Brick by Brick

Brick-By-Brick_01Hey everyone — it’s good to be back (finally)! I’ve mentioned before that many of my friends (along with my wonderfully patient wife, Glynis) keep reminding me that I don’t always need to have some big, fabulous thing to show in order to create a post here. While knowing they are right, I continue to struggle with feeling a lack of anything genuinely interesting to display or speak about … then the time between these updates grows longer and longer, and all my anxieties along with it. It’s a vicious circle I am (still) determined to break, even if that means sharing something that didn’t work right, or to express a hope/frustration in a line or two.

I hope your holiday celebrations were warm and wonderful, and that this year has been good for you thus far. With so much of the negative being emphasized in the world right now, it’s more important than ever to stay aware of the positive and be grateful for all that we have.

Like many of you, the grinding process of working towards long-range goals can make it easy to slip into self-recrimination, allowing devastating sentiments to cloud the precious creative drive we depend upon as artists. I discovered a welcome antidote for those pernicious feelings while reading an article by one of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell. A celebrated contributor to The New Yorker, Mr. Gladwell has written several fascinating — and hugely successful –books (Outliers, The Tipping Point, Blink, and most recently David and Goliath) that each had a profound effect upon me, resulting in much reflection  and a renewed sense of curiosity about how things may actually work (as opposed to how we sometimes, mistakenly, think they do); his TED talks are highly recommended as well.

In the article Late Bloomers, Gladwell begins with the story of a young, aspiring writer named Ben Fountain whose seemingly rapid ascent from obscurity to literary darling is revealed to have actually transpired over the space of eighteen years — most of it spent working away at his kitchen table.

Although the focus of the piece is to ask why we equate genius with precocity, I found great comfort in the way he describes two different artistic personality types.

First there is the prodigy, a fresh, young creator that just blows-up right from the start; in cinematic terms, think Orson Wells, who created his masterpiece Citizen Kane at twenty-five, or Steven Spielberg setting the world on fire with Jaws before even turning 30. Then there is the late bloomer, who takes a much longer and protracted time to develop their style and produce the works they would eventually become known for. A  great example of the latter is Alfred Hitchcock, who made seven of his greatest films (including Rear Window, North by Northwest, and Psycho) between the age of fifty-four and sixty-one! (Insanity!)

Can you guess which side of the line I lean towards?

If you read the article, you’ll notice that many of these late bloomers continue to work on and refine their art throughout the lengthy process of its creation. And although some of the attributes he lists for this creative type don’t fit, I can identify all too well with this familiar methodology,  and wanted to share an example from The Price to illustrate…

Animatic_sideByside_01

Near the beginning of the animatic (the simplified, rough-draft of the movie), I choose to introduce the audience to the narrator by having a stray cat approach the front door of his home. Using storyboard illustrations, this was accomplished with cuts between the feline visitor and the opening door.

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In the actual film where the camera is free to move about the 3D ‘set,’  I devised a more immersive shot; we glide up the steps and across the porch, past the stray, and push-in close to look up at the door as it opens (a point-of-view similar to the cat’s). I was thrilled with the effectiveness of the move, but then noticed a glaring issue … the bricks looked fake!

To explain:

The model of the house was made with a minimal amount of polygons, the building blocks for 3D images. Simply put, the more polygons in a given object, the more complex and realistic it may look — but the computer has to work harder to ‘draw’ or render them onscreen. With limited computing power, that becomes a vital issue.

Porch_Wireframes_01

All of the brightly-colored lines in this image make up the triangular shapes of the polygons, and they act like the frame for the model of the front porch. These digital frames are covered with images called texture maps, using a technique similar to wallpapering. Below are examples of some of the textures used  (many of which were made from photographs I took while visiting the legendary Castle Gaiman).

Porch_TextureMaps_02

To keep the poly-budget down to a reasonable level that my computer won’t choke on, many details have to be ‘faked’ with texture maps and another type called a ‘normal’ map (the name doesn’t make any sense at first, but we aren’t going to go into that right now). The seemingly bizarre coloration of the normal map tells the computer how to light a flat object — like a smooth, featureless wall — so it looks like rough bricks with sunken grooves of mortar.

These two maps go a long way toward making it appear as though the house walls are actually made of bricks … until you get to the hard, sharp-edged corners … and the jig is up. Illusion shattered — it looks like wallpaper!

