Face up

I went into today’s shoot again not knowing exactly how to go about it. I had two things to think about – lighting and also how much of the eyes I could animate. I was in contact some time ago with animator Brett Foxwell who suggested I may have to make modifications to the machine in order to animate it. I took this advice on board and set about the first issue.

Fortunately these shots don’t have any background in frame so I set the machine up on my desk and suspended the camera above on the tripod. I experimented with different lighting scenarios, taking a test shot of each, but nothing was striking me. I was looking again for something ominous and interesting looking, requiring more than just a simple diffused light above. I took the back off the machine and raised it off the dest on two boxes. This allowed me to angle a floodlight (I had to disassemble chair light!) underneath which illuminated some nice features in the frame.

For the second light I tried something a bit more adventurous. I purchased a few little LEDs from eBay some time ago, thinking they might come in use. I taped one to the tripod leg and had to tape down the button so it would remain on. It cast a nice blue light over the eyes and looked pretty gloomy but quite interesting so I left it in. I filled in the rest of the light by turning on a diffused light in the room. This light was quite far away and bouncing off the wall to reach the machine so it was really just to fill in a few dark area in the frame.

To add some movement to the scene I used the reel rig I made for yesterdays shoot and tied it to the tripod. I used a shallow DOF to focus on the eyes but the movement can still be seen in the reels which is nice. Originally I had wanted just the shadow of the reels above but this clashed with what I wanted to do with the lighting of the scene so I changed the plan to include the reels.

I shot a few seconds of footage (about 120 frames) but at that point I decided to call it a day and take the evening off. I’ve been at this non-stop for over a week now and if I don’t step away for a few hours I might end up wandering down the road and shouting like a lunatic. I’ll get back into it tomorrow and hopefully the fresh-faced approach will allow me to I’ll catch up with the schedule!


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