Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by Marc Spess, on 2004-08-13 19:51:36

Zombie Pirates - Defiance Ship

Hi guys, I thought I'd liven up the set section of these boards. I've been working on a large ship set for the Zombie Pirate cartoons. I think this is......about four days over one months worth of work by myself. I have a long way to go, but it's really starting to take shape now. Marc Visit:

Posted by Strider, on 2004-08-13 23:02:19

That's looking great Marc! It's funny seeing a set so similar to the one I'm building, and yet so different. Why, oh why did I have to go for the "gritty realism" thing? I just read your "log". Sounds like things are moving along nicely for you. You've got some good advice in there about getting music and voice talent recorded. That show about the people trying to invent a way to navigate at sea... I saw the same show that night! It was great... I love watching stuff like that. Of course, I try to catch anything I can about ships and sailing from that time period. another great show I caught recently that helped me form ideas for my film was about alaskan crab fishing... "the most dangerous job in the world", and it does sound like it. One guy got knocked overboard and they said it was really lucky he lived...usually they can't last more than a couple minutes in the freezing water.

Posted by teabgs, on 2004-08-13 23:03:08

that looks great! What's everything made out of?

Posted by Eric Scott, on 2004-08-13 23:48:07

I like your set design, matches the characters perfectly. Well done. :) Now, gives us the nitty gritty. What is that stuff? Foam core that's been painted and some sort of wood laminate for flooring?

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2004-08-14 00:16:02

Hi guys, Mike - yes that show on navigation was really interesting. Using the starts on a rocking ship with over 400 calculations or something to that effect - just to know your longitude. I can see why a clock is the best way to go. And to think a pocket watch was the most accurate way to find the time. Did you notice how much the ships pitched around at sea? Pretty darn amazing that a ship made of wood can put up with all that abuse. There must be a ton of pressure in both directions on the masts when it shifts from side to side. I didn't manage to see the other one, but it sounds like it was a fun documentary to watch. The Defiance is made completely from wood. I cut flat bass wood strips to make all the slats covering all the surfaces. The floors were stained with wood stain, the rest painted. The only non-wood part are the two swirls at the very back. Those are pieces of wood with sculpted sculpey that tapers into the wood. A lot of balsa was used for the shingles, trim around the side windows, and the side rails. The middle rail is a harder wood and real strong. But I don't know what type it is, it's a greenish/brown tinted medium hardness wood. Maybe willow? The door is the same material, I carved the lines into it with a knife to make it look like slats. The neat part is the whole thing is on a pair of door hinges and I plan to animate it rocking up and down. I'll see if the tests look good when I get to that stage. Marc Visit:

Posted by Antony, on 2004-08-15 06:21:50

Nice colours Marc! Are you going to put a nice large lantern at the back... could be good for lighting effects. Antony

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2004-08-15 07:11:35

Hey Antony, Yes I'll be adding a large lantern back there. I'm still trying to figure out how to make it in such a way that it lights up. It almost has to be a mini version of the real thing. I might settle for something quicker for the first episode since it will be in broad day light. Marc Visit:

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2004-08-20 12:32:31

Here is, A more accurate color representation of the ship, and an update on it's progress. Marc Visit:

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2004-08-30 14:47:12

Just another, Update. Haven't done a huge amount, the ropes really make a big difference. Marc Visit:

Posted by Antony, on 2004-08-30 19:57:37

Looks better and better each time Marc. Are the ropes made from wire? Like your deadeyes. Are the stairs to the poop deck pre-drilled or can you get to them easily to get the hole drilled through? Antony

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-08-30 20:46:31

Yes, the ropes really do bring it up a treat!

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-30 21:00:31

This is looking really great Marc! I think someone mentioned it already but you have done a great job of keeping the set and the character in the same style. I can't wait to see zombie pirates storming the deck of the Defiance!

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2004-08-31 20:25:43

Hey guys, Thanks for the compliments, I'm glad your enjoying the pictures.: "Looks better and better each time Marc. Are the ropes made from wire?" Yes, I have lots of it - and surprisingly I've used probably over a hundred feet of it already. I first spray painted them black, then three coats of brown latex house paint - then dry brushing with a pastel yellowish brown. "Like your deadeyes. Are the stairs to the poop deck pre-drilled or can you get to them easily to get the hole drilled through?" The stairs right now are designed so they aren't attached in any way besides gravity and a snug fit. This way I can remove them completely because the ship frame and floor will be for both the pirates and the good guys. Since nobody walks up the stairs in the first episode they aren't drilled at all. There will be a second set of stairs to put in place of the ones you see for the pirates. I can get my hand under the bottom of the upper steps, but might have to lift them or use extra long tie downs to go down below the steps and floors for the lower ones. I think they did something similar in James and the Giant peach where puppets appear to be in mid air with the long tie downs - should work pretty well. I'll need to test it out with an armature to see how well it holds up just in case. Marc Visit:

Posted by Nugget, on 2004-09-01 14:00:55

That is one NOICE ship! Great effort! From Peter.

Posted by ChrisJ, on 2004-09-01 19:06:57

NICE Set!! I love it! Inspiring set building skills Marc. When will you go into production? :D Chris