Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ball and Socket Armature Madness!
Here are some pictures of the finished armature for Money Bunny. I had to take a bunch so I'll be able to find the screws when I need to tighten them.





video

Wednesday, November 9, 2011



Worked on Money Bunny's armature today. It may not look like much to you, but to me.... hoo boy. Lot's of good life lessons can be learned from working with metal. The pieces aren't attached in this photo, but work pretty decently when they're put together. So the spine is finished, next order of business is to solder spine and clavicle joint to ribcage. Then make arms, hands, legs, feet, and tail.
How to drill a good tap:
-Sit down, take deep breaths, slow and careful, make sure it's straight, USE TAP LUBE and the threads will cut like a butter sandwich.
- Also, the taps split in half seem to work better than the taps split into 3rds.

:D

Monday, November 7, 2011

Zoetrope Tunnel, LIGHT TESTS.
Richard Roy, CCS instructor and very camera-savvy friend, is helpin' me out with the final shoot of my zoetrope elements. That'll be this coming Saturday morning. Each layer will be shot along-side a back-lit matte for clean compositing. Process: capture one frame in toplight, then capture one frame in backlight, animate, and repeat until 12 frames are captured. This means no green screen, and the greens will show up in the final composition just as I please.

Zoetrope 1: toplight

Zoetrope 1: backlight

Another one

And another one

THINGS THAT I REALLY SHOULDN'T FORGET OR RICHARD WILL HAVE TO TELL ME AGAIN:
- set ISO at 100 for controlled light situations like this, in studio settings
- always shoot video elements in medium-light situations; this leaves more information in the files for post-production correction if you please to turn up brightness or increase contrast
- with lighting, start as simply as possible, add more to fine-tune (bounces for soft light), and
leave room for yourself when access is necessary, i.e. stop motion animation :)
- get a lazy susan
- other stuff that I probably forgot already (when it comes back, which it will, I'll edit the post)


Just a stupid animation that I did yesterday. Hope it makes you smile :)

I'm taking a ball and socket armature building class with my mentor and friend, Larry Larson. This is Armature #1, lots of trial and error but she functions pretty well... a little rust from blood and tears but not enough to impair mobility :) Armature #2: Money Bunny's skeleton, and I can't wait to get him together.





This is DOLLY. She's got the starring role in The Money Bunny Blues now. I can't wait to animate her, all cartoony and stuff. It's gonna be great. Wire armature and stitched up seams with a wooden head.

Sunday, November 6, 2011



Zoetrope tunnel, object zoetropes composited in after effects. Pretty hypnotizing! This is for the Money Bunny Blues, when Dolly falls down the Money Hole.

Monday, October 3, 2011

animatic: Money Bunny Blues from Ellen Coons on Vimeo.





I have made a little animatic for MONEY BUNNY BLUES. it has a little music, and a little color, and some cute drawings.
The story is for all you people out there who've ever been wishing for a little more, feeling like you deserve a break, and hoping that something good might come your way soon. it might, if you can treat the money bunny real nice :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011





These are storyboards for a story I wrote in the spring, "Little See-Saw Meets the Moon."

Little See-Saw runs away from her farm when she makes a huge mess stacking cow patties up to the sky. They fall back to the ground of course, and she doesn't feel like cleaning it up. These drawings are from a scene after she runs away, where she stumbles upon a seance between the forest creatures and Mother Moon. Don't really remember how this one ends... :P

Cleaning out your computer always has its unexpected benefits... this poster is pretty far from what ended up as my final concept for the film, The Hand of One Hundred

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chasing the Money Bunny






Chasing the Money Bunny

Here are some sketches of scenes from my newest film, Money Bunny. It'll be all the cuteness I ever wanted to make, rolled and sugar and topped with rainbow sprinkles. Just you wait! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ALIEN SPACESHIP
Step 1: design
Special credit to my brother, Marty Coons, for designing the alien spaceship. This is his initial sketch. He's got beautifully wacko designs in his head (here's more of Marty's work), and I'm glad we got to collaborate on this.

