Saturday, October 31, 2009

Proppin' it up



Well, apparently for some reason my blog has made it to Blogs of Note, and now my traffic has increased many times over! Kind of frustrating that it happened while the top post wasn't even my own work, but Fimfarum! So I thought I'd post my latest prop work to get it seen before the wave is over. And the price of this sudden and short-lived fame? Photobucket just emailed me to let me know I'm about to exceed my bandwidth for the month and all my photos will disappear until next month (unless I buy a Pro account, of course). Oh, plus I'm getting loads of spam now. But it's also brining lots of new viewers to my humble little stopmo blog, so it's all good. hopefully some of them will like what they see and when all the publicity blows over I'll have increased my readership.

So welcome to all new readers!!! To see examples of some of my practice animation, check my YouTube channel.

Spammers beware though... I mercilessly delete spam.

The glasses are all made from acrylic. I've learned that extruded acrylic is a lot nicer to work with than cast acrylic... less likely to break and easier to shape. Usually sites that sell acrylic tubing etc will state which type it is. I used a miter box with a hack saw to cut it as straight as possible, and I used a propane torch to heat and bend some parts and to round off the cut edges after sanding. You have to be careful though... if you heat it slightly too much it starts to bubble. I got some bubbles here and there... hopefully they won't show too much in the film. A heat gun (for paint stripping) heats it more gently and is good for heating up large areas that you want to bend or distort... but the torch was what I needed for pinpoint accuracy to bend those little handles. Then I used this excellent adhesive made for acrylic called Weld-on 16. Nothing else works anywhere near this well for acrylic. It's nice and thick, so you can use it to fill gaps and pieces don't need to fit perfectly. Oh, an for the bottoms of the mugs I poured clear resin... something called Easy Cast made by Castin' Craft. Pretty easy to use.. one-to-one mix ratio.

39 comments:

Darkstrider said...

Damn! Less than an hour since I made the post and already the spam has begun!! DELETED!!!

... NEXT!!!

Shelley Noble said...

Spooktacular, Mikeo! You're really going all out! Hey--I'm about to back in time--it's a 2am to a 1am moment.

The glasses and mugs look fabtabulous--those handles! And I'm loving the peeled label and ashtray detail!

You deserve to be wildly popular!

KateW said...

First of all, congratulations of being a Blog of Note. This is indeed a gorgeous and intriguing blog.
I was Blog of Note right before you. I'm still reeling from the spam and some occasionally creepy comments -- and not the GOOD creepy like your Golden Skull! Like your whole site.
Anyway, I'm adding you to my blog roll.

ann foxlee said...

Saw you on the Blog of Note, and I'm glad I stopped by for a look! Very nice work, there!
I live in Portland, and my neighbor worked on Coraline out at Laika, so I got to see firshand just how time-consuming and difficult it all is. I'm hoping he signs on to work on the next Laika film, because I want to go back out there-- super fun!

Anyway, good luck on your projects, they look great!!

Josh said...

great work..I just watch some of videos today..

Darkstrider said...

Awesome. Kate, congrats to you as well! I guess we're part of the club now, huh?

Anne... wow!!!! How lucky! Coraline is an incredible film, and I was lucky enough to receive one of the infamous Coraline boxes as part of their ad campaign. Laika really set the bar high, and it's sad to learn that their partnership with Henry Selick has ended... but I agree with you, I hope they crank out lots of more great stopmotion films!!! Hell one day maybe I'll even work there!!

Darkstrider said...

Holy Crap!!! I guess this is the end of my 15 minutes of fame... Blogs of Note spotlights a different blog each day (mine lasted two days, I guess thanks to Halloween). Though I"ll still be visible moving down the list for the next few days. But what a blast of popularity it brought! I believe before this I had 21 followers... now I just checked and I have 105!!! So it's quadrupled my readership. I know there are probably lot more people looking at my blog who didn't become followers, but I'll take it as an indication... for every one who clicked to follow I'll assume maybe 5 more readers or so. Quite sudden and unexpected. But very welcome.

Jessica Koppe said...

Congratulations on increasing your traffic! It's nice to see that your work is appreciated that much, isn't it?

