This scene is inspired in part by the Silly Symphony Skeleton Dance (1929). I shot it on a Canon EOS Rebel, using Dragon stop-motion software. I shot using HDR and brought the raw files sequence into After effects to pull the background key. I was pleasantly surprised to see AE recognize the HDR files and I was able to adjust the settings before importing.
This is the final bird skeleton design. I’ve used three tones: black, light grey, dark grey which will be laser cut on thick card stock paper. Then I will glue the different layers together to create the pieces for this 2D puppet. I will animate him on the downshooter, then clone him in After Effects.
A very rough concept test for the goddess halo. The idea was to use the Illustrator stroke function to animate a cycle.
- 4 frames looped in After Effects.
- layer sequence: outside stroke, center stroke, inside, center
- Rendered at 24fps
After gestating in my imagination for many months, I finally committed pencil to paper and worked out the proportions and final shapes. Now his appearance is at the mercy of the materials used to build him. He’ll have a “silvery” but matte finish (because he will be green screened in various scenes). And there will be a pattern treatment painted on his front and back torso. His eyebrows and eyelids will be animatable. He has a tie-down on his butt for sitting in the chair, and a flying rig attachment to his back, covered by a panel.
This is a model of MX-93’s head I carved out of balsa wood. I made it too large to use as the actual puppet, but it’s helpful to understand how the different faces will catch the light on stage. It’s also the first real physical model of the character.
This animation is a test to see how I could transition between different images.
This is just the armature of the robot puppet. I think the wire I used is a bit too thick, especially for his fingers. Unfortunately, the label of the wire rubbed off and I don’t remember the size.
It’s actually good I haven’t completed the body, as I will be rethinking his design this week.
I still don’t know what to call her: the Mary figure, the Goddess, Sophia, Isis, the Shekinah, etc. For me she represents the search for the ultimate truth, the underlying wisdom from which there are no more questions or at least, no more confusion. Complete union with her means complete and full knowing. For my Robot protagonist, connection with her is one way only; he receives and she provides. He downloads much more “information” than he can process and it wipes him out.
That is not a pizza box at the bottom, but it’s supposed to be a circuit board. This design is formed around an upward facing triangle to emphasis the directionality of information flowing from a single source “heavenward” down to the Robot. I also tried out a more empathetic and compassionate expression on her face. Her hands would shoot lighting type energy bolts.
In this sketch, I really like the circuit-tree halo around her head and the wire arms. I imagine some landscape or animation happening where the folds of her dress would be. Her body is meant to resemble the vesica pisces, a symbol of fertility and life.
This is a softer version based on eastern renditions of Quan Yin from Chinese Buddhism. Her clothing and hair is meant to flow in accordance with the elements: clouds and water. This sketch doesn’t incorporate any of the technological elements I want her to ultimately have, but I’d like to keep working on the idea of intricately flowing robes or hair.