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Posted by Pat, on 2006-11-14 06:12:47

Problems with sloping ceiling

Hi everyone, this is one of my first post, and first technical question.Only because so far the forum in itself is answering every single one I have, and I have lots. But I can't find anything on sloping ceiling, hope someone already did something like that, or at least tried. I want to build a bedroom that would be in an attic, kind of mansard room with sloping ceiling. And even, if that's not to much, a beam in the middle. I know it's going to make things a lot harder, but I would like to be sure how much harder. - I don't know in wich material it would be better to do the ceiling. The walls are MDF, but as i would have to remove the ceiling from time to time, wouldn't it be better in something else? - Should i keep realistic dimension, or should I cheat to have more space to move the puppets( cause if realistic, the ceiling will be like 5cm from the puppet's head)My puppet is 20cm tall and the room 40 cm at the higher point. - and to resolve the access problem, should I cut the ceiling in 2 to be able to remove pieces as I want ( that would be a ceiling in 4 pieces). Well hope this is clear and that someone as something to say about this or any experience with this. Any suggestion, idea, comment would be more than welcomed. Thanks Pat

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-11-14 18:11:00

Any ceiling tends to make it hard to light the set, that's the main reason we avoid them most of the time. A sloping ceiling would make it hard to get any backlight in, unless it can come through a window, But front/side light shouldn't be too hard. I think making it in sections is a good idea, so you only have to put in what will show in the shot. Maybe the beams could stay in place, they could support the ceiling panels, and hide the joins. Make a wall or 2 removable as well, for better access from different camera angles. It probably needs to start down low, so it will look right. Possibly you could cheat the angle, so it's a bit steeper, so it covers the height without coming forward over the set as much.

Posted by K.A.Productions, on 2006-11-21 19:36:18

As I read this, I immediately thought of a window, like Nick. Beside, a window will not make a scene seem so clastiphobic, and it would allow to make a nice touch by adding a scene beyond the window. And if your figures are 20cm tall, and you really want to get detailed, you can make a miny lamp. Find a small light, and wrap like aluminum wire around the wires for the light, and then into a desk, or something, and and then hide it from the camera, into a wall, and then hook it up with some power rig. Then make a wire cylinder frame for the lamp shade, and wrap it in thin cloth. This can help with lighting, if needed, and add to the scene. Back to the sloped ceiling, and how to make it, there's not much to say considering I never tried a sloped ceiling, or even a ceiling for that matter.

Posted by Pat, on 2006-11-25 03:57:45

Thanks guys! yeah, windows are planned, only on one side though. Planning to make the roof in really thin wood, and as I'm covering it with tissu, I hope the joints between the different roof pieces are going to be pretty much invisible. Anyway, I know I will have to try different things before it looks and works right. Thanks again. Pat

Posted by Tedder, on 2006-11-25 10:11:44

I think the cheat the angle idea is good--in prper scale fiml, the ceiling can be way behind the actors heads, like ten feet. it's just shot to look tight/ I was on a shoot wher they hung a fake ceiling twenty feet in the air above a set, so they could move lights around, and still have the sense you were in a bedroom. To the camera, whenever the ceiling got in the shot it was flawless. Perhaps you could build the ceiling bigger than it needs, and set it back in some shots to look tight, but you still have room to move. The guy who taught me made a point--stop motion only looks 3-D. It's still just 2-D on screen, so cheat if you have to. He had a character fired out of a cannon, and a parachute go off on his backpack. It looked awesome, but in reality the backpack was rigged on a light stand a solid foot behind the puppet so the animator could get at it. on screen? Flawless.

Posted by darcy_p, on 2006-11-26 16:52:56

I agree with Nick. Id build the actual ceiling in two detachable halves, using the beam to hide the seam. This way if you dont need the entire roof in shot, you can take one panel off to allow for light. This could change the lighting conditions however, so you'd have to be consistent in your changes, and know what your doing a little. And depending on your set size, it could be hard to shoot.... with the sloping ceiling and all. Immediately I saw this as a nice opportunity for a disectional view of the house, almost like a doll house with the front sort of sawn off, or missing.

Posted by Pat, on 2006-11-30 06:10:02

Thought I would show you the result of my work and your ideas Decided to do only one slopling side. The part of the roof you can see is in 2 parts, joint hidden by the beam.The other part, the straight roof, is also in 2 parts. And the 4 walls are removable, so I think I will be able to do what I want like that. As I don't have any real lights yet, can't really test it, but I hope it's gonna work. Thanks a lot again for ideas and comments.