I could have started posting individual shots of this here earlier but, I decided to wait till all the shots were completed and assembled into a nice compilation. This pterodactyl is for a film being made by Peter A. Montgomery called 'The Omega Device' and we decided to release my animation for the film early so as to boost interest in the project.
Peter build the puppet and did all the video effects compositing, all I had to do was push the puppet and I'm really thrilled with the way it came out...
I like the up and down motion of the head in opposition to the wing flap on the close shot.
The composites are gorgeous.
I've been watching most of these all along - Peter's sent me links, probably to show me how a flying creature should be animated... I will attempt to animate his other pterosaur, the ramphorhinchus, with this as an example of the standard I will have to reach. I'm SO gonna copy that little movement that keeps the head level as the body goes up and down!
I hadn't seen the one with the wide shot of cliffs in the background, or the flying away into the jungle shot. That is so fluid and smooth, and I feel the wind rippling the membranes...
Anyway, with Sinbad and Fishcake animation still restricted viewing, it's great that you can finally release something you've been working on, Mysterious Ron!
Amongst your many secret NDA-bound projects, there was a short film that you (and Tatia I think) worked on, that got put aside to wait for more funds - any sign of that getting back into production?
I never had a project with Tatia other than the Brisk Iced Tea ad that was completed well over a year ago... I think you're thinking of the job I'm working on with Noella Borie and that's still in production. That project slowed down because a person working on one of the puppets wasn't living up to contract. (so to speak) But that is moving forward and should start showing some progress soon.
I'm really glad you appreciated the body/neck movement thing because I easily could have cheated that by simply not doing it at all and I'm sure it would have looked fine but, I knew it was that kind of move that really should be done if was going to look like a real living animal. Doing it made for a lot of tweaking on every frame but, it was well worth the effort in the end.
I'm also tickled to be referred to as 'Mysterious Ron' once again because I'm really proud of the way this compilation turned out and I haven't felt like I've deserved that particular moniker for some time now... it's really nice to hear it again. Thanks Nick, that means a lot.
That is an awesome clip! Great job Ron and Peter! I never liked the stroby 'dactyls in 1 million BC. or their bat wings. Stroby looked good on the Homunculus of Golden Voyage of Sinbad because of the small size of the creature, but a big thing should look more like this!
Thanks Stan. Yes, the strobe of classic Dynamation® was a perfect illusion in it's day and I will always cherish and honor those films because they were the pinnacle of perfection and state of the art in their time and still worthy of awesome applause today. But the progression past that era began in the 80's with the advent of Tippett's 'Go-Motion' on DragonSlayer and Willow.
That progress was halted by the coming of CGI and seemed to put stop motion special effects next in line for extinction. But that very same technology has given the world of puppet animation new life and a second chance because we now realize that if we hone our skills... our realistic stop motion puppetry can look just as real as CGI... with an all important lower price tag.
I think REALER than CGI in some ways-like the way the models reflect light more naturally and the inherent dimensionality of the models. I was just over on Cryptomundo website and they were pimping this; http://liveparanormal.com/kengerhard.com radio program discussing the "Ropen" a living pteradactyl in New Guinea...I bet that first opening shot of the lone pterasaur flying above the mesa could stun some of those folks into wondering if it weren't real footage of a Ropen. Very REALISTIC!
Not the tea ad, or Noella's Faceless Neil project I was thinking of, either. It was a short puppet film, and would have been about 3 years ago, maybe 4. You sent me an image or two, in confidence. Some great urban sets. I'm guessing it hasn't got going again, or if it did you were too busy on Sinbad to animate on it.
That neck movement is the kind of little touch that makes a real difference. Yes, I know if it was me, I would have had to walk back and forth between the puppet and framegrabber a few more times each frame to get it just right. But even if most people don't notice it consciously, it feels more real to them.
Oooooohhhhh I know what project you're talking about now Nick, that was a project who's name has changed several time but, back then it was know as 'ILLUMEN'. (I can't remember what's it's being called now) That is a film being made primarily by two guys - David Bell & Joe Scarpulla and Tatia is a close friend of theirs and participates in a peripheral way.
That film was on hiatus for quite a while because of life, the universe and everything getting in the way of the production but the good news is, that's back up and running now and should be completed sometime later this year.
Here's a link to their website which covers that project - http://bell-scarpulla.com/
Just looking at that site, that film is now titled THE SACRED ENGINE.
Great stuff Ron; that second shot, the group, is the money shot; I love its depth.
I can't take credit for the depth of field, that's all Peter Montgomery's doing... he's the master compositor. :)
Great job, Ron and Peter. I know that you guys must be really hoofing it, because I haven't seen either of you on the forum all summer. Me, I'm online quite a bit this summer due to access to WiFi, in between squirting shirts. Just beautiful shots of the 'birdies' fellas, and yeah, excellent composites and tracking. You bastards! Here I am painting bs to try to make money to fix my roof, making souvenirs, not art, for... "Shut up, Mike, just shut up..."
Great to see the progress report on David and Joe's work, I was blown away that I had the honor of checking out the sets, puppets, and studio with you, Ron, a few years back. I'm glad it is being finished, gotta 'another shirt up, see you guys, keep up the good work!
Thanks Oldschooler! I must confess that I haven't been here much due to the collection of professionals over on Facebook who manage to eat up most of my online time. I still love SMA but, careers building on better done on FB.