Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Peter Lily and the Nose - layers

I've been trying to come up with a way of making the landscapes and buildings that the characters live in.  Trying to find a system and a kind of code - what is a silhouette in this story and why is something a silhouette?  what should be made out of something else, like chalk, and how many new ways of drawing something am I allowed to bring into the film before it looks too crowded.  Sometimes you want things to recede but at the same time create atmosphere, sometimes you want them to be a strong element of the storytelling.

The moon here is a big cut-out piece of white card, and the trees are silhouettes, but the stars and Peter's bedroom light are pieces of chalk drawing, and so hopefully it begins to set up some sort of storytelling hierarchy that is consistent through the whole of the film.

The outdoor night-time scenes are easy though - everything looks like a silhouette at night, so the decisions mostly make themselves.  Now I've been filming the scene in the tea-shop and there is suddenly a lot more to question.  What are the walls made of, can they just be white?  but then how do I suggest depth?  Am I allowed to blur things to help this?  What are they sitting on? Black card or chalk?  What are the tables made of?  they can't be black cut-outs because it's important to the story that we see what happens on the table.  

Here's how I've created it, in a system of layers, the table is paper, but white sugar-paper so it has some character of its own and also lets the shadow puppets make their own shadows through it:

This is the basic animated scene and is what gets filmed frame-by-frame.  Here it is as a single cell:

The rest can then be added on top . . . 

The chairs and table legs (chalk drawings):

 . . . and then wallpaper (photocopied chalk and line drawings, equivalent to the earlier scenes with clouds and rain):

I'll tweak it all a bit, but here it is all put together in this roughly cut-together edit of the scene:

If anyone is handy with .raw files and After Effects please get in touch as I need some advice . . . 

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