Merchandising… Clara needs to pay her way!

some mock-ups for t-shirts and badges… I know… cheesy!

Clara t-shirt and badges

T-shirt and badges (mock-up)


and around and around we go…

decided not to use chroma key to remove the green background as it came out too patchy (didn’t light it properly when shooting the images), so ended up photoshopping it all out and then realised I wanted the tie down holes in the converse shoes to be covered up.. then took out the green on her shoes (reflected from the green background)… so basically just photoshopped all 500+ images about 3 times… aaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhh

Final cut has decided to shift the images around so some jump and the size of some images shrunk (despite them all being the same size)

I added the puppet strings to one segment… but still have the moaners and bedroom segment… then I have to think about audio which is not my area so I’m not looking forward to that.

also, for some reason this blog has decided to stop posting images, they upload fine and I add them to the post but when I publish the link breaks… aaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh…

anyway… here’s the updated sequence…

teasing… bit by bit…

I’ve shot most of the teaser sequence but have yet to do the audio and layers of animated drawings etc.

Also the masking and green screening needs sorting but I need to look up how to do that better… seems rather patchy.

I asked some friends to do the ‘moaners’ audio and I used my laptop’s imovie to record them but for some reason it didn’t work… it kept skipping over the actual sentences that I needed so I’ll have to try and re-do that bit. Very frustrating!

I’ve also had to re-do the blogs about 4 times due to my hosting company messing up my databases… at one point they changed the passwords without telling me! of course nothing worked after that… then they deleted them but luckily I had backed up everything… but still a total waste of time and I now have a patch of hair missing ;-p
You can see where the camera got moved and at one point I had to move the puppet off the stage … trying to line it up was a pain.

I did use a frame grabber but my DSLR doesn’t do live feed – I taped my camcorder to the eyepiece but as the camcorder is rather heavy and large for that sort of thing I could never get it to line up properly – I will be buying a small webcam which will be a lot easier to work with.

I think I’ll call this teaser project practice for the main animated sequence – I’m learning a lot and I want the main sequence to be far better than this one!

I think revolving the camera around (or should I say revolving ‘Clara’ on a turntable – the camera was static – I just don’t have the room to do it any other way) made things a lot more difficult as the turntable had to turn on every frame but the puppet doesn’t so it messed up my timing – I think I could have learnt how to time her movement better without the revolving… but it’s useful for the teaser – it acts as a transition to each segment.

Trying to animate Clara’s mini puppets at the end was incredibly difficult as they wouldn’t stand up or stick to the paper (green paper for green screening) so that ended up a bit of a mess… I did shoot that part without the mini puppets and that did look a lot better but, I then realised I would have a nightmare if I did them separate… again because of the revolving of Clara – her feet cuts the puppets off when they are coming around towards the front.

Clara's Mini Puppets, She's so proud of making her own puppets!

Clara with her mini Clara puppet!

Clara's Mini Puppets, She's so proud of making her own puppets!

Clara with her mini Clara puppet!

all set up and waiting… and test sequence

This is the set up for the teaser… the camera is suppose to look like it’s revolving around Clara but for the lack of space I have to have Clara on the turntable. ideally the lights need to revolve but I tried that set up yesterday and the two other lamps I have were to dim… I’ll post up better descriptions and other pics later … just these ones for now.

Set up for Clara Teaser

Set up for Clara Teaser

packing tape... very useful!

packing tape... very useful!

my DSLR is not compatible with any frame grabbing software so I’ve taped my (crappy) camcorder to the tripod so that will give me a live feed – just to see as I’m going along… and I can just take a still from the DSLR each time I’ve made a move.

I’m so nervous of starting now… I keep putting it off!

test of turntable set up…

test on revolving around Clara character – needs more steps and she’s not central so she goes off the ‘screen’ and the lighting goes rather bright… so many issues and final cut doesn’t work so I had to do this in photoshop!!!! this will not be an option for the whole sequence as it’s too awkward and the file size for 97 still images was 1.5gb (ok… they stills need to be made smaller anyway) plus they might import probably into istopmotion if they were smaller.

