Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Over

Well the quarter may be over but my Mexican excursion is far from that. Although I did get A LOT accomplished, there is still a lot left to do. Check out some of the new pictures:

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Mexico is really coming along now and I have finally gotten all the glue off my hands to type about it. As you can see in the video updates, the pink foam was all carved out and then spackled to fill the cracks. I spray painted the entire board, then I made a mixture of elmer's glue and water, painted it over the spray paint, and poured dirt and sand over it and spread it around. I placed and fit all the houses, added more sand and dirt and brushed away the excess. The walls were added and connected with stained wooden dowels.

The trees were made with twigs from trees and lichen for making miniature foliage. I mixed the colors of the lichen to suit my liking. I added rocks, sticks and stumps that I found in the floral section of the store (I think they were supposed to be like the pebbles you fill vases up with).

It's coming along. Take a look.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Mexico now has color... I'll text update more when I have less glue on my hands from the trees.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mexico Carving

Short update on mexican progress!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


The Mexican landscape is now set up glued and in the carving process. This is the footage I have as of yesterday.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let's Talk Music

Got some music on the way now! John is doing some really cool stuff with a Robert Rodriguez vibe to it. It's got some Brazilian influences along with other Hispanic influence. Here is a little video of the instrument that John tried to duplicate in his own way (see the 2nd video).


I'm also making progress on the larger truck. I pulled wheels off of a toy John Deer tractor and got help from Stephen in figuring out the scale and measuring and making the truck bed seeing as I'm terrible with numbers. I am making 2 clay pigs that I am going to mold and cast with foam to shove in the truck bed. More to come!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Diez Mas!!

Ten more houses completed! I'm not so sure how many more I need, if I need any at all. My next step is to start carving out the scene.

Take a look.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Painting Progress

All of the brick pieces for the wall are finished and painted. All I need is the connector pieces which are just columns, so that's not really a concern considering I have a million wooden columns that just need some paint once I figure out where the walls are going. These are sporadic brick walls throughout the landscape, not the border wall. The above picture is the process of carving the bricks, the different stages. In the time lapse below, you will see how the bricks are painted.

Several more houses have also been added to the scene with many more following. There are more houses waiting to be painted and the houses that are "finished" are waiting for finishing touches such as doors and windows which they will all get at the very end.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I finally figured out how to load the rough animatic up to the web! YAY! There may be 2 varying pans, but this is a basic idea of what its going to be like. The only big difference is that the border patrol shot is cut out and when the druck is driving away it's driving toward border patrol.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cheap Trick

So in my journey to find the perfect method to capture my process I ran across this site that explained an alternative way to make an automatic time lapse. Evidently, there is a way to program a calculator to make the camera go off every certain amount of time. That saves me a buttload of money so it looks like I'll be trying that out, but I think I have to catch a short nap first.

Load Up!

After carving about 50 "brick" blocks for random broken walls in the city, I decided I best get the pink foam and other building supplies for the actual set. I could sit and chop away at little houses forever but we really wont see how many we need until we start placing them.

Anyway, here we are loading up my car with the wonderful help of Marco.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cookie Cutters

I've decided that since I made a few finished sample houses, I should start cutting down all the pieces and then go about finishing them. I have cut mother forms and am going to vary the details of the houses. So, although they may have the same basic shape, they will differ in color, texture, roofing, door and window placement, etc. I'm going to check out some fun stationary papers to see if I can get a really high corrugated panel for some of the roofing. I have looked at boxes, but they seem too flat, and I know that once I rip off the outer layer, it won't look very good.

More cutting and more testing to come!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

House Revamp

After finishing the first house I posted, I realized the scale was incredibly off. I'm using 1/32 scale to match my matchbox cars and I guess I forgot to compare them when I was building so I ended up redoing it. The first picture is a comparison of the first house and the 2nd smaller version I did. The 2nd picture is of the 3 newly completed houses with the scale car so that you can see the size.

The houses were made using mainly the same techniques as the first one I built but obviously different alterations of it. Thanks to foamwerks, cutting the foamcore has been much much easier!

Here they are individually::

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1st House!

Above is the first house I have been working on for Nogales. It's a really beaten up one, as you can see. It needs a couple more layers of paint detail but because of all of the glue that's on it, it is taking some time to dry. It's made out of white foam core that i riped pieces of the coating off to expose and detail the foam (the bricks). The coated part was brushed with some water and glue and I put dirt on it. I then painted the dirt and that's what gives the outside that texture. It looks very jungle-esque right now, but I plan to change that with the next couple paint layers. The tops of the bricks need to be lightened and the stucco needs to be whitened.

Below were the preliminary sketches of some houses I was playing with for scaling and size. If you look to the right you can see the 1/32 scale car model I used for reference.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Building the City

I started drawing out some house designs based off of pictures of Nogales. It's a terribly decrepit city so not all of the houses are all there and none of them are very big, or fancy. They're generally earth tones with some reds and bright blues mixed in (the kind of blue that you find cheap pools painted with).

I decided to build the base of the landscape with pink foam and build it up. I need to start creating the houses first so I know how to shape the landscape, but I'm trying to think about what materials would be best to build them with. I think some of the roofs would be really cool using the corrugated part of corrugated cardboard (you know, so it looks like those aluminum spanish houses). I don't know if making the houses out of cardboard is my best best. I'm trying to do this low budget but I don't want it to look cheap. I did learn some cool tricks at Charged though. Will glued sand to the outside of cardboard and made it look like stucco, so I may see how that looks and do a couple run throughs, maybe even use foam board or hard board (since I have a lot of both).

Here's some more pictures of Nogales and the houses that I'm building. I have some sketches and pictures of the trucks I still have to upload, COMING SOON!

NOTE::: The 2nd picture needs to be clicked on to really see it...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hybrids and Matchbox Trucks!

So I finally found affordable matchbox trucks! I got 15 of them (3 sets) and decided to put my dremel to work and hybrid them... pictures to come!

I'm also testing