I have a spam problem, too at the moment and found it very annoying... But hey, that's the other side of fame, hum? ;)

But back to your work: It's always great to spy at your workshop... The glasses look great and they fit in perfectly. When taking a picture of your settings you'll get a nice impression of how it all eventually will come together – I don't want to stress you but I'm really looking forward to see the final piece!

Darkstrider said...

You're right Jessica... in fact I feel like I don't really know what a prop or set looks like until I take a picture of it... preferably with the actual animation camera (these pics aren't taken with the animation camera).

I can't wait to get this thing finished!!! For so long I dragged my heels... I was at the same time engaged in a deep learning experience... filling me head with ideas about story, lighting, directing techniques etc... I didn't want to launch on this before I felt I had a good handle on those things. But now at long last I feel I'm there, and I can't finish this film fast enough and get started on the next one.

JR Rivera said...

Cool stuff!!! Keep it up...

StopmoNick said...

Well, us old camp followers are still with you too!
Nice work on the glasses - how did you do the half-ball shapes of the wine glasses? I get the straight-sided mugs, the handles bent from thinner rod, the cast bottoms and even the flat disk bases to the wineglasses, but the round bowl shapes have me head-scratchin' perplexified.
I'm liking the sound of the new mood on this - looking forward to the day you set up the first shot!

Darkstrider said...

Oh yeah... guess I forgot to 'splain about the wineglasses. It's a lot simpler than you probably think. I discovered a site that sells acrylic hemispheres and ellipses. I wasn't quite sure what they'd be so I ordered some of each (I was already buying the tiny glass balls for foam there and needed a few more items to fill out their minimum order amount). Turns out the hemispheres are hollow half-globes and the ellipses are perfect wingless bases. The sizes are a bit weird... unfortunately I bought hemispheres and ellipses the same size, so the bases look a bit too big, but it does go with the slightly unrealistic feel of everything else in the bar.

Migaloo said...

Wow, what beautiful propwork. Looking through your previous posts, it's hard not to notice all of the personality your puppets have.

Is there a section in your blog where you talk about the creation of the puppets' heads?

Tammy Toad Ryan said...

great art!!! MUST be so time consuming, but damn! well worth it! i love it!

bRYEnd_of_the_schtick said...

(^ hmmn. spamin8or scraping noted.
(^ tsk. gets crowdwed being noticed , eh?
:smirks:
(^ well. all saints/day of the dead hath past:
and the trappedgoldfissh888 should be headed home from here 2 days hence:

(^ thusly, perhaps I'll have more time to peruse computer stuff after this grueling task of boot to the psyche camp wraps up.

(^ been entertaining to make human contact with my largest fan tho.

(^ hope he leaves with a FEW fond found memOrye challingered changel locsyncs.

(^ ..whooBOY that last batch of specks croakle perty!

(^ >prosser

ophellia said...

Your website/blog is very interesting but seems a bit scattered. Are you ADD? You mix the glass wear with the animation and with the youtube. Good luck with it all. And good luck with the spam. Did you know that the word used for spam came from a Monty Python sceen?

Food, she thought. said...

Love the attention to detail...also, while I found you via Blogs of Notes, I have scrolled through and read half a dozen or so previous posts. Beautiful work.

Darkstrider said...

Scattered? The glassware is for the animation... it's set in a bar! I know the link to my YouTube channel was random and compulsory... just wanted to direct new viewers to see my work in motion. Shameless self-promotion really.

As for the creation of the heads, I didn't make them - an artist named Scott Radke did, and he didn't post any pics of the process.

I can see how it does all seem random and ADD to an outsider discovering my blog for the first time though. Till now my readers have pretty much all been fellow animators who have followed along for the entire project, so I never felt a need to explain each new entry... if I'm making props I just post pics of the props and they understand since they all make miniature films too.

Glamour177 said...

So this is one of the coolest blogs of note ever. I am a bit new to the Blogger world and can't seem to find a way to "follow" you. Am I missing something?

Entrepreneur Chick said...

YOU are seriously talented. Whoa.

Yaz said...

Mike! Congratulations!!! Those drinks and glasses look great. So, cheers!!!! :)

masterymistery said...

Congratulations on Blogs of Note. Richly deserved, though one small penalty for using the douglas bowman template.

I like you content: it's funky, different, and yes... "dark". Dark is good.

