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http://zombiepiratetales.blogspot.com/ Here is the full short film I've been working on for close to 10 years. From moving three times, getting married, havi...
Thanks Mike! Glad you guys enjoyed it.
Looks fantastic - design, sculpting, animation, everything - just as I always expected it would!
But the bad news is - it doesn't feel like a "full short film", it feels like a first episode with many more to come. I know I've seen some great characters who don't even appear in this one, and I want to see more of the ones you've introduced here. (Except maybe the mermaid, unless I've had a couple of beers first!) So as a viewer, the way I see it is, you ain't finished yet!
Thanks for the compliments Nick! I may or may not make a new episode for Zombie Pirate Tales. In my mind I have a lot of ideas - such as building the Zombie ship full scale. The problem is I don't have the space, it's so limiting in this garage I'm in. The entire workable area is only about 8 foot by 10. I actually spent time dismantling the current ship and am in the process of organizing and making space to figure out what to do next. I have a lot of packed boxes in there with stuff we don't need, so a garage sale is in order once I get back from my vacation.
As strange as it sounds, maybe the thing to do is reduce your scale! You could go down by about 50 percent without sacrificing anything, as the characters are fairly simple. Just use smaller sculpting tools...I would say, make the "universe" these characters exist in bigger, while actually working smaller. This will allow you to get the most out of the available animation space without sacrificing any of your ideas. As you scale down, you will also want to use thinner wire. If what you are using is 1/16 inch, you could use almuminum wire somewhere between 1/32 and that. This will allow you to maintain control and ease over the movement of the puppets and keep the tensile strength consistent so that they are just as easy to manipulate without the clay poking through.
Hmmm, that actually makes it closer to 1/3 smaller puppets, not 1/2 (after doing the actual math and basing it on 1:6 original scale).
When I was in a limited space, I worked in two scales (sometimes 3) to get things like buildings in that would not have fitted in my studio, but still be able to go in close on my characters. My puppet scale was 1:6, but I had 1:24 for wider shots. (I still do it, even though I have a working area about 3 times as big as Marc has, the 3 1/2 story house in my Poe film would go through my ceiling if it were in 1:6.) It looks like Marc did something like that with the full ships at the start, then switched to the bigger partial ship deck for all the character animation. I don't see a need for a full ship at zombie scale, just the deck and rails is all you see when you are looking at the puppets. But even that partial ship is a big prop!
8 ft x 10 ft... (translating so I can picture it, that's 2 1/2 metres x 3 metres) ... that's not much room to fit in lights and camera as well as set, and get the sky back a bit so you can light it properly, I'm amazed it was even possible.
Another thing you could do, which you already are familiar with, is forced perspective. The set designer for Slacker Cats really had this down to an artform. Just skew all your 90 degree angles back to a vanishing point. Suddenly a very shallow set appears to be very deep. You can try mixing that with different scales to get the maximum effect.
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