Hello everyone. I guess it's about time to wrap this one up. This little dragon needs to get out there and make the world a stranger place. I hope you enjoyed the video. If for some reason you missed it, then just click on the photo below and you can watch it on YouTube. By the way, it looks so much better if you watch it in HD. So when you get to YouTube, click on the gear under the video and change the playback setting to get High Definition. It's much more fun to see it clearly. Oh..and turn up the volume! I really like this piece of music, "Rum" by Alpha. That was of course the inspiration for the video.
Meanwhile, for those of you who wanted to see the final stages of construction, here it is. I left off on the last post ready to paint. On the left you can see the initial painting. Once again, I used my favorite dragon colors, yellow and red (with a green tongue). I have to say once more how hard it is for people who try my techniques to add the blackwashing. When the colors are vibrant and fresh, it just seems sacrilegious to cover it with black paint. I understand the feeling. But it looks sooo much better afterwards, if for no other reason than the details are accentuated. Just look at the scales. After putting so much time and effort adding details like scales, you want them to be noticeable.
Here is a close up of his head. I really like the little white horns. Of course scraping the paint off the eyes was my favorite part. He came alive, literally. (No he didn't! Not literally. Don't you hate it when people use that word indiscriminately! "He was literally climbing the walls." Heard that lately? Well, no he wasn't.)(Sorry for the little tirade.)(And doesn't the word "reiterate" bother you? Iterate means to repeat. So the word itself is redundant unless you are trying to say that you want to re-repeat something.) Anyway, he's got a cute little face, don't you think?
Finally, I needed places to put the strings. I used pieces of clothes hangers for this. I punched them through wrists and ankles and segments of the neck, body, and tail. I rolled the end with needle nose pliers.
Then I pushed the loop next to the appendage, bent the wire coming out the other side, and covered it with cloth. This marionette was unique. There was no model for what kind of controls to use. All of my controls were variations of the pieces of wood I show below. I put little hooks at the ends of the arms and some under the T for the body. There was really no way to know what the "action" of this marionette would be until I was finished. It tuned out that this little dragon worked perfectly for what I wanted. I learned a great deal about working puppets while making this video. What was really fun was seeing the dragon move in ways that I never intended. For example there was no control to make his head go side to side. But it happened on its own as I danced him. If you watch the video again, check out the very last scene with all three dancing. The little man developed a wiggle in his hips that I certainly didn't plan. It made his dance moves perfect for that scene.
Speaking of controls...One of the things I was most proud of was that I controlled all of the marionettes for every shot. I made sometimes very convoluted and complicated control schemes for each shot. It's hard to see, but there is one such set up on the left. This was early in the video when all three characters were sitting in their chairs moving to the music. the hardest scenes, as you might guess, were the one that involved all three dancing at the same time. On the right is the last scene of the couple in their living room. I took it apart right after. It was such an odd experience. That was in my workshop for months. It just didn't feel right to dismantle that little world.
Here are the three marionettes. I have to say too that the old man and woman look much cuter in person.
You may have noticed that I made two sets of wings for the dragon. One set was folded and pulled against his body for most of the video. I also made this outstretched pair that I used a couple times when they were all dancing. For the very last scene I made the wings moveable so that he could fly. I shot in front of a green background so that I could superimpose him on a photo of the sky. This flying sequence was much harder than it looks on the video. I guess that was true for every scene.
Finally, here's the happy little couple at night's end. Note that I changed the eyes to make them closed. I think it's a sweet ending.
Thanks for stopping by. I'm not sure what I'll post next. I'll think of something.