The happy tale of two dogs who have fun in the snow.
Behind the Scenes
As you can tell in the video, I used powder for the snow. What kind of powder you ask? Baking Soda. I used Baking Soda instead of sugar or flour, because sugar tends to be sticky (especially when it soaks up the humidity from the air), and flour can be a pain to clean up (because when you mix flour and water, you get dough!).
I love Christmas, and have always tried to make a Christmas-themed film every year since I began making movies. (As a matter of fact, I started brickfilming with a Christmas movie, seven years ago! Check it out here!) This year, I started kind of late with my film. I began writing a script in mid-November. This script was actually quite a long one. It was the story of a minifigure who hated snow, but had to leave his house to go to the store, and discovered the true meaning of Christmas when he got there. However, I procrastinated a bit, animated a little bit, and got sick for a week, then went to make another brickfilm for a LEGO Project on Tongal.com (I didn’t win, though), and before I knew it, it was far too late to finish that film. It’s too bad, too, because the film had a nice poem to go with it. To see a glimpse of the film, here is the only animated portion that I finished:
I had all of the buildings and sets built for that film. You can see them here:
After I gave up on that film, I cleaned up my desk. WRONG THING TO DO!!! 😛 Right after I had finished cleaning, I was looking at my cute little LEGO dog bricks, when I came up with a nice brickfilm idea. That idea was the final brickfilm. That was December 6th. So I modified one of the houses, poured my baking soda back out, and started back on filming.
I had hoped to have the brickfilm uploaded by the 13th or so. The sooner the better. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I released the film on December 19th. Not too bad, I suppose, but with only 6 days left until Christmas, it would have been better to release it sooner.
Now, about animating the baking soda. It wasn’t too bad, but like all things, it takes a lot of patience. Even more than you normally need to animate. The dogs occasionally fell down in the “snow”, making them be covered with the white powdery stuff. This caused me to have to take many re-takes, and there are still a lot of in-consistencies in the film from where the dogs are not covered in snow in one frame, but then covered in the next. It also didn’t help that my camera does not support a software with onion-skinning, because it is hard to remember where the dog was in the snow, so sometimes they make quite large movements without me noticing. The good thing about baking soda, though, is that it doesn’t blow away when you breathe. It is heavy enough to stay still. This helped me a lot when animating.
The night time scenes were fun to animate. I had to close all my windows and doors, turn off all other lights in the room, and only turn on one lamp (which was pointed at the wall for bounce lighting to create soft shadows). Luckily, it gets dark fairly early because of the daylight-savings thing, so I was able to animate for a few hours without having to worry about the light getting in through my curtains.
To give the illusion of light coming through the house window, I used stick-tac and put my flashlight on a small Pick-a-brick cup and shined it through the window.
In a couple of scenes, I positioned it so that it would make a cool lens-flare. This is the advantage of having an old lens without a flare-resistant filter built in.
For extra lighting, I used a small light-pen I got off a table from a convention’s exhibit hall. I thought that it would come in handy. 🙂
Now, this is the post-apocalyptic set. It always looks this way when I get done filming. Unfortunately, this time I added another layer of mess to it with the baking soda… 😛
That’s all for now! Follow me on Twitter (@_rioforce), like me on Facebook (Luke Action Films), and look me up on Google+ (LukeActionFilms). Next year, I have plans to create a longer action adventure film. Stay tuned to my Social Media pages and here for upcoming details! 😀