Ladies Night
Ladies Night was made as a send-able e-greeting for Hallmark eCards. This project combines live-action, stop-motion, and 2D animation. Check out the behind the scenes below.
Frame from a picture perfect animatic, made by the most talented Lexi Vay.
Chicken wire, paper, glue, and a whole lot of love.
Most of the art assets in this piece were hand made but for some 3D printing was a much more efficient option.
These two gate posts are cut pink foam and 3D printed raven tops.
Russ Stepan can't believe how good his work is looking. It always looks good.
Having the camera and lenses as active players in design/fabrication helps keep things like scale and color cohesive. If it's not in frame, it doesn't need to exist.
Coming together. The sky and moon are place holders for composited elements made later.
We even roped Claire Anne Brand into helping with the lawn.
This set is used in the beginning to establish setting, and as the last shot when the ladies are ready to go out on the town.
The gate opening in the beginning is a practical effect. The camera didn't quite fit through so the gate was made to move as it needed to.
This camera move was very tricky to get right. We combined two lengths of the motion control track and had to match the frames close enough to be seamless.
Now that the exteriors were done, we moved into the bedroom to establish all of our characters.
We used our story boards for frame references and made sure the timing was right, down to the frame.
The characters are 2D animated and composited into material sets. We used action figure stand-ins to estimate scale and give lighting references to our animators.
Some elements, like fog, are impossible to shoot in stop-motion. For these we shot live elements and composited them in later.
The glow and bubbling fog are added to the miniature cauldron in post.
Scaaaary. But really just dry ice, gels, and LEDs.
The closet and vanity table scenes happened in this room which is just two walls with a tiny door.
Finn stood in for scale and lighting reference. The wall molding is hand crafted, the wall sconce is 3D printed.
Teeny make-shift shims. Because the only moving elements in this scene are animated, the backgrounds were shot live.
Testing the practical wall light. Motivating lighting is key. See what I did there?
This mirror isn't actually a mirror at all. To shoot directly into a "mirror" we used plastic and an out of focus print.
What we see in the "reflection".