In the past couple of years, my focus has been on painting, but I've been doodling a lot in my sketchbook recently. From those doodles, a story started taking shape, so I brought some of those doodles to life in Van Aken. I had bought the VA awhile ago, but never put it to use when I was sculpting more frequently. This was my first time using plasticine to sculpt with, but I definitely had a lot of fun doing so and I'm looking forward to bringing more characters to life and refining my original takes. 

After getting the characters and story developed a little more, I would like to start with static shots of the characters in scenes and from there move into animating them. I know it's a long road for stop motion projects, so I want to ease myself into it. 

I'm sure as I move along, many questions will arise, so I'm thankful to find a great resource like this site. Here are some pics of the character heads that I sculpted over the weekend, plus some random doodles from my sketchbook. 

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I can't believe this has gotten no replies. Awesome work, Troy! Before starting a film, you may want to make many animation tests. Find the hardest parts of what the script requires, and take video reference of those actions, if you can, and study them. Then work out the timing from there using an exposure sheet. Exposure sheets always come in handy. I can't tell you how many times I have unsuccessfully attempted to animate something, and it didn't work out- and then I remembered that I forgot the exposure sheet. It's a tool that doesn't let you get away with any wiggle room in the timing if it needs to be precise, but its rigidity can also be very freeing because it gets your mind off of wondering how to time things out so you that can concentrate on the performance. If you want to get through a two or three year short film, you just have to make a little goal for each day and then stick to that schedule. If you do that, I promise you'll get to the end with more knowledge about the overall production craft as well as a honed agility in problem-solving. There is nothing like an issue with a puppet or light in the middle of a 500-frame shot as you stand in place, for fear of bumping something. You need to figure something out quickly to pull off the animation, and your whole perception of problem-solving changes. Especially if you need something in the middle of the night and all the stores that have it are closed. ;)

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