you are here [x]: Scarlet Star Studios > the Scarlet Letters > lsgl: shoggoths in the kitchen
<< before lsgl: have monster, need ram
after >> artist's way open studio (may)

May 16, 2007

lsgl: shoggoths in the kitchen

by sven at 11:59 pm

I got the run around trying to get more RAM yesterday. Hopefully I can pick it up tomorrow.

So, not wanting to waste time, I switched tasks. Today was all about trying to get footage that will be transformed into the shoggoth.

water effects for the shoggoth

The shoggoth is supposed to be a 50-foot tall blob that throws out murderous pseudopods. I want this thing to have a really liquid look to it... So I decided to try producing some the FX shots in a water tank.

It's, um, a plastic gerbil cage that I found at Good Will for $2. I've got the camera tilted on its side so I can maximize the distance the pseudopod travels across the screen.


How do you make a shoggoth? Why, I'd be happy to share my recipe!

  1. mix flour and water into a paste
  2. used tempera paint to blacken it
  3. smooth out the ooze with some corn syrup

To get more control pouring the shoggoth into the water, I made impromptu pastry bags out of typing paper.

a steaming pile of shoggoth

Different batches of shoggoth had different consistencies. Some were too watery, and produced a billowing cloud in the tank. Some were a bit too thick and looked... Profoundly fecal.

(A good portion of the footage is disturbing in a way that I hadn't intended.)

camera beneath the water tank

Here's a setup I created to try to get a shot of the pseudopod shooting toward the camera. It didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. It was difficult to get the pastry bag where it needed to be -- and as soon as the first bit of ooze hit the bottom of the tank, the rest of the shot was useless.

I filled and dumped out a lot of tanks of water today.

ooze sliding down dry-erase board

I made another attempt to get shots of a pseudopod shooting toward the camera by rolling the ooze down a dry-erase board. In the later shots, I had the board nearly vertical and the camera lens right in its path. I'm hopeful that some of these shots may be good.

At the very end of the shooting day, I also did an experiment where I was moving watered-down tempera using a hairdryer. That was looking promising... But my mini-DV tape ran out just then, so I decided to call it a day and start cleaning up the fantastic mess I made.

posted by sven | May 16, 2007 11:59 PM | categories: let sleeping gods lie