JANUARY - 2011

It's been rough getting back to things after a bit of a break and hard to get the robot building out of our heads.(robot stuff at the end of online journal 2010) We need to really focus hard this year. 10 more minutes of the film left to animate which is the ending and the beginning. That makes us feel good to think it is only 10 minutes. We then have a lot of pick ups and the sound and editing to do. It is doable this year, its just getting started and staying there. We have done a couple of shots since new year and the one we are working on now involves front light back light set up. This is pretty cool and is allowing us to composite the background in as we just do not have the room to do any distance shots. We have tried greenscreen and never really liked any footage we had done, but after using this technique we really like what we are getting. We have had trouble setting it up and have experimented with lots of different ways of trying to get the two screens working. This involved a white board, cardboards, perspex, tinted film and as usual it was taking days just to try a set up the shot. We ended up with a white sheet with a light behind it and a black garbage bag in front.This really works and the image is nice and can't really fault it for us. So this now opens up a lot of new areas for us when it comes to the pick ups later.

Some photos of the fan we set up for the D90 that overheats sometimes and a couple of our latest shots.


Only one more scene to do underground and we will be back on the outside. Think that will be good for us mentally as we have been down there a long time.

Below is our front light back light test set up and the image to the right is the result with the background composited in.

We will probably be ready to shoot this tomorrow so will have some more results.

Had been working on this update when the floods came to Queensland. It was devestating and so many people have lost their homes and business and even their lives. We were ok only had a bit of flash flooding and the loss of electricity for 6 days. It was a good thing that we moved to a shed in our back yard as the shed complex where we were renting for the 6 previous years was under water 3/4 up the roller door. We would have lost all if we had stayed. We went back and helped and couldn't believe how the slimey mud had infiltrated into everything. Most people there had no insurance. Those large shipping containers had just been washed away and footpaths are mountains of belongings and plaster board it is pretty sad to see.

This is a picture of the shed complex we used to rent we were the last shed at the end. The next day it rose even higher 3/4 up the roller door.

We are back at work it is slow going but have finished the back light pickups and are now on the last scene underground.




Lost all the web update that i had been working on for months with a computer change!

We have been going really well hit the 69 MINUTES mark with now only about 5 more to go or whatever it takes to finish the film. We are not sure about this and have to just keep going til we finish. Today and tomorrow we pick up the last few shots underground and move on to the last scene, which takes us out from the underground into the above ground. We then move to the beginning and pick that up and do a standard 8mm scene that should be lots of fun.

So it is still looking good for a finish this year!

We have spent the last three months moving this large ship backwards and forwards. It has been pretty tricky with lots of supports with cables and wood. The boat was built before the rain came and due to the moisture getting in to the mdf board the front section has stretched out and the mdf had curled to actually give the boat a nice nose! but really had to be supported well. The animals were hard to animate in the boat and have been a bit damaged through the handling and wire supports.

These last shots the boat was to be catapulted into the air. Ha our catapult was an old wooden ladder that we had to slide the boat up in increments day after day til we got the shots we wanted. It was fun but full of accidents due to cable snaps and bodgy wooden supports.The first photo below is a mat box that we made for an in camera effect we needed . It reflected a piece of paper set on a 45% angle in glass that superimposed over the set to create a ray of light that shined on the front of the boat. The last photo in the bottom section shows the last page of the script.......WE ARE ON THE LAST PAGE OF THE SCRIPT!!!


We are still making robots when we get some spare time- it is good for the mind!

Here is a link to the Brisbane competition


MAY - 2011

Still working steadily and up to some exciting points in the film that we thought we would never get to. The boat that we have been working on underground has finally broken through the ground, it was amazing as it was as though we were finally breaking through ourselves. Woo hoo blue sky and a sense of relief!


If we stay on track we still look like we will finish most of the animating now around July and then pick ups til October . We lost our offline edt that we have been working on for the whole time in a computer crash. We pieced it together, now in final cut, previously we had been working with premiere and somehow we gained 2 minutes! Before we get to excited we think maybe we doubled up or it has just rendered it differently.


Into June now and trying hard to keep pushing through the shots. Starting on the suburb on the outside now and it looks like we will have to make a miniature that will have to be done at the end. We were trying hard to get out of having to do this. But kinda hard to do such a large scale in a small space.



Finally finished the sets for the next sequence, but time as usual has moved slow for us- but we have decided to give ourselves a serious deadline, 24th FEBRUARY 2012!!!