While that may not seem like a big deal, by having the camera move in this close, the lack of edge detail becomes extremely distracting! The whole point of the shot is to focus anticipation on seeing who is opening the door, not the limitations of my PC, right?

To go back and rebuild the porch walls with individually modeled (and textured) bricks would have been a huge, labor-intensive job, and defeat the purpose of keeping the assets lean in the first place, so … what to do?

E3D-Bricks

Using the Element 3D plugin for After Effects (which didn’t even exist when I started this project), I developed a way to build very low-poly bricks and insert them into the existing model only along the edges that were giving me trouble. Look at the difference with those bricks in place…

…and then without.

And in the final shot, those bricks even cast a shadow across the door, adding one more  detail that helps keep the illusion onscreen alive.

E3D_Porch_CoolShadows

Back to Late Bloomers, I could empathize with some of the artists Mr. Gladwell talks about (like the great French painter Cézanne), and was grateful to note that several of them endured adversities similar to my own. Here is a particularly uplifting passage:

“On the road to great achievement, the late bloomer will resemble a failure: while the late bloomer is revising and despairing and changing course and slashing canvases to ribbons after months or years, what he or she produces will look like the kind of thing produced by the artist who will never bloom at all. Prodigies are easy. They advertise their genius from the get-go. Late bloomers are hard. They require forbearance and blind faith.”

Gladwell then states the extremely vital role that patrons play in allowing these types of artists the time to be able to develop and produce their work.

“That word [patron] has a condescending edge to it today, because we think it far more appropriate for artists (and everyone else for that matter) to be supported by the marketplace. But the marketplace works only for people like … Picasso, whose talent was so blindingly obvious that an art dealer offered him a hundred-and-fifty-franc-a-month stipend the minute he got to Paris, at age twenty. If you are the type of creative mind that …  has to experiment and learn by doing, you need someone to see you through the long and difficult time it takes for your art to reach its true level.”

That brings me to all of you, and the overwhelming surge of gratitude I feel towards everyone who has believed in my vision and generously supported this project, who continue to send so much encouragement and … yes, love.

“Late bloomers’ stories are invariably love stories, and this may be why we have such difficulty with them. We’d like to think that mundane matters like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to keep writing checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it’s just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table.”

I can’t say it any better than that. My deepest thanks to everyone (beginning with Mr. Neil Gaiman, my family, and to each one of you) for allowing me to make this little film, to honor a story I fell in love with and can’t get out of my mind/heart until it can be shared with the world.

It’s been a long, cold winter, but spring is coming …

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Legs & Layers

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I’m preparing a new Video Blog that illustrates some of the various hybrid animation techniques being used in the production of The Price, and wanted to share a screenshot as a quick preview — stay tuned!

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Dreaming Dangerously

Every year it seems my family and I wind up celebrating my birthday somewhere along the vast stretches of interstate that constitute the 1000 mile pilgrimage we make each summer to be with family north of the border. A sourly noted  coincidence is that it almost always occurs during the very week of the San Diego Comic Con — the Mecca of all Geekdom — and often while I’m not even in the same country.  Although this has never been a big deal (as I cherish every minute we get to spend in the gorgeous Okanagan valley), I have long wished for an opportunity to go and see for myself what all the Comic Con-fuss is about.

Part of the joy in writing this blog comes from the opportunity to share with you some of the astonishing experiences that have transpired during the production of this little film. Most recently, two things happened that made this year’s birthday extra-extra-special…

First, I had the extraordinary good fortune of being invited to attend and participate in the 2016 San Diego Comic Con!

And then, this happened:

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Photo by: Mysterious Female Gaiman Fan (who took this for me after I took one for her)

I’m going to explain the excessive use of italicized words in just a moment, but there is something more important to show you first: here is the brand new trailer that was created exclusively for Comic Con!

It was such an enormous thrill to watch this on a huge screen and hear an audience (larger than my family) react to it for the first time!

So… how did all of this come about? Neil’s Director of Development (and my own wonderful Producer) Cat Mihos asked me to be a part of a special SDCC panel entitled “Neil Gaiman in Film.” Focusing on the work of several talented artists who have been inspired by Mr. Gaiman’s life and creations, each of us showed clips from our cinematic projects and shared the motivations for making them.

