Monday, October 25, 2010


Here is what I have been working on this past week.  I finished sculpting and painting the pink foam mountain. Now I have to add the snow, trees and grass, and paint the road. I am really happy with how it turned out. I was worried I would lose a lot of the texture with the paint covering it, but I think now it is starting to look like a mountain.

I started to do some test animations with the the car going down the mountain, playing with speed and timing. I have the green screen behind it so I can put in a sky or other mountains later.

More tests. This one is of the blue bunny hill that I need to change to white.  I don't want to do any damage to the bunny because I am borrowing it from my grandma.  I Still need to tweak a few things but I am liking the results so far.

And finally my proof of concept. Clips of the stop motion I did last year and a test animation of the car going down the mountain.

Next week I plan to finish making the basic structures for all of the slope shots and continue making armatures for my puppets.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Inspiration For My Story

The idea for my story came from trips I would go on with my aunt and uncle.  They would take me fishing, biking, canoeing, and skiing.  These pictures are from my first skiing trip.  I think I was about 6 or 7 years old. I had a lot of fun, and I still do.  A few years ago I went with my cousin on her first ski trip, and she has a great time.  So some of what I remember and some of what she experienced made its way into my film.



These are pictures of my cousins their first time skiing.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Cave

This is my studio space. The cave.  Its on the first floor so there are at least some windows, but it could do with a little more light. This is where I will be the rest of the semester.

  and this is the start of one of the mountains

getting used to working with plaster

The Story

So here is the 5th version of the animatic and probably not the last.  It is the last one I am going to do right now because I want to start building sets and puppets.

Audio is not final and some of the dialog will be changed, but the basic story is there.

production Schedule

Here is a rough timeline of what I have to get done and when it needs to get done. Things will probably be changed around a bit depending how long it takes me to build my sets and puppets but its a good start to keeping me organized.

semester 1
week 1
script, storyboard, animatic
week  2
revise story, redo animatic
week 3
more story changes, puppet armatures, artist statement and bio
week 4
finalize all animatic and story changes, model, character building
week 5
start practice sets, start foam mountain
week 6
finish foam mountain, finish practice mt. resume and cover letter due
week 7 midterms
thesis presentation, midterm critique, schedule, artist statement, bio, resume, cover letter, blog. concept art, research
week 8
finish building all armatures, put padding and start clothes
week 9
build structures for slopes, cont. puppets
week 10
check up, dreamland characters, cont. sets (plaster layers)
week 11
finish main puppets, cont. sets, paint cars
week 12
critique, demo reel due, cont. dreamland characters, sets
week 13
week 14
props, practice green screen compositing and layers, finish what needs to be finished
week 15 finals
demo reel, blog, updated documents
winter break
finish anything that need to be done before animating

Monday, October 11, 2010

First Post: Getting To Know The Characters

Yay!! Finally the first post for the production blog for my senior film, Adventure in Ashleyland.

To start this off lets introduce the story and the characters.
Here is the treatment to give you a quick look at what the story is all about.

Adventure in Ashleyland

Story by Sara Smilnak



This story explores the imagination of a little girl on her way to go skiing for the first time. When in the dreamland terms and phrases become literal like in Tex Avery‘s “Symphony in Slang.” The film is done in stop motion aiming for fluid animation drawing inspiration from Ray Harryhausen and “Coraline”.


A little girl’s imagination provides her with entertainment and a great learning experience to help her face real world problems.


Ashley- A 10-year-old girl who has an overactive imagination that can get her into trouble. She likes being outdoors but is afraid of heights. In the end she is able to come out of her shy and scared little shell and take risks and just have fun.

Aunt-A very supportive aunt who just like having a good time, and wants everyone else to have a good time also. She loves adventures but not the cold, and is always there to give special treats when Ashley are down.

Uncle-He loves adventures and wants every else to love adventure too even if they are not ready. Very supportive of his niece but sometimes pushes her to hard.

Dream World Creatures-These creatures come from the mind of a very bright little girl. Some of them are friendly and helpful, and some of them can be nasty and mean, and try to keep Ashley from her goal.


Ashley is on her way to go skiing with her aunt and uncle for the first time. She has no idea what is in store for her, and can’t wait to get there. Unfortunately the car ride is too long, but Ashley finds that her mind is the perfect place to pass the time. She becomes lost in her little dream world and sets off on her own adventure trying to figure out the world of skiing. Ashley finds herself at the bottom of a bunny hill that is a real bunny. She is scared at first, but with the help of her aunt and uncle she makes it to the top by using the toe rope. Ashley is still scared to go down and does not know the first thing about skiing. She is forced to make a move and finds out that skiing is harder then she thought. The next step to conquer is the chair lift, but a friendly IT comes and helps them out. Ashley has not quite gotten over her fear of heights when she is presented with a new obstacle that she has to overcome. The obstacle is getting past the snow snakes without losing her stuff. Ashley is becoming more confident in herself and she is ready to try to get down the hill. On her way down she is tripped up by the snow snakes and loses her stuff. She gets back on her feet and is able the get back her stuff and defeat the snow snakes. She overcomes the obstacles and reaches her goal of making it down the mountain. Everyone is very excited and join her in her celebration. At this moment she finds herself back in reality and about to start a whole new adventure. What she thought was in store turns out to something completely different, but she is ready.