Hi

I'm planning a shot in which a tree will grow very quickly. From nothing, the tree will grow up to full size (about 12 inch at the scale I'm working) in 3 or 4 seconds.

Does anyone have any ideas on what materials I could use to make the tree? So far I've got 2 ideas - which I haven't tested yet,

idea 1 - make a series of replacement trees of different sizes

idea 2 - make a tree at the full size out of wire with some other material over the wire and position it over a hole in the set, then animate the shot in reverse, pulling the tree down into the hole a little bit each frame.

I need to do some mock ups and shoot some tests but I wondered if anyone on here had any other ideas for materials to make the tree from?

Thanks

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I did the trick with the hole in the set floor, and pulling a shrub down through the hole.  Near the start of Turtle World at 0:39:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBA_vbwVxRM    (Could have looked better if it was smoother.)   But it wasn't a big tree with woody trunk and branches, just little plastic plants.

For a tree, you would need flexible branches to get them to go into the hole, maybe latex and foam or cotton built up over wire.  I've also made vines, and snipped the tips off a frame at a time and reversed it, to get them growing up a wall.   Probably a combination of those two would be better than just one of them.   What a tree does is not that simple of course, the branches get longer and thicker as well as having little sub-branches and twigs and leaves form, and I'm not sure how to do that.  

The replacement idea would need a LOT of replacements.  (3 sec at 24 fps on ones is 72, could maybe go on twos which is still 36 images.)  I had planned a film about a strangler fig growing up the trunk of another tree until it takes it over, but instead of replacements I did a test with plasticine fig roots covering the plaster/hessian trunk a little at a time.  I took a shot, added some more clay and textured it, then took another shot.  I dissolved between stages.  I think I did 6 stages of the vine roots getting fatter and joining up, and it looked like it could work.  But the plasticine was all one colour, without the shading and splatters of paint that I would like to have applied, because I wanted to leave it clean to add more clay.  

I'd be considering some cheats, like a cutaway shot of a branch's shadow on the ground, where you can use some 2d artwork to create the shadow maybe.  Easier to re-draw and add lines that get longer and fatter.  Then cut back to the tree itself having grown quite a bit and continue with the growth of the leaves by cutting off and reversing. Cutting it into 3 shots lets you vary the methods for each shot.

Thanks for your reply Nick. I'd also been thinking I might need to break it down into multiple shots and perhaps use different techniques between shots. I like your idea of showing a shadow of branches as they grow. 

I suspect I might need to resort to doing some of it digitally as well rather than purely stop motion.

By the way, thanks for the link to the clip from Turtle World - it made me go and watch the film again - I've always liked the monkey puppets - the skin and fur worked really well

Might be worth considering using a 3d pen to create the tree. There are some YouTube videos showing trees being made this way. But it wouldn't really show it growing, as the trunk would remain the same height, unless you pushed it up from the floor. But the great thing about shooting it in reverse is that at least you can start with a decent looking tree!

Simon and Nick - I'm replying to an old thread here but just thought I'd let you know that the film that this post was about is finished and you're both in the 'thanks to' credits for your help on here

Film is here:

http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/video/onolatry

Thanks again

Joe

How big a tree are you thinking? 

The smaller the easier I would think.

Making the tree out of wire would allow you to bend it into the shapes as you went. The branches could then be bent into the trunk as it gets "smaller" Like closing an umbrella. The hole in the deck would allow the tree to go into/out of it and the branches either fold in or out depending on your preference. Does that make sense?

Hi robbiethepainter - thanks for the reply but I've actually finished the shot and the film for that matter. I did the tree growing effect digitally in the end.

Film is here if you're interested, the tree growing effect is at about 5 mins:

http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/video/onolatry

robbiethepainter said:

How big a tree are you thinking? 

The smaller the easier I would think.

Making the tree out of wire would allow you to bend it into the shapes as you went. The branches could then be bent into the trunk as it gets "smaller" Like closing an umbrella. The hole in the deck would allow the tree to go into/out of it and the branches either fold in or out depending on your preference. Does that make sense?

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