Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll adventure, doll photography, graphic novel, Jinjur, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Mudoll, photo novel, Photography, Photoshop, toy adventure, toy photography, Underfoot

Underfoot: A night in the shop

After being turned away from the hotel in their last episode, Jinjur and Buu take to the streets to find some place to stay the night.

Jinjur and Buu trudge through the snow, looking for a place to spend the night.

But the big world is not a safe place for little things

Jinjur and Buu come face to face with a cat.
Jinjur and Buu drop everything and run.

Looking for a place to stay, they spot a shop.

Jinjur and Buu spot a shop across the street.
Jinjur and Buu peer into the shop window.
A bulldog peers out of the shop window.
Jinjur and the bulldog lock eyes.

And use the mailslot to scramble in

Jinjur lifts Buu into the mailslot.
Jinjur scrambles into the mailslot.
Jinjur, Buu, and the bulldog meet in the shop.

Suddenly, they hear a sound and run for a place to hide

They hear a noise and dive into a nearby drawer.
And manage to hide just in time before the shop owner enters the room.

Once the shop owner leaves for the night, they exit the sewing drawer with their new-found goods

Rummaging around the drawer, Jinjur finds an object she fashions as a spear.
while Buu suggests a use for a bow they found.

As it starts to turn light, they gather their belongings and their new friend and make their way back to the streets.

Realizing it’s turning light and the shop will soon be opening, they gather their belongings and jump back out through the mailslot.
And take a quick nap on the sidewalk before continuing on their journey

*****

This may be more pictures than I’ve ever taken for an episode – I really wanted to give them some space to explore, and I wanted to drag out some scenes – like the first encounter with the dog.

And, I managed to finally get my husband into one of the shots 🙂

Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll photography, Jinjur, miniature photography, Mudoll, Photography, Photoshop, toy photography, Underfoot

Taking action shots of inanimate objects

I’ve spent more hours than I’d care to guess trying to prop up my figures for motion shots. For my fashion dolls – all four of the My Doll Adventure figures – I rely on some kind of stand. For my ball-joint dolls – all of the characters in the Underfoot and Up Above stories, I’d try to keep them balanced while carefully getting them into the position I need.

I still do this if I’m going to use my own background – either a dollhouse room, a diorama, or the great outdoors. But, I no longer try to pose my dolls upright for the majority of my photoshopped action shots.

Instead, I realize that I get far more realistic shots by laying the dolls down and photographing them from above.

Here are a few examples from the episode of Underfoot that I’m working on.

Here’s the finished shot of the “The chase”

and here’s the setup I photographed:

and then I Photoshopped it onto a copyright free image from Pexel. It’s so much easier to pose them this way. Not only can i get the details of their posture right, I can also arrange their hair so that it seems to be streaming out behind them.

In another scene, I have the girls climbing into a mail slot.

Here’s the original scene:

and here they are, again photoshopped onto a Pexel image:

 

Some shots require that I photograph them with the dolls standing up, like this shot of them trudging through the city:

Once I have objects in different planes, like Jinjur’s suitcase or Buu’s bag, it’s just too much work to photograph them all separately and then put them together. So, I set up both dolls on the carpet, each on a sheet of plexiglass, to give them an even surface, and then spent forever getting everything in right position without toppling them all over like dominoes.

Jinjur and Buu are about to get into lots of adventures, navigating the big city, which will give me a lot of time to perfect my non-action action shots.

Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll adventure, general discussion, graphic novel, Jinjur, miniature adventure, Mudoll, photo novel, toy adventure, Writing

(Doll) character development

I entered doll adventure land through a side door – somewhere between play and play therapy – so many of the building blocks of photography, miniatures, and writing are unfamiliar to me.

Because I could see their effects in every shot, I focused my learning on photography and miniatures. But, as I start to branch out into new adventures, I’m really seeing the gaps in my story-telling abilities. So, this week, in my mini-adventure land of Underfoot, I’m working on character development.

My Doll Adventure has mostly believably static characters. Most of Rosie’s development lies in front of her, and most of Lily’s lies behind. In the few months in which we capture them, they’re understandably unchanging. Camellia’s most drastic change happens right before the story begins – before she puts her foot on that boat. We’ll catch up with her at the moment in which she has to make a decision and a drastic change, but won’t know her well enough at that point to understand who she was before that night when we first meet.

Daisy, though, *should* have changed and grown during the adventure. It’s really a complete oversight on my part that she hasn’t – that there’s no moment when she really grasps that following the call to adventure means giving up the Daisy she’s known and becoming the Daisy-to-be. Some of that is because she was carrying so much of the weight of the developing plot that it just consumed her own development, but most of it is because I got so distracted with other things that I couldn’t see that I needed to dedicate some time to allowing her to grow into her new character.

I’d thought, right up until this week, that I’d work on the final version of my doll adventure right after I finished posting the draft – in a few months from now. Now I can see that there’s so much that I don’t even know that I don’t know that I should take a year or two to learn before I try a more final form.

