Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

We're back to the regular old raw frame today! Emerald City style.

Remember, the raw frame is to be retired in the near future, so if you've got a specific action you'd like to see Dorothy doing in front of green muslin, let it be known on the Facebook or the comments below.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day Plus

Monday seems to have become the official raw frame of the day plus day. Who am I to disappoint the literally hundred of people who check out the daily happenings on the blog? Today's example is quite fun, I think. There's absolutely NO peril in the original plate, but hopefully the effects are going to change all that. Book fans will no doubt know what sequence this is from, and I don't want to spoil it for people who have never read the book! Here's the before:

And the after, by way of a test-composite:

See you tomorrow, folks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

I was surprised to see our Good Witch promo picture on my personal favorite movie site, Think McFly Think, yesterday. It's not my favorite movie site because they occasionally post about our project, in case you were wondering. I just like their nice, clean layout. Anyway, it made me want to go Good Witch of the North flavored for today's frame. Hopefully book fans will like what they see here.

Also, I think we've about done all we can really with the raw frame of the day for the time being. As we move into more interesting aspects of the production, I have a new idea for a daily feature that will hopefully shake things up a little, and prove the natural extension of the raw frame as a look into our production methods. The rawness is going to continue on for a little while longer though, so if you have any pressing requests, now would be the time. And you can obviously expect to continue to see the revisits of images we've already shared once final shots start accumulating.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day Plus

Or really, raw frame of the day plus PLUS, because it took TWO live-action plates to make this image. I was originally going to briefly follow our heroes in on their flight into the south country, but after seeing the girls on the "set" in their cool looking armor I thought it'd be more fun to show their reaction to our queer little band and their bizarre method of transport. The image you see is just a framing test, to make sure the two plates work together. We only had one guard costume to work with, so we had to shoot the girls separately. Background is some palace in Spain, Sean and I agreed we like that sort of a look for Glinda's palace, so while this isn't a final environment, it's along the lines of correctness.

Here's the plate of the lead guard:

Here's the plate of her door-guarding galpal:

And all together now:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Any Star Wars fans out there? If so you're probably aware of those blu-rays with the new deleted scenes. I was encouraged to see that the raw footage from the prequels looks just as wacky as our raw footage, so today we're embracing the ridiculousness with Hawaiian shirt Gart stand-in...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

I had errands to run and dead animals to put my hands inside today, so the raw frame is pretty mega late... It's still technically today. Though barely. To make up for my lameness, here's a picture of the best looking witch this side of Rachel Weisz.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Sean added in this genius subplot about a slick assassin who slinks around in the shadows, following Dorothy throughout the entire story. Spoiler alert: It's her MOTHER!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Bryan on the Facebook asked for another glimpse at the Good Witch of the North. So here is one. A glimpse, I mean. At the Good Witch of the North.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Sam wanted to see something where Dorothy is supposedly holding Toto in her arms. This is that. She's also hugging the Cowardly Lion "goodbye" before she "leaves" in the "Wizard's balloon."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day Plus

This was a really fun piece of pre-viz to do. I'm quite excited for the China Country, partly because it's always been one of my favorite bits from the book, and also because it's something that's never really been done on film before. I like all the white, it's very stark, and provides a nice contrast to the rest of the environments in the film, which all have very earthy colors. So here's the before:

And the after:

I should make a note, it's just a piece of concept art at this stage, really. Not necessarily representative of the final film. Except for Dorothy's feet... that's exactly what they're going to look like in this shot...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Sam requested to see Dorothy interacting with a caged Lion. We had to trim that stuff down so it's not quite exact to the book, but here's a shot of Dorothy sneaking the Lion a little bit of sustenance. It's a handheld shot, so it looks less... badly framed in motion. Promise.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Bryan on the Facebook asked for a shot from the tree attack. The trees are all going to be CGI, so... Not a lot to see here. Oh, what's Dorothy doing, you ask? Nothing much. She's beginning to believe...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Back to just the regular, no frills raw frame for today, folks. Though you may expect that to change in the near future... Here's a still featuring one of my favorite pieces of acting from Mare. It's a little scene, and the focus of it is mainly some dialogue between the Wicked Witch and her right-hand man, but Mare conveys some pretty effective emotion in this shot, I think. You can see another shot from this scene towards the end of the original teaser edit in this video.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day and Other Things As Well

Here's a little moment where Dorothy first gets a look at the bell dress. Being from a poor Kansas family, it's a little bit exciting for her.

And now two things which have nothing to do with the raw frame of the day. Sean wrote a rather illuminating essay on our Facebook, if you're interested in the screenwriting process you ought to check that out here.

