Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by JET, on 2007-11-06 22:28:55

My witch's room set. Still need some advice to make it creepy.

I want to make a bad witch's room, but i can not make it creepy. What else do i need to add in the scene? Thanks

Posted by JET, on 2007-11-06 22:31:52

Here is the front shot.

Posted by Isomer, on 2007-11-06 22:47:24

The only thing that seems vacant of detail is the floor in the second photo you posted. Maybe a grey cobblestone for it? The other props you have there are enough, just mix them up a bit, I think they are placed too symetricly, placing them more unevenly would give more depth to the image. I like the colors and lighting otherwise. Creepy enough for me now.

Posted by I_make_cartoons, on 2007-11-08 11:21:25

'dirty' everything up with thin grey paint (especially the skeleton) make spider's webs from spray snow (be careful!). Darker lighting and maybe some small, dim practical lights -marc

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-11-08 07:46:33

my 2 cents: -Dishes might be "dirtied" a bit by adding a thin wash of paint or something so they don't look so brand new. -Add a few more things to the wall. It seems a bit weird with the two tiny skulls. I heard once that objects in threes are visually more appealing. Maybe add an old painting or portrait. -A fireplace might look pretty good against that wall too. With gargoyle rocks for the molding and shelf. -Cobblestone floor sounds good if it's in a basement. Or maybe just an old wooden floor. -A big crock pot with lots of jars and ingrediants around it such as eyeballs, bat wings, frog, snake, rat, misc. human remains, herbs, etc. If I were you i'd just keep adding little things to it until you're satisfied. Most of my sets start out very basic, then I find more and more details to add until it looks right. I find that the most fun, so just get creative with it and the skys the limit :-). EDIT: The miniature trees or bushes don't look right in there imo. -Mike L.

Posted by Antimax, on 2007-11-08 07:57:19

Add some "evil" bottles and stuff in the foreground, that would be cool. Would give more depth, too.

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-11-08 16:44:04

Lots of good suggestions - but lighting is the key. Leave a bit more mystery, areas of the set in near-darkness where the imagination has to fill in the details. Almost any place can look creepy with the right lighting. Try some edge lighting (also called backlighting or rim lighting) on your puppet, enough to define the edges but leaving some of his face in shadow, and leaving much of the background dark.

Posted by JET, on 2007-11-08 23:47:18

Thanks everybody! Tonight I made 1 fireplace, 1 magic small book and one picture frame. Yes, you guys are right. I'll try to make the room full. I bought a par can 38 package with gel and a pin shot par can. Because i live in apartment, it is really hard to mount the lights. Maybe the pin shot light can give some back light make it more creepy. Jet

Posted by castlegardener, on 2007-11-09 01:27:18

Nick, Can you explain a little bit more how you would light this set. I realize a lot of it though requires some experimentation. This set would be a great practice exercise for all of us to expand our lighting skills. Thanks

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-11-09 00:00:34

Where's the witch!?!:P Set looks great btw. -Mike L.

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-11-09 02:38:57

Hard to say. I do it by moving lights around and seeing how they look... If the stones of the wall are 3d, I'd hit them with a light that's back as far as the wall itself, so it just pings up the edges of the stones but doesn't make the wall bright. (probably with 12 v 50 watt downlight). If it's a flat painted wall that won't work, so maybe just a fairly dim front fill light. (50 watt downlight, with diffusion and gel.) It might be blueish or greenish. Or it could cover only an area of the wall, like light from a torch (so amber gel), falling into blackness around the edges. Then I'd hit the edges of the main character with a key light from well to the left side and a bit above, so half the face or more is in shadow. Maybe some backlighting from the opposite side (30 watt pinspot), with a blue gel, but well back so it only picks up the edges. The character would stand out from the background with the bright edges, but still be fairly shadowy. When I look at my shot of a similar sort of set, I should have made the general lighting much darker, so the light coming from the door and down the steps was the only strong light: That would have lit the gargoyle coming down the stairs, but made it a darker and more mysterious space he was going into. I probably figured I put work into the set, so I wanted to show it. But I made it too bright. (Hey, it was my first stopmo setup since age 13, and I was shooting on film so I was not sure how it would come out.) Maybe this is closer to the feel (done 10 years later) even though the set is quite different: I let most of the side of the building go dark, but had a spotlight lighting the area near the door and garbage can in the alley. The light on the front of the shops is dim, enough to see it but not too bright. There's some cold blue light just picking out the edges of the cobblestones and backlighting the steam in the foreground. The idea was to see just enough of what mattered, but not too much.

Posted by Strider, on 2007-11-09 03:31:56

Something I've come te realize in my recent lighting adventures: Where you put the lights, and what kind you use, is only half the story. It's also extremely important what the light is falling on - ie surface form, texture, color, pattern etc. That's a big part of why Nick's sets look so good, because of the form he sculpted (or built) in, the texture, etc. I think it would be hard to do any kind of fancy lighting on a simple set like this, which is essentially a flat background wall. Or rather, fancy lighting wouldn't do much for the set. I suppose about all you could do with lighting would be to light parts of it but let others fall into darkness, and backlight the witch, as Nick already mentioned. Sorry, I know this doesn't help miuch with the topic at hand, just sharing my recent observations. I miss the days of making such simple sets! Getting the form and texture takes a lot more work!!! I just took another look at the last pic, and the lighting actually looks pretty good!!! The only other thing I can think of that would increase the atmosphere and thus the creep factor would be some kind of gobo. If you don't know what that is, look at a recent thread in the Lighting & Camera section called Lighting Control (it also says something like Dots, Fingers, Gobos....). A nice windowframe shadow falling on the set and puppet could do a lot to suggest space that's unseen off camera. Oh, maybe also some chains hanging on the walls, or some kind of troture devices. Not sure if it fits for a witch's chamber, but it sure would look creepy!