Popol Vuh: The Hero Twins


About 20 or so years ago I spent 2 years learning to read the hieroglyphs of the Maya. I had already spent countless years becoming illiterate in Egyptian hieroglyphs so it made since to look into this other great dyslexic friendly writing system. I put in the time and the brain sweat only to find that when I got to the point where I could just start to read the literature that I was totally turned off by all the religious bloodshed, horror and flaying of living humans. I had the key to open the door but did not like what was on the other side. So I quit my studies and almost all of it drained out of my head. One of the few things I got from that time is a lasting love of the Popol Vuh. My next project is the brothers One and Seven Blowgunner and their ball court on the top of death's domain.
Outline of Popol Vuh Action Script - version 5 To Do List





Getting ready for animating the head rot scene. I'm thinking animation over a night.


Made a batch of animatable blood this morning. Getting close to animating the head rot scene. {2 Table Spoons Corn Syrup, 1/4 Tea Spoon Corn Starch, 1/4 Tea Spoon Salt and 1 drop red food coloring}



There is this great effects scene in "Pee Wee's Great Adventure" where Large Marge morphs out. It is from the Chiodo Brothers and Stephan told me how they did it. They made a mold of the actor's face and then filled it with clay on an armature. And then made up the clay casting to look real. That was their starting point. Okay, it is an old trick going back to Jack Pierce and the death of Dracula and I have no hope of getting anywhere as good as Large Marge or Dracula but that is where I am heading with this enlarged skull armature. The Lords of Death hang the severed head of 1 Blowgunner in a tree and leave it to rot down to the skull. That is what this close up head is for. That and also the all important spit scene.


Working on the closeup skull.



Okay, Iím back! One thing after another, busy Santa schedule and a hard drive crash. I am working on lighting the set areas. Did a pan test. Still have some more puppets or at least one puppet to build.


It has been a full month since I posted anything here. I was putting on an animation festival and was swamped.




Working on the armatures for 1 and 7 Blowgunner as babies. Lots and lots of preproduction.


So here is the weird thing, I started to build the close up hand for One Death on 9/5/2017, started working on the model and mold for the heart on 9/8/2017, started molding and building the heart beat mechanics inside the heart on 9/9/2017, finished the close up hand and heart on 9/15/2017 and then shot the Green Screen test on the same day. Ten days work for an insert shot and the test may be good enough for the finished film. Its looking really good. And now I need to find some place to store this very bazaar larger that life puppet because I may need to use it again.

< RANT >
The number one attack back I get every time I try to get a school to start a stop motion program is storage. "It takes too much room." And there is some truth to the argument. I teach stop motion in a junior high school. Did prep work on the class last week. There are no standing sets [the sets are in banker's boxes with photo backgrounds], no great need for dedicated real-estate [everything is broken down and put away at the end of class] but still there is need for some storage because we are making animation in the real world. CGI has not killed off stop motion. Far from it, in the last 15 years there have been more stop motion features than 2D animated features.

But all the animation schools still teach 2D board animation like it is the first step to computer and very few schools teach stop motion. Let me purpose an axiom: if CGI is this great all consuming wave of the future [something I don't think is really true but seems to be the mind set of the non animators in charge administrators in the halls of (sic) learning] than Stop Motion has much more to teach the computer animator than 2D board animation ever can. Stop Motion, unlike 2D board animation and CGI, takes place in the real world and the Stop Motion animator has to deal with weight and gravity. Something sorely missing from so much CGI.
< /RANT >




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