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#26 2007-05-07 16:50:27

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/Questionteaser2.jpg

hurm...new forum doesn't have image enlarging?
view the full size version by clicking here

Last edited by j3h (2007-05-07 16:55:47)


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#27 2007-05-09 18:26:56

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes


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#28 2007-05-16 10:36:01

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Well gang, after months of talk and hype...

it begins!


click here:
http://www.vicsage.com/fanfic/qs/QSch01p0title.jpg

I'll continue to use this thread for discussion and a look into the creative process...Look for a behind the scenes peek here this weekend.


Much thanks to Eric here and everyone stopping by to check this photoserial out!


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#29 2007-05-16 14:50:12

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Here's is a little bit about the series header and this week's episode title-

Most of my prior works, such as "Murder in Gotham" and "Not for fans of the Blue Beetle", I tried to create as much "in camera" as possible; meaning that what you saw in the final picture is pretty much what the camera saw as a whole.  This time around, I wanted to try the opposite and experiment with as much digital manipulation as possible without it looking like the alterations were obvious.

As a Star Wars fan, I've seen tons of documentaries which feature George Lucas shooting on a micro set surrounded by miles of green screen...so I tried it.

here is the original photographic element (after the green was evened out a little) used to make the series header:

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2120011.jpg

This weekend I'll post quite a bit more about creating the images used in this week's episode.


-------------------------------------


The episode title: Keichu's wheel

Let me start of this topic by saying flat out, Mr. A knows more than me.

As seen earlier in this thread, I ran a contest to name this series, and forum member Mr. A came up with a metric ton of grand entries...quite a few I had to research to get their meaning.

Keichu's Wheel is a Koan (a story, dialogue, question, proverb, parable or statement in the history and lore of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet that may be accessible to intuition) from the Wumenguan (often translated into English as The Gateless Gate) which is a collection of 48 koans and commentaries published in 1228 by the Chinese monk Wumen.

Case 8 asks this (loosly translated):

Getsuan said to his students: "Keichu, the first wheel-maker of China, made two wheels of fifty spokes each. Now, suppose you removed the nave uniting the spokes. What would become of the wheel? And had Keichu done this, could he be called the master wheel-maker?"

It's been said that if anyone can answer this question instantly, his eyes will be like a comet and his mind like a flash of lightning.


When the hubless wheel turns,
Master or no master can stop it.
It turns above heaven and below earth,
South, north, east, and west.


So, how does this relate to the first episode of Question Sanity?
Well...Here we are building the wheel which is destined to have it's hub removed.
(plus the fact that our story's location is Hub City is pure serendipity)


Look for more about this first episode this weekend.  In the meantime, please feel free to ask any questions or discuss what you like or find unappealing.


.

Last edited by j3h (2007-05-16 14:53:00)


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#30 2007-05-17 20:42:11

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Making Hub City Police Chief Wiggins T. Donnem:

I honestly have no recollection of where the name came from, though a friend insists I was trying to make a homage to Simpson's chief Wiggums.

I know that's not it, since I would have made the figure resemble the Simpsons character if that was the case.  So I guess the name was just pulled from the air...or my ass. hmm

Anyway...

The extra "bonus" of making a whole mess of Question custom figures that use the DC Direct Vic Sage head and mask is that you get a whole mess of blue suited fashion victim bodies of a by gone era.   Today they look like a leisure suit gone wrong for a sleazy detective.  Plus it's brief appearance makes for a little bit of a visual Easter egg.

The new head is an employee (or by now possibly former employee) of Plan B toys...Quite a few years ago they gave out a bag of interchangeable figure heads based on their staffs' likenesses at their NYC toyfair showroom as a memorable "thank you for stopping by" gift.  The heads were meant for their special forces line of 6 inch military action figures, but it was an absolutely perfect fit for the DCD Question body. An extra pair of DCD Jim Gordon glasses later and we have our shifty dude.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2120020.jpg

He was photographed in front of green screen, which is simply neon green paper leaning against by laptop's screen.  The photo was flipped when used for the final composite and he needed some help to "flip the bird"...

enter Jay, Silent Bob's hetero life-mate.
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2120025.jpg

Mr. Police Chief's hand was digitally replaced with Jay's, then blurred "by" the newscast censors after the green was replaced by a shot of the train set model (which I found online and asked the creator, Peter Feigenbaum, for permission to use).  I left part of the eyeglasses slightly tinted to give them a slight amber vision-type feel.

