Stop Motion Animation Project E Update

The biggest and the longest section of the project was this, the ‘Theatre Sequence’, featuring the scaled down theatre set I designed and built. Made from foam board, wooden mouldings and fabric, the design was pretty basic but the way it looked when I got it lit and on camera was much better than expected. Here are some stills of the theatre and its players.

Theatre build

The theatre at an early stage of assembly. The skull is there to check the scale. He later came to be known as Mr Bones.

Theatre Prep 1

My magician’s assistants, otherwise known as the Blue Ladies. I had to chop their overly long legs down so they weren’t too tall. The plastic cups gave them stability and made them easier to move.

Theatre Prep 4

The Blue Ladies during the final paint and then fully costumed up in all their finery. I had a couple of attempts at making some costumes from a pattern but making dolls’ clothes is not really one of my strengths creatively. I eventually hit on the idea of making corsets from papier mâché applied directly to the dolls’ bodies over some cling film. I glued some fabric to the corsets, made a couple of basic gathered skirts and fashioned sashes to hide the join.

Theatre Prep 3

Detail of the corsets, front and back view. They’re fastened with a small strip of Velcro but I ended up sewing the Blue Ladies into their costumes anyway.

Blue ladies crowns

Detail of the Blue Ladies’ statement jewellery. Crowns made from aluminium wire, fuse wire and beads secured with some heavy-duty superglue. Necklaces made from fuse wire and beads.

Theatre Prep 2

Mr Bones gets his sight. Glass eyes from www.glasseyes.com, who have a really amazing range. Well worth a look.

Theatre Prep 5

I had to soften up Mr Bones’ look with a fez as he looked a bit terrifying after getting his eyes. Then I realised I was getting the reference from this image by illustrator Nick Grant.

Theatre Prep 6

I wove a piece of wire into the tassel of Mr Bones’ fez in order to animate it, making the spinning movements I made him perform more dynamic.

Theatre Prep 8

The Magic Cabinet. The doors are covered in some Christmas wrapping paper. The back is false, as you can see in the next images…

Theatre Prep 9

There is in fact a hole in the back of the cabinet to enable support of the character inside.

Theatre Prep 7

Two members of the theatre ‘audience’. Hand made by Shoreditch Original.

Theatre Stills 1

The theatre set fully assembled, with the audience (L) and the Blue Ladies (R).

Theatre Stills 2

Nice shot of the theatre from the front, and from above showing how basic the construction is. But it looked great on camera and that’s all you need.

Theatre Stills 4

Mr Bones working his fez tassel twirl on stage and a wider shot showing the lighting, which was pretty simple: Dedolight above and two adjustable lights either side at approximately 45 degrees.

Theatre Stills 3

Another shot from above and from the wings. The backdrop is a print of Svenstorp Castle by Carl Fredrik Akrell, which I bought online for £1.

So that’s it for now. I’m about to start on to the FINAL set up of the animation and hoping to complete the photography by the end of March – unless I get really busy with the day job. More updates as and when.

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