I also put together a little video of Sean, Jeremy, and my trip down to Banner Elk, focusing on the really rather cool Land of Oz theme park. It has next to nothing to do with our film, but if you've never seen the park before, you might get a kick out of it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Extreme Battlement Makeover

Well, it's actually a pretty slight, subtle battlement makeover. But the show's not called "Pretty Slight, Subtle Home Makeover," is it? Although if barely noticeable redecorating is your thing, you might want to check out HGTV. That's sort of their wheelhouse...

Anyway, while we've finished our shooting for this year, that doesn't mean we're all sitting around taking a break until the next time. Far from it. We're still sitting around, mind you, but there are COMPUTERS in front of us. Computers that we DO things on. So I thought it might be nice to give you guys a little insight into the visual effects progress that's being made 'round these parts.

As ever, my main man Drew is plugging away on the concept scene. And someday soon we're going to have a big ol' entry about the work that's gone into THAT puppy, I can assure you. But my part in that work is complete, which leaves me free to work on other things. You may remember way back in early July I was putting together the CGI model of the Witch's battlement. Pop over there and refresh your memory, I'll wait. Don't you hate when people say things like that in prose? THAT'S NOT HOW READING WORKS, YOU JERK!!!

Now the more astute of you may have noticed that that center pentagon of floorboards is all one piece. One piece that's merely textured to look like floorboards. Back when I made the model, it was my belief that the shots required of the battlement would allow me to get away with such a technique. So I called the model done, and amidst the Witch photography I set to work putting together the visual effects for the scene in which Dorothy encounters the Witch, since we needed it by August 7th for Banner Elk.

Gypsy Girl on a Pirate Ship: Coming Soon to Home Video
As you can see, I was sort of right. While the texture I chose is just slightly too low resolution for the job, the plank wool is pretty successfully pulled over the viewer's eyes. And it's that way for most of the shots in the scene. But I completely forgot about the foot close-up until it was time to render that background. And you can see what happens when you pull the camera down tight to those boards.

I'm writing it off as a technical oversight in this entry, but it's actually the remnant of Sean's, "beware the Wicked Witch's magic blurry floors!!!" subplot...
Woof. THAT is UGLY. And gives away in deadly fashion the sort of lazy CGI modeling shortcuts I employed. Pressed for time in getting the scene ready for our Banner Elk presentation, I quickly whipped up some actual modeled floor boards and some textures which were again too low resolution, but less low resolution than the low resolution ones these less low babies were meant to replace. They were far from perfect, but they were better, and the best I could do with the time I had.

The prelude to the Witch's big tap finale.
But I can't have something like that in our film. I wouldn't accept that kind of work from somebody else, and I can't give myself a free pass either. We're going to be building up to a Wicked Witch event of some sort on the website, and this scene is part of it. But now I've got some time to finesse the effects. Plus we reshot some elements that I wasn't happy with. So if you're sitting there thinking, "I went to Banner Elk, I've seen the scene he's referring to,"... FIRST of all, stop being so weird. Think about sex like everybody else. Second... even if you saw the scene, you haven't seen the scene.

The first phase of improving this scene is to make the necessary changes to the battlement. I need the planks to be able to hold up to that level of close-up, since they're seen from that low angle, and more than once. So I modeled a single plank, tried to be somewhat realistic with slightly rounded corners, and replicated it across the top of the tower. Lengths were obviously modified when necessary, and the edges of the boards that border the stairs were adjusted to give the Wicked Witch max headroom.

You think you're hardcore with your sepia opening, Victor Fleming? Our DOROTHY is BLACK AND WHITE throughout the ENTIRE film...
I also put together five quite high resolution textures, and randomly assigned them to the boards. This isn't a particularly high quality render, but you can still see that they're holding up much better to the scrutiny of the close-up than any of the previous versions.

Anybody BOARD yet? HA! Had to be done...
There are some more subtle alterations to the tower, mostly in the texturing, but you're unlikely to notice them unless you've been inside either the XSI file or my head. And if you HAVE... knock it off, Cobb.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day Plus

Sometimes I just want to spend a little time experimenting with looks, seeing what this stuff could potentially look like as a movie. So here's a raw frame of Dorothy and Scarecrow, along with a little bit of playing on my part. Might be fun to play spot the differences... Because there's more there, beyond the obvious not having a green-screen anymore...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

It's all been Dorothy and Scarecrow lately, how about some Dorothy and Woodman?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

The more I look back at these raw shots... the more this film looks like a very bizarre torture-horror thing... Damned unsettling...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

It's a CART... Maybe a shoe? I dunno... I've already forgotten what all this footage is for.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Here's a raw frame of the Wicked Witch doing one of those things that she does.