10 August 2016

Pickman's Model - well into production



I finally have some time to start animating my second Lovecraft inspired short, Pickman's Model, a follow-up of sorts to last year's Music of Eric Zann. My goals with these personal projects is to try out new things, or refine older techniques I have issues with. I still have problems making and rigging characters, but in this film they are slightly more advanced and actually talk. I worked out some of the rigging issues from last time but many still remain. I am hoping the next project will let me pin down for good a few snags I still have to deal with. This is the first personal project I am going outside Cinema 4D for the motion blur and depth of field, deciding to use plugins in After Effects instead. This saves me days of render time and as a one person studio with one iMac to render with (I can use team render with my laptop but find it buggy at best) I have to save time and simplify things as much as possible.

My good friend, Boston actor Micheal Z Keamy provides the voice of Thurber and I will try and voice Pickman myself. If that works out badly, I'll beg Mike Luce again like I did for Eric Zann. I am sort of saving that for my next project where I'd like him to be the main narrator again. Can't were out my welcome on these vanity projects!

I am also deciding on wether or not to update to version 18 of Cinema 4D. If I get version 17 by the end of this month (1000$+ upgrade) I will get 18 free when it ships and not be 2 versions behind. If I had big contract coming up, I would do it in a heartbeat but since I live on so little money as it is and this update doesn't address much I haven't already addressed with plugins... it's not so black and white.

18 July 2016

Move to Amazon Video Direct - both good and bad



Createspace will no longer do the video sales of my films, they are now being moved to Amazon  Video Direct in process that will take (me) some time to complete. They all have to be in HD, even those made well over 15 years ago in standard def video. That is annoying, but not so bad as this service will potentially get the films to a larger audience. The big problem for now is they also require close captioning which is not super expensive for most people, but is for me. To do all three films I will need between 700-1000$ to get the files made. Considering all three films have made about 1000$ over the last 10 years.... you can see the problem. It basically wipes out ALL the money made from selling them.  I will have to get this done. It will take a while. If my Indie go-go campaign had gone a lot better, this would not have been a problem... but it didn't go that well so I'm stuck using my house funds to finish off my films - as usual. Uploading the films will tax my bandwidth limits too and that can add more costs.

Sigh.

14 June 2016

Renarldo


Renarldo_danse_maniac from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

Not sure why I did this exactly. I am working on making my own cartoon characters and rigging them as it's hard to find work as just an animator these days. It will help me in my private projects as well and add little spice to my demo reel... I hope.

26 May 2016

abandoned house in Vermont drawing


















This was a puzzler for me to figure out how to draw. I picked it for the details, obviously, but what isn't so obvious is how much detail to draw and where. There were several false starts and changes of direction in getting what was in my head into the image.

I work from photos as a rule, have for decades. I don't know many people who can sit in one place for days or weeks to make a drawing or many people who can pose for that period of time keeping the same crazy expression you want on their face. This makes some people think there is no difference between the photo and the illustration which is never the case. So to make the point I decided to show the reference photo.

As you can see I don't draw "every leaf and blade of grass" though it might seem that way at first. Background and foreground elements are often eliminated or changed to fit what I have in mind. In this case I could have gone with a total black silhouette for the rear trees. I decided to go a textured route (but not follow what was there too closely) so the building would stand out more. I also, maybe by laziness, decided that drawing a million weeds and plants was a little much and would take away from the house itself. I also thought of adding reflections in the windows but liked the pure black as a contrast and - maybe-  over emphasized the distance of the broken blinds to add some dimension to the front of the house. I also did not draw some details I thought were distracting like the misc. wires, pipes and weeds hanging off the building.

Finally, I added a light grey wash to the rear trees so darken them further but not lose the details in the texture.



The images can be enlarged by clicking on them and this place was something I saw along my bike trip to Colchester Vermont last fall.

13 May 2016

the Picnic... on sale now!


My new documentary, The Picnic, is now on sale as Amazon.com!

This is the story of the Million Year Picnic comic book store in Harvard Square, Cambridge - on the world's first stores dedicated to comic books and the like.

This was a long-term project, over 6 years from when I started researching to now when all the interviews are done and it's finally able to be seen. We are looking into a premier at the Brattle cinema, across the street from the store, at some point sooner than later. If it happens we will try and have a question and answer panel afterwards for those that are interested.

If you buy a copy and like it, PLEASE leave a review with many stars. If you don't like it... well don't tell anyone you saw it.

09 May 2016

De-VFlicker plugin from seed.


MOntreal_laspe_fliker test from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

First 8 seconds are untreated, then the video after the effect was applied. It's quite a difference.

This new plugin from Seed came to my attention from FCP.co today and after asking if it worked with time-lapse video and getting a positive response.. I bought it immediately. De-flicker plugins cost 100s of dollars as a rule, for too much for me to buy just in case I need it. This is only 29$ USA for Final Cut X so it's well worth it.

11 April 2016

The Picnic - the trailer



Things are getting serious with the Million Year Picnic documentary these days as I try and get it a showing and prepare to put it on sale at Amazon.

I am also preparing a digital version for those who gave money on Indiegogo so long ago and have been so patient as i try and get this thing together.