Step 2: vacuum forming
Marty made models for the three base shapes out of 20lb foam, and we molded them out of clear plastic. It's funny, as I write this I can smell ghost fumes. The paint is on the inside so they'll be nice and shiny on the outside!

Step 3: assembly
I took my broken boombox apart, and used some of the parts to make the spaceship look more technologically advanced. I wanted the look to contrast with the crafty handmade-ness of the cardboard city and its wax citizens.

rear view

side view

front view

Step 5: ANIMATE!
I just shot the first scene with the spaceship in it. Now I'm looking forward to destroying it :)




Me! and Cardboard City
This is just to give you an idea of scale... or it was supposed to be. It's actually a lot larger than that in relation to my head.

The Cast, Backstage!
A couple of the ponies, waiting for their scene to be animated. It should be within the week. Also a little pile of cars, and a row of wax men. They are frozen in positions of the different frames of a walk cycle. Replacement animation seemed a lot easier than animating something so tiny and mushy by bending it.

Crayon Melter
This was really fun: I painted the wax people with crayon, melted by this thing made specifically for painting with wax! Ali gave it to me :) You're the best Ali!

The Citizens of Cardboard City
Here are all the wax figures I made. I didn't count them, but i'm estimating a population somewhere around one MILLION. They were all made by hand out of microcrystalline wax, which melts pretty quickly when it's zapped by an alien lazer!!

WATCH some of my rejected scenes! Official footage will not be released until I'm finished :P

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Whoa check it!
So, the strings are tricky, but I've decided to go ahead and use them anyways. Here is the link to my flight tests as of yet:
pegasus frolicking loopy loop
the clumsy descent from heaven
I'm learning that NOTHING in stop motion can happen right the first time. Who'd have thought? My violin-string-flight-adjustor boxes work perfectly. But silly me, I did not design them so that my flying horse/angel/spaceships will be able to CHANGE DIRECTION in midair. I thought I could get away with animating the turning of the set and create the ILLUSION that the horses were flying through place, however it's a little fake because the horses remain perfectly placed within the frame as everything else moves around them. This was a dumb, lazy thought. Luckily the violin-string-flight-adjustor boxes are only fastened to the stands by masking tape, so I can easily take them down and make adjustments. What I will need is some sort of pulley system, something like a rod that extends from the box, and can be adjusted left to right. However, there is a problem in that I could only attach one arm per box, when I had planned to have up to three flying objects at a time. Only one of three would be able to change direction! Here's a diagram, it may or may not help you understand what I'm talking about:


BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Yay! My set is finished!
A city of cardboard was all I could afford.
I cut it up and glued it in,
and strung it through with chord.
Mostly, it is made from stuff I had lying around or snatched from friends and family, but there were a few things I had to purchase: glue (both super and hot), wood (for the base and table), dowels and wire (for the telephone poles), foamcore...
For a pan-view clip, link to vimeo!
http://vimeo.com/19933495


Now remains the question: how will I animate the flying angels and ponies!?!? I am hoping to order the Dragon Stopmotion software within the next couple of days. It looks awesome! I watched a tutorial and the interface seems very sensible and as if it were actually designed by an animator.
But now to ask the real question: is it more sensible to animate the ponies flying through my set on strings, or to prop them up on green screens and composite later? I will be testing this out this week. String flight first; I really do want to avoid as much compositing as I can. Why? Because there is something magical about seams and strings that you don't see so often these days. My animation is done by hand and in this project, I want to emphasize that fact. Not to mention, it seems like less fun to match lighting and angles for compositing.
I'm thinking that I will have to make some sort of wind-up device to adjust the string height. Just a simple peg in a hole-type-thing. Something that would remain snug, but loose enough for me to adjust. Like my violin strings! Good idea Travis, you're sweet!

Does anyone read this shit?

Friday, January 28, 2011




I've learned that you don't need a story to draw a comic book. you can just draw them! You can't really expect anyone to care, but that's a difficult feat even with something meticulously planned and thought out. this takes less time, and it's fun fun!