SDCC-2016-Panel_TylerBel

Photo by: Tyler Bel

From left to right, our distinguished (motley) group included: Olga Nunes and Alan Amato with their documentary Temple of Art, our fabulous moderator (and childhood friend of Neil’s) Geoff Notkin, the incredible Cat Mihos herself, her partner-in-crime and the panel’s appointed color man Ethan McQuerrey, Patrick Meaney the director of the featured documentary Dream Dangerously, his cinematographer Jordan Rennet… and that other dude there at the end.

(As I began listing these talented folks it became apparent there was no realistic way to include all of their multi-hyphenate descriptors, so you’ll just have to take my word for it: this is a powerhouse group!)

SDCC-2016-Panel_TaylorMaw

Photo by: Taylor Maw

I was sincerely honored to be included and had a veritable blast onstage (hopefully video of the proceedings will be available soon), but it got even better afterwards when I had the opportunity to speak with some hardcore Gaiman-ites who had stories of their own to share.

First, a young man named Ryan shook my hand as he thanked me for creating the animatic of The Price, claiming he had watched it more than 20 times. He said it gives him hope as an artist (he is a writer) when hitting those down days that we all struggle through, and found it has provided inspiration for him to keep going. I was overwhelmed to hear this, and felt an intense gratitude that my little prototype film had such an effect on this earnest fellow; his enthusiasm to see the finished movie was humbling.

Next, a woman named Sarah approached me with tears in her eyes. She thanked me for working on The Price (her favorite short story), and referenced something I’d said when introducing the teaser trailer for Castle Gaiman. It was reminiscent of this blog post about my visit to Neil’s Midwestern home where the real-life events of this fictitious story took place. I told the audience (who all looked at me in various shades of jealous-green) about getting to spend time there, catching glimpses of the relationships he has nurtured not only with a variety of ‘lost’ animals that he shares the house with, but also the ‘lost’ people with whom he surrounds himself. And by ‘lost,’ I mean individuals who may not feel as though they fit the regular-shaped holes that society has available for them to fill; somehow, he has made them all a home.

Because of this remark, Sarah related an experience several years prior at Comic Con when she had waited for hours to see Neil in sweltering summer temperatures and while she was extremely pregnant (with a son who was attending himself this year). At some point, she was told that she had been waiting in the wrong line, and had to scramble up elevators and down corridors to arrive at the new location. Then, after waiting even longer in this second queue, was informed she had been in the correct line the first time around, and would now miss the event altogether. Heartbroken and feeling miserable, she made her way back only to find closed doors; all her efforts to see him had been in vain.

But wait…this is a Neil Gaiman story, so it can’t possibly end there, right?

With a huge smile, she said that as Neil was leaving the room after the panel concluded, he recognized her from the line, walked over and sat down for 15 minutes to chat with a tired mother whose fan-hopes were suddenly rekindled in the best possible way.

“I was one of those lost people you mentioned.” she finished, her eyes still gleaming.

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Photo by: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ

Everything about this entire experience was so overwhelming that I cannot begin to give you an accurate sense of what it all felt like (keep in mind this was my first time at SDCC), but let me share a few more moments.

Getting to attend the American Gods panel as part of Neil’s “entourage” was both exhilarating and rather startling, especially when finding myself at the pre-panel gathering in the presence of actors like Ian McShane, Kristin Chenoweth, and Producer/Writer and Showrunner Bryan Fuller. I’m standing there trying not to gawk openly at all of these people, when Neil calls out my name and comes over for a hug while wishing me a happy birthday — I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that, right? I don’t even know if I said anything that made sense after that, just grinned a whole lot. Maybe too much.

AmericanGods_panel_02

Photo by: Natalie Fisher

After his panel — and it really did belong to Neil, as the audience cheered and clapped for all of the guests, but absolutely went berserk when Mr. Gaiman took the stage (you can see for yourself here) — all the participants and their guests returned to the same private gathering room, and again, Neil took time with me for that priceless photo above and to chat amiably with the horde of people who all wanted a piece of his time. I was able to meet some wonderful new friends, and once again was left to marvel at the generosity and kindness of a genuinely good man who has touched so many, many lives.

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This was my POV from backstage — crazy-cool!

