While working on the film Accidents Blunders and Calamities I volunteered to help out on creating the practical props for the opening and closing sequences. The set build went through various different incarnations of concept art before we had a cohesive look and style that we wanted to try and achieve. We had two weeks to try and complete the Possum Burrow set which had to have removable walls and roof for filming purposes.
The set-build was a very experimental process in that we had a rough a plan of how to achieve the look we wanted but it was more-or-less all in theory. A wooden frame was made first that could have removable walls and then we used expandable foam to build up the burrow walls which didn’t end up expanding as much as we’d hoped. In the end we just used a lot of it. From there we started to sculpt the foam into a rough shape following a combination of the art director and directors visions. The expandable foam had a lot of air holes in it so we then went through the process of filling the holes with other pieces of foam and getting the forms and shapes we wanted. With the foam filled out we then placed various branches into the burrow that would act as supporting roots. Some of these were used to create shelves and beds however we still wanted it to look naturally formed. A roof was then added and all the foam pieces were cut up in order to make the walls and roof removable.
Once the foam base had been created it was time to lay down the soil which was done by sticking dirt to a rather thick layer of paint and hoping that it would stay in place. With the initial coat done, we shook off the extra dirt and transported the set to it’s filming location where we touched it up with more dirt where it was patchy. From there the set was decorated with an assortment of items that would make it look like a sentient possum children’s bedroom all ready to film the plates that the 3.D work would be integrated into.
Madelein Janse van Rensburg
Model | Goran Trpkov
Shading & Texturing | Goran Trpkov
Body rig | Conrad Crooks
Facial rig | Simon Ridden
Animation | Joy Shi & Joanna Gaelic
Lighting | Nicholas Hodgson
Comp | India Rose Kohika