Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by mrozmi, on 2007-06-21 06:09:38

Yoy have any idea how make forest ?

Hello I'am from Poland . I want to make forest to my new stop motion puppet animation . Mayby somebody did forest at one time and had experrience with this . Exactly I want to now how make ground to forest and whole forest (tree, bush etc. ) It's good when you give me some photos with your forest. Thanks for any answer .

Posted by Strider, on 2007-06-21 07:13:24

Hi Mrozmi - Poland eh? The heart of Puppetfilmland! Or quite near it anyway. ;) Are you familiar with the recent (incredible) stopmotion film made there called Peter and the Wolf? Big forest sets (I mean HUGE!!!!) made mostly from real sticks stuck into the set. This seems to be a fairly common way to make trees. You can build up ground with sheets of styrofoam (packing material, or insulating foam sheets used in building houses) stacked on your table and then cut with a saw to form hills etc. Then you can form ground over that with paper mache or plaster etc, detail and paint. Another way to make trees is with copper tubing and wire bundled together with tape and build up form where needed with crumpled paper or something, then finish with paper mache or plaster. Sorry, no pictures right now, I'll try to dig some up later - maybe somebody else will post some as well. Oh, be sure to check the handbook: - there's a section on setbuilding (here's a direct link to it: ) that should help out.

Posted by mrozmi, on 2007-06-21 09:30:43

Ok i did forest before you reply . I uploud some photos of my forest . You can see them in this place : I wait for some suggestion about my forest . What I can change ? - - - - - -

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-06-21 21:16:27

Trees: You could add some plaster or clay to the base of the trees. Real trees get wider at the roots. Not always as wide as these buttress roots in a tropical rainforest set, but something like this: Ground: You don't usually get grass growing on the forest floor. If there was some grass, it would not be even lawn that is cut with a lawnmower. It would be little tufts here and there. You would get leaves on the ground, and small plants, maybe some ferns. Here is one forest scene: See the forest floor in this photo: This is more open country, but look at the ground anyway: Also, look at films with forests in Stopmoshorts: The backdrop painting needs to be further away so your model trees do not cast shadows on the sky. There can be a space between the back of the set and the backdrop.

Posted by Strider, on 2007-06-22 01:20:55

Wow, completely ignored!! Sorry, guess I was no help at all? Makes me wonder sometimes why I bother. :+

Posted by mrozmi, on 2007-06-22 15:09:56

Thanks for Reply . I have one question. Which material I can use to make this brown ground on forset ?

Posted by mrozmi, on 2007-06-23 16:06:33

How I can make ground like that: ??

Posted by Strider, on 2007-06-23 23:14:44

Ok, one more try. I'm gonna assume you don't really understand english and want pictures:

Posted by mrozmi, on 2007-06-24 06:35:52

You have right that I don't understand ewerything but most I understood . I thought that you have some idea how make that brown ground without that modelling turf-earth. Mayby you have some idea , becouse in Poland turf-earth is too expensive ? P.S I'm sorry for my English.

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-06-24 23:52:05

I am sorry I can't speak Polish, so you have to use English. I make rough ground with Plaster of Paris. Then I paint it. Some rocks are polystyrene foam. Look at the beginning of this, with the crater made from polystyrene, and the hole in the ground: You can see me putting plaster on the ground, and on the polystyrene. That helps to blend it all together. When the plaster starts to get thick, stipple it with the brush to get a good texture. Then paint it with water based wall paint. While the paint is wet, you can sprinkle some dirt on it. Or some sawdust. Or save the tea leaves after you drink the tea, or the coffee grounds, and sprinkle that on your ground. I drill holes in the ground for the Tie-Downs where the puppet will walk. This part of the ground needs to be strong, and everything should be stuck down so you don't move it. If the puppet does not walk on part of the ground, you can use Polyurethane foam to build up some hills and rocks. You can buy it is 2 cans, you mix the 2 parts together and it expands into foam. Or you can buy an aerosol can, like a spray paint can, that is used for filling gaps. After the ground is made, you can cut small pieces of Fur Fabric to make tufts of grass. Look for real plants with small leaves. If the leaves fall off when they dry, put them on the ground. If the leaves do not fall off, spray them with some green paint and use them for bushes. Look for plastic plants - there are some for fish aquariums that are small and can look good. You can get moss from model railway shops. It looks like small plants. You can also get flocking - short fibres in different colours of green and brown. These are good for moss on rocks and trees.

Posted by Sasquatch, on 2007-06-25 03:44:29

I've used a product called Cellu-clay, which is like a fine paper mache-like substance for ground. First I get a board and make little hills or bumps with pieces of paper or cardboard that I glue down. Then I mix the celluclay with water and wood glue (white glue also works)and spread it on the board with the cardboard or paper bumps/hills. The celluclay has a very nice texture when it dries and the color is light gray...What I then do is paint it with some brown or beige acrylic paints, then I mix some of the paint with glue and a little water and spread it all over, then while it's stll wet I take it outside and sprinkle fine dirt on it, then shake off the excess. Finally I put little fake plants and little sticks that look like dead trees etc. on it. -I usually drill holes and glue these things down so they don't move around while animating. You can make some amazingly realistic clumps of wild grass by cutting the bristles from paint brushes. Go to a hardware or paint store and get some of the inexpensive ones with the wooden handles that have the light colored bristles- I just did a small, two layer strip of these to hide the cameras view of a plexiglass stage I have some dinosaurs feet tied down to. Good, uh... skills!