Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dolls, graphic novel, miniature adventure, miniature photography, miniatures, On Our Own, photo novel, Photography, toy adventure, toy photography, toys

(Re)Begin the Beguine

Well, that didn’t last long. I appear to have redone my redo one day after posting it.

Here’s the thing – there’s a rhythm to a graphic novel panel that just isn’t there where you post all of the photos in a blog. So, take the first panel from On Our Own (which I didn’t change)

I very deliberately set it up so it was 3 good things to one bad, all of which could have happened on a single day. That calculation wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t had the idea of a “page” encompassing those four photos.

The second page keeps the pace, but changes the focus

Now the pace has sped up a little – the first three events could have happened in a few hours, as could the fourth (depending on how far she was travelling.) BTW, is any of this clear from the photos? So, on the first page, there’s a sick person in the fourth panel and some idea of happy play in the other three. In the second page, I tried to include enough of the clothing to make sure what was happening (sick person is running a fever, two other people make a phone call, then a new person packs her bags, and she arrives in the fourth panel.)

Now we get to first problem panel.

What the hell has happened to our pacing? Three of the photos *could* have happened in one day, but the fourth? Clearly the person who has died in the second photo could not have been buried already. So, that seems all wrong.

And the fourth panel?

Now we’ve somehow spread it out over at least a month (based on the eviction notice). And, wow, those girls sure have bounced back fast.

So, anyway, I think I was really rushing to get them placed in their trailer, but it really goes outside the bounds of the pacing in the first two pages.

So, I backed off and slowed the pace down. They’ll get to the trailer when they get there, and there’s no time for them to get someone buried in the first episode. I also won’t be able to spell out exactly who died, but that can wait as well.

Here, then, is the (hopefully) final version of the last two pages.

Same two pages are the same, here’s the new page 3.

and the new page 4

Now all reasonably within the bounds of a day or two, and I’ve gotten the characters to the point where they are on their own.

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Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dolls, miniature adventure, miniature photography, miniatures, On Our Own, Photography, toy adventure, toy photography, toys

On Our Own: Episode 1 (redo)

In lieu of a premise song (“here’s a story, of three girls named after plants . . .”), I’ve created a premise episode for On Our Own (used to be called Overhead). Done, naturally, in just hands. Well, actually, in hands plus some clothes, because I realized you couldn’t tell them apart with just their hands.

I promise no other episode will be so grim – I just needed to get all of this behind them so that they could move forward. By their next episode, they’ll have started to absorb it all, and they may even feel like dancing again.

So, anyway, here it is.

Posted in doll photography, miniature photography, Photography, toy photography

Do overs

As I move all of my episodes onto the web, I’m finding that shots that seemed perfectly acceptable in a blog post just don’t look right when I format them into an episode.

I suspect a lot of that came from my one-episode-a-week schedule. I’d usually take a few shots that I loved, but, to finish the episode, I had to make do with a few shots that were just so-so.

Which is all to say that I’m doing a lot of do-overs. Not much for Underfoot, I find. Other than cleaning up a few of the masks in Photoshop, all of those photographs went straight to comic format.

For my Overhead comic, it’s not the shots themselves that are the problems – most of them are good enough for me. The problem is that I appear to have changed their wigs every episode (and, sometimes, within the same episode). So, now that I’ve finally settled on their look, I have to go back and reshoot a bunch of scenes with their final look. Which is too bad, because I really liked some of those shots.

For my Mia Fiorello story, I have to reshoot all but the first episode (which I just cleaned up) because I’ve made major changes to the plot and cast. I may be able to save a few shots, but I suspect it will be an almost complete redo.

Which brings us to In the Pictures – the episode I’m currently redoing.

I love the shots of the two sisters in their chair, both as they’re sitting bored (like here)

and as they’re watching Night of the Living Dead (as here)

But, when I got to the last scene, where they open the door and see the movie before them, I’d just totally run out of juice. There’s no setup, and the shot is simply my front door, at night, poorly lit. As here.

In addition to all of the aesthetic problems, how exactly is this thing going to work? Are they *ever* going to be able to go outside? How does the last thing they watched/read get communicated to the door?

Anyway, I found it all pretty unsatisfying so, this week, I’ve taken a different approach. Emily has bought a wardrobe, and she puts the DVD in the bottom drawer. Then their dog, badger, starts to get all worked up about the wardrobe, Emily opens the door to show him that nothing is wrong and BAM! – NOTLD is right there in the wardrobe.

Here’s a couple of shots, so you can see the progression.

Here’s Emily going to open the wardrobe door to show Badger he has nothing to worry about.

And here are the sisters holding the wardrobe door closed after seeing NOTLD inside.

I also have a tiny door that I might use instead. In that version, the door on top of the DVD/book/picture opens into that world. I’m going to take a few shots over the weekend to see how that works, but I might end up using that for the Betwixt cast to let them move between worlds.

So, anyway, that’s where I am. I’m going to clean up the Overhead shots, get the girls in just a single wig, and put all of them into one episode, and then I’ll either start tackling the Mio Fiorello redo or do the first Episode for Betwixt. If I get a moment, I’ll show you how the two Betwixt dolls look together. I think they’ve got great chemistry – now I just need a storyline and a pair of pants for the big guy 🙂

Posted in Camellia, Daisy, doll adventure, doll photography, Ester, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, Lily, Maskcat doll, miniature adventure, miniature photography, photo novel, Photography, Rosie, toy adventure, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Episode 35: The End

Last time we checked in, all of the characters were converging on the airport in an attempt to find Camellia.