So the composite was done, but it had a problem...the custom figure looked too young to be a police chief.

I digitally greyed a streak of hair at his temple, then digitally lassoed, copied, and pasted a lock from his head and used it to make each half of a mustache and to thicken his gotee.

Done and adequately sleazy looking.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/hubcitypolicechief.jpg

The entire picture was then run through a filter to emulate broadcast TV imperfections (though it actually looks a little "boxy" to me) and composited into the newsroom shot which features a Reservoir Dogs bodied custom Vic Sage standing behind a raised Space Ghost Coast to Coast desk which was actually set up on my Laptop's keyboard with the following original creation picture displayed at 1024 X 768 on screen behind them as a "trendy evening news" backdrop:

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/tvnewsroombackdrop.jpg

In the next post I'll discuss making a TV set and a weather tart report...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/vicwithtart.jpg

(guess I'm posting these before the weekend)


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#31 2007-05-18 21:06:27

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

the Weather Tart and the Mayor

The weather tart is simply a MAC Darkchylde figure with some very minor paint touch ups (She filled the vixen role as needed unaltered).

She too was photographed in front of a green screen, and had a google found map composited in...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2120026.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/weathertartatmap.jpg

All of the television shots had the following overlay used at various degrees of transparency as needed...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/tvscreen.jpg

and for the "turning off" effect, a few touch-ups were added...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/weathertartatmapturningoff.jpg

I could not find a toy or miniature TV set that I liked to use, so the above image was composited into another google found image of an old TV set.  That same front view tv set composite was then reused in the final picture where we needed to see that the TV set was being watched by "The Mayor" so he could have his introduction.   Since I couldn't find a physical miniature TV for the shot, I ended up using the car radiator accessory that came with an X-Men Evolution Blob figure turned on it's face and digitally adding the previous shot's TV set front and color matched (which doesnt look very well matched in this faded overlay presented here, but you get the idea)...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2130055.jpg


Hub City's self proclaimed new Mayor is a McFarlane Freak figure with some new paint, new accessories and a new hat.  Keep and eye on that amulet of his wink

And finally for today, here is an alternate and ultimately rejected version of the final shot of this first episode

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/mayor1.jpg

Is there anything you guys want me to comment on or a question I can answer?


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#32 2007-05-19 11:00:37

?
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Um. Wow. The level of production your putting into this is really impressive, I can't wait to see more.


Who are you?

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#33 2007-05-19 14:48:44

Eric
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

The beer box and the baseball bat. I'm assuming the latter came from a MacFarlane MLB figure?

I'm enjoying this behind-the-scenes as much as the story itself!

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#34 2007-05-19 15:31:02

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Eric wrote:

The beer box and the baseball bat. I'm assuming the latter came from a McFarlane MLB figure?

I'm enjoying this behind-the-scenes as much as the story itself!

Yup...
The beer box is from a McFarlane McKenzie brothers figure and the bat is a Barry Bonds figure's.  (When a bad guy needs a base ball bat, using Bonds' seems fitting) 

I own neither original source, but I worked for a toy retailer and was able to keep some of the accessories from defective returns....you just never know when you might need something random when doing custom figures or dioramas.

And there were alot of defective McFarlane toys hmm

Other prop tales...

Vic Sage's Laptop is Transmetropolitan's Spider Jerusalem's (from his DCdirect figure)

Vic's desk mic is from the Star Wars two headed podracer announcer.

There is a Friday the 13th Jason mask in The Mayor's lair, as well as Leatherface's bucket holding up the "TV set".

Glad you guys are enjoying these behind the scenes peeks cool

Last edited by j3h (2007-05-19 15:43:11)


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#35 2007-05-22 21:18:35

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

the next chapter is up-

http://www.vicsage.com/fanfic/qs/QSch02p0title.jpg

I'll be posting about this episode soon


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#36 2007-05-23 20:17:29

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Oh Question, My Question

When planning this series, I really had to decide how to write Vic Sage.  I featured him in Murder in Gotham, but now that he is the leading character, I really needed to define the version I am going to use.

