Marvel Nearly Kicked Our Butts, Rocket Raccoon Saved Us

Just in time we have finished??!! We can hardly believe it. It was a close call. Seriously, we meant to have this done last week, but boy did we have fun!

And by fun I mean, we made more paper dolls then before, we made more scenes then before, we suffered through software woes and we learned all about new software. It’s true, we consider those things fun ways to spend our spare time. And while we are not quite ready to do it again…ask us again on Tuesday if we are! Because we already have other ideas brewing in our brain-boxes!

Also the fruits of our labor have resulted in this, which is currently brewing a custody battle!


Whooshing and laughing


(SCENE 6 SHOT 2) SEVENTEEN SECONDS) They’re lead by Nick Fury. SHIELD forms the Avengers with all these guys and Nata, uh, Black Widow, who is just so awesome (blushes) (pinkish felt circles!) (girl giggles) and uh, uh, Hawkeye who has an awesome bow and arrow. Actually this is two scenes, one of just Nata, uh, Black Widow and Fury/Shield, the other of Hawkeye. IS THERE A REASON TO MACHINE GUN ARROWS??? cause as a running joke…Is there a reason not to machine gun arrows?! I CAN’T THINK OF ONE!!

We’re still in the midst of shooting scenes for the Who Are These A-holes movie/recap. And still drawing some of the characters and backgrounds. And rewriting some scenes.

There’s a deadline monkey on our back and he’s just laughing at us. This is not like the training with Yoda!

It’s funny in the “uh oh, but maybe we’ve finally learned something” sort of way. It’s incredibly easy to go back and forth and figure out the script (as seen in the quote above), but putting it into reality is a process. And there are only so many hours in the day. So we trudge on, taking notes so we can do better next time, while blaming the monkey gods for messing with our plans.

To be fair to monkeys, there are always monkeys and we are easily distracted by things like the new Weird Al videos, new pictures from [that website with the movie art! Ack! Help (Concept Art World)], Gif Party Friday or discussion of what all those new Marvel dates mean.

But we’ll get to the end, over the next week!


On the Merits of Director’s Cuts and Learning Software


The truth is sometimes you have to go with what you got. Especially when learning new software. Ok, let me roll back and tell you what happened.

In December, I got this excellent Daryl Funko Pop Figure. Yay gift cards, yay Daryl! Immediately I thought I should try some stop-motion with him, he doesn’t have lots of articulated parts, so it might be fun to move him around see what he gets up to. I also wanted to try out some eerie lighting, since I had also found the cool ‘kevins’, aka those wobble lights, that you can set anywhere and they just light up. Plus I wanted to try low light and see how the iPhone camera did with just ambient light. I thought a Daryl / X-Files kind of thing might be in order. So I broke out some other toys, settled on the spaceship, set up a scene and told Brandon he should come work the camera.

This was pretty impromptu, born out of an extra day off. THIS IS IMPORTANT! It’s important because the impromptu nature meant we didn’t do any of the new things we are trying to do like, a shot list, a storyboard, etc. All the preparation stuff. We shot the video, tried some other stills etc, had a chat and some fun. It went well, despite the unprepared state. It’s funny, one of us will usually have a good picture of the project in mind. A sort of director’s cut if you will.

A few days later, we had a Plaid Play day. (These are fun days, when we hang out and do art, discussion, learnin’ and play) I spent a couple hours of the day editing the snazzy new video. It was great! The video posted here is not it! See we are new to video editing software. It’s important to learn it, but has a steep learning curve. Probably would be easier to take a class and learn, but we are using the webs. ‘Cause it’s cheaper and less time consuming in a full work schedule. Somewhere between finishing the edit and saving the project, something got lost, button-pressed or misplaced; I’m not sure what exactly. But the nice edit was gone and in it’s place was all the clips I had been working from.

So now I did’t have any cheat sheets of preparation to go by, I didn’t have any notes I made during editing and I was back at square one. And I couldn’t quite get the magic back. I had done something that made that video great, but when I did it over again, I got only good results. So lessons learned: Prepare! Take Notes! Ambient light is interesting!

See you next time.


octopusleaderSheala here-

I am an only child; this makes me a brat, able to amuse myself (and not be bored) and also not a great teammate. Before the start of the Plaidworks collaboration, I would have said, “nope I’m a lone wolf, couldn’t possible work on creative endeavors with other people.” This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t hang out with other artists, just that I couldn’t imagine the idea of a group effort. The problem with being a solo act, is large projects LOOM VERY LARGE.

One on my life long goals has been to animate, Stop-motion animation in particular. Brandon and I got to be friends (thanks Lisa!) and realized we both had this lifelong goal. So a team was tentatively formed. It was delicate, ready to fade away, until humor cemented it firmly as A THING THAT MUST BE DONE. It started with that octopus meme you see up there. Brandon posted it on his facebook page, I made a silly comment about how it need dressing up. Brandon posted the altered meme (below) on my page, we told a quick story about it, made friends groan and the collaboration of the Plaidworks was born.Octopusleader2

The great thing about this Octopus meme is that it is also the start of the Cat Battle. You may have noticed the new Playroom page. That is all about the Cat Battle AKA the back and forth idea battles that happen between Brandon and Sheala. How it starts is: one of us throws out a crazy idea, photo, video. The other person responds, by trying to top it, add to it, retaliate with a similar idea or something like that. The REALLY GREAT thing about a Cat Battle, is that it is often the birth place of an IDEA OF MERIT, that must be explored further. Enjoy and welcome to the Catdome.


Brandon here

Having started off as a loner, then taken part in several collaborative efforts that started well, then crashed and burned, this particular project was met with glee, yet extreme caution. As another only child, I was weary of bumping heads yet again and doing that thing known as sharing and compromising. But the octopus  and cat battles  have been too much fun and conversations have gelled well.

So, let the good times roll, upwards and onwards!