Thursday, June 12, 2008

Alien scenery and plants...

The alien plants are finished, and I've nearly finished the set for my alien animation.
Here are the alien plants, all latexed up and shiny and bobbly:

Then there is the planet surface, which is almost finished (the photo was taken whilst parts of it were still wet):

The large hill is polystyrene cut into a vague hill shape with a hot wire tool, the smaller hills are crumpled newspaper. I stuck these to a sheet of particle board, then made a paper-mache 'clay' by soaking shredded newspaper in a mixture of PVA glue and water, mixing occasionally with my hands until it had a texture like wet clay. I spread an unever layer of this over everything, then when it was slightly drier I smoothed PVA over the surface with my hand to smooth and seal it. All in all it took about 1 litre (that's 2 pints) of PVA and 4 free local newspapers.

I bought some emulsion paint tester pots - fireside (a dark rich red), sundried tomato (a darkish orangey red) and classic red (bright post-box red). When the planet surface was dry, I painted it with the three shades of red in a blotchy manner. When that dried I made a mixture of PVA glue and dark red paint and spread on a thick layer before sprinkling 'coarse iron ore ballast' (from a hobby shop) onto it. Before the glue dried fully (but dry enough to stick the ballast in place) I painted on a thin layer of watered down PVA/paint mixture to firmly fix it, and make the colour of the ballast match the painted surface more. When that was dry I painted on a 'dirty wash' (black drawing ink, red drawing ink, a little dark red paint and quite a bit of water) so it would sink into the recesses on the set and make them darker. After that, I dry brushed a little bright 'classic red' paint across the surface to highlight the texture.

I might be adding some blue crystal clusters on the surface too, but I'm not sure yet.

I've also done the sky, which is purple:

It is a sheet of white foamboard (still 2 for 1 at the craft shop - woohoo!) which I took into the back yard and covered in spray paint. I used mostly spray paint I had left over from my student days when I worked with it a lot. I used navy blue, burgundy red, metallic purple, dark purple and light violet. The photo isn't too good because I took it when the paint was still wet, and very reflective.

Next it's onto puppet building...


Anonymous said...

I love the bobbly trees!

Helen x

Grant's Animation said...

Love your alien plants! This is looking really good. In your description of making the set I couldn't help but think " I hope she had good ventilation! Thanks for pointing out Madeline. They would make a cute couple!

B&B Studios said...

Very nice Ceri. Loving the alien trees & plants. If I were in your situation doing that film, I would've been lazy and just to a pet store and buy a few of those squeaky rubber dog toys. But no, you don't take the easy ways out.

Anonymous said...

Woolly they look great. Almost needs a blacklight to make them all glow and be even more surreal. You are really turning into a great scene designer and prop maker. When I set up my huge studio with unlimited funds I will send for you.