Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Alienated! Set construction part 2

With the set built and the assets and props made, the tasks remaining pertain to assembly and decoration. One detail which really does complete the set and make it all the more believable is the inclusion of skirting boards/door frames. On the blank walls, knowing they would later be covered with ‘wallpaper’, I constructed the lines for these frames to follow- using thin, 1cm strips of balsa wood. This wood follows around the floor, before being cut at 45 degrees, to continue around the doors.

Another group member was able to paint these white once the glue had dried, to match the doors, whilst someone else researched and collected patterns for wallpaper- a 70’s style pattern was chosen, given how the houses are supposed to be old and worn. We all pitched in from here to cut the printed pattern to the correct shape, align the strips, and lastly apply it to the walls.

As you can see on the left, the two houses’ living rooms were papered with similar but noticeably different patterns- this is because we always aimed for the neighbour’s home to reflect that of the protagonist, yet in a much worse state, as a warning to him of what his life will become if he does not resolve to change his ways.

After the paper was completed, we gave more thought to the ceiling- in several of our shots, the ceiling will be visible, and thus we needed to add the finishing touches here too. Using the same technique as with the door frames and skirting boards, we added coving around the edge of the ceiling, which not only gave the room a neat finish, it secured the wallpaper in place at the top as well.

As for the flooring, we utilised a pair of A3 coloured card sheets. The brown was used to represent floorboards, with the board lines added by another student with pen. For the protagonist’s room, we decided on a grey ‘carpet’, which suits the pale green walls.

The bathroom again used the printed pattern technique, this time to achieve a tile effect on the floor and walls. Differing the pattern helps to give the room a sense of depth and scale. I should note that the props have not yet been fully positioned in any of our sets. On the wall that has been removed for this image, we must fix the shelf in place, as well as the toilet, sink and mirror cabinet. 

With the interiors of the rooms decorated, I turned my attention to the outside- I was able to purchase a roll of brick pattern paper (intended for dolls houses), which suited our set perfectly. With help from the others in my group, I marked out where the paper needed to be cut for the windows and doors, and carefully cut out these areas with a blade. Finally, we glued this paper onto the surface, which really completes the look of the houses.

You can see the finished house exteriors below, including the boarded up windows:

There are still some loose, outstanding elements to add, such as the post strewn across the neighbour’s unkempt lawn, which will be added just prior to filming. The set however is now fully constructed. 

I personally had less input towards making the bathroom, where the other group members did an excellent job. You can see my mirror cabinet and shelf now attached to the wall, the latter of which does indeed hold up the objects as I had hoped. 

Overall, I am very pleased with the completed set, which I feel is an intuitive and original design solution, meeting the requirements we have for it while shooting the animation. Though it has taken a very long time for me to complete, the final effect has been well worth the effort, and I look forward to seeing our characters and set in motion.

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