On top of all this, there was the thunderous, mind-blowing insanity that is Hall H, the ultra coveted venue that people literally camp overnight in line just to be a part of. It was like a full-on rock concert in a 7000 seat madhouse! Screaming fans, laser holograms projected on smoke, ear-splitting audio all fused to the kind of live-wire adrenaline that drives everyone to their feet when someone like Benedict Cumberbatch suddenly appears onstage… jaw-dropping!!!

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Photo by: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

In addition to the marketing juggernaut of the Marvel panel, there were other phenomenal events to savor, like the Aliens 30th Anniversary panel with James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver — I was in heaven!

What more can I say? Only that I hope you enjoyed this offering and the spirit in which it was given, one of gratitude and pure amazement at getting a chance to be there and take part in so much geeky-goodness!

One last thing… my Comic Con experience was made possible through the tireless, behind-the-scenes efforts of the person who my wife has pointed out is the equivalent of our own personal Black Cat. Like the quiet hero of The Price, she is the resilient and positive force that brought everything together at SDCC and kept it flowing: Cat Mihos (along with her awe-inducing hubby, the giant, pony-tailed, kilt-wearing dynamo that is Drew Johnston). Her consistent encouragement and genuine desire to help others has been a source of inspiration and hope even durning times when this project was moving so slowly, it was hard to see progress. She has opened many doors for me (and others), and creates networks between those of us lucky enough to associate with her. And when I witness how deftly she coordinates the intense storm of focused attention that always threatens to engulf her beloved boss, I know she is his Black Cat as well.

A 1000 thank-yous, my friend.

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SDCC: Your Cup of Tea?

Hey everyone! It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, and I’m incredibly excited to finally share some news that’s been in the works for awhile: I’ll be debuting a brand new cinematic trailer for The Price at the San Diego Comic Con later this month!

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I was asked by Cat Mihos (my wonderful producing partner and Head of Development for Mr. Neil Gaiman) to join a special panel called “Neil Gaiman in Film,”  featuring the new documentary Dream Dangerously and other great art. For those of you who may be attending the Con, here are the details:

Neil Gaiman in Film: Dream Dangerously, The Price, Temple of Art

SDCC, Saturday July 23rd, 8:00-9:00 pm Room 29AB

Patrick Meaney (Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods), Jordan Rennet (She Makes Comics), Cat Mihos (Neverwear), Allan Amato (Slip), Olga Nunes(Temple of Art), Christopher Salmon (The Price), Geoff Notkin(Meteorite Men) and Ethan McQuerrey (The Executive) discuss three different upcoming films featuring Neil Gaiman (Sandman, The Graveyard Book).They will show clips from the films and then have a Q&A session/discussion moderated by Ethan McQuerrey & Geoff Notkin.

Pretty cool, right???!!!

Needless to say, I have been working around the clock, and in addition to The Price, will also be showing the Castle Gaiman mini-doc trailer as well (with some exclusive new interview footage).

Patrick’s film, Dream Dangerously is available starting tomorrow on Vimeo, and contains some truly fascinating insights not only into Neil’s world, but of the challenges in creating art professionally as well.

I hope to see some of you there, and finally get a chance to express my gratitude in person for helping make this filmmaker’s dream come true. And after all, it is Comic Con…who knows what surprises may be in store? 😉

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Windows of the Soul

Gollum_Smeagol_TheTwoTowersI remember the first time I saw Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers and sat in slack-jawed amazement during the scene where Frodo confronts Gollum about his long-forgotten past as Smeagol. So much of a genuinely affecting performance comes through an actor’s eyes… and here was a CG character emoting in a way I’d never imagined possible! Somehow, the animators had managed to capture Andy Serkis’s phenomenal work and translate it through the computer to play out on the screen.

Because there are several shots in The Price when the Narrator is simply staring at the Black Cat or off into the distance somewhere, I knew that the CG model’s eyes were going to bear the brunt of the audience’s focus (not to mention scrutiny). With that in mind, digital designer and sculptor Ryan Peterson had his work cut out for him.

Modelling:

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Again, it may seem like overkill to go into this much detail, but to get the computer to make things “look right,” you have to give it plenty to work with. (Seriously, click on the image above and look closely at all of those sculpted folds in the iris [dilator pupillae] and the intricate veining on the sclera — that is just plain nuts, right??!!) Ryan even made a shell that covers the eye and incorporates the “corneal bulge” shape, which actually helps in the next stage.

