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Thread: Dance of the Dolls

  1. #1
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    Default Dance of the Dolls

    Here is a video about a trio of dolls and a stuffed bear in a fantasy Arabian belly dancing musical adventure.

    Both stop-motion and puppet type animation techniques are employed and mixed with a live action dancer. This product was very composite and green screen intensive throughout the production process. It was shot using a DVX100 camera in a make-shift home studio (our living room).


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrho-B8OfiE]YouTube - Dance of the Dolls[/ame]

  2. #2
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    Well that is certainly different but also very enjoyable ans I watched it through to the end quite happily.

    So this is what I thought of it.

    Music is a good choice and I liked the opening titles.

    The animation on the smaller doll with the pipe needs quite a bit more intermediate frames as its a little jerky. The drummer is fairly well timed to the drums. At the start of the film the bear is good and he makes a good fat prince watching the performance. Nice transition and sound effect going into the appearance of the belly dancing doll but it would have been nice to see the doll animate a little before the transition to human. Great reaction from the bear when the real belly dance begins but then he becomes more wooden and is not really looking at the dancer.

    The main dancer becomes smaller when we transition to the gold costume. I would have liked her more forward in the picture. Nice costumes. Did the dancer conjour the mummy? If so a little smoke would have been nice.

    I loved the flying sequence and the first cloud effect is spot on. I think the flying carpet should be angled more in line with the direction of travel of the clouds. The top down view is also very good but the clouds there look wrong.

    I don't know what dance that is that the bear is doing when she comes back to him but I guess you were just having problems with the talent. Some bears can be very difficult.

    You made a very good stab at the movement of the mouth playing the flute. How was that done? Close up of the hands on the drums seems a little slow on the beat. Good selection of mystical backgrounds with nice lighting. Your green screen has come out exceptionally well I think. Nice ending and titles.

    Last but by no means least I really enjoyed the dancing, she certainly has the ahem, assets for it tell her I could watch her all day.

    Cracking effort mate, makes me want to have a play with this green screen stuff.

    Sgrimpy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrimpfarmer View Post
    You made a very good stab at the movement of the mouth playing the flute. How was that done?
    The mouth movements were done using the "Pinch/Punch" effect function in Vegas. That little function is VERY valuable, as it also allowed me to cover-up a few places where my wife's vale went off the green screen by rounding off the edges to fool the eye.

    Concerning the dolls: We were very limited in the range of movement we could get with these particular dolls. The "Heidi" doll worked well but the "Savannah" doll had very limited and stiff arm movements and no head twisting. We actually had to hard-wire the flute to her arms then hot-glue the flute to her lips. The "Blondie" doll (actually 3ft Barbie) was totally a waste of effort...bad center of gravity...tendency to fold up and fall over. She is lucky I didn't toss her off the set. But, she found her place. After we wrapped her up and glued her into the mummy suite, and after she finished that scene, we decided to leave her as a mummy and she is currently serving as a Halloween decoration. She has found her place and destined to be a holiday decoration for the rest of her existence.

    Yea, I wish we could have got more movement range on the stop-motion, but we had to make do with what that we had. As always, these little exercises always result in a lot of lessons learned and great experience in what not to do next time.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    Gaines
    Last edited by worddigger; 10-21-2009 at 05:18 PM. Reason: correction

  4. Default

    Charming little film, beautifully conceived , shot & put together.
    It looked very professional & was very entertaining.
    We loved the bear best!


    Sarah & Allison & Tina

  5. #5

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    So really nice touches. I like the reaction of the Teddy bear when he sees the mummy. Theres also the dolls looking to the side just before the magic carpet bit.

    Billie did a great job with the costumes especially the gold "wings".

    Last bust not least you did a great job with the DVX100, the contrast on the blue costume look really good. lighting, special FX etc. all top notch.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah & Allison View Post
    Charming little film, beautifully conceived , shot & put together.
    It looked very professional & was very entertaining.
    We loved the bear best!
    Sarah & Allison & Tina
    "Henry" was a last-minute addition to the production plan. And he ended up stealing the show.

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    Quote Originally Posted by worddigger View Post
    a trio of dolls and a stuffed bear in a fantasy Arabian belly dancing musical adventure.
    That in itself has set me up for the rest of the week. Shame it's already Thursday evening.

    Is there any aspect of filmmaking that this film doesn't touch upon? Talk about multi-facetted. Chromakey. Stop Motion. Puppetry. Live action. CGI. Sex, drugs & Arabian Rock'n'Roll. It's all there.

    And what a clever way to combine both your own and Mrs Digger's hobbies. Great imagination.

    I'm sure Shrimpy's minor criticisms wre true and will be of help to you, but I have to admit I didn't really notice them (even on second viewing after reading the reviews) 'cos I was too busy being bowled over.

    And, of course, the little what I've come to call "diggerisms" in there - I particularly liked Henry's cough at the end.

    Video of the year for me!
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Is there any aspect of filmmaking that this film doesn't touch upon? Talk about multi-facetted. Chromakey. Stop Motion. Puppetry. Live action. CGI. Sex, drugs & Arabian Rock'n'Roll. It's all there.
    And lots and lots of garbage mattes. Thanks for the kind words.
    By the way, "Mrs Digger" said to tell you that your review 'made her day'!!!
    Last edited by worddigger; 10-23-2009 at 05:10 AM. Reason: added comment

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    I enjoyed watching that film, a lot of elements combined together and they worked well. Good job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikosony View Post
    I enjoyed watching that film, a lot of elements combined together and they worked well. Good job.
    Now my problem is, where do I go from here?
    From this latest exercise we learned that we need a bigger green screen to better film dance numbers. We also learned that we need to shift away from using harsh halogen lighting to Cool Flo lighting to better illuminate the green screen and the talent. But those two upgrades in equipment remain relatively minor to what I really need to do to pull more perfect keys - move away from 4:1:1 technology camera systems to a 4:4:4 camera. I'm afraid such an upgrade is well beyond my resources for the time being.

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