Thursday, February 23, 2006

The anticipation, it builds.

In simple terms Chris has finished a little more than one eighth of the movie by completing Scene I. It doesn't seem like that long ago. Of course there is a lot more to be done than merely animating the rest, but we're moving. The movie's getting along. It looks good. It has ambience. The voice actors seem quite well fitted to their parts.

It's coming along. It's taken on a life of its own and it's got inertia.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wrapped Scene 1

Well I finished Scene 1 today, well, except a 13 sec flashback that takes place on a different set. Scene 1 is the only scene that uses the bar set so I will be putting it aside and making the set that will be used in scenes 5 and 7 next. Hopefully I'll finish that before this week is out. For those that care I have captured 1,532 frames so far (1min:10sec:20frames). Which I think is a few hundred more frames then my last claymation, Trinket.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


For some odd reson my puppets back sides never look as good as their fronts, so if I show the backs I have to do quite a bit of clean up.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Once more, with feeling.

I was quite pleased with the outcome of this Saturday's session of voice acting. I don't have too much to add, but I believe Chris neglected to mention that we spent a good long while setting up lighting equipment before we actually started. The two hours of video we captured may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but at least it's well lit. Eh?

I'm actually pleased that he took the time to set up the lighting, though. There is a certain attention to detail that Chris pays to things that most people wouldn't even consider. He's reached a level where half the time I don't have any real idea what the point is, but I believe that it's actually something important and that even if it's minor it will make our finishing product look professional.

I was exceptionally pleased with Trinket, and what we have done of Vampire is already putting that to shame. Our voice actors have captured their parts perfectly, and the animation is a quality I didn't really think that I'd ever see in something I was involved with. I enjoyed sitting in the attic that is our 'voice acting studio' and helping to direct the voice actors to their goals, and filling in for the vampire's parts. It's nice to have a little hand in the creative process. I didn't really spend a terrible amount of time on the script, but it's already becoming one of the biggest things I've had a part in creating.

And quite enjoyable.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Just think of miniguns!

On of the hardest parts of making animated movies is getting everyone else together for voice acting. Its right up in difficulty with lighting, if only everything was as easy and the animation itself, I just don’t know how those live action no budget film makers do it. But this Saturday I managed to get all the actors and Ben the sound guy for the whole day and we had a blast finishing off the bulk of the voice acting.

For those of you who are interested I’ll tell you a bit about our setup. In my computer I have 1/4 inch input and output on my soundcard, much better then 1/8 inch cords. Now we take a high quality shielded 1/4 inch cord and send it from a sound board into my computer. Two microphones are connected to the board and we just add a touch of a vintage feel to the sound. It really adds a rich quality to the sound. Over the mics we draped a frilly table cloth and a batman mask to filter out the pop and they worked quite well. I did not want the mics to pick up the hum of my computer so the mics were positioned going one direction from the board and the computer going another, we then put a piece of foam board between them for safety. The audio quality we got was outstanding, or at least I though so.

After the previous voice session that we had had last year I was having second thoughts on the actor who was doing the hunters part, however while we were recording a dialogue between his character and the vampire he’s voice gained a new gravelly quality that he had never used before and it was just the rugged edge I wanted in the voice. This of course meant redoing all his parts but the sound was wonderful. However when he was acting against Emily’s damsel in distress he lost the quality and was having difficulty getting it back, then Ben the sound guy said, “Think of miniguns Brian!” And it worked, he got his voice right back and I was very pleased with the final outcome.

I also managed to get two hours of the voice acting on video so that may appear as a special feature in the distant future.