Sunday, July 23, 2006

HellBoy Animated Slide Show Translation

All these things will probably be on the DVD of the animated show eventually. So this could be looked at as kind of pointless. I got a lot out of it because by the time I strained my eyes to both transcribe and then type it, I had digested the content. Especially having to reconstuct sentences almost like a crossword puzzle. I had to skew the images to "correct" them from the awkward angle. I used a lot of guesswork on the text that goes with the "KEEP THINGS CONFINED" Imagery. I've included the photo I worked with to see if you guys were better at digital correction/enhancement. Check it out.

Keep Things Confined


"Untranslatable. Here are fragments..."
1.Mignola _ _in claustrophic to heighten the tension of our stories
_ _ _ _ narrow _ _ through _ are not _ more than
_ _ _ _ crowded_ _ _ _

"The one I can't translate is found at the bottom in original form. Try your digital wizard skills on it. Here is the rest of the captions that I can make out for these illos..."

2.We will not use the same techniques of using pattern to change the shape of the screen but instead use scenic elements to suggest a different frame shape.

3. Here the corner of the hall pushes the characters to the right, packing them into a smaller space

4.Scenes of tight locations or crowded spaces also give our explosive scenes more impact

5.The narrow hallway can show only asHellboy enters the narrow access having conditioned the audience with a series of confined areas. The reveal of the major area is stronger to the contrast.

"The last sentence is also largely guesswork. Take a stab at it yourself"



1. In the comics, little insert panels are used to focus attention, emphasize a theme, slow the pace and any number of other reasons. Although we're dealing in film, a similar technique can be used.

A woman needs to burn an herb to drive back an ectoplasmic monster. She's startled as a tentacle reaches for Hellboy. Insert a snuffed match falling in slow motion. The viewer knows she dropped the match without seeing it. He has time to anticipate horrific consequences and he's frustrated because the reveal is momentarily held off. After the quiet of this shot, the action of the next scene of Hellboy trapped in thrashing tentacles is more powerful by contrast.

Earlier in the sequence before Hellboy enters the room we get a glimpse of ectoplasmic tentacles and a withered hand. The VO dialogue must connect with the scene. Girl " It all went crazy on him." Hellboy "Could you be more specific."

We know exactly what Hellboy is concentrating on as a fan coyly drops down revealing a smile with way too many teeth.

This is often used in comics when an insert shows statuary or a close up of a painting. Specific sculptures are used because of their history. The mythology depicted or their pose comments on the action. Don't just make up statues to include.



1.Mike Mignola often chooses a symbolic or poetic juxtaposition of images to create mood defying the usual mundane logic and realism of graphic storytelling. Creating mood horrific or otherwise, is one of the key challenges of the scenes.

2.Sometimes it's what you don't see that sets a mood. There are times why we don't want to see the final moments of a vampire or a werewolf center stage. But in this case , watching the hand dissolve to bones as leaves fall and the bird begins to sing says that the monster's death affects the life of the village in general. Beauty and life have returned to their world.

3.When dealing with the mythological entities Hellboy sometimes slips from our reality into a dramatic place of symbols and icons.

Here statues fill the background as Hectate talks to Hellboy about his destiny.

View Bram Stoker's Dracula by Coppola to study the film makers stylistic approach to the depiction of horror.

4. Sometimes a flashback is used during exposition to put the current situation in perspective. Instead of cutting to a seperate scene, the images can play out behind the speaker like a green screen matte. Or this sort of scene can be used as a transition to a longer sequence.

Although the techniques must be used wisely, being clear does not necessarily mean literal.

The Claustrophobic Close Up


1. Close ups in Mignola Comics often crop off part of the head. This increases tension and almost makes the audience a coconspirator as if they are leaning in close to hear what the characters have to say.

2. Refer to the comics and observe how sometimes the top of the head is gone and other times the chin. It's not just a matter of cutting close. What is left in and what is left out causes a different effect.

3. Cutting off the back of the old astronauts head while including the instruments that crowd in on him gives a greater feeling of discomfort. Putting him to the side also weights the left side of the frame, creating interest.

4. Even if the character on the right is talking, cropping his head turns him into a framing element . Focusing our attention on the other guy in an interesting way.

5. Comic staging usually has to leave room for word balloons. We want to use some of that staging even without the dialogue blimps.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Making more Molds

A guy I work with did a proto action figure in Maya. The character is an actor that's appeared on Mr Show. The maya file was output by 3DArtToPart and then Bob hand sanded the thing. He planned on doing the mold himself but had a bad experience with slow curing. He gave me the rest of the Silicone and said go to it beacuse he knows it's my hobby. It was great having about 100 bucks of silicone to play with that I didn't have to pay for. I hotglued magnets to the parts and placed them on the altoid and pringle tin and this kept the part from moving and getting bouyant. Came out great and I got some good casting before I turned the molds over. Success!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Big Boy Marty and Me

July 4th with Marty Davis and his wife Blair. They took me to the 2nd built BigBoy in the country. It was vintage alright. Except the chocolate shakes have been downsized. i'd say by half.