Topic: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

In the Howard the Duck commentary everyone side-tracked to talk about a Calvin & Hobbes film. Remember that? Well, Teague and I made a YouTube thing inspired by that conversation. Only instead of an intentionally terrible video we made one we're proud of. We recreated some of the snowman scenes from the comics. Check it, yo.

[video (flash player not installed)]

People have asked how we made it so here are the broad strokes:

First, every shot is practical and each snowman was built from scratch... and it was all filmed on my dining table.

No single method was used. Some snowmen were playdough, some were wire framed sculptures covered in bake-dry clay, and some were papier-mâché. I tried to keep builds consistent within shots though, i.e. only sculpty or only playdough. The snowmonster was a mix of everything. I papier-mâché a wire-frame, used bake-dry clay for the details like eyes and teeth, and then threw all the sugar and flower CVS would sell me on top of it. Depending on the size of the shot and model either sugar, flour, or a 1:4 mix of both was used. The smaller stuff used flour because it scaled better. Paint the model white and roll it in sugar. Boom. Snowman.

The key to this was patience, a willingness to get my living room very messy (I haven't done arts and crafts since 2nd grade), and copious amounts of sugar.

Oh, and Teague. Yeah, you need Teague to make this happen, like, at all. This is the raw footage he had to make work:

http://img862.imageshack.us/img862/1096/screenshot20111215at105.png


And


http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/1096/screenshot20111215at105.png


He'll have to 'splain exactly what he did. It's all witchcraft to me but I know Adobe was involved. Always with the Adobe.

Besides the VFX, another key aspect was lighting. And that's a whole thing. At any given moment I'd have between 8-12 lights focused on the set. And dozens of lil' LED flashlights hiding behind models for that coolish-blue backlight.

That's what we did in a nutshell. All the snowmen were practical models that were cleaned, sexied-up, and covered in falling snow by Teague and his fantastic computer device.

Anyway, here's me talking to a lump of sugar at 4am.

http://img805.imageshack.us/img805/3609/filming.png

Last edited by iJim (2013-10-27 06:16:46)

Everybody, get up. It's time to slam now. We got a real jam going down. Welcome to the Space Jam. Here's your chance. Do your dance. At the Space Jam. Alright?

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

This is so impressive, guys.  Really enjoyed this.

Eddie Doty

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

This is the second time I've collaborated with Jim; the first time was the video on the homepage, and the third time is about to be Sad Max, and at this point I'm a pretty big fan of the guy. I did color correction, touch-up, and snowiness. Mostly in After Effects, with some Lightwave and Boujou here and there for the odd shot that needed something crazy. Rig removal. Etc..

http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/9565/groupbefore.jpg
http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/3619/groupafter.jpg

Here's a before and after of the group shot, for instance. Lots of little tweaks and custom shading, plus the snow and the Coke polar bear commercial color style.

In related news, we hit Crave this morning (thanks Pav!), Topless Robot this afternoon, The Onion this evening, and there's a nifty interview with us up at Nerds in Babeland.

This is fun.

Also, if you're a lurker checking out the how-we-made-it, check out the homepage for the last thing Jim made, also with some help from me and the entire Down in Front community. Also, hey, listen to a podcast. Pick a movie you love, or hate, and press play. We're not crappy.

Teague Chrystie
Twitter | Facebook

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Awesome job

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Truly awesome!

"Life is about movies; anything else is a bonus!"- Me   cool

Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

WOW! Just great!

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

That's awesome.  Incredible job.

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Beautiful job, guys, and it makes me think Calvin & Hobbes needs to come back in a new medium. What surprised me was that it wasn't CG animation. Shows you where my head's at these days of everything except Aardman being CG.

Thanks!

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Welcome to the forum! Thanks man. smile

Teague Chrystie
Twitter | Facebook

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

87,000 views and counting.

I think you guys might have something here.

Posted from my iPad
http://trek.fm

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Awesome! I found this on The Daily What and clicked a link to get the scoop on how it was made and it took me here. Best surprise ever. You guys rock.

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

It was so awesome to find out that these were actual models, not CGI. Great job!

Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

I keep seeing this all over the internet. Good for you guys!

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Since I've been getting a deluge of messages asking how much this cost to produce [including NPR(!)], the answer is somewhere around $150.

And thanks, guys.  It means a lot to me that this is being, for the most part, well-recieved.  But the kind words from DiF community are especially rewarding.

Everybody, get up. It's time to slam now. We got a real jam going down. Welcome to the Space Jam. Here's your chance. Do your dance. At the Space Jam. Alright?

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Whoa. Now it's on Huff Po's front page. Cool.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

The real question is, will this bring any influx to the Down In Front community and listeners to the actual movie commentary podcast itself (or the intermission?)

The cynical side of me says no, because wonderful as this C&H thing is, it's too tangential to the core thing being done at Down In Front to have fans coming in based of that becoming fans of the show.

Now, new visitors, go ahead and prove me wrong. Down In Front is a fantastic podcast if you are even a little bit into movies.

/Z

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Iconic in simplicity while capturing the full blunt force of Calvin & Hobbs.......

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

My 55 your-old cousin in law scooped me on this!  Kudos and congratulations!

(UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

It's an awesome video. I just saw a link to it in another forum I frequent smile

EDIT: It is getting lots of kudos in that forum too.

Last edited by Jimmy B (2011-12-24 19:04:48)

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

I assume you guys are hard at work now on "A Very Calvin & Hobbes Valentine's Day"?

Posted from my iPad
http://trek.fm

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Aaaand like Clockwork, The Daily Dish just posted about it, and this time, I had nothing to do about it.

Eddie Doty

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Global.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/t … 6226629095

Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Loved this! Really great work on this one guys.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

I've got to be honest... I'd heard of, but had no idea about Calvin & Hobbes.. But this short really blew me away. It is just perfect.

I'd love to see more done in different settings... desert island beach... the floor of a kiddies bedroom made up of lego or messed up toys... the surface of the moon.

Just a real fun concept.

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Re: A Very Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

Red, Jimmy, Drew, Gareth - Thanks!

Dean - We were crossing our fingers that it could stand alone and still appeal to some non-C&H fans.  So it's great to read that.  smile  But since you dug it, you should probably check out some of the strips.  Stuff is hilarious.

Harbin - After the failure of A Very Calvin and Hobbes Boxing Day, we're on a C&H hiatus.

Everybody, get up. It's time to slam now. We got a real jam going down. Welcome to the Space Jam. Here's your chance. Do your dance. At the Space Jam. Alright?

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