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July 5, 2007

lsgl: a three-legged dog with training wheels

by sven at 11:59 pm

I'm working on the most difficult shot of the film right now. We see the Shoggoth blocking the cave's only exit and dozens of just-woken-up Elder Things stampeding away.

click on image to play clip (129 KB)

I've finally got the Elders' legs doing a satisfactory gallop. How does a five-legged Thing run? Imagine a three-legged dog with training wheels being ridden by a watermelon jockey... That's what worked for me.

There are quibbles to be had with this gallop... The feet hit ground with their delicate tips, rather than with a more load-bearing part of the "foot." The mid-leg doesn't have as much of a "shock absorber" reaction as I'd like. And there's a moment where the rear three legs are all off the ground at the same time, which doesn't seem plausible. ...But it looks OK to me at this speed -- and that's good enough.

The arms are still giving me grief, though. I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around how they should move.

click on image to play clip (159 KB)

Here's your first glimpse of the Shoggoth. There'll be some minor tweaking, but I'm pretty happy with it as-is. (Unfortunately compression for the web has made this clip muddy.)

click on image to play clip (472 KB)

The silhouette for the Shoggoth was created by throwing some india ink into a wet sink.

click on image to play clip (1.4 MB)

The texture of the Shoggoth is boiling sugar... Which is then layered upon itself and hyper-saturated. Hot spots get color-keyed out.

I originally thought that the shoggoth would be translucent in this shot. Turns out that it looks better if it's opaque. Maybe we'll be able to see a bit of the protoplasm's translucence in later shots when the pseudopods are smacking down Elder Things .

A little less than two months left until the deadline! EEEEEEE!

posted by sven | July 5, 2007 11:59 PM | categories: let sleeping gods lie