Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by gloria, on 2004-10-11 07:43:46

Making spruce trees

Hi everyone! The project is going well so far but I need spruce trees. We want to make our own. One set of miniature town will need many that are 5 to 6 inches tall and another set will need about 40 that are 12 to 15 inches. Too expensive to buy so need some great suggestions that can be constructed. Have thought of christmas garland trimmed and either dipped in white glue/water and sprinkled with model tree stuff or air brushed for the small trees but the big ones.......?

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-10-11 16:13:00

Sometimes I use one plant as a miniature of another. There are a number of conifers with compact, short foliage that scale down well. I don't have a clear picture in my head of what a spruce looks like. You can often cut off branches, let them dry, and spray paint some green back into them. of the tv station I work for when I needed a cretaceous conifer forest. The street trees outside my studio bear a few scars too... Build up a base to the trunk with roots going out to sell it as a tree growing out of the ground. For bigger trees, (maybe 3 feet high and a 4 to 6 inch tunk diameter) I sometimes make a trunk with plaster and fibreglass over a cardboard tube, or over chicken wire, or over a clay shape, and add bits of real branches or plastic foliage. Mostly they are 3/4 round, they don't have a back. For a general small scale foliage the chopped foam stuff from model shops stuck on to little branches with spray glue looks good. A friend of mine made his own by putting chunks of upholstery foam in a blender (chopping blades I think). then you drop it into watered down paint and dry it out again, usually several shades to get a nice mix. Look out for bushes with nice small branch structure, even if the leaves are no good. You can dye/spray paint some dacron, then tease it out and glue it on little branches too, to make a mass of foliage. Sprinkling coloured sawdust or the chopped foam helps give it the feel of little leaves.

Posted by jamesride101, on 2004-10-11 21:04:32

You can also use painted and spread out steel wool for branches(on wide shots). You can spray some glue on it and sprinkle whatever foliage you want on it. The chopped foam stuff usualy works. You can get some pretty good "transperancy" that way. The trick about trees is that you can usualy see through them, so you dont want to over do it with the foliage. Less is more. You wanna have opaque areas but the "transperant" areas are the ones that "sell" the miniature. I also use dry decorative foliage for miniature tree foliage. Some of these dont look anything like a tree branch but they look perfect in camera for wide shots. You will have to do tests not only by eye but also by recording on video or film and looking at the results. The trees in these pics are 2-3 feet using decorative dry foliage, sold for use on flower arrangements. Litchen also works well for the fine branches/foliage if you glue it on a real branch. You can find Lichen in different colors in most hobby shops (I use the stuff all the time). Fine tree roots also make for interesting miniature branches as well.