To recap my history with Q; I knew of the character through being a Batman fan ("Cry for Blood" for example), but I didn't become a "Question Fan" until his appearances on JLU.  Then I went back and bought the entire O'Neil run and the Vetich mini and realized how different the character was...and then saw how much he changed from his original appearances by Dikto for Charlton Comics.  52 blended some of the personalities and officially threw out the Devil in the Details reboot. 

I decided to blend all of the DC versions of the character as seen in this second episode, but I leave his "walking in two worlds" undefined.  He couldn't always do it, but now he can and he has his theories as to how. 

My Vic is sharp witted, intelligent, and somewhat of a conspiracy buff all while seeking answers to the hard questions.

----------------------

The Question's Lair

Don't tell Vic, but the Mayor lives on the other side of the wall...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2130052.jpg

Ok, not really in the story.

The two sided card board backdrop that came with a series 2 Mezco Silent Screamer figure (mr hyde?) had both of it's sides used in Question Sanity already.  The concrete wall side was seen in episode 1 as the Mayor's lair, and the reverse side which features a brick wall was used for Vic.  Both locations are just very quick set-ups with the backdrop propped up and a few accessories displayed in the middle of my "dark box", which is simply a deep cardboard shipping box on it's side with the interior blacked out and a tennis ball sized hole cut in it's roof to allow a focused beam of light to shine straight down.  Previously, the dark box was used for such shots like the Riddler's interrogation in Murder in Gotham and the entire sequence of Not for Fans of the Blue Beetle, as well as housing MiG's Batcave.  It's my all purpose studio set.

My vision of Hub City is extremely run down and dirty, so even our hero's dwelling looks like crap.  Maybe it's Rodor's basement or maybe Vic now has a crappy apartment of his own...but either way, it certainly looks like it needs more than a coat of paint.

When Eric added the images of the Justice League Unlimited Question's quarters and his wall deco, I knew they were going to be used.  Originally I was going to digitally add the JLU question's conspiracy themed posters as if they were painted directly mural style on the wall, but I couldn't get them to line up correctly to mesh believably.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/Questionposters.jpg

So instead I printed them to scale and gave them a creased up worn look as if he pulled them out of an old issue of PARANOID if such a publication existed.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2160074.jpg

and for the purpose of zen medation, Vic's eyes have been digitally closed

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2160074ALT.jpg

Next time posting, I'll discuss what is involved to walk in two worlds...

Last edited by j3h (2007-05-23 20:20:55)


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#37 2007-05-23 22:34:15

Eric
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

I hope you mean you'll show the Photoshop effects used....

Don't want to make a tutorial on drug use for the kiddies! wink

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#38 2007-05-24 20:52:43

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Putting My Face On  and  Working With Smoke is a B!+{#

I wanted to do one shot of Vic putting on his mask...and maaaaannnn was it a pain in the @55.  The unadorned mask is simply a piece of putty that for the most part cooperated.   The smoke, not so much.

I tried the shot from quite a few different angles before finding the one that, well, didn't suck

Pizza face anyone?
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2160081.jpg

And even though I've used smoke in shots before...some with amazing results including getting a natural question mark to form over the Murder in Gotham Question custom...it just wasn't going my way and refused to visually be captured in anyway that looked cool.  Basically what I did, as I had in the past, was put a candle in a votive with some bits of paper and junk to smolder.  And even though it was dead center right at the figure's thighs, it just didn't drift up well at all.  (wow, that doesn't sound good at all)

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2160154.jpg

So it was decided to import the smoke from the older photos where I had more success, including the famed Question mark.

This way I could place the effect to appear as if it was coming out of the belt buckle and mask itself.
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2160156.jpg

------------------------------------------

Taking My Face off & When Walking in Two Worlds, How Many Layers Should I Put On?

Tommy Lee Edwards crafted an interesting visual style to represent Vic's ability to commune with his environment and I wanted to do something like it.

And to achieve it, quite a bit of layering was needed.

First off, since Vic was meditating, I figured he wouldn't be doing it with his hat on, so I needed a Question figure with the mask on but the hat off.  Since all of my customs are based off the DcDirect Question figure, the Mask is part of the hat.  And my sculpting skills (or lack there of) has so far only successfully made an animated style Question mask on a figure(as seen in my avatar)...I have yet to be pleased with any larger scale/more detailed attempts of mine.

