JIM DORAN

Coo Coo Cachoo

Here is a stop motion short featuring that I made with features both hand drawn frames and object animation.

I started by drawing the actor, “Egg,” using a light table. I have a round plastic peg bar, made by Lightfoot.

joie-eggman-wip

I then photographed each drawing…

joie-eggman

And I used Dragonframe to export all the images as video.

joie-eggman-dragonframe

I’m learning a lot from this process, especially the need to pay attention to the lighting. This little clip took more hours to produce than I’d like to admit, but I can see ways to streamline the production. I was very interested to see how the line quality of Egg’s tie and jacket would present when animated. I then switched to a thicker marker as he approaches his “freeze” scene. At one point, I accidentally blew on the “Jimmies” coming from his head, which scattered them across the table. I laboriously recreated the original position of each piece. And I didn’t notice until after shooting the entire sequence that I am visible in the spoon. I left it, but that was a “mistake.”

 

Camera Test

layersFurther exploring stop motion, I made the following test, which is a reprise of an older Flash animation experiment.  This time, I moved all the layers by hand. The whole thing took a long Sunday afternoon, which entailed making the scene, boat and actor, exploring lighting and camera settings and then putting this together. Again, it’s just a test but shows great potential.

I am going to tell you the full story next.

Scene 441

For my 15 seconds of  Star Wars Uncut goodness, I was assigned scene 441, which takes place in the Death Star trench. Awesome.

As a kid, I saw Star Wars some 27 times in the theater. Yes, that’s right – 27 times. After the initial release, it came back to the theaters, and I went every chance I could.  It totally blew me away. It was an obsession, and I spent a great deal of time reliving it in my head. Especially in school. I couldn’t write anything without wanting to turn X’s into X-wings, and H’s into tie fighters. It wasn’t a stretch to turn a crossword puzzle into the surface of the Death Star.

To do this scene like I really wanted to, I would have used AutoCAD to create a 3D wire frame of the Death Star – I could have kept the trench walls in proportion. But, I don’t have access to AutoCAD at the moment. Scratch that.

Next idea – school kid approach. Crossword Puzzle for the walls – forget the perspective and curving of the upper trench rim – I’d never get this done.  I took a lot of liberties with my scene. I cut out some back and forth shots between the X-wing pilots, and I used text from memory – he doesn’t actually say “I’m going in” at the end…he says “I’m in range.” This was a mistake George Lucas made…he really wanted the guy to say “I’m going in.” I figure if he can go back and screw with his original movies, then anything goes. Right?