We have done a couple of shots but again if anything can go wrong it will and getting these shots have been very time comsuming. It's all done with back light front light which makes it even seem slower. We are about to start building the miniature at nights to try to keep moving. We ar ealso trying to change our days around again anything to try and work harder. This time we are getting up earlier do a shot in the middle of the day rather than having a later night and setting up the next shot in the evening for the next day . The miniature is used for the end as well as the beginning, so it will be good to get that over with as it will tie a lot of it together. Next up we shoot the beginning, catch up on the pickups then into the final editing and sound and then we are finished!!!!

We have also had some major changes in the editing and sound. After years of trying to make computers that were going to handle the 3 k files we have decided to have a radical change and buy some!! Things have changed so much in the 7 years and how impossible back then it was to even think of keeping the 3k images as there was nothing on the market that would render them. We tried a while ago using a Mac computer just to see how it would compare with the pc and we were pretty pleased with how it all worked and it did seemto be a bit more reliable while in After Effects and we liked Final Cut. We did some research and were really excited by the imac's combined with the new thunderbolt and a promise pegasus R6TB raid attached. Aparently they are suppose to do 500mb per sec. So that should play our footage back no sweat. We are rendering out our files in pro res 4444 which has a data rate of 250 mbps at 4k res. So fingers crossed that it does and we are excitingly awaiting their arrival!!


For the sound we are using the 6 channel M Audio Profilre 610 connected up to 5 HS 50 Yamaha monitors and HS80 sub for our 5.1 surround we we are attempting to mix ourselves.Probably using Final Cut and Sound Trak Pro mixed. So it is all getting serious!

Below some behind the scenes of the making and shooting of the boat and buildings in the estate.






Things are working out really well this month we think we are back on track, getting a shot daily and the setting up a shot the night before and being fresh in the morning to shoot is working well. We don't seem so tired and it's not taking as long to set up. We try hard not to turn any computers on in the morning and instead of going out to check the mail or buy any food or bits and pieces we leave that for a lunch break. We have almost finish the ending just a few more shots to go. We have started editing the 4k files so that has sped us up a bit as well. We are keeping to the timetable and set for a February 2012 finish.




It was a bit slower than we had expected to get these final shots done, but we did finished the last shot and can say this is the happiest we have ever been to tear down a set! Most of these shots have to be composited so there has been lots of front light back light shots and lots of repetitive shots.

Now back to the beginning ! Pretty excited about this, as it feels like we are going back in time. The puppets are pretty hammered but we tried to build new ones but the tiredness is setting in so we are going to try to do it with the ones we have. A bit scary because they original puppets were so fresh and new when we started. We will have to do some tricky shots!! Even talking about it here sends a bit of a shiver down the spine, just to think what we started in 2004, we are now going back to.



We are on to the beginning now and have done the very first shot of the film, and are now working on the second. This did prove to be harder that we thought it would be, having to match up the beginning after all this time. The first two shots of the film we have the camera doing a dolly out and crane and tilt upwards as high as we can go. Well our trusty homemade crane that has seen us through most shots, had a bit of trouble with this move. We had to repeat the shot this time making another track system out of thinner pvc pipe bent upwards at 60 degree angle, which didnt quite work either. One of those things, the first shots beginning is just what we wanted and the second shots ending is more like what we were wanting...it is supposed to be a seamless shot...we will have to work on it . The most difficult thing with these two shots is that they have live trees and we are in the middle of summer and it is hot and muggy.

Hard to explain the excitement of nearing the end, there are so many mixed feelings at this time.




The editing has been moving well in the evenings. The new computers have been chugging along with the 4 k files pretty well despite the 2 hours of footage on the timeline. We have a struggle now and then but we are just trying to sort that out. Not sure if we will need to do anything else yet but we are happy so far.


Continuing with the shooting of the beginning, this is harder than we thought, it could be our mind set, knowing that the end is near. The trees were dying and because we could not match them up with the actual trees from the beginning we shot in 2004, we were dissapointed in their size on camera. We had got those "trees" from bushes from Coles car park in Ipswich city where we used to go at night and while one of us went in to buy milk or something the other would snip the tops of these bushes and sneak them into our van. They had been stunted by over cutting and were perfect. Anyway Coles went right under in the January floods and had to be demolished bushes and all. So we could never find the right ones to match up.

Our timetable is not looking to good, we are out by a few weeks and the fear is if we hurry we mightg start to cut corners.

Trying to think ahead to building the miniature and hoping to get this done before Xmas arrives.