Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by Clayboy, on 2004-08-05 16:26:16

Making a city please help!!!!

I need to know how to make a city with streets and houses with sidew walks.The works! i dont know how to say the scale thing but my persons 6 inches and i want it to look right. I also need to know how to make a realistic bedroom,bathroom,and kitchen.Like wallace and Gromit. Do they have any books on this. WHAT MATERIALS DO I NEED FOR ALL THIS TOO!

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-08-05 19:31:51

If a 6 ft tall man is scaled down to 6 inches tall, that's 1/12 scale (otherwise known as 1 inch to a foot). First the good news: This is the scale used for those detailed and realistic miniature Doll's House rooms, so there are a lot of things available. Everything for a bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom is available. For exteriors, you can get doors and windows, and some other stuff. There will be websites for this, do a search for doll houses. You can also get 1:12 motorcyles, and a couple of cars. The bad news is, they can cost a fair bit of money. For footpaths and buildings, I mostly use MDF or medium density fibreboard. I don't use 1:12 scale, I use 1:6 for my puppets and closeup sets, which is twice as big, and I make whole streets full of houses and factories is 1:24 scale, which is only half as big as 1:12. I start with the 1/2 inch particle board tabletop. Sometimes I paint the parts that will be the road in a dark bitumen colour, sometimes I make a road surface out of MDF and sand it thin at the edges so it's got that rounded camber to it. I make the footpath from thicker mdf. In the bigger scale I have strips of kerb made separately, in the small scale I just round the edge of the footpath. The buildings are like boxes, with holes cut for windows and doors, then the doorframes made from wood and glued in separately. For wooden buildings I make lots of weatherboards from thin ply, balsa wood, or cardboard strips, and glue them onto the mdf overlapping each other. For brick buildings, I make sheets of vacuum formed brickwork. The original model for the bricks is made by gluing lots of rectangles of mdf or card onto a board in a brick pattern. You could do each building that way, but it would be a lot of work. I think in 1:12 scale there may be sheets of brick texture you can buy. This is 1:24 scale:

Posted by catizone, on 2004-08-05 19:35:26

There are various books, but why not check the second hand bookstore for the book on Aardman studios called, I believe, Creating 3D Animation. As for a city, you might consider something you could mold or vacuform in sections....kind of a modular approach that would be fast and flexible. You also might realize that you don't need a whole city, but can replace and redress the same pieces to "be" different storefronts, etc. in different shots. EVen in a tracking shot, since time is stopped for us, you could take the storefront that goes out of frame, redress it, and bring it in from offscreen as a totally different front. Best, Rick

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-08-05 20:18:48

...and this is a 1:6 scale street set. Like Rick said, I do re-arrange buildings and change the shop signs to get more uses out of each building. One thing to watch out for with taking out a building as soon as it goes out of a tracking shot, make sure it wasn't casting a shadow that was still visible, or it will disappear with a pop! And the same goes for when you put it in to where you're about to track to, make sure it doesn't cast a shadow onto objects that are already in shot. I haven't done this with buildings, but I have with puppets, so it looks like there are more of them than you actually made. The footpaths in this shot are 12mm (1/2") particle board. The kerb is a strip of pine, slightly higher that the footpath. the shop windows are 3mm perspex, but in a smaller scale set you could use clear acetate sheet, or the transparency sheets you use in the computer printer for overhead projection. Everything is painted in matt acrylic wall paint. (except the fibreglass Morris Minor car, I used a spray can for that.) These materials are suitable if you have power tools to work with. If you don't, go with cardboard, balsa wood, or foamcore sheet that can be cut with a stanley knife. I stick most things together with hot glue. Paint or glue with sawdust in it can help get a concrete texture, or I've found tile adhesive works well too. I look out for toys or models the right size, sometimes they save time. The harley is a 1:6 plastic kit, the wheelie bin is sold in novelty shops. The No Parking sign is printed on my deskjet, the pole is aluminium tube. You just have to have a tape measure or ruler on you and keep an eye out for stuff you can use. But for your scale, start with doll house supplies.

Posted by catizone, on 2004-08-06 06:09:00

Very nice work, Nick! Best, Rick