So, let's do it digitally, which I experimented with since I first announced that I was going to embark on this project.

And I couldn't be happier with the final shot of this second episode, which by the way is the exact same shot as the first one to act as a bookend (as you recall, the first shot I digitally closed Vic's eyes.  The final shot I erased his face using the blending brush as well as various erasing tools and blemish removers)

For other shots which were going to get heavily layered and shadowed, I could get away with less.  (also note that the figure's shoulder articulation was digitally removed too)

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/QSch02p04stage0.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/QSch02p04stage1.jpg

Yellow represents Vic's ability (and you'll notice when it is being tainted or manipulated by...something...the Yellow is less pure and stained with orange and brown hues)  so lets start layering the stuff in...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/QSch02p04stage2.jpg

Another semi-transparent layer was worked in, with Hub City's town hall (established briefly in episode 1) coming into focus.  To show Vic in both worlds, half of an outlined color adjusted negative image of vic was layered on as well.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/hubcitytownhall2.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/QSch02p04stage3.jpg

and composited together before text fx:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/QSch02p04stage4finalpretext.jpg

For a earlier shot, another one of Peter Feigenbaum's model shots was layered in and distorted...
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P2160080.jpg

The mayor and the Weather Tart also underwent the layered color altered negative process to give them their tainted orange appearance...you can see that these photos were actually flipped since the Tart's top no longer reads "BRAT" and is actually looking like it is starting to say "TArt" (another case of serendipity)

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/mayorVStart.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/mayorVStart2.jpg

And did anyone spot what Vic didn't get to really see?  wink

I think that pretty much wraps up episode 2 unless there is something you guys would like me to discuss.


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#39 2007-05-30 10:34:10

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

The next chapter has been posted:


http://www.vicsage.com/fanfic/qs/QSch03p00title.jpg


What was involved? discussion to follow soon here....


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#40 2007-05-31 12:40:29

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

One Man's Treasure is...

Question Sanity's third episode was shot in an older diorama of mine (in fact left over pieces of it's construction were used to build the Murder in Gotham set) which takes up two ikea "Billy" bookcase shelves to depict a back alley brawl of 45 DcDirect figures (I just counted).

I just recently moved and re-set up this display, so these next few are really recent up-to-date photos of it with it's usual populace...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/BrawlRevised4.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/BrawlRevised5.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/BrawlRevised7.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/BrawlRevised1.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/brawlrevised2.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/BrawlRevised3.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/BrawlRevised6.jpg

I know, I know...poor Ted. How could I? (to Ted and to a fairly rare and expensive figure).

Here are some shots of the alley empty under normal lighting (these shots are indeed older, so you may notice some cosmetic differences)...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalley1.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalley2.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalley3.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalley5.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalleyleft1.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalleyleft2.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalleyleft3.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalleyleft4.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalleyleft5.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalleyleft6.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalleyleft7.jpg

and just for sh!ts and giggles, here's how it looked about a year ago:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/DC%20Direct%20Back%20Alley%20Brawl/backalleycomplete.jpg

The brickwork are sheets of vynal bought at a craft store in their dollhouse section and "grunged-up" with paint.  Signs were googled and printed.

Graphitti of note:
a Nine Inch Nails NIN logo
"R2" and "Lucas" showing off the SW geek in me
"PWEI" for Pop Will Eat Itself
V for Vendetta and Watchmen logos
the inverted superman S for 52's cult of Conner
Batman Beyond's "Jokers" tag (though I should have used a hip and cool "Z" at the end)
"Buck Foston" because I'm a (not so happy right now) Yankees fan
"El Barto" by Bart Simpson
"Guy" because Gardner would write on the walls
and "Blue" is the nickname of a friend of mine

Much of the garbage and clutter are accessories from other action figures, scaled doll house items, or made by me.  The newspapers were all images collected from around the net, mostly shots of ones used as film props, and printed by me scaled down to size.  These are then glued on top of folded scrap paper to give the new paper it's thickness and then roughed up, dipped in water, stained and so on to give them an old worn appearance.

Here are some images used:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet1.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet2.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet3.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet4.gif

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet5.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet6.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet7.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet8.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanet9.jpg

and Question fan film maker Chris Notarile's own prop thrown in as well...

