Friday, March 28, 2008

Really old stuff from late eighties or early nineties

Really old stuff from late eighties or early nineties. The bottom background was painted for an animated short for the Omnimax film format developed by Imax. That is, an almost dome shaped screen. The director was Clive Smith, I believe, and Frank Nissan was either co-director or designer; it was Frank who did the layouts. Clive and Frank had been a spectacular team for years, going back to productions done in the '70's. Because of distortion, the bgs, which were depictions of the inside of a space craft of an alien civilization, were deliberately organic and anatomical, and if I recall correctly, To do the layouts Frank sat inside a large perspex dome, like an air gunners turret, called the cone of silence, with a grid on it and lights on the outside, and he taped his paper on the inside and did rough drawings before removing the paper, flattening the design out and redrawing the final huge version. The bgs were huge, perhaps about 35" x 50". Worried about resolution on the huge screen an attempt was made to do elaborately detailed work that soon had the bg painters, Mike Hitchcox, Derek Holmes and myself (Julie Eberly had done a considerable amount of development work for the project) behind schedule. We decided to try using a more textured paper and multiple murky fluid acrylic washes that took care of the bulk of the spaceship surface, just concentrating on small areas of detail, in the hope that the closely valued spotty impressionistic surface might match the spotty resolution of film. Fortunately it worked; even film is incredibly forgiving, to say nothing of television and video. I never saw the finished film; although we did see some projected backgrounds with characters at the Omnimax theatre in Ottawa to confirm that the final product would work in all it's technical respects. Hopefully the final result was good, but I think it was an incredibly uniquely executed project and product; the technical challenges must have been considerable for all aspects of production, including the shooting of the film by cameraman Dave Altman. I remember him, among other things, struggling relentlessly against bright specks of dust on the huge sheets of acetate that the characters were painted on. I think he built his own plastic bubble around the camera to keep out contaminants.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A digital painting with an attempted 19th century feel

A digital painting with an attempted 19th century feel, done for practice and amusement.

One of a number of goauche attempts at generating a look for a CG character in a 2d video.

A colour sketch from a TV series in the early nineties.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008