The Crucible of Transmutationanecdotes about the creative process

Lucid Dream

I have been exploring the possibilities of creating a painting brought to life. With that goal in mind I produced an unusual fusion, Lucid Dream, being both one of my latest experimental films and one of my earliest. The movie was given a painterly impressionistic look by digitally post processing an "animated dance" originally shot on Super 8 film circa 1980!

The vintage source film utilized the technique of pixilation: humans animating themselves via stop-motion animation. Featured are performances by artist/gymnasts Mark Daniel and Ben Averill, who frequently collaborated with me on pixilation projects. Ann Olson and Mary Niebauer were guided through the process, as they had never tried anything like it before. We started with some pre-conceived ideas and planning, but overall the actual animation was spontaneous, self-evolving, and fun. A pixilation performance of this type required a mind-body awareness, and collective interaction. The final result was dreamlike, mysteriously moving figures interacting with the natural environment. I was generally pleased with how the film turned out, but there were a number of flaws in the animation that kept it from being great. However, it was excellent source material for the new improved version which happened many years later.

I used several software packages as my tools to fix and revitalize Lucid Dream. The animation glitches were smoothed out by re-posing the figures frame by frame with Photoshop. I created subtle camera moves to follow the action, and cropped the aspect ratio to the modern HD 16 x 9 with Final Cut Pro. Cropping in on a tiny Super 8 frame loses a lot of image quality, but in this case it did not matter as each frame was transformed in the next step. The transmutation into a "painting" was achieved with the graphic synthesizer Studio Artist, a relatively unknown software. I spent more time than I would like to admit experimenting by trial and error to develop a look that I liked. Ultimately the result was a hybrid movie that salvaged an old project and explored new territories in the realm of visual arts.

< Newer  Post 20 / 40  Older >
A look behind the scenes of art-making and other musings by .

See More Articles:

Howie and pumpkin from The Nightmare Before Christmas Skellington Incident

Pillsbury doughboy baking a pie Stop-Motion Doughboy

Aliens from Encounter movie Making ENCOUNTER

mouse riding motorcycle Stop-Motion Field Trip

nimslo camera Anaglyph Technique

Frog as a knight St. Frog and the Dragon

Mother and father trolls Meet the Umblebums

Carrot characters Fairy Tale Surrealism

3 cavemen Sculpting Cavemen

A reindog and elf The Red-Nosed Reindog

Disney popsicles Making Mickey's Parade

Freddy nightmare Nightmares Made Real

tattooed lady Tattoo Parlor Diorama

face of Night Scorp Gigantic Scorpions

animator with stop-motion puppet Chroma Key Animation

bodybuilder Frank Zane posing The Living Body as Sculpture

Man runs in a sewer movie set Starting at the Bottom

Animated bottle cap character Zippy the Cap

Stone Giant stop-motion puppet The End of Dynamation

Candy on a boys face Eye Candy

Dancing figures Lucid Dream

Talking deer and moose hunting trophies Wacky Trophy Heads

Handstanding figure over river valley Making THE WANDERER

Portrait of man made of fruit Creating a Fruit Man

Portrait of Jack Skellington Nightmare Still Photos

Spacecraft Wreckage Spaceship Junkyard

Closeup of a robot Models and Props pt. 1

Watch shaped like a mouse Models and Props pt. 2

Train locomotive Models and Props pt. 3

Face of a cute dinosaur Young Iguanodon

ice skating hersheys kisses Lively Kisses

shopping mall Making Mall Mania

powerful super hero Extreme Heroic Poses

The character Kait from Gears of War Motion Mixture

Clay fox sculpture in the snow Pee-Wee Christmas Title

A singing cartoon box character Lounge Singer

An animated sea lion Sea Lion Ballet

Masked monster The Evil Within

flying reptile Learning CGI in the 90s

flying reptile Disney's Dinosaur