The red nests in the trees on the meadow set have been constructed to be seen from the outside only. I also plan to have intimate shots of the main characters inside of their nest so I created a new nest interior with an open side. Using the existing nests as a reference point I wove together sticks with wire to form the frame and splayed out the sides to help avoid seeing any edges in the shots. Next I covered the inside in air drying clay. This clay cracks when it dries, so I filled the cracks with spackle and then painted the nest red.
Category Archives: Set Building
The shore of the sand sea is complete and animation has begun! The wave generating mechanism is working as I had hoped it would. It keeps the sand sea in the background moving. The waves crashing on the rocks in the foreground are animated with a variety of brushes, including a dusting brush used for drafting, a two inch paintbrush and a soft broom. Continue reading to learn how the wave generator was made.
Work continues on the shore of the sand sea. The tables are finished and the rocks and beach are complete. The large rocks are made of high density foam from Van Dyke’s Taxidermy Supply. They have been carved and painted with black paint. I laid out a path of drywall screws for my puppet’s magnetic feet to cling to and then covered all of the surfaces with black tissue paper from Dick Blick Art Materials. The rock surfaces were then painted using a sea sponge and grey acrylic paint to give the final textured effect.
I am building the shore of the sand sea here in my Kansas City studio with the help of my two interns, Emma Charles and Adam Hoffsette. We had our first work day on Sunday and I am amazed at how much we accomplished together. And as an added bonus for the blog, they are both better about remembering to document what we are doing than I am.
Here is a sketch of the shore of the sand sea:
Detail sketches of the wave generator and set construction plans:
We’ve been working hard to get all of this built and tested. Three tables will support five 24″ x 48″ sheets of perforated steel. This perforated steel is great stuff! It will work for both magnet foot anchors and T-nut foot anchors as well as for my crazy wave generator idea. The only down side is the cost. My generous Patreon supporters are helping to cover part of that. Thank you! I ordered the sheets from OnlineMetals.com.
Photos of us at work:
We tested my wave generator idea and I am very happy with the results. It worked a lot like I had planned and we made some important adjustments to the initial idea. Now I need to buy a lot of little bits of hardware to make it full sized! Note: The cherry print fabric will not be used in the final version. It just happened to be what I had on hand for testing. The final fabric will be the same color as the sand. Emma shot some photos and video of the tests and I edited those together to make a record of our session:
We put spackle on the foam rocks that I had carved and painted the black undercoat. My next step with the rocks is to dry brush grey over that.
I purchased 500 lbs of paver sand to use for the sea of sand in May, hoping that it would be dried out by now. That was not the case so Emma spread it out on a cloth in the studio to dry so we can sift out the pebbles. My dog came downstairs to snoop around and decided the sand must be a little bit of outdoors brought inside just for her. She loved it so much she peed on it! I shooed her away quickly and removed the soiled sand.