Making Props for a Feature – Part 4

So this is was by far the most complicated prop. The client wanted an Etch-A-Sketch (remember them?) that could write messages by itself. Yep, a haunted Etch-A-Sketch. Possibly one of the biggest challenges. How to do it? Well two obvious ideas came to mind, CG and practical effects. CG was the cheapest option, but I didn’t think it would look nearly as good. So I put forward the option of practical, and the production team went with it, good lads!

It was a fairly straight forward process, so to break it down;

  1. I sourced my components,an Arduino microcontroller, two stepper drivers, two stepper motors and a button.
  2. Machined a coupler which I mounted to the back of the Sketch’s control rods.
  3. 3D printed some pulleys.
  4. Coded v1 (some basic movement)
  5. Assembled it all together.
  6. CODE AND DEBUG!
  7. Decorate to make it look like it was owned by a kid.
  8. Duplicated the decoration on hero version.

Below is a quick test video

 

As you can see in the early version I had some issues with the Y axis, this was due to the belts not being tight enough, so when it reversed direction it wasn’t traveling far enough. This countered by adding a bit of extra code, although if I had the time I would have created a jockey wheel. Just at the time my 3Dprinter was being a little tetchy.

This was a fun prop to work on, and I’m so glad the production team gave the go ahead for me to do the practical version.

Making Props for a Feature – Part 3

This particular prop was something one of our actors was wearing. In a particular scene they start to glow, but for it to look any good they needed to cast a light that interacts with their surroundings.

The way it worked as I ran wires through out and hid some connectors in the seams, so that I could attach LED strips to the blindside to the camera, this allowed for a flexible rig. Could run of a 12v wall wart or battery if needed.

This rig didn’t get as much screen time as I’d have liked ended up casting across a pretty featureless wall. Still, I got to flex those sewing muscles (and by flex I mean flinch as I kept sticking myself)

Making Props for a Feature – Part 2

So enlisting the aid of Louis, this time it was a coffin in the making… a rather unsettling coffin as it was child size. It’s hard to describe how uncomfortable we were when we finished making this. Nothing special about the construction of this coffin, other than it didn’t have a lid or sides, as we wanted to be able to shine light through the sides for effects.

Making Props for a Feature – Part 1

So I’ve just come back from filming a feature film (my first!), and while I can’t say too much about it right now what I can share with you is some of the behind the scenes of the props we had to build for it. The first up is a rock that is not a rock. Or, a rock that you can hit someone with and not actually kill them!

To achive this it was a simple job of some foam, silicone and paints! Along with some help from Ash, our makeup artist on the final detailing you would have walked right past this on the path and not noticed. In fact our runner did when we asked him to fetch it!

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Rewind – Behind the Scenes

Hello! So with the release of Episode 5 of Rewind Edward Sillence of Zanifair Productions put together some behind the scenes footage of the filming of Rewind – The Life Is Strange Live Action. It was nice to see what goes on behind the camera and what’s involved sometimes. And the atmosphere was always relaxed and fun, which I think you get to see in this.

Image link opens YouTube

Fifth Episode of Rewind

Hey folks, the fifth and final episode of rewind is just around the corner (releasing 08/05/2016) so I thought I’d just throw a link out there to those who’ve not caught any of it yet. This was a live action series based off the computer game Life Is Strange. I came in to help on sound and spent some time camera op’ing and even ended up in front of the camera, on purpose no less! That been said it’s been a blast working on this project and I hope to work with these talented folks again. Hope you folks enjoy it!

Composition Experiment

So I’ve not done a lot of composition work, I mean I’ve played with ChromaKey once or twice but that is all. I wanted to take a 3D asset, animate it and put it into some footage. So I did just that. Check out the video below and see how I did it after the jump.

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Episode 3 of ‘Rewind’ – Life is Strange Live Action

Hello again folks,

Episode 3 of the live action Life is Strange “Rewind” is now live. Check it out below.

Now this was an interesting shoot for me. On the heels of a massive hardware failure and no sleep to one of our longest days. I can’t believe I actually miss those kind of jobs. Zero sleep, lots to do in a short time. Anyway, this one was shot over two weekends, with the final weekend involving a very long day when tired. Met some new actors and even had an appearance in the episode myself! Best bit was I got to spend some time recording some soundscape, something I don’t get to do all that often these days.

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Episode 2 of Life is Strange Live Action

Hey folks, that’s right. The second part of the live action adaptation of Life is Strange – REWIND is now live to view on YouTube.

Again I was involved quite a bit in this one. About half of this episode has me on the camera and I was given the chance to do some work in post to tweak the audio. Your typical problems, imbalance, too much noise, the lack of noise, “What the hell happened to their mic?! I’ll have to try and use another source!” etc.

But it was fun and I got to go out and capture some more ambiance, something I don’t get to do a lot of these days.

Even ProTools got a dusting off.

Building a set… yes a set.

I call it a set but what it really is another element to my workshop of wonders, my version of a man cave, my lair. It’s also a set though, I’ve started doing the occasional retro Let’sPlay of older games.

Retro!

You can catch the first episode here. In this one I’m playing the Super Nintendo and playing some Starwing.