I didn’t bother taking out the green screen as it’s just a test (a rather bad one). I don’t know if youtube’s compression has done something to this but it’s slightly smooter and the fast part isn’t that jumpy in the full .mov version (2.7gb just for that small piece so I can’t upload that one… I had to compress to a different format).

really need to figure out how to sort the lighting and center Clara! so much work to do… and I now have a headache!

Just a tease….

Because I don’t have time to make the full animation for the deadline I’ve decided to make a small teaser of what is to come in the main film….

this is the storyboard for the teaser…

storyboard for teaser

storyboard for teaser

storyboard for teaser

storyboard for teaser

I think some of these graphic images of Clara would look good on a t-shirt! merchandising :-)))))

new character… iYa

starting the Iya character from the dream sequence...

starting the Iya character from the dream sequence...

not finished yet… making a black crochet ‘skin’ layer and then strands of fluffy textured yarn will be added (bit like latch hook technique) and then trimmed to different lengths… this will take some time though.

I still have to think how I’m going to do the eye… do I want it to blink and move? also the ‘feet’ are actually spheres… I’ll add a sketch of it soon.

I started with wire… twisted to make it stronger, then wrapped wadding around… then added some felt to hold it all together – it has a gusset sewn on the belly which has a long thin bag of plastic pellets to help weigh it down… otherwise it would probably roll over when the eye has been added.

Will update as I get to each new part…

Barry Purves workshop…

I was invited by a tutor of Morley college via to come to the Barry Purves workshop.

I’ll post up the rest of this in a minute….

Barry Purves signing his book

Barry Purves signing his book

Clara's bedroom…

Clara’s bedroom – well a quick mock-up.

I need a larger piece of foamboard for the right hand side wall – I only have a small amount of the red dotted ‘wallpaper’ left as I managed to sit on a piece and tear it! (what am I like?????)

Clara's bedroom mock-up

Clara's bedroom mock-up (sewn Iya toy next to sketchbook)

The window and bookcase are not wonky, it’s just that I extended the floor with some card and it’s bending (temporary measure), so I need another piece of wood to make the floor larger – all very annoying as I keep coming to a stop.

I think the floor will be a plain blue as I’m rather liking the spirals on this paper shown in the photo and I would like to make that a moving animated symbol in the film and it’s easier to do ‘green screening’ on a plain background.

The posters need to be bigger and I might make some more clothes (not full outfits but just so that they look like a pair trousers/jeans/t-shirt etc) and strewn them over the chest and on the floor – needs to be a bit more messy… plus maybe some plates and a glass on the bedside table or on the floor.

I’ve not decided whether to put a photo behind the window or a green piece of paper for green-screening the outside – if I green screen it then the image would move in perspective of the camera etc… but I think I’m over complicating things so I may just take a photo and stick that in (the window is just stuck down at the top so I can just lift it up)

Clara's bedroom mock-up

Clara's bedroom mock-up - no view for the window yet... and the window/shelf unit are not wonky... the cardboard floor is (need more wood)

Clara's bedroom

Clara's bedroom

NEW & IMPROVED…. shoes!

I thought the converse shoes I made Clara were cool but the white banding and white front part looked rather dodgy, and too big so I had a little think of how to improve this – I need to be able to bend Clara’s foot so it’s not a simple matter of using super sculpey.

These are the old ones – I thought they were too clunky and the holes for the tie-downs were too awkward to get at easily. I had to hold the entire puppet upside down with the wooden platform… I can’t do that for every shot!

Clara's old boots

Clara's old boots - well the lower segment is anyway - the upper parts are the same in the 'new' version.

I finally decided on using latex (I’m really starting to love this stuff!).

Clara's new boots

Clara's new boots - one waiting for the edging to be glued on! (I don't recommened epoxy glue for this as it doesn't stick very well with these types of materials and going back to re-glue the gaps is impossible - see upturned shoe - the sole has gaps and hasn't stuck to the felt upper part, grrrrr

I did use a bit of clay rolled into a ball… to match the size of the front white part of the boot (to fit her ‘toes’) and then repeatedly painted a layer of latex with white paint added… after several coats I then peeled it off and gave it a little trim.