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g130/blinky5000/NEWS.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanetdeadbeetle.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/dailyplanetbeetle2-1.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P3020191.jpg

for a touch of my sick irony, if you look way back up in the recent shots of this display as a brawl, you'll note that this paper is catching the blood while lying at the knees of the executed blue beetle

I have found that Jakks' WWE/WWF figures are a great source for "junk", and I have to again thank a former coworker and huge wrestling collector, Todd, for giving me a box-worth of the stuff for free.  The big items like the fridge, mattress, dumpster, trash cans and toilet were all part of that.

The sidewalk pieces are bases from some of the Batman Rogues gallery DCD figures.

Other lines that contributed to Hub city's trash problem...
The Simpsons by Playmates
Reservoir Dogs by Mezzco
Clerks by Graffiti Design
Strange Brew's McKenzie Brothers  by McFarlane
And Mezzco's Silent Screamers' Nosferatu & Knock Renfield contributed to the rat problem.

Also contributing to why Hub city looks like ass...
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/HubCity-massappeal.jpg

On that note, I think that ends this post tongue
(And save my repeated use of the word "digitally" for next time)

Last edited by j3h (2007-05-31 13:04:11)


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#41 2007-06-01 12:42:02

?
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

I love all your fake newspaper props, any chance you can explain in more depth how you do them?


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#42 2007-06-01 17:51:06

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

sure ?

When starting, I first google image search either "Daily Planet" or "Gotham Globe" (or whatever) and save the best quality pics that come up, usually of movie prop replica newspapers.  Most of the images above are exactly what comes up in these searches.

I open the image in an art program (I use microsoft's digital image editor, which is pretty much a poor man's photoshop) and do any necessary cropping or tweaking.  The tweaking could be sepia toning or texturing (see the above images of the Blue Beetle paper to view a progression ).  If it is a partial image, such as the BB paper again, I cut and paste a Daily Planet logo from another source (I believe I pull it directly off DCcomics.com, but you can use one from another paper) and if you need to make an unfolded paper, merge it will a full paper image.  The BB paper's lower half is actually a Gotham Globe news paper prop's image from Batman forever.  Some of the columns needed to be re-aligned by cutting and pasting to make a clean blend.  (by the way, if you needed to do all this editing, do it first, then apply the sepia, texture and/or antique filters)

Using the photo editor, scale print the image so it is about 2 or so inches tall and locate the image so it is on the right hand side of the page.
when you cut the image out, be tight on the top, bottom and right edges...the right side is going to be folded under and trimmed.  We're basically going to be making a booklet, so cut more folded over pages to insert in and glue.

When you have a good thickness, scrape lightly one blade of an exacto knife or a scissor along the open edges (top, bottom, right) to rough them up.  Crumple and uncrumple the pages, add creases and small tares.  Curl a corner of an individual page and so on.

Using watered down brown paint, lightly brush minor amounts on, especially the edges.  You can dip the paper's edge in dirty paint water too, then quickly blot dry.  Fold the whole paper in half (use a clamp if necessary) to give it the mid crease, and you should be done.

I hope this helps.


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#43 2007-06-04 17:04:18

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

You Light Up My Life...Digitally

I am quite happy with the lighting fx I achieved in this episode and figured I would enlighten (groan) you how I did it.

While I tend to shoot my pictures as dark as I can, the alleyway shots were digitally darkened as well to add to the atmosphere...as does the Question's flashlight beam cutting through the hazy murkiness.

The actual shots were set up with the main source light low and off to the left (behind the Question) and a mini maglite flashlight shining directly where the action figure was point his.  The beam was achieved by adding a edge-softened shape to the pictures connecting the toy's flashlight end to the real flashlight's target hotspot.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P3130213.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/flashlighting.jpg

1) a plain white trapezoid shape is selected and stretched.
2)it is colored with a faded orange hue
3)which is then run through the "diffused glow" filter with a high grain on a medium intensity.
4)the colored object is then "edge softened" to the max making it a hazy transparent beam which is then placed in the image.

depending on the angle, it might be layered with a cut and re-pasted flashlight to keep the silhouettes intact.


http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P3130214.jpg



The Weather Tart and Vampire Batman get it on

Conviently, the Darkchylde action figure used for the Weather Tart has alternate arms and snap on wings to portray her demonic side...except her face doesn't exactly say "I'm evil".   I painted up her up a bit to make her more different, but she still didn't express menace or be enough of a visual threat for a cliffhanger.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P3130234.jpg

Enter the DCDirect vampire Batman statue from several years ago based on his look in the elsewhere GN "Red Rain" with art by Kelly Jones. 