Rendering:

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When preparing a model for rendering, I can assign certain characteristics to each individual part. In the image above, I gave the skin of the face and the eyeball itself some translucency, so that part of the light in the scene actually passes through the material instead of just bouncing off. It’s not something most of us walk around thinking about, but your brain inherently recognizes the difference between something organic (like skin) and something else (like rubber), and will let you know immediately if something looks “off.” For the scleral covering/corneal bulge pieces, I used a glass-like shader with actual refractive properties, so the image of the iris and pupil behind it are slightly distorted (in real life, the cornea and surrounding liquid do the same thing). An environment map (depicting the scene around the character, like a backyard or a room interior) is also applied to give that glassy surface layer something to reflect, which is what makes it seem wet or moist. (That last reference was specifically for my sister Jen — she absolutely loathes the word “moist.”) :) All of these little things really add to the overall impact when you see them together, like this:

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I’ll admit he does appear a wee-bit maniacal (sorry Neil), but those eyes make it seem as though there is someone “in there” (even if he may be a little frayed around the edges).

Well, that’s all for now; I hope you enjoy these “behind-the-scenes” posts — have a great week, everyone!

PS: This whole topic was kind of ironic, as I had my very first visit to the Eye Doc this morning (getting old, I’m afraid…), so here’s a quick shout-out to the whole team at Davis Vision Center (especially that dapper-doc, the one and only Kurt Hepworth)!

EyeDocVisit_01

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Stunt Cat

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Here’s a quick shot I took of what’s currently on my screen: The Black Cat’s very own “stunt” double (hairless at the moment). Used in medium to long shots, this model can be posed and animated in real time. (For those emotive close-up shots, a “hero” version of TBC is rendered in a different program.) I’ll show a demo later on of how this guy works and has solved a specific set of problems for me on The Price. More soon!

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Grade School Graveyard

I wanted to add a quick update concerning the image I posted last time of the basement stairwell. Most of the comments I received were very complimentary (for which I gratefully thank you), but a few also included an interesting observation: that the narrower dimensions of the stairs in the original animatic image added more to the sense of tension and unease I was trying to evoke than the revised set. As an artist, I genuinely value constructive critiques of my work; after looking at the same thing for an extended period, it is always a challenge to see with fresh eyes. Although I don’t feel obligated to agree with every proffered observation/opinion, I did in this case, and offer a revised version that I feel works much better. Thanks everyone! :)

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Since one good turn deserves another, I wanted to share something fun that you might get a kick out of. My 11 year-old son had an assignment in his 6th grade class to create a video book “trailer” earlier this year, and guess what book his group chose? None other than Mr. Gaiman’s masterwork, The Graveyard Book! And while the kids themselves wrote the script, chose which scenes to include, played all the roles and decided how it was to be put together, they asked me to help with the “special effects” and other post production duties as it was shot almost entirely using greenscreen. The finished video was shown at a local theater as part of a 6th grade “Film Festival” (with the kids all being chauffeured by limo to walk the red carpet, et al), and The Graveyard Book won 8 awards! (Some parents grumbled about my participation, but it really wasn’t a true competition, and the teacher in charge welcomed the opportunity for me to show the students some advanced techniques.) The kids had a blast (and so did I), so we hope you’ll enjoy it as well:

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Composition and Contrast

Whether you are drawing a picture, staging a scene in a play, or taking a photograph, the way you choose to present the elements of your creation to an audience has a huge impact on how they will receive the message you are endeavoring to send.

As I was starting to put together storyboard frames for the animatic, one of the first images that formed clearly was this one:

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There are times when I struggle to find an interesting way to visualize a scene, but this one leapt fully-formed into my mind. It made me feel everything I was hoping to convey: trepidation, wariness, anxiety and a bit of mystery as well. Although it may just be a basement stairwell, at this point in the story the audience needs to feel like there is definitely something askew with the visit of this seemingly innocuous black cat. I didn’t try to over-think things when putting it together, but the lower, canted angle, strong contrast, and the off-center placement of the doorway at the top of the stairs all combined to create the tone I wanted. It remains one of my favorite shots, so when it came time to build the actual scene, I kept the composition intact.

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I hope you are enjoying these images and insights as much as I enjoy sharing them!

