I put silicone on the second Creature, trying to colour it with the same shade of blue as Aluki's coat in order to show that the Creature represents her. I put a layer of reasonably opaque baby blue silicone over the foam, then after that dried I added a layer of fairly translucent, slightly brighter blue, before adding a layer of extremely translucent black silicone. It was all going well until I got heavy handed with the black. I thought it would be a good idea to create cracks in the skin, so I pierced the silicone with a cocktail stick, drawing cracked lines through the skin. I then tried to put black silicone in the cracks. As you can see in the first photo, the crack did look pretty cool on his stomach. Buuuuuuuut the black smudged on the Creature and as I made more cracks, the Creature slowly got darker and darker as the black smudged about. Stupid oil paint.
Once I realised this I compared the Creature to the other Creature and the skin tone was too similar, I needed them to be really different so that the audience gets that there are two different Creatures. It was really annoying as I thought the skin did look really good, it had a nice rock like texture going on. But I had to make the hard, horrible decision to cut all the silicone skin off and start again. To add to my annoyance, the Creature's leg randomly decided to come apart at this point...... literally no idea what happened there, on inspecting the joint I found that the epoxy glue had literally just come unstuck, the wire hadn't snapped or anything. You can see the legless, too dark Creature in the photo below.
I fixed the leg and reskinned the Creature, repeating the steps apart from the last one with the black cracks. The colour is so much better now, but the texture is not quite as good, as it came out smoother. The Creature does have good mobility, it's thin enough that the silicone does not put up too much resistance when bent.
These are the designs for trees, fallen branches and rocks that Eline Lindaas has drawn up. The idea was to combine how the arctic trees really look with inuit art design, drawing upon their patterns and their sculptures slightly rough, quirky carved forms. I really like the straight birch tree designs, I can see them looking very good when made into models. The full birch tree with the many branches is too realistic however.
I then selected the best designs from Eline's drawings and the ones I did earlier and put them into some selection sheets. I also recoloured the fallen branches and rocks to make them blue, to avoid any confusion, as this is the actual colour they will be. Everything needs to have a blueish tone, to keep with the colour scheme.
I finally got to use a decent camera! I did a test shot of Aluki, purely to get to grips with hair blowing in the wind and using KY jelly to create tears. I need to be careful with twinning, but apart from that it works. I did not have anything to apply the KY jelly with, so I had to make do with a screw that was floating around. This was too thick to really apply the jelly with much accuracy, so necx time I think if I bring a cocktail stick it will work much better. But I still think the tear looks pretty cool!
Hamish Ballingall did some really awesome tests of snow for me. He made these in Maya. The first one is just normal snow, the second is normal snow blended slightly more to make the snow in the distance look slightly blurry so it appears farther away and the third is snow with an effect on it to make it more stylized. I preferred the normal snow as the other looked too magical and full of wonder, which is not the tone my film is aiming for. In my film snow is used to signal a cascade of negative and overwhelming emotions, so more realistic snow works better.
Eline Lindaas has made an awesome backpack for Anik. She sewed scraps of leather together and painted them roughly with blue acrylic ink. The stitching and button clasp detailing really work well and lift the bag onto a different level.
Alice Seatherton has made me lots of extremely awesome props, with really good attention to detail. My personal favourite are the knives which she whittled from some sticks.
Lokii made me a cooking pot, really like the stone texture she has managed to achieve through using plaster of paris strips.
Hannah Geach made some sweet arrows and an axe out of pardo translucent polymer clay. She watered down some acrylic inks and coloured the props up, the wateriness allowing the props to retain their translucent qualities.
I wrapped strips of face cloth around the body to achieve a furry look and then painted them with acrylic ink. I remade the head, still using foam, but this time I carved it in two layers, the base and then the nose layer, before glueing them together. I had some trouble with this puppet as first time round I made up the bulk of the body with foam, before wrapping the cloth round. But this made the puppet to stiff, there was too much foam and cloth so the wire armature was not strong enough to hold its position when moved, it would just spring back to its default position. obviously this is no good for animation. So I had a brain wave and slit open the stomach, gouged out the the foam in the middle, leaving a hollow stomach, then glued the sides back up. I repeated this for all the legs. It was a very long process as the foam proved impossible to remove as it had glued so stiffly. But I got there eventually and the puppet no longer hd so uch resistance and was able to be animated.