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Friends, the moment you’ve been waiting for is here! We’d like to thank everyone for their help and support in this fantastic project. So without further ado, we proudly present to you:
“The Meek, the Mad, and the Misinformed”
Watch! Share! Enjoy!
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You’ve met some of the characters, now meet their voices! We held auditions for the voices of the narrator, the detective, and the mean old boss. Our intrepid audio director Cam talks a little bit about the process.
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Introducing, the Butler!
After what can only be described as hours upon hours of labour, our first puppet is finally complete. He is the “meek” portion of the trio, and will soon be followed by the “mad” old man and the “misinformed” detective. The Butler’s finish touches will include skin-toned clay to make adjustable eyelids. To see the entire process of how he came to be, check out our videos on “Building Character” - and the many more to come!
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First Set Up!
As mentioned in our last post we’ve finally gone into production! We are using a DSLR - the Canon T2i to be specific. We researched a couple different options for cameras and lenses and found that for our needs this model was within our price range and is entirely capable of producing the quality we’re looking for. It also has “live view” which allows you to see the previous image and current image simultaneously - so you can see just how much you have moved a character or prop (this has proved extremely helpful and removes a lot of guess work).
The camera is hooked up to a program called Dragon Stop Motion. The program orders all your photos along a time line to keep them organized, and has the option to control the camera with a remote, reducing the risk of accidentally bumping it or moving it in any way.
Some issues we’ve come across so far are as follows:
- Dragon Stop Motion has some exporting issues. Because the photos are such high quality, exporting uses up a ton of RAM and often crashes for what seems like no reason. We got around this by exporting in slightly smaller video sizes, keeping the HD quality but reducing the image size. If necessary, we are prepared to reconstruct the sequences from scratch in After Effects, photo by photo.
- We had some issues with the automatic camera settings and getting them all shut off. In one scene we have a white door that opens, and when it was opened the camera auto adjusted its exposure levels and drastically changed the lighting. Make sure all auto-setting are off when shooting to reduce the chance of white balance and exposer changes!
Until next time!
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Lighting Set Up
We are proud to announce that pre-production has finally ended and shooting has commenced! One thing we have quickly learned is that lighting really is everything. We’ve got two 1000 watt Lowell lights which we are using to light each set. We’ve got a large umbrella on the back to help deflect light back on the set, as well as a smaller umbrella directly in front to help the glare. 1000 watts is a huge amount of light and we certainly don’t need it all, but the intensity has helped create some nice shadows and contrast! When doing a stop motion film we would highly suggest not skimping or forgetting the importance of professional, quality lighting!
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Part 1 of a behind the scenes look at the making of the puppets for Kool Koala’s new stop motion piece The Meek, the Mad and the Misinformed.
Watch as director Andrew Miller and puppet designer Jacob Calcafuoco start the puppet creation process from design to sculpting to building armatures.
Up next the making molds and casting puppets with silicone!
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From October 21st through 23rd, members of the Kool Koala team took a break from the pre-production process and headed to Montreal to the 3rd Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival. Once there Kool Koala got to check out some great stop motion films and even had a chance to catch up with some of the best minds in the stop motion business.
We’ll be posting some video highlights including interviews with Peter Saunders and Paul Howell, as well as the head organizer of the whole event - so stay tuned.
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Meet the Kool Koala team!
Andrew Miller - Director/Lead Animator
Samantha Miller - Producer/Accountant
Todd Edick - Director of Photography/Animation Assistant
Wendy Huang - 2D After Effects Animator
Ashley Bierwirth - Artistic Director
Cameron Couchman - Audio Director
Suraj Singh - EPK Producer
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