All posts tagged 3-D

Face Off Season 8 Episode 3: Animal Plant Hybrids

Published January 28, 2015 by vfdpixie

This week, the artists headed to the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Super Bowl 7, the 1959 World Series and the 1932 and 1984 Olympics took place.  They met Ve Neill, McKenzie and Glenn Hetrick who stood by a selection of flowers with animal medallions attached.  Inspired by movies like The Hunger Games and The Running Man where characters had to fight for their lives in deadly competitions, the gang had to create a predator which was a hybrid of a deadly animal and an exotic plant.  They would create in teams of 2 which were randomly picked.  Ve told them to make the creature scary-she wanted to be frightened, and Glenn added that they should integrate elements of plant and animal, not just slap a flower on the creature’s head.  They also got a neat surprise:  Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games was going to be a judge on the reveal stage! The artists were all pumped when they heard that and headed off to create their plant/animal killers.

It was great to see all the teams meshing really well.  They collaborated and problem-solved in the best ways possible during this challenge.  The judges also applauded the coaches for their input, because it was definitely noticeable with all the great work, and Josh was really excited to be there since he is a huge fan of the show.

Anthony and Logan got the Warthog and American Pitcher Plant.  They decided to use the warthog’s large nostrils as eye holes for the model and give it open rotting flesh.  They didn’t have too many issues, and they were satisfied with the large menacing creature.  The judges liked all the details, and Josh liked the eyes.  They were safe.

Kelly and Daniel chose the Scorpion and Delphinium.  They planned to created a hard shell with petal forms.  By now we all know there will be trouble in the mold room, and Kelly started off with rushing to make hers.  Daniel helped her out and wasn’t as worried about their time crunch, but she didn’t want to end up in the bottom again.  Daniel fabricated a cool sectioned tail, and their scorpion hybrid looked really scary and had a great profile.  The judges liked the paint job, and the look was enough to keep them safe.

Ben and Darla picked the Ram and the Cactus.  Mr. Westmore loved the unique concept and just warned them to not make the eyes too human.  Ben was the other mold room casualty.  The mold got stuck and when they eventually got it opened, they ran out of time to clean it out.  They cowl was also too big, so they had to cut it down to fit the face piece.  The end result was a menacing creature with a great shape.  The judges liked the face and horns, and Neville liked the unique form.  Actually, Neville thought it was the best makeup on the show, like, ever.  Ve thought the paint job was “awesome” and Josh thought it was scary and demonic.  This put them in the top looks.

Julian and Adam had the Bat and Sugar Bush Protea.  After Mr. Westmore told them to change the nose on their sculpt to look more bat-like, they toiled away, but the final makeup was too light.  It had a nice profile, but Glenn thought it looked like a “batichoke”.  Ve called it a “psychedelic artichoke with a bat face”, and Josh wanted to see the face a little darker.  This not very scary creature put them in the bottom looks.

Emily and Regina worked on the Hyena and the Shampoo Ginger.  Early on in the sculpting phase, Regina’s cowl wasn’t matching Emily’s face, so after Mr. Westmore’s input and hashing it out, they switched so that Regina sculpted the face and Emily did the cowl.  Emily also coloured hemp in different earthy hues to create texture.  Even though they were running out of time, and hot gluing in last looks, their hybrid was a scary sight!  The judges thought it was demonic looking and liked the palette.  They thought the proportions worked well, liked the organic colours and cohesive concepts.  This beautiful character with a gorgeous silhouette was in top looks.

Stephanie and Alan had the Thorny Dragon and Cockscomb.  They decided to use the flower colours on their creature.  Their foam cowl was a total mess and he spent a long time patching it up.  The sculpt ended up being interesting but there was no dimension with the bright yellow colour.  The judges thought there was a lack of detail, and the sculpt was too soft.  It needed more texture, and the venom sacks that Alan devised looked like a goiter to Neville.  Glenn felt there was an anime feel to it and this yellow, far from ferocious creature put them in the bottom.

Rob and Jamie chose the Piranha and the Blue Thistle.  They wanted to do a Gill Man type creature but Mr. Westmore felt the face was too literal and he wanted more interest there.   Rob created a “dreadlock” look with leaves he made out of L200, and they created a pretty scary creature.  Jamie and Rob had some really cool details in their makeup and the judges loved it.  This toothy hybrid kept them safe this week.

The top team was Ben and Darla.  The judges felt the Ram was one of the most incredible concepts ever seen on the show, and the bold concepts and the back of the cowl put them at the top.  Ben was the winner since he sculpted the amazing cowl.  He promised that if he ever won a Spotlight Challenge, he would propose to his girlfriend, so he did!!  I’m thinking she said yes.

The person going home was Alan.  The judges had a hard time chosing since all the makeups were great, but Alan’s misguided venom sacks affected the appeal of the character.  The judges told him to hold his head up high, and Josh told him not to give up.  Alan felt he had grown on the show and will continue creating with makeup.  Just to keep a tally, Team Laura has lost one artist, and now so has Team Anthony.  I’m hoping for some more surprises next week!

