Categories
Animation

Plasticland WIP

I started working on a project I’m calling PLASTICLAND. I am continuing to tell stories with my action figures.

While staying at my girlfriend’s house a few months back, I took a long walk. I found a blue plastic toy abandoned by the side of the road. I think that it was part of an infant’s car play-set. I was struck by both the loneliness of the seemingly useless object, and also the possibilities it offered. I decided to bring it home. One less chunk of plastic polluting our environment, right? It became the set for these little stories.

I made the following camera tests over two after work filming sessions in my backyard. I used my iPhone to capture the shots in Dragonframe. It worked well enough, and I love the portability of the phone. I’m having trouble exporting a quicktime file in Dragonframe, however. It’s choppy and slow. H.264/ACC works fine, so I suppose that will have to work for now. Dragonframe support said:

MP4 is much more compressed, and suited for playback. If you are outputting a really large (dimensionally, like 4K) Animation Codec movie, it might not play back in real time. That format is more intended to be used as an intermediary for editing.

For fun, I edited the two takes together. I’m approaching each scene as though my younger self were sitting in his childhood backyard playing with these objects. That’s really my only narrative principle. I made storyboards as a kid showing how I would animated scenes with my stuff, had I a working camera and film. I’m finding this as satisfying now as I would have as a boy. My intention is to use this footage as projection material for playing music. There’s a lot of boiling in this – my hands and other things.

As a bonus, Brood X has arrived. My yard is full with emerging cicadas. One fellow made an appearance in a few shots. They haven’t started singing yet. I can’t wait to record them. Here’s a bonus video I made for Instagram:

Categories
Animation

Wind is Ghost

It has been a very windy week in the neighborhood. I’ve been compelled to record the wind with my phone, and finally decided to animate something in an Altoids tin. This is a quick one. I wanted to do a camera test and play with the layers and light. I say it was a quick one, but it took a week to get this, after several false starts and abandoned takes.

behind the scenes, camera stand
work in progress
Working

Thanks for looking at this. I plan to do more elaborate attempts next.

Be well, stay safe and enjoy the autumn.

Categories
Animation

The Benefits of Radiation

I am happy to present my latest animation, The Benefits of Radiation. It’s the backstory for some of my action figures.

The story takes place in a Baltimore bar called Roshambos. You’ll figure the rest out if you watch the video above.

I’m happy with how this turned out. I’ve spent more time on this than anything I’ve completed to date. Time, both in terms of the hours it took to make, and also from the time I that had the idea for the story, up to this evening.

A ream of drawings...

I drew each frame on a light box and used about a ream of paper.

Drawing of a hand holding a can of space dust.

I finally found a use for Space Dust, too.

I enjoyed doing the foley for this. I enjoyed getting to know some of the characters. Perhaps you will enjoy this.

In any event, please please please… Enjoy Radiation Responsibly!

Categories
Animation

Scientifically Sound Question: COVID-19

I made another installment of Scientifically Sound Questions – the Coronavirus Edition. There’s a lot of bad information flying around that needs clearing up.

I created a site where you, dear reader, can ask your own questions. It’s the Bureau of Scientifically Sound Questions. Please ask something today!

Categories
Animation

Higher Ed

I just finished another short.

Everything in this came from a library. The cutouts and text are from 1960’s copies of College & University Business journal advertisements. I like the subliminal, did-that-just-say-something feel of this, especially as it progresses. Put a bunch of random elements together and see what surfaces.

I captured the audio with my phone – everything came from the library except the piano, which is in my garage. Maybe I’ll do another edit where I swap the piano for library sounds.