Dinosaur Kisses

24 Jul

I had the pleasure of collaborating with acclaimed children’s book author David Ezra Stein on an animated trailer for his newest book: Dinosaur Kisses!

 

It was a lot of fun to put together, especially the model of the Dinah character. I usually animate with already-assembled action figures and do not have a ton of experience with building articulated models for use in animation but I think Dinah turned out pretty well. I sculpted and baked Sculpey clay for her head and torso and borrowed her hands and feet from an NECA Gremlins action figure. Her arms and legs were twisted wire covered in soft clay to allow for movement. It got more and more difficult to keep the clay arms & legs looking flush with her body as I kept twisting her arms around, so it wasn’t the ideal choice, I’d like to look into alternatives in the future. Maybe some foam or something…

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Dinah’s mouth movements also were a bit of a challenge to pull off. The character is so stylized that my usual method of animating a human character’s mouth movements wasn’t much help. I thought that by making the bottom jaw a separate piece, I could pull off some practical animation of Dinah opening and closing her mouth to cut down on post-production effects but it just looked like she was flapping her lips like a duck. So, I ended up doing a mix of PhotoShop manipulation to get the movements just right.

The trailer was storyboarded by the author and featured amazing work from vocalist Alicia Morrissey and pianist Marc Devine.

You can order David Ezra Stein’s newest book here! It will be released on August 6th.

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