Foxed! A Crafty Tale

Published October 23, 2014 by vfdpixie


Foxed! (2013)

I love stop-motion animation.  It takes me back to all those holiday specials that I watched as a kid.  It is a refined, time-consuming art pioneered by Ray Harryhausen, and one that seems to endure despite all the computer generated animation out these days.  Take, for example, Foxed!, a 3 minute short screened at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival directed by James Stewart and written by Nev Bezaire.  It tells the tale of Emily, voiced by Athena Karkanis from the Saw series, a wide-eyed little girl who has been kidnapped by sneaky and shifty looking foxes to work in their Blue Goo mines.  Sounds kooky, but when you see the film, you are drawn in by Emily’s despair and literally shout for more of the story when it ends.  It has a creepy fairytale feel that makes you want to watch at bedtime with the covers pulled up over your nose.  Stewart, whose inspiration came from films like Coraline, has stated that there are many themes in the main story, ones of parent-child relationships, finding your individuality and facing personal demons, adding some real depth to Emily’s plight.

The film has made the festival circuit, winning several awards and charming audiences everywhere.  Not only is it created with the painstaking stop-motion technique, but it is also the first to use stereoscopic 3-D, which adds depth and cinematic scope to the tiny sets.  For really great behind the scenes video, commentary and more, go to the official film site:


and download the film at ITunes :  https://itunes.apple.com/ca/movie/foxed!/id922682834

So what happens to Emily? How did these foxes kidnap her?  Who are these snaggle-toothed burrowers and what do they want?  If you check out the clips on the Foxed! site, Stewart has confirmed a feature-length film coming from this intriguing short, so I think the growing number of fans will get what they want:  More!!

3-D and Pixie’s Left Eye

Published May 22, 2013 by vfdpixie

Dear reader, I have a secret to share with you.  3-D movies are lost on me.  I’ve tried seeing them with my regular glasses under the 3-D set, and with my contacts.  No dice.  After 3 strabismus surgeries at the ages of 5, 12, and 26, my left eye looks normal, and I can see pretty well with it, but it seems that a lingering weakness means it doesn’t work in tandem with my right, making 3-D movies a lesson in frustration.

At first I wondered if I expected too much.  I remember as a kid seeing a commercial for a 3-D movie where the characters jumped out of the screen at the viewers.  “Sign me up for that!”, I thought, expecting my favourite monsters to shake me in my very seat.  My chance would come several years later with a special T.V. movie (the nature of which I can’t seem to recall, but my sister insists it was probably pure cheese).   The local paper provided the 3-D glasses.  I was so excited!  My sister and I bought a couple of newspapers for our glasses, sat in front of the T.V. and waited for the spectacle to start.  It went something like this:

Sis: “Oh cool!”

Pixie:”What?!  What?!”

Sis: “Don’t you see it?”

Pixie: “I see one red lens and one blue lens.”

Sis: “Oh….”(10 minutes later)”How ’bout now?”

Pixie: “Red lens. Blue Lens.”

Sis:  “Close your left eye!”

Pixie: “Blue lens.”

Sis:  “Oh.”

This went on for a few more minutes, with more attempted adjustments, until we dissolved into giggles.  Of course the quality was not that great in terms of televisions and 3-D glasses in the 80’s, but for most people with mostly normal vision, they got the gist of the effect.  Me, not so much.  But I never stopped trying.

Case in point:  the blockbuster Avatar.  I went with my childhood friend, Big Ray (yes, he really is big.  Like, 6’7 big), when it was released, and the theatre was packed.  I must admit, as we scoured the theatre for seats, I noticed the looks on people’s faces.  They said quite clearly, “Please make the giant sit somewhere other than in front of me.”   For us, those seats were almost in the front row.  Not the greatest seats, but I hoped our proximity to the screen would make something happen.  Craning our necks up, way up, our supposedly fresh 3-D glasses perched on our noses, Big Ray snickered, his large hand patting my head sympathetically as I muttered, “I don’t see it.  Are the tails 3-D too?”  I actually loved that movie, and saw it again minus the 3-D anxiety.

More recently, I went to see Iron Man 3 with my sis.  We got the movie times wrong and ended up going to the 3-D showing.  Since there were fewer people around, I didn’t mind.  We got our pink-eye, I mean, 3-D glasses and I prepared to maybe see something this time.  Robert Downey Jr. looked like he might have been not-so-flat, but I couldn’t be sure.  And all those Iron Man suits flitting around could have looked like they were coming at me, but I wasn’t going to bet on it.  The movie itself was o.k. but a tad too long.  I only wanted to see it because I love Don Cheadle.  The others I’m indifferent about, except for Sir Ben Kingsley, who looks like my sweet Uncle Merv.  Sir Ben was pretty brilliant, and I would recommend the film for his character the Mandarin alone.  Guy Pearce also made a great bad guy, and his character, Aldrich Killian was revolting until he turned bad.  You see, I’ve noticed Guy has a habit of picking really unsavoury looking people to portray, mostly covered in dirt.  This time around, he redeems himself and cleans up real nice-like.  But I digress…

To sum things up, dear reader, if you’ve ever wonder why I don’t review 3-D movies here, it’s because of my left eye.  After several attempts, I’ve accepted that the effect is totally lost on me due to separate depth perceptions.  It helped when I did makeup though.  One eye for close up and one eye for far away somehow made things more symmetrical.  Another good thing about my left eye is that I can see around corners with it (just kidding…well, kind of…), and my vision is generally pretty good with glasses and contacts, so I can’t really complain.  I didn’t really like wearing those 3-D glasses anyway.  I’m sure there are health and safety laws in place that prevents the spread of gross things like pink eye, but I have no idea where those glasses have been.  This thought, along with all the other insane ones that take up residence in my pixie mind, haunts me.  So for now, I will have to take your word for it, unless you want to describe your 3-D experience through interpretive dance.  I’m open to that too.

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