Thursday, 21 May 2015

Gravestone building

 For the Graveyard i decided to make 6 gravestones of varying shapes and designs. These are meant to resemble graves that look as though they have been abandoned for decades. I started by marking out the shapes that i wanted to cut on a piece of bolserwood.
These were then cut out delicately using a hack saw and a stanley knife for precision.

On of the gravestones however was shaped like a cross, which was too thin to be cut out so I used a stick of Bolserwood to create this specific piece. 

Each gravestone was then sanded and smoothed before I used a wood filer to etch in imperfections such as cracks and stoney textures. 
I also etched in a R.I.P onto each Gravestone.

Here are all 6 stones now with extra details and ready for the fun part...PAINTING!

I added 3 coats of grey paint to each one and then went over the imperfections in much darker colours to bring out the cracks and the R.I.P text on each one. 

Each was then given a very fine layer of rock textured spray paint for added look.

Whilst producing this I decided to have a little fun with these props and add the names of various animators on my course as a little cameo.

Below is each grave with the name of its apparent buried follower.

Bethan Davies

James Stafford (Myself)

Laura Jones

Tad Davies

Josh Cranton

Julia Young

So here we are. All together and ready to be planted in the ground. Rather dark and Macabre I know... but thats my style really. Next will we looking at various props and accessories for the graveyard. See you soon!!

Lets make a Graveyard!!

Now that puppets are all out the way we can finally begin working on sets for the animation. Bloody Mary consists of four sets:

The Graveyard
The WorkBridge
The Cauldron/Potion room
The Mirror room

The graveyard is the only set I will be building while the other 3 will be constructed by the set design department.
 I began by laying out a few sheets of Mod roc that had been dripped into water. this is going to form the top of the Graveyard. 

I applied about 6-7 layers of this while also placing blocks of foam and polystyrene in between them to act as rocks and uneven ground. 

The top was coated with plaster to fill in the gaps and make the set look more like dirt.

While that was setting I prepared some paint mixtures for laying the dirt in. I used two colours that resembled dirt and gravel to try and make the ground look as earthy as possible. 

Whilst attending the workshop where my other sets will be produced, I found a small piece of fake moss which was used as part of a farm set they had produced. I asked if I could take the moss and they obliged so it was an ideal find for my set. 

 Here is the moss sheet which I ripped into smaller sections and glued down on across the set. 
While prepping the graveyard I also came across this small playmobile spade. It was an ideal scale so I decided to modify it for the Graveyard.

I cut it in half using a rotary tool and fitted a piece of round K&S to lengthen the handle. 
Using white spray paint I then gave the spade a light coat for painting later. I sadly forgot to photograph the spade with its final details so I shall use descriptive language to assist you.

 "The handle was a muddy brown indicating plenty of use while digging. The head and the end of the spade were a dark grey but showed signs of withering and age for they were caked with rust and dirt".

The grave now painted and with moss added as well really helps enhance the look that the graveyard has been abandoned for years. Hey look Gravestones! We'll be having a look at those in my next blog post so STAY TUNED!!


Onto the last puppet, the ghost. These little characters are the ones who collect the pumpkins once they are carved. I wanted them to have a traditional Ghost look to them.
I begun by producing a sculpt of how i wanted the Ghosts to look. A lot of people were very fond of the idea of one eye being smaller than the other.

Once sculpted i then produced a small box out of foam board around the sculpt which I then filled with plaster to create a one part mould. 

Half a day later and the mould is complete and ready for casting. The idea is to paint a thin layer of white Silicone on the inside to resemble a sheet Ghost.

 Sadly the sculpt did not survive... but its Ghost it can't die again!
 I then set about mixing up a batch of white silicone which I poured into the mould. As it set I occasionally gave a mould a slow turn to make sure an even and flat coat was produced. 
Ready to go into the mould!!

First attempt.. didn't quite work. The layer was so thin that it broke as I pulled it out. So lets try again!

Second attempt... SUCCESS! There was a small air bubble in the smaller eye but once the eyes were painted in with black silicone, no one seemed to notice.

One little ickle Ghost ready to go!!

Now the idea for animating was to have the ghost on a rig arm and animate it separately from the other characters on camera to allow me to add in post production effects to make it see through and more Ghost like. 

This is the rig which the Ghost will sit on as it is being animated against blue screen.

A small K&S stick was attached on the inside which allowed for the rig to slip on and off of the puppet for easy rigging. And just like that the Ghost and indeed all the puppets are all ready and prepped to go.

Next time we will be looking at props and sets after so long!! SEE YOU NEXT TIME!