This little robot was my puppet project for Mike Johnson's stop motion class (co-director and co-Oscar nominee of Corpse Bride). Robot is about 7 inches tall and is made of a wire armature, foam and a thin covering of polymer clay. He is ever-enthusiastic, industrious and his favorite pastime is rummaging through trash.
The Robot + Trash Can film took about two weeks to shoot and composite, while juggling a full load of classes.
I was inspired by robot illustrations by Chris Appelhans (who I have been lucky enough to have as an instructor for the last three years.)
I became unreasonably attached to this very charming robot by the end of filming.
After the final shot, I looked into the trash can and found him like so (see photo on left). I mean, have you ever met a more charming little robo dude?
I maybe also think he is an animate being. But I think that's totally natural for stop motion animators and their puppets, or so I will continue to tell myself. Anyway, here's the final product. Enjoy!
'Pining was my very first complete short film, made in January - June 2012. It was a stupidly ambitious project for a first film, which I only learned after completing it. (Ah wisdom, you jerk.) It was a hell of a learning opportunity!
Inspiration: 'Pining was the direct result of my first ever encounter with a real live porcupine in Taylor Park, Colorado. The summer before I started grad school, I spotted a porcupine lumbering around. He climbed a tree, then sneezed and almost fell out of the tree. I loved him immediately. I wanted nothing more in the world than to hug him, thus the idea for my first short film.
Process: 'Pining was hand-drawn on paper and cleaned up and painted in ToonBoom Animate. Backgrounds were watercolor paintings collaged together in Photoshop. The film was composited in After Effects. The film took about six months to create in total, from preproduction to animation to post. I am responsible for everything you see in the film, the sound design and mixing. Music was composed by Well-Versed Productions.
Because I chose to animate a complicated little creature, I had to simplify the design to be able to manage the quills with pencil and paper. I decided on a highly stylized design and 5 or 6 quills per scene.
'Pining has been a whole lot of fun to screen for audiences since it usually takes people off-guard. I wanted to create an adorable Winnie the Pooh-esque character who, despite the best of intentions, just so happens to kill a bunch of other adorable critters. 'Pining once screened during a board meeting of higher ups, mostly male, between the ages of 40-70. I had received an amazing donor award from this organization and as an awardee, they played my film to what was possibly the most unsuspecting audience ever. An hour and a half in to a board meeting, they played my film (it was in an AMC movie theater, which was especially cool). Love it or hate it, 'Pining inspires a visceral, usually very vocal response which I always find delightful.
Hello. My name is Heather. On this blog, I will post animation, artwork and other things I make. Since I'm late to the blog game, I'll post some art from years ago as well as current projects.
At the moment, I am in my final year as an MFA student at UCLA's Animation Workshop. I will (hopefully) graduate in June 2014 and shortly thereafter, take over the world or move into my parents' basement. Either way, the future is exciting/horrifying.
My background is not in art or animation and I say that to set expectations at an appropriate level. I am a student very early in the learning process and I make a lot of crappy crap.
Please enjoy my crappy crap.