The Deadly Deaths

Nick's blog

This is my blog that follows the making of our of music videos. The blog posts related to my first stop-motion animated music video for the song "See The World" start from this post.

10th Oct 2006

Reshooting....

I spent most of today reshooting a few scenes from the male characters house. I originally shot a few of the earlier scenes out of sequence. Looking back on them afterwards I noticed that the small clock in the background of the set changed time on a few of the shots, so they needed to be reshot.

I also shot a new scene on the clearing set. I'm not too sure if it will be used, but it is just a short shot, so it didn't take too long to shoot.

I don't have too many shots left to redo now. I'm still working on the planet shots too. Just need to shoot some background footage to composite into the shots.

The latest neck fix seems to be holding up well too. It hasn't given me any problems today and I think I only need the male puppet for one more shot.

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6th Oct 2006

A pain in the neck....

I've been having a lot of problems with the neck of the male character lately. It came loose during one of my last shots and I ended up removing it and attempted to fix it.

Shortly after I'd "fixed" the neck, it broke again. So I attempted to fix it once more. Then today as I was seven seconds (about 80 photos) in to a 20 second shot it completely broke off again! I guess I'm just going to have to try to fix it again. I have one more shot to finish and then I'll need this puppet to redo a few shots from earlier that I'm not happy with.

I also shot some long exposures of the night sky tonight. Using 60 second exposures I created a short animation of the stars moving. I was planning to use this as a background to some shots of the planet that the music video takes place on. I'm still not convinced that this is the best plan though. I may have to look for some less time consuming ways of achieving the same look. I should probably try shooting out of the city too to get some clearer night sky images.

And in related news, this blog has been featured on the iStopMotion/Boinx website. I currently use their software to monitor the movement of my puppets before shooting high resolution images with the digital SLR.

Anyway, I'm in a bit of a rush now to get everything finished soon. Unfortunately I managed to create quite a bit of extra work when shooting the planet shots. There were 14 shots, and each one is going to require special effects work on them. I will post some pictures when I have some more time and I'm happy with the way they are looking.

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21st Sep 2006

More television shots....

I spent a lot of today processing the composited image sequences from the television shots. The processing took most of the day, averaging around a minute for each frame (which allowed me to spend some time on the website - I added an image gallery).

Here is one of the shots that was composited onto the television from the female characters set. The shot is a stop-motion animation of the bass synthesizer used to record the song (a Korg MS 20).

Unfortunately I won't be animating for the next week as the camera I've been borrowing isn't available. So the last shots of the video are going to have to wait another week.

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18th Sep 2006

Television shots....

I spent this afternoon shooting a few of the television shots. These are fairly close shots of the band members performing on a white background. The shots are stop-motion animated so that they fit with the style of the video. In the image above I have composited the one of the images taken today onto an earlier shot of the television set that I took while filming on the male characters set. I found that it was a lot easier animating people than it has been animating puppets.

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15th Sep 2006

Some more clearing shots....

Just some random shots from the last few days of shooting. I only have one more shot to do on this set and then I'm onto the final planet set and some stop-motion of the band members (to overlay on the television shots earlier in the video).

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13th Sep 2006

The clearing....

I spent today shooting more of the clearing scenes. The photo above is from the end of the video where the two characters meet for the first time.

I played around a with the focus on this shot. It was quite hard to get right. I did a test shot similar to this about a month ago and it had a lot of camera shake (seeing as I have to touch the camera to change the focus), but somehow this shot doesn't seem to suffer from it as much.

I also had a bit of trouble with the clearing set. It is quite hard to drill holes through the floor of the set without ripping up the material, so I've had to do some fixing up and repainting. Luckily I don't need to see the ground until my shots tomorrow, so I've left it to dry overnight.

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7th Sep 2006

Replacement feet....

I didn't manage to get any shots finished last night. After setting up my forest scene I decided that I'd try to fix one of the feet of my puppet that had come loose. As I was fastening it back in place the heel of the foot broke (that's the third time for this foot) in a way that wouldn't fit back together. So I spent last night making these replacement feet. If I was to make this puppet again I would definitely spend a bit of time creating a stronger foot design. Hopefully these feet will be enough to get me through to the end of the video.

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5th Sep 2006

Back to the forest....

Well, I didn't like some of the forest shots for this portion of the video. Some of the shots looked like they were going to be impossible for me to shoot, so I've redone the storyboards for this part of the video. I'm trying to shoot most of these shots at night because they are such dark shots and my garage isn't as sealed off from the outside light as it probably should be.

The shots from the forest are mostly walking shots. They are from the third verse of the song and will fill about 16 seconds of the video. I've been a bit hesitant to start these shots, as I never managed to shoot any walking test shots that I was happy with.

With this shot I also had some more puppet drama. Almost 2 seconds into the shot the foot (not the same foot that broke last time) of the puppet broke in half! So I had to quickly glue it back together and leave the set for half an hour waiting for the glue to harden. I'm a bit nervous that my puppet isn't going to hold up for the rest of my shots.

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30th Aug 2006

Frustration in the forest....

I've a frustrating day. The forest set is now assembled and I started my first shot on the set this afternoon. It took quite a long time to light, but I managed to get something that looked good (to me). Anyway, an hour and a half into the shot the foot of my male character broke. It wasn't anything too major, and after 45 minutes and a little bit of glue I was shooting again and managed to finish the shot. I then transferred the pictures from the camera to my computer and discovered that the whole shot was out of focus! I don't know how this happened. I must have knocked it with the webcam (or something). How ******* frustrating!

It's 9PM here now, and I'm debating whether to go out into the garage and try again....

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28th Aug 2006

Three sets to go....

I finished shooting on the female characters set today. Three more sets to go (and then possibly some reshooting of some the male characters set scenes).

Most of the shots on this set haven't been too challenging. There was one shot that took a while to shoot (a 5 second pan at 24 frames per second).

This was one of the more complicated shots from today. I may have to reshoot it. Currently it is longer than it will appear in the music video, but I'm not too sure how well it is going to cut with the shots around it.

I've also started experimenting with the compositing that I'm going to have to use for some special effect shots. The results are looking good, and I'm fairly confident that I will be able to get them looking how I want them.

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