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Posted by manu, on 2006-05-07 16:38:08

sky background

good afternoon ! my name is manu, iīm from vienna and new in this nice forum... iīm an animation student and working on my first puppetanimation short. shooting is already in beginning of june. and im in the middle of setbuilding and preparation now. the animation will be about 4 to 5 minutes long,shot by digital fotocamera, color. and i post this message because of an question i have concerning the creation of sky backgrounds. in my school the people use to paint on paper. and just put in the background.. it looks very flat.and doesnīt give a feeling of space. there arenīt teachers to ask, or actually itīs their way."and no other". in my film the main character, emily winter,is flying in a flying machine.in the sky. only the machine,her, and the sky. if somebody already had good results in using some technique i donīt know...and could tell me...iīd be very glad. yess. sky background, day time, clouds, feeling of space, flying. thanks very much...! manu

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-05-07 21:36:49

I usually paint my sky on canvas, which is stapled onto a big plywood wall. I have separate lighting for the sky. Example: "Pride and Precipice" at http://www.stopmoshorts.com/may_05.html If you can shoot your puppet and flying machine against a blue screen, you could chroma-key it over the cloudy sky. Then you can do different things for the sky. You could make a sky with animated layers. (I tried this at the beginning of a short at http://www.stopmoshorts.com/dec_05.html , called "Marco Pollo and the Mirror of Narcissus") I had 3 partly transparent layers, with the top layer being the closest clouds, moving the fastest. Or you could use real timelapse footage of skies. Or you could use fractal noise patterns in a 3d computer animation program to make moving clouds.

Posted by G MAN, on 2006-05-08 10:07:43

For newbies - at least to get you going - go to an art store and get large sheet of sky blue coloured paper. It's like a cardboard sheet but thinner. To create depth take white spray paint and spray above horizon line. Be sure to shake can well and keep a 30cm from paper. It should be even gradation ( like an airbrush)- look at a photo of blue sky for reference. Check out my blog below for sunset. I did it just this way.

Posted by Daz87, on 2006-05-25 02:25:54

I had the same problem with my film, the first attempt of painting the sky was really flat. To overcome this problem i measured out some plain wallpaper. Then i painted over it with really watered down acrylic for faint colours, then i worked into it with stronger colours to lift it off the paper. The result made my set look vast and spacious. Cheap and effective.

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2006-05-25 15:28:31

[div class="dcquote"][strong]Quote[/strong] ...it looks very flat.and doesnīt give a feeling of space.there arenīt teachers to ask,..!manu [/div] Hi manu, I've sometimes lit sky backings with with a soft source, such as a large bounce card, from below or the side. From below will accentuate the look of a horizon glow and I once used it from the side to add to the effect of an offcamera sunset. It's sometimes useful since this will add a gradation to your backing with the natural falloff of the light and the soft light will help to hide creases and other unwanted textures that might be in the painted sky. If the characters move in depth toward or away from the camera you could add more blue to the fill light for the distant area of your shot. The blue will give the illusion of atmospheric haze which increases with distance. best wishes, Jim Aupperle

Posted by I_make_cartoons, on 2007-10-27 11:51:29

you could curve the painted sheet of sky maybe? I haven't tried it but y'know, it could work:9

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-05-26 01:26:00

I start a sky painting by painting a gradation, dark blue at the top, pale at the horizon. (Start pale, then add the darker shades over that, coming down from the top.) Then I add the clouds. Usually my lights have to hang above, I can't get them far back enough from underneath the set, so I have to do that tonal range in the actual paint. But I found I could use flourescent tubes attached to the back of the set just below the top, even if they were only 1 or 2 feet away from the backcloth, and they would add an extra soft glow to the horizon. I can add some sunset colour to a blue daytime sky with just the lighting, putting orange gel on my flouro tubes and using a darker blue gel on the lights from above. But for a really full-on sunset it's better to paint a sunset cloth with clouds catching the light from the direction of the setting sun. When I am finished with a scene I remove the cloth from the playwood covered frame and roll it up for later. A blue sky with clouds cloth, a grey stormy sky, and a pink and orange sunset cloth get used over and over again. I also use a little soft blue fill light to add some atmospheric perspective to the back of the set. I also sometimes spray some pale blue paint on the set to help get the right shade if I can't quite do it with the lighting.

Posted by Stop Mo Geek, on 2006-06-03 09:01:48

You could insert the sky onto a green screen I suppose. Stop Mo Geek :+

Posted by prammaven, on 2007-10-27 04:58:54

Hey guys, I just found that two 60 watt lamps, one on each side of the sky background, works well. Then, your key and fill can be two 40 watt swing arm lamps to make your puppets stand out from the bright sky. The sky itself can be just a large sheet of light blue poster board; just make sure that your background has a matte finish or you will get reflections. If you shoot with a video camera, try opening your apterture all the way open, with a +6db gain. This is working great on my setup! Here's a pic of the sky with some temporary head standing in. -Pram [a href="http://www.youtube.com/prammaven"]animation[/a] [a href="http://www.myspace.com/prammaven"]music[/a] [a href="http://www.prammavenfilms.blogspot.com"]blog[/a]