Did they make it?

Let’s see.

Well, hmmm, not sure. Let’s see if we can get another angle

Oh, yes, I think I can make it out. Let’s try one last angle

Ah, good, looks like they all made it there. Oh, where are the rest of the dogs?

Ah, there they are. And then, they turn and . . .

. . . it looks like it’s time for us to go.

*****

Thanks to everyone for following along for this last year. August 22 was the official anniversary of *my* adventure, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I have.

I’m going to make some changes going forward.

First, I’m going to split my behind the scenes mirror sites (mydolladventure.com and mydolladventure.wordpress.com) from the production site (coming soon – to be named Small Life Stories). That gives people the choice to watch what it looks like constructing the adventure, or just to follow along with the adventures themselves, or both.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to play around with constructing more substantial sets, and I’ll probably slip in an Underfoot episode while I’m doing that. Then I’ll cycle between the various adventures.

On the topic of Underfoot and my other adventures, I got one of my 1/3 scale dolls this week, and he’s totally bonded with little Ester (who was supposed to appear in the Underfoot adventures.)

So she’ll be joining the Betwixt adventure as a kind of fairy/sprite, leaving Buu and Jinjur to continue their journey alone. That actually works out a little better, I think, because it leaves a space for Buu to grow into.

Buu is also (I’m almost sure) going to also take a supporting role in the second draft of the Mia Fiorello story as young Daisy. She’s pretty much the right size, she looks a bit like Daisy, and she has all of those great joints that my toddler Disney doll is missing. There are going to be a few more recasts in that story, but the main Wildflower dolls will go on in their current roles.

So, thanks again for joining me on the first phase of my adventures, and happy doll adventures to all of you.

Posted in Amy, BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dollsbe, graphic novel, Iplehouse, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, photo novel, Photography, Strawberry, Supia, toy adventure, toy photography

Overhead: First night in the treehouse

After building a rough platform in their last episode, Fern and Olive are finishing off the floor of the treehouse.

Well, maybe Fern is doing most of the work.

When it’s all done, they relax and admire their work.

Then Willow puts on a record . . .

. . . and everybody dances.

All three sisters decide to spend the night in the treehouse.

The sisters sit up in the treehouse
The sisters sleep for their first night in the treehouse

******

I loved every part of working on this episode, from the sweet vibe between the siblings, to being able to totally forget about developing a plot and really focus on the moments.

I tried to get real moonlight for the two nighttime shots, but it’s been extra especially hazy up here in Portland and the quality of the light just wasn’t all that great. So I relied on the toy lantern and a long exposure for the first shot (with the sisters awake), and I rigged up a small flashlight on a microphone stand for the second one (with only the dog still awake).

We’ve got one more week in the trees, where I’ll try to complete the treehouse structure. Then I have to catch back up with the Mia Fiorello story. Surely they’ve made it to the island by now . . .

Posted in BJD, doll photography, Dollsbe, Iplehouse, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, Photography, Photoshop, Supia, toy photography

Dancing dolls

I take back everything I said about Olive’s (my Iplehouse Amy doll’s) posing ability in my previous post. Apparently, although she’s not always able to resist the forces of gravity, she can totally dance.

I think her dancing ability comes from the way her chest joint pivots. Unlike most of my ball-joint dolls, she can move on all axes at once in that joint, giving her very lifelike bends.

So, this week, in celebration of finishing the floor of the tree house, the sisters dance in the meadow. I tried to give them dance movements that were respectful of their natures.

The littlest one, Fern, is all straightforward enthusiasm:

while Willow, true to her nature, is graceful and reserved.

But it’s the middle sister, Olive, who really shines and just gets carried away in the movements.

Like all of my exuberant doll movements, I photographed these with the dolls lying flat on a surface, and my camera on a tripod pointing straight down on them, like this:

It lets me pose them without having to worry about which one of their joints is going to crumble first 🙂

That’s the floor of the treehouse below Olive – I think it turned out pretty well, for a first effort. In the future, I need to find a tool that will cut straight through Vinyl, but for now, the slightly jagged edges are fine.

Also, you might have noticed that I’ve re-wigged all of the dolls. The cute short wig that Fern is wearing just came in, so I switched her with Olive, and I stole a wig from another doll for Willow. I think these wigs work better on them. To me, it makes them look more related.

Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dollsbe, graphic novel, Iplehouse, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, photo novel, Photography, Supia, toy adventure, toy photography

Building the treehouse

Early morning, and Olive and Fern are busily discussing the treehouse.

Olive scouts out a likely tree.

And then the sisters get to work.

Willow arrives with some refreshments

and all three sisters admire their handiwork.

*******

Next week is going to be a little discontinuous. I’d planned a little dance session for the three sisters – I’ve managed to snag both a record player and a radio in 1/4 scale – but after I took the dancing pictures, I ended up re-wigging all three of them. Now I’m not sure how to merge the dancing scene into the next scene where all three will look entire different.

In any case, the floor of the treehouse is all done, now I just have to figure out how I’m going to attach the sides. I *think* I’ve ended up with a good template that I can use for all of my dollhouses, but we’ll find out on Tuesday (I’m at the coast on Monday, so pushing back a day) how that all worked.