I used some super sculpey to sculpt the white banding that goes along the edge of the shoe – this has a slight raised middle segment and a textured front panel  – this was filled with latex with white acrylic paint added.

I ended up making half a dozen of these because although the first one came out just fine the others kept forming cracks and holes (mold release spray causing this???), I finally got two matching bands but when I glued all this together I found that they were too thick… so back I went to the mold – this time I just poured in a small amount that just covered the bottom of the mold – I kept finding that the latex doesn’t seem to dry well with too much white acrylic paint so when after leaving it several days I still found that some parts were wet – hence the rough parts along the banding in the above photo – I did try to re-stick it down but that didn’t work – lets call it experience shall we 🙂

This has worked a lot better – the only problem I have now is where I used white felt panels before glued onto the black upper parts, I’ve managed to leave hard glue bits that are not completely transparent! I’ll have to see if I can get rid of these but I’m wondering that this can be seen when animating… obviously I’m looking at the shoe up close and in detail and I don’t think this happens in my film. I’m probably just being a bit of a perfectionist… this might be why in the last 3 days I’ve sat with some fimo clay trying to create a mini laptop for Clara – I’ve got nowhere with it! I just can’t decide… lump of clay with an image of keys or actually make the keys/screen etc… and how to add the hinge effect or should I make a sole one that stays open and then one that is closed?????

arrrgghhhh…. also need more foamboard for the walls – AND I spent over a tenner on printing more wallpaper only to find that the printers at Uni don’t follow any kind of uniform colour management and they all came out to green/cold to match the wallpaper I already have…. I have come to a grinding halt on this and it’s driving me up the wall!

I just need to add the white banding around the bottom and they are done! I can start thinking of doing the walk cycle after that – I don’t need the laptop and walls for that!

over and out 🙂

(I sewed up Clara’s main toy (Iya) which was a pain as it’s so small and the edging kept fraying – post that up soon too).

The shoes are still a bit rubbish but it’s as close as I can get them to how I want! practice more I guess… (she can stand on her own… no tie-downs, lol)

Clara's new & improved boots

Converse edging and front panel re-do with latex

Window dressings… bedroom…

A Wooden Venetian Blind for the bedroom…

venetian blinds

Venetian Blinds for Clara's Bedroom

The window frames will be simple structures mostly just to hold it all together as it will be removable from the bedroom walls (The bedroom walls and lounge walls are the same… they just get flipped over during each scene’s shooting and sticking window/curtains etc to them will just get in the way).

They are made from balsa wood, sprayed silver and have some waxed cotton thread through them… there’s also some ribbon yarn on the back which is glued into place (the same type used on Clara’s converse boots) you can see in the photo’s the fun I had trying to do that!

My mini Muji printing kit came in handy separating the slats to the right distance!

Making the Venetian Blinds for Clara's Bedroom

Making the Venetian Blinds for Clara's Bedroom

They do work but not that smoothly as there is no pulley system as Balsa wood is not that strong… but small adjustments mean they can be opened or closed and made to look wonky/messy – I think most teenagers aren’t that fussy about their blinds being perfectly symmetrical (actually, I was like then but I’m rather anal – my current blinds in my rented place right now are in terrible state but they wont fix them – I keep the curtains closed over the worst parts just so that they don’t torture me!!! well, actually the curtains are broken so I can’t really open them either! which drives me up the wall!)

well, I made the blind too thick – should have used thinner balsa wood but it was all I hand in at the time.

I made some windows today and the lounge one dried wonky! It will be drapped with a long curtain with nets (might use different ones that are shown in the photo) and I’m not sure how to attach the blind to the bedroom window.

Quick dodgy photo’s but I’ll take some better ones once they are finished and ready to go up on the ‘walls’.

They have acetate glued on the back to give it some shine – I plan to take some photo’s that will show a view out of them. The lounge window (on the right) ended up wonky but I think the curtain will hide that so hopefully it wont be an issue.

Bedroom & Lounge windows with curtain & blinds (not finished)

1 Bedroom (shown twice) & 1 Lounge window with curtain & blinds (not finished)

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