Oh, one last thing: is anyone planning on attending the San Diego Comic Con in July? Just asking…

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A Change in the Weather

I don’t know how it may be for you, but where we live, the weather has been doing its springtime-schizophrenic-thing with great abandon this year! (I went camping with my son’s scout troop 2 weeks ago and froze all night long; now I can’t sleep in my own bed without the overhead fan spinning away.)

Thinking on these thermal vacillations  suggested an interesting detail to share with you: during my oft-referred to visit at Castle Gaiman, a roofing company happened to be effecting some repairs with a specialized truck that featured a platform attached to a crane/boom arm that could extend all the way to the top of the house (I believe they called it a “cherry picker”). With Neil’s kind permission, I had the operator take me up so I could shoot references photographs from a unique vantage point. I’m not gonna lie — it was a blast to ride in, and also an unexpected treat to experience high-altitude views of the house and property.

Photo by: Cat Mihos

One of the details I was excited to see in person was the distinctive weather-vane that adorns the tower at the front of the house.

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Although interesting in its own right, I wasn’t as keen about the design as I had anticipated. After reviewing the photos later, I still felt a bit disenchanted, and decided my Castle Gaiman would need to have something a little more…spooky.

So, I approached my friend, the talented designer-illustrator Dave Laub, and asked if he could take the basic idea and give it his customary Laub-ification treatment; here’s what he came up with:

WeatherVane_Design_01

Pretty cool, right? :) Needless to say, I was thrilled, so the design was given to master-sculptor Ryan Peterson, who translated Dave’s 2D concept into an actual 3D model. (For a more detailed explanation of this process and some examples of how it works, you can watch — or perhaps re-watch — this videoblog on Digital Sculpture & Design.)

You may be asking at this point: so, why all the fuss? The next time you are watching a movie, you might notice that alongside the shots you would normally expect to see, like close-ups when people are talking to each other, or establishing shots of locations that let you know where the next scenes are going to take place, etc., there are other, less obvious elements used to help move the story along. One of these cinematic devices is called a transition, which does exactly what it sounds like: helps the viewer make a transition from one place (or idea, or emotion) to another without getting confused feeling jarred out of the moment. I wanted to feature the weather-vane in a close up to serve as a transition point in the film, both visually and tonally; take a look:

Change-in-the-Weather_01aIt’s at this juncture in the story where bad things begin to occur, and which seem to be somehow connected to the Black Cat. I’m hopeful that this imagery won’t feel too “on-the-nose” to viewers, but will impart a subtle sense of foreboding.

Well that’s all for now; have a tremendous week! (And keep an eye out for those sudden storms…)

 

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The Basement

For this week’s post (yes, I am going to post something every week from here on out — even if it’s just a quick, frustrated blurb or scribbled drawing of some sort), I thought I’d share this image of one of the featured locations in the film: the basement.

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This set was built using some of that new “tech” I was referring to in the last post, which allows me to move objects, lights and camera around in real-time, helping to dial-in an amplified, illustrative feel for The Price. No more waiting (like in the “Old Days”) for minutes/hours between adjustments while the computer crunches away — it really is such a huge artistic advantage! To compare, here is an image of the quick 3D set I cobbled together for the animatic:

Animatic-Basement

When developing the animatic, I realized this was one of the sets I couldn’t just “fake” with a simple image for the background, as I had to generate multiple shots from very different angles. Luckily, these renders were very simple, didn’t have any real textures or colors to worry about getting right (as the images were eventually turned monochromatic), and were only meant to get the general idea across. If you look carefully between the two versions, you can see that I’ve re-purposed some of the same models (although they have been upgraded significantly).

One last thing you may find interesting: to keep from going crazy, I sometimes amuse myself by adding little references to various friends and family members into the background of shots, like the label for this paint thinner can:

KodusStrip_01

(“Kodus” is a nick-name for one of my sons…and yes, the rest of my kids are watching very closely to make sure they don’t get slighted.)

At any rate, I hope you enjoyed this quick peek; have a great week!

PS: For the record, Neil’s basement looks nothing like this. It’s got a marvelous library, tons of comics, and is both inviting and comfortable in every way; that wouldn’t really work too well for the movie — I want my basement scary and mysterious! :)

Gaiman_Library

Photo by: Kyle Cassidy

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