Which is all to say that Jinjur, unlike Daisy, is going to change during the Underfoot adventures, starting in this, her second episode. It’s possible that Buu will, as well, down the road. But right now, it’s Jinjur who has to adjust to her new understanding of the world. The world, it turns out, is not a place where two 1/6 scale dolls can walk into a hotel, hand over an eyeball, a bag of playmobile coins, and a dime, and get a room for the night.

And, as she learns in this episode, the world is a dangerous place for little things. And it will take a different Jinjur to navigate this world.

Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll adventure, doll photography, graphic novel, Jinjur, Mudoll, photo novel, Photography, toy adventure, toy photography, Underfoot

Underfoot: First night

Jinjur and Buu arrive in the city, and try to find a place to stay for the night.

Jinjur rings the bell for service . . .
. . . digs around in her suitcase . . .
. . . hands over all of her valuables . . .
. . . and finds herself tossed out onto the street with nowhere to go.
Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, Camellia, Daisy, Ester, Fashion dolls, Jinjur, Lily, Maskcat doll, Mudoll, Rosie

Moving day

Without moving to a new home, I seem to have set off a cascade of smaller changes which resulted in every single object in my home being moved to another location within my home.

Add to that that this morning my husband and I awoke to the sound of small crunching sounds coming from the wall that separates our bedroom from my garage workshop. Meaning, we suspect, that at least one mouse has come in from the cold and is seeking shelter among my doll items out in the garage.

As you’ll see soon, this is somewhat ironic (at least, I think irony is the right word). But, more immediately, it’s very unsettling and we’ll now also have to move everything in the garage to figure out where the little critters are getting in.

This is all to say that there may not be a ton of plot advancement in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here’s the whole crew (and then some) in their new bookcase location.

Here’s the first bookcase.

From left to right, top to bottom, the occupants are:

Camellia and Rodanthe, along with a teddy bear I made for Rosie (which turned out to be laughably too big for her). Rodanthe was a cheap ($35) first foray into ball joint dolls, just to see if I liked them (I did). Camellia, along with Colette (who’s down one shelf) was supposed to star in the Underfoot story, but they ended up having the wrong vibe. They may show up in a third (hopefully, final!) project about a group of girls in a treehouse.

Daisy and Annie you already know.

And here’s the Underfoot cast (minus the last cast member still to arrive. I think the three of them look great together – I’m really happy with the way that cast is starting to gel.

Here’s a mix of dolls, deep in discussion. Lily you already know. The large doll, on the right, is Amy (from Iplehouse). She’s the first cast member in the treehouse story. I’ve never agonized about buying a doll they way I agonized about her. I loved her, I didn’t like her at all, and on and on back and forth. When she arrived, I was still in deep throes of doubt, which continued right up until the moment I started photographing her.

In photographs, more than in person, she has exactly the affect I was hoping she’d have – curious, being pulled forward to investigate, but still a little cautious. Plus, she kind of grabs the camera’s attention, which is a good thing, because the rest of the (potential) cast mates for that story are camera hogs.

Colette, here with Amy and above in the bookcase shot, has the reverse effect. In person, she’s full of character and quite sassy, but the camera picks up something else altogether. She seems kind of dazed and sort of melts into the background. She looks great with Amy, though, so it’s possible she’ll still make it into a story. If not, she’s absolutely fine as a doll without having to star in a graphic novel.

Rosie and Fetch, you know. Here she is with her playmate Madeline. For a doll with barely any features, Madeline is fantastically expressive, and she and Rosie are a good mix. She was sleeping over the night that Rosie got kidnapped by the fairies, but all of the best shots were angled too high to show her in her sleeping bag on the floor.

The last doll in this bookcase is the lovely and thoughtful Rosemary doll – Rosie’s doll self. She’s underused in the story – I just can’t think of a graceful way to insert her.

Next bookcase:

Camellia, along with my Moana doll, who you may see soon in story.

My two male dolls, commiserating about having to work with a female photographer who refuses to write full roles for them.

Two of my bigger girls – BBgirl and China doll – along with a small Pullip doll. The stuffed bunny was yet another attempt to make a toy for Rosie, and again it was laughably large.

My poseable anime doll, posed in front of the full size version of the painting in Rosie’s room.

Blythe, hanging out with a fantatic Goodwill find. I’ve thought about continuing an adventure just around Rosie and her dream spaces. If so, this monkey is going to make it into it.

And finally a set of dolls from Conchy Gem Dolls on Etsy. Like Colette, this doll looks amazing but doesn’t photograph well. Which is just fine by her.

And there they all are, waiting for their next adventure.

Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, Ester, Jinjur, Maskcat doll, Mudoll, Rosie

Ester, my tiny tamer

The third member of my Underfoot cast arrived this week. She is Ester, from Maskcat dolls.

In size, at 21cm she stands slightly taller than Buu (19cm).

In shape, she’s most similar to the slender Rosie (who’s about 2cm taller).

But in her brave expression, she’s most like Jinjur.

Her oversized eyes make you want to protect her, but there’s a determination in there that says that you don’t have to.

And that makes her a perfect fit for the final Underfoot cast member, who is in the last preparations from the seller. That cast member, like Ester, is 21 cm tall, but otherwise completely unlike her in shape, form, and species. Despite their differences, I am expecting these two to be fierce friends, and the two will enter the story together.