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/VampireBatman1.jpg

To keep the lighting consistent, his jaw was highlighted by the same mini maglite when this picture (and similar others at alternate angles) was snapped while the statue was comfortably residing on it's shelf (shared with DCD's original Dark Knight Returns statue and the Long Winter's Knight snowglobe, as well as a comic style maquette of the Riddler from the old WB studio stores) in the living room of my former apartment (yeah, these shots were done well over two months ago).

The vampire jaw was composited into the shot and blended smoothly.  The flashlight "beam" in a darkened shot also helps to hide any digital seams and sell the effect.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P3130243.jpg

I think that wraps up my discussion of this episode unless anyone has anything else they would like covered or expanded on.


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#44 2007-06-05 09:14:42

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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Thanks a lot for the newspaper stuff, that might come in handy in the future...


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#45 2007-06-06 07:51:29

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Episode 4 is up

click HERE
http://www.vicsage.com/fanfic/qs/QSch04p00title.jpg

and there will be plenty to talk about this week wink


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#46 2007-06-07 14:24:09

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Ow! It doesn't BEND THAT WAY  or How to make a phone call

Two people calling each other on a cel phone...sure is easy to script...not so much to make action figures do.

Problem number 1) The custom Question's elbow joint does not offer much movement.  Not even close to bringing a phone to ear.

Problem number 2) Making it visually interesting for two people chatting on cel phones.  We see it everywhere we go and have gotten to the point to tuning right out.

To address #1, we need a digital fix.
First I shot the figure with the best range of motion he had
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/doesntBend1.jpg

Then I shot the same angle of just the backdrop to ease in erasing half of his arm
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/doesntBend2.jpg

The replacement arm was photographed greenscreen-style...
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/doesntBend3.jpg

and after being cut and pasted back into the composited image and background, it was blended to attempt to complete the illusion...it's passable, but I'm not 100% happy with a close inspection of it
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/doesntBend4.jpg


Since there are multiple shots of celphone usage, numerous green screen angles were also photographed:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P4060269.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P4060272.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P4060274.jpg


Quite a few different angles of vic were shot too for the various cuts to his side of the conversation...some didn't make the cut or the lighting was off or they are presented here to show the pre-arm-replacement surgery:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/phone1.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/phone2.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/phone3.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/phone4.jpg
"You Expect me to pay HOW MUCH for long distance service?!?"

More shortly....


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#47 2007-06-07 16:00:36

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Hit Me Baby One More Time

Lets take one last look at the Weather Tart;

First up is another look at how digital fx alters her appearance...
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/TartFaceCompairson.jpg

Her forward arm had to be cut and repasted after the flashlight effect was completed to give it the sharp shadow contrast and maintain it's three dimensional appearance.

For the fight, Vic's arm was copied and repasted with a blur filter and different levels of transparency to give it the illusion of motion.  The light streak helps this along too.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P4050263.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P4050264.jpg

In the script, all Vic gave her was a black eye...but with the way the photo angle lined up the butt of Vic's flashlight, her nose had to go (with a "airbrushed" spay of blood!)  This also helped hide the fact that it looked like the tart was earning her rep by sucking off the end of the flashlight (just re-examine the un-touched shot and you tell me what it looks like!  Even the spam-bots would blush)

and as seen in the un-touched half of the comparison photo above, Vic didn't have to do much to take her head clean off!
The figure's hair prevents any kind of mobility, so I ended up snapping it off so at least I could get some head tilts out of her.


I Need a LESBIAN, Stat !

Renee Montoya's cameo was a last minute addition.  So much so, that her photography was delayed due to me waiting on components of her custom to arrive from Ebay auctions.  While my version is far from the definitive look, I believe I'm the only one on the net who has cared to bother to try. 

