It’s been a busy few weeks at the BURton DREams HQ! We’d firstly like to welcome our newest addition to the team in the form of producer, Costanza Lopez. She has been adding ideas and contributing a lot of help to get the behind the scenes work off the ground for the animation and we are thoroughly delighted to have her on board!
As you guys can see from the photos below, BURton has gone through a bit of a makeover. The reason for this is his original material construction was made of a more brittle plasticine susceptible to chipping and breaking more easily than the newest version which is made from milliput. We’re happy with the updated version for a few reasons; his eyes move more freely and over a wider field of view which is better for animating, he does not look consistently angry which will be great for some scenes and finally, his texture is not as shiny as before, helpful for being under those bright lights!
We also have to admit that BURton has also gone under some extensive surgery. The poor guy unfortunately lost his hands due to a tragic act of over drinking. Picking up that bottle of whiskey daily led to his hands falling apart so we had to come up with a new and more robust design to prevent it happening again. Now we can let him get back to his drinking habits! Cristian spent a significant amount of time working out a method of creating a hand that will need to be malleable but strong enough so that it does not snap the metal wire in the fingers when BURton attempts to pick up various objects throughout the film. Thankfully we think we have overcome this little problem and that it will help in future test animations, speaking of which…
Both Cristian and PJ spent another day trialling more test animations of BURton with his older form of latex covered body. One of the issues they both found was the resistive nature of the latex on the armature for animating and meant that small movements were springing back to their previous position. As you will see in the photos, BURton has gone on a bit of a diet and now the padding for his body has been trimmed and moved to areas that do not restrict joint movement. He will definitely look a little sharper with his slim fit design when his clothes are custom tailored once more by our great clothing artist Kim! The guys will be going back to the film centre in Ballincollig next week to do some more extensive animation tests with the newly refined BURton and they are looking for excellent results.
Other areas that have been developed have mostly been in the concept art for some of the other characters that will be in the film. BURton’s forest friend, Fox, now has his final design and will slowly begin to move into the modelling stage after christmas so we cannot wait to show you when he is fully finished! Both the axe and the hammer have also been given that extra little bit of detail by adding a metallic paint to overcome the matte finish of the acrylic paint. The only thing left to do is age the handles and it will look like they have been weathered in the woods for years.
And finally, one thing we would like to share with all our readers is to expect a little event towards the end of January! We will have more details at a later date but we are working with Costanza and a few venues to showcase some of the stuff we have been working on so far. We plan to have a few talks and demonstrations and there will be a little bit of a hands-on opportunity too. So for those of you who have been following us we would welcome you to come down and spread the word!
Don’t frighten me like that!
Burton’s getting fit!
Fresh new beard
Lost my Eye
Burton the Ninja
Old & New
Eye see you!
New vs Old
Finally finished the tools with new paint
We have been a busy team the past while putting together more and more props and developing the set even further, slow and steady wins the race! One of our rear main walls has been erected as part of the structural piece that will eventually be covered by the ‘logs’ that will give the cabins interior a rustic look. We have even left space for the cabin window that will show some of the woods as BURton looks out at his environment. Our happy news this week comes in the form of a welcome addition to the BURton DREams team of Avril Corcoran. Equipped with her excellent fine art and model making skills we look forward to working with her and developing some beautiful props and sets for BURtons world.
Over the past week or so we have been excited at conducting our first test shots of animating BURton and figuring out some of the filming logistics that will be required to get everything working smoothly. Cristian and PJ spent approximately 1 1/2 hours getting just the 3 seconds of animation of BURton standing and waving his arms around. Currently they are working with the Dragon Frame software to figure out designated frame by frame movements and distances required for the joints and body parts to move and there is a lot of maths and patience involved in making everything smooth and natural looking! We would love to show it to you all but we are going to be sneaky and keep it under wraps and top secret but reveal it at a later date ;)
Worms eye view
Log Close ups
Bit of a delay on the blog here but we’ve been busy enjoying the Cork Film Festival! We’ve seen some stand out films this year with Nebraska an excellent film to open the festival, we’d highly recommend it! Hopefully if all goes smoothly we may even screen there this time next year! Even our own cinematographer Cristian Paradiso had some work on display as he shot the short film Beatrice directed by Vincenzo Bellone and it was highly well received during the Cork Shorts. We look forward to him working his magic with BURton DREams!