They say the universe is made up mostly of dark energy, with a bit of dark matter thrown in, and almost nothing at all of ordinary matter that we know and love.

I've included Darkmatters in my "other domains" blogroll. Hope you might do the same for Cosmic Rapture.

masterymistery at cosmic rapture

Anonymous said...

Very creative, good to see one's imagination so beautifully explored.

Nezzy said...

Just wanted to give ya a big old CONGRATULATIONS from the Ozarks. A great imaginative blog. Take a bow and enjoy your new found fame.

Have just a wonderful fall day!!!

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Darkstrider said...

Thanks everybody!! Masterymistery, I'll definitely check out your blog and probably add it to my links.

Yes, I've now exceeded my bandwidth usage, so I've uploaded the topmost image to my website so it still shows up here. A lot of the pics further down on my blog will now be replaced with "Bandwidth exceeded" flags. I suppose I'll have to knuckle under to Photobucket's arm-twisting and purchase their pro account (which I probably won't ever need after this popularity blows over).

Darkstrider said...

Glamor177... about Following... I think there's a tiny link at the very top of the page... I think it's in the navbar for Blogger.

evilteenietiff said...

ah, saw this on Blogs of note, I used to always want to work with stop motion animation, but never found the right courses, and when I did they were astronomical.

I really love how you made all those props, It's much more advanced than just using a little hot glue gun like I do half the time~

I'm definately watching this to see what kind of work you do.

Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reggie Peach said...

congrats!
blogging is only just beginning to have its day.
Did you hear about the blogger in Somerton UK last week whose posts had 90% of the town council resign!
The power of the blog!

The mind does indeed bloggle :))

Reggie Peach said...

congrats!
blogging is only just beginning to have its day.
Did you hear about the blogger in Somerton UK last week whose posts had 90% of the town council resign!
The power of the blog!

The mind does indeed bloggle :))

ann foxlee said...

Darkstrider:
Yes, I was sad about Selick's departure too... seemed like such a great thing! But then Phil Knight sort of screwed things up by backing out and losing half the staff that they worked so hard to recruit from Tim Burton's place in England. They all moved to Portland thinking they had good jobs,they bought houses, and then Phil Knight said... 'I think I'll wait on funding until after Coraline, you know, in case it sucks.' So, all those people sold their houses and moved away again because there was going to be no work for 2 years. Sigh. Bigshots with money and no brains...I think he learned his lesson though.

If you're looking to work there, I'll give you this hint: everyone who works there got in partially on talent,and a lot on the recommendation of other people who work there.
So, come to Portland, hang out with the Laika folks (they stick together-- I always see a group of them at art shows around town. They're like a gang!) and get one of them to tell the personnel people to put your resume on top of the stack. Basically,if you impress one of them with your work, and then mention that you are applying, they'll help you.
That's how my neighbor got the job, even though he sells enough of his regular art to Nike that you would think they would have hired him without the recommendation.
It never hurts to know how they operate!

bRYEnd_of_the_schtick said...

(^ by golly last post said the mouthful I"ve been huinting at for years.

(^ my first job came about fofrom a phone cal namedrop to a former college roomate of my first boss who just wanted an unknown grunt worker to train from scratch.

(^ talent doesn't even KEEP the job opening. it just might keep your name in some Rolodex with who earmarked you as a potential for what scrawlwed in the margins.

Curmudgeon said...

Hi like your blog, I'm also trying to make a short animated film, but using computer animation. I was just wondering how you get your images so large. When I post images, blogger defaults them to quite a small size no matter how high the res of the originale. I noticed also that clicking on your images doesn't take me to a seperate page with just the image. Your using some of that html voodoo I rekon, could you help out a fellow animationg blogger?

Darkstrider said...

Hey Curmudgeon... no HTML magic at all... I use Photobucket, and sometimes I use Flickr. Just go to www.photobucket.com or www.flickr.com and take a look around... all will be explained.

Curmudgeon said...

Ok thanks, good luck with your film...my deadline is looming

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Ian Narcisi said...

"One Good Yank": I love how the light angle on the back wall creates a element of speed to an otherwise brief time span. The motions in this piece speak to me which is brilliant given that not only is this stop motion, but a very short clip. Excited to see what's to come!

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