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May 23, 2007

lsgl: scattered today

by sven at 11:59 pm

I've been really scattered today.

Probably the most important thing I did: I photocopied my sketches for the revised storyboard -- cut the copies up and taped frames to post-it notes -- and arranged the post-its on a big piece of foam core. Now I can look at my whole movie at a glance. ...Daunting.

(Thanks to Justin Rasch for the idea!)

click on image to play clip (342 KB)

Remember the shoggoth footage I shot last week? I got it downloaded from the camera and wrote notes on the content of each clip.

The clip above is from a film idea I was playing with back in January 2005: "Why is the sky rotting?" The seething red stuff in the sky is based on footage of boiling sugar. The shoggoth effect is going to be similar.

click on image to play clip (242 KB)

As a quick experiment, I also tried rendering yesterday's run test as a line drawing. I'm pleased.

Remember how I tried animating a stopmo puppet version of the Elder Thing? I liked it... But I'm pretty sure now that I'm not going to do the Elder Things in the deep history segment in stopmo.

I've got a bunch of reasons:

  1. The CG "line drawings" have cleaner shapes than any puppet I could make. I worked hard designing the Elders -- I know what their form is supposed to be like.
  2. The explorers are just silhouettes in this film. If I have the Elder Things be just silhouettes, then it's implied that "living things" are portrayed as silhouettes. I want to keep the explorers and the Elders more separate than that.
  3. Visually, the Elder Things are supposed to be more "real" than anything else in the film. CG line drawings will help make them seem more real than silhouettes would.
  4. I want the Elders to be the main characters of this story. It'll be easier to identify with them if they're line drawings than if they're just silhouettes.
  5. The Elder Things have a really complicated form. I think giving the audience more visual detail will make the critters easier to "read."
  6. When I animate a CG Elder, I can recycle it quite a bit -- shooting the same creature from different angles. But if I want to recycle stopmo footage, then I only have the camera angle I originally shot from.

Cthulhu is another matter. I'm still thinking that his gelatinous majesty will be done in stopmo. As a biped, the silhouette is relatively easy to read. And visually, a stopmo Cthulhu will contrast nicely with the Elders. (Assuming, of course, that I have enough time to tackle Cthulhu's cameo in the film.)

posted by sven | May 23, 2007 11:59 PM | categories: let sleeping gods lie