Elsinore - Wooden Houses - Animated Music Video

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cab Driver

I've spent a couple of days working on the third most prominent character in the video, the cab driver, and, of course, his cab.


He will be picking up the pig at the apartment building and driving him out to his new home. He will also be driving the wolf from house to house in her search for the pig. Depending on timing he may appear up to four times in the video.

The way the song starts there is a soft intro with strings before any other instrumentation comes in. I'm planning to time it out so that the cab enters frame just as the rest of the instruments start to come in, as though we're hearing the song from the cab's radio.

So, because I chose "The Three Little Pigs" as the basis for this video, the character design for the two main characters is based on a pig and a wolf respectively. The pig is too soft to get by in the harshness of the city, so he moves out to the country. Therefore, I needed a resilient animal to use for the cab driver because he is accustomed to the city: 

The Armadillo.
I know that maybe a more logical choice would have been something that actually lives in a city, like a pigeon, a rat, or a cockroach, but I like the contrast between the soft pig and the literally armored armadillo.

I tried briefly to make the cab more armadillo shaped but it came out looking too much like a prius and I didn't want it to look quite so modern. Also, Priuses (?) are kind of ugly. I did stick in a couple of armadillo touches on the cab though.


An armadillo hood ornament.

And the cab company name. Tatou is French for Armadillo.

I also included bands on the driver's back and sleeve:

Though, at least for now, his back is hidden inside the car.

Now all I have to worry about is how he's going to drive a car with no legs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Barcelona and Lyon

I know it has been far too long since my last post. Since I put up the pig I have been working to get ready to come to France. As soon as I got here I almost immediately took off on a two week vacation to Barcelona, Lyon and Avignon. I get back Friday, and I'm ready to hit the ground running with this video.

Kinzie and I spent five days in Barcelona and a day and a half in Lyon and I have seen some incredible things in that time. We wish we had another day in Lyon. I would have liked very much to have been able to visit the Lumiere Museum of Cinema.

In Barcelona, we spent a good deal of our time visiting the works of the architec Antonio Gaudi. His best known and most impressive building there is the unfinished Sagrada Familia:

It looks as if this thing just grew from the ground. I was blown away by the intricacy of the whole thing. It truly feels as though you're viewing an organism, rather than a structure when you're standing there. 

It is humbling to think of the time that has been spent on minute details of this enormous structure. Now, this building has been under construction for a century, and I'm trying to assemble a music video in 3 months, but I'd really like to add some of that detail in places in my video. Not in the characters, perhaps, but maybe in their surroundings. Or maybe, it just won't work with this video and I'll incorporate my own takes on these ideas in whatever comes next.

We also visited the Casa Batllo

You can see more pictures of the equally impressive interior at . This place is curved in bizarre ways everywhere you look. It seems more likely that it was designed by an alien than a human. I hope to emulate some of the meandering curves as I proceed through this project.

Barcelona is also home to the Picasso Museum. While they didn't have a lot of Picasso's most famous works, they had works representing his entire life. One of the exhibits I found particularly impressive was a collection of Picasso's painitngs of Las Meninas. He painted several versions of an old painting in his own style:

The original Las Meninas from 1656:

and a Picasso version:

He also did a number of paintings of indiividual fiures within the original painting:

It's inspiring to see such imaginative takes on form, of recreating the fairly photorealistic as something very abstract.

After Barcelona, we made our way to Lyon. We stayed with some hosts we found via One of our hosts took us on a walking tour of the city. Particularly impressive was the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière. They had magnificent mosaics on the wall:

There were tiny details everywhere. The building, though is apparently only about 100 years old, which suddenly seems brand new to us. again, I wish I had all the time in the world to put such loving effort into every tiny detail of my project, but this took 15 years to build, and I have less than 3 months.

I'm looking forward to starting this full-time job next week.