Jan 142014
 

The last few weeks I’ve been working on the Mario film again – this is a film I started in Seattle in July of last year, after receiving generous support from 4Culture. I’m hoping to finish it in time for a planned (as yet TBC) presentation in Seattle in February. That’s right, I’ll be visiting Seattle Feb 8-14! Very excited.

If you scroll down you’ll see my previous blog posts about the film – it’s based on an Italian folk song called Tutti Mi Chiaman Mario, about a soldier returning from war to find his girlfriend has left him. I decided to try paint on glass and have since been learning a lot about the medium!

In Seattle I was using water soluble oil paints mixed with stand oil, but since I’ve started working on it again I’ve switched to gouache mixed with glycerin. I found the stand oil was quite thick, and made the paint quite goopy and hard to control. My impression is also that the gouache paint goes farther than the oil – I need less of the paint to cover the same surface. They look about the same on camera:

Paint comparison - Water soluble oil paints mixed with stand oil on the left (with marker on a top layer), and gouache mixed with glycerin on he right.

Paint comparison – Water soluble oil paints mixed with stand oil on the left (with marker on a top layer), and gouache mixed with glycerin on the right.

Either way I have found the paint less easy to control than I thought would be the case, making it hard for me to feel comfortable painting details and hard edges.  For this reason in Seattle I experimented with using marker on glass on an upper layer of my multiplane, with the paint underneath (see example above left).

I like the look of this, and have continued it here, except that I have found it easier to animate the marker and paint separately rather than at the same time on a multiplane (partly because the make shift multiplane I made while here is not that comfortable to work with). Luckily it is quite easy to animate each layer separately with Dragon frame grabbing software, because I can line up the different layers easily while animating.

I can even animate different elements of the paint one at a time, meaning I will sometimes be animating the same scene a number of times – first in marker, then paint for the figure, then paint for the background. This lets me concentrate on the task at hand, and it also means I only have to switch between one or two brushes with different colors rather than keeping four or five brushes straight.

Shots of my lightbox as I am rotoscoping the same scene once in marker on glass, and again with paint on glass

Shots of my lightbox as I am rotoscoping the same scene once in marker on glass, and again with paint on glass

Two layers composited together in AfterEffects

The two layers composited together in AfterEffects

Lots more to come! I still have a whole stanza to animate and then a bunch of post production.

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