Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Stop-Motion Project- The Boy

 I thought it would be more interesting to add another character to the animation. Below is a brief sketch of what i had in my head. He is just a gormless boy bobbing along in the pool and somehow he's managed to squeeze his chubby physique into his tiny rubber ring. I wanted him to look gormless with unblinking staring eyes. 

Working from my sketch, I modelled him up in plasticine and when I was finished lovingly sculpting his little man boobs this is how he ended up looking. I've painted his skin in bright white, although I'm not sure if this will cause me some exposure problems later on.

I thought it would be good if he was to slowly turn in the pool as he bobbed along, keeping his eyes always, unblinkingly, on the mermaid. Therefore I  had to make him a complete head since all 360 degrees of him would be seen- rather than a hollow one like the mermaid's. I had a bit of a try at making the back of the head detachable since this would allow me to move the eyes around inside of the head between frames. It wasnt really working though, it wasn't subtle enough.

Then, after spending rather a long time on this futile attempt I had the brainwave to simply make the pupils detachable. Jeeeeeeeeeezzz! They're made from tiny dried black chips of paint -an absolute bugger to put in place and needless to say a nightmare if you drop one! I'm not sure how they're sticking on...they just are and it's working well enough.

He's very little in comparison to the mermaid- just 12cm tall, but he'll be more in the foreground so I think it'll work out ok. His mouth is just cut out from paper and stuck with a tiny bit of blu tack. I was testing out different mouths so didnt want to commit to anything by painting it directly on and this way if I decide to animate his mouth at a later stage I still can.

I defined his eyes a bit more by surrounding them with grey and now it's all starting to look a bit Tim Burtony but I think that's ok. Here are a few close-ups where he looks like hes seen some terrible terrible things...

So, since I wanted it to look as if he was bobbing along on the waters surface in his rubber ring I needed to come up with a device to allow him to move in such a way. I came up with a rectangular tube with a ping pong ball sitting on top. It's not a very secure solution but it works. However, due to this precarious mechanism I have dropped him several times and he has suffered a few casualties and has had to endure a couple of trips to A&E to receive hair and ear transplants and a nose job. He's a tough cookie though considering he's only plasticine (one of the most malleable materials I can even think of!) and only really has a few remaining dents and imperfections. From now on I will endeavour to be less violent towards him, he really hasn't done anything to deserve it and it would be tragic if i lost him.
  Behold, the ingenious invention. The ping pong ball just sits inside the cardboard circles and it all just sort of balances on top of each other.

Just a little detail im adding is the seagull in the background to just fly across the sky a bit. Seagull is just simply a body with 2 sets of detachable wings: one for flapping up and one for flapping down which I alternate between frames as well as shuffling him along a bit.

You can see him flitting across the sky in this little video:

And this video shows my first attempt at filming with the boy. He absolutely zooms across the water on a fast current rather than gently bobbing along so next time I know to move him and the water a lot slower from frame to frame.

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