Her body is made from a diamond select Art FX exclusive "Your Welcome" Cordilia (from ANGEL) action figure...and I have to say since I own literally thousands of actions figures of all makes and models, THIS IS THE CRAPPIEST P.O.S ACTION FIGURE I HAVE EVER PURCHASED!  It completely fell apart as I tried to remove it from it's package.  Both legs fell right off without even a snap...they just crumbled from being exposed to air.  Her arms either had fused joints or broken joints.  And the backdrop she came with was springloaded to self destruct...it couldn't handle the force of the rubberbands used to hold the accessories to it in package and launched it's fragments before I even pondered removing it from it's plastic confines.  I know alot of folks complain about how fragile DCDirect figures can be, but there is no comparison here...the quality Figgity-Foo-fooing sucks!

So anyway, It's a good thing that Montoya is a surprise cameo, because that one pose you see her in...that's it since she is held together with more crazy glue than one should ever sniff.

Her hair is a mis-mash of her own (which conveniently fell off too) and the metal gear solid figure Fortune's own.  Fortune also provided the straps to Montoya's shoulder holster.

In the script, Huntress was going to be fighting Deadshot in Gotham, since I never got to use him in Murder in Gotham, and since for a nifty touch of continuity, Huntress's scenes are all in the MiG set after all...but when making the Montoya custom, I realized If I got particular parts from another two figures, I could make a Hugo Strange too.

A Reservoir Dog figure provided Hugo his body and Montoya her badge and gun.  Captain Spalding provided Hugo his head and Montoya her actual holster.

It's nice when it all works out like that.  (all because I wanted to make a "your replacement" joke)

Hugo's glasses are maded from cross-sections of his own neck-peg (since it didn't fit) and parts of the reservoir dog's own sunglasses.  I was basing his look off of how he appeared in Gotham Kinghts, specifically this cover:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/hugostrangeGK9.jpg

Hugo's Monster man is simply an unmasked Movie Maniacs Jason from Friday the 13th.  Huntress shoots digitally crafted "3-D" arrows at him.

Crispus Allen, Montoya's partner who eventually becomes the current Specter, is made from a Samuel L. Jackson SHAFT figure with Jim Gordon's glasses...really no effort here at all other than a retouching of the paint of his beard.

Here is the GCPD's finest:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/gothamcentral.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P3200312.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/P3200290.jpg

You might notice that some of the side background wall looks a little...barren?
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/predigitalwallfx.jpg
yeah, that was fixed digitally by adding a texture to the holes where the diorama is incomplete.

As mentioned earlier, this is the Murder in Gotham diorama, but to show time has past since then (which is touched upon since Vic actually references events that took place in MiG), The Riddler's wall graffiti has been covered over with posters promoting Zatanna's up coming gotham tour stop (foreshadowing???).  It doesn't seem like Zee is well liked, since some pretty harsh words and depictions have defaced her image...Actually I don't think direct opinion matters when defacing a poster going by what I've seen in the New York City subway system which pretty much inspired the vulgarity.  Anyway, here is the original I made (from found elements on the web) and printed pretty much the same way I do the newspapers
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/Zatannaposter.jpg

And what exactly did Huntress write on the poster when she was "cought"?
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d68/j3h/DC%20Direct/Question%20Sanity/huntressgraphitti.jpg
"HUSSY"

I wonder what happened between them? meow!

One other script note; the bit about Mad Cow Disease is a variation on a thought my good friend Mark had back when we were in college (oh so many years ago)...he hypothesized that one could buy all the sick bovine cheap and start and Mad Cow Biker gang jacket fad complete with a frothing cow head logo.  GENIUS!
Warping it into a conspiracy just seems perfect for a JLU style Q moment.

Last edited by j3h (2007-06-17 18:35:59)


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#48 2007-06-14 15:02:07

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Just to warn any of you readers out there who are using dial-up internet services...episode 5 is 21 pictures long!  (Eric...if it is not in your inbox right now, PM or Email me)

see you here next weds...


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#49 2007-06-14 21:46:25

Eric
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

J3 -- I'm not at home right now, and I figure my Outlook automatically downloaded it. I'll be back Sunday night -- will you be around just in case?

Tomorrow, I'm off to the comic convention!

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#50 2007-06-15 05:22:48

j3h
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Re: Question Sanity - preproduction and behind the scenes

Enjoy the Con and get lots of art and scoops to post here!

Other than work, I'm not going anywhere for the forseeable future

Thanks E


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