the pieces together. This helps to rid the piece of excess glue.

I used 1/4" braid nails to secure the pieces together. The nails a so small that I needed to start them with a pair of needle nose pliers.

I picked up this tiny hammer in the wood craft section at Menards. It works really well on the braid nails.

Using a punch, I inset the nails so they won't be visible.

I filled the tiny holes with wood putty and sanded the whole piece.

To continue with the "Fancy" theme I stained the wood with a dark reddish stain. I got quite a bit on my workbench so I decided to stain that too. Well, maybe decided isn't the right word.

I wanted the final piece to look like it had been used so I only added two coats of polyurethane. This should make it look shinier in some spots than others.

Finally, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the piece to secure it to the floor.

After a little "roughing up" the finished shelf is ready for action.