Friday, March 20, 2009

AMBERSONS...Behind the Scenes

Sooo much has gone down since the last post. In addition to concluding "Mythic Journeys" last September, I also completed the 8th and final installment of "Adventures with the Ambersons" for Shortly thereafter, SuperDeluxe was gobbled up by Turner's other, more popular website,, and now NONE of the hard work we did is viewable online (for the time being). I did find a few cool behind the scenes pics recently and figured I'd upload them:

Here's a couple of shots of the "Buttkraken" emerging from the sea in Ambersons 5, "Pirates of Funkytown",
and the final shot of the Buttkraken taking down the pirate ship. The ship was the inspiration for the whole episode. I was walking home from Ralph's and saw a guy carrying it out to the curb, just leaving it in the grass with some other doo-dads. "Are you getting rid of that?" I asked. "Yeah, help yourself," the guy said, and I did, thinking, "This is going to be so much fun to destroy on camera someday!". I got my wish.

Here are a couple shots from Ambersons 4, "Little Clown of Bethlehem". This is the scene where Mr. Tinkles, the evil, re-animated chihuahua tries to cut Marshall in half with a scythe.

I also found some pics of the Wes puppet coming together. Starting from the beaten-up remains of the all clay version of Wes from my original film, "Valley of Gwombi".

I traced the puppet onto paper to keep the proportions the same and made a wire armature.
The armature had tie-downs for the feet which I never used, since I just ended up hot-gluing these guys to pieces of card stock and sliding them around.

Over the wire armature was baked super-sculpey for the "bones" of the puppet.

I painted the super-sculpey the colors of the clay that would make up the bulk of the body.

The finished puppet looked pretty good, I thought, and pretty close to the original clay figures, which is what SuperDeluxe wanted.

Teeny Ambersons, used for long shots. These were simple wire armatures with super-sculpey heads and torsos, fully animatable (including Polly's teddy bear).. More to come!


Blogger jriggity said...

Great post man!

I loved the buttcrackin from that episode.


11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, we use the same lights! Super Deluxe-some to see the behind the scenes pics. I was actually surprised to see a video camera after all the time you've spent poppping digital stills.

Bummer about not being able to show the animation online, but IT KICKS MAJOR ASS that AdultSwim is going to broadcast your work. I watched you go from experimental to big-name animator in just a few short years, and it's been a pleasure to see you progress with your art. Not surprisingly, there is an arc in the quality of your animation from then until now. Experience is definitely showing thru all this.


10:31 AM  

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