Both Cristian and PJ continued on developing some of the props that will be used within the animation. PJ spent some time almost wrapping up on BURton’s axe and beginning to collect and cut BURton’s logs that will be stacked against his cabin. It is almost complete, the handle just needs to be stained to make it appear weathered and after the painted axe head has fully dried PJ will be able to add the final detail to make it look well used. The axe handle itself was carved from a suitably sized twig that was then sanded down to created the smooth curved body it holds. The axe head was created from Milliput moulding clay which was sculpted by hand and trimmed using a scalpel. Once the axe head had fully dried it was then sanded down to refine edges and any curves that you would find in a standard axe head. The logs were made with just a good aul branch and the help of a friendly jigsaw! These will be split in to quarters to give a more authentic look before they are put into a stacked form for placing against the cabin.
Cristian began to focus on creating a LED lighting system that we’ll be using specifically for the film. He’ll be creating it from scratch using a series of LED light strips and combining multiple dimmers to change the colour balance that will be required between interior and exterior scenes. Hopefully we can show you that successful project soon! In the meantime, take a closer look at some of the more finished looking items.
Axe & Pre Cut Logs
Axe & Logs
Axe amongst the logs
The final axe shape
Axe head painted
Today both Cristian and PJ headed for the film centre once more to develop more of the set, some props and BURton himself! Some of the logistics were to treat some of the laminate flooring that we had acquired and give it a weathered look. Unfortunately for us (but fortunate to any typical floor owners!) we had great difficulty in removing the shiny lacquer that prevents it from becoming worn. Even with numerous attempts with the power sander it wasn’t going to budge so we’ll be looking at using a chemical to strip this off to progress further.
Cristian spent a considerable amount of time modifying BURton to ensure his torso was filled out so that his clothes fit better. He also spent some time correcting some of his joints which will make his movements a lot easier to adjust when we begin testing the animation in the near future.
As with any film to look authentic, nearly every prop in the background has to essentially be unnoticeable for it to ‘work’ and with an animation we need to hand craft nearly every prop that will be seen throughout the film. PJ spent some time crafting the handle of the axe today which took far longer than he expected! The axe itself still needs the head to be created but suitable material will need to be found first so that it has just the right aesthetic. Hopefully the team will begin to grow soon enough and we get ahold of more artistic hands to help BURton out!
Check out the photos and quick time-lapses of the guys at work below…
BURton a little less skinny
Hanging in the hallway
Yesterday BURton DREams production members Cristian and PJ headed to the Cork Film Centre to assemble some pre-production set design and organise the working space for the animation. Most of the process involved creating a mock forest background to give a perceivable sense of depth to the audience in what will eventually be the surrounding wooded area outside of BURton’s cabin. A temporary floor was created using laminate flooring but will be replaced during the official film, it’s a bit too modern for BURton’s tastes! Other small items such as a jug, a coffee pot and brush were laid out to see things in a sense of scale and to help determine some of the aesthetic concept for the whole project.
Take a look at some of the photos and let us know what you think and be sure to check out the busy bodies in this quick video here. We’ll be heading back to the film centre again today to sort out more of BURton’s world :)
View with the trees
My hand fell off
How did my tyre get up there?
As promised we’ve a few photos of BURton with his updated attire. Thanks to Kim White for her great effort, the clothes are great even down to the little faux levi’s red tag on the back of his jeans!! We’re excited at the progress that we’ve been making with him and some of the team were out in Currabinny yesterday scouting for organic materials to recreate the forest set that we’ll be using within the film. We’ll be doing some test animations later during the week to figure out some of the technicalities with our star but until now, enjoy the fully dressed BURton.
Having a drink
We recently came across a brilliant short film ‘Fear of Flying’ by Conor Finnegan. ‘Fear of Flying’ follows on from his previous animation ‘Fluffy McCloud’ (which you can check out here) and tells a tale of Dougal the owl with recurring nightmares on trying to fly. It’s great to see such well made and modern styles of stop motion animation coming out of Ireland so we are excited to see the community grow. You should definitely check it out!
On other news, BURton himself has returned to Ireland! We met with Kim White who has been working very hard on BURton’s costume to show us everything that has been happening with the design’s so far. We are looking forward to getting him in to action later this week for some initial stop motion tests! Photo’s to come…
We’d just like to welcome you to the official BURton DREams animation blog page. We’ll be sharing our progress over the coming months and various things we find interesting in the world of stop motion animation. The project and it’s concept have been under development since May but now that we have compiled a small team together we are starting to make considerable progress with the film. Over the past few months a lot of work has gone into the concept development, what Burton will finally look like, the clothes he wears and the home he lives in.
As this is an entirely independent production we have been slowly assembling various talented individuals to fill some of the vital roles to make BURton DREams a reality. We hope everyone visiting the site can see the potential in this animation and keep following us and its progress over the next few months so head over to facebook and give us a like, we’ll host some more thorough reading here on the blog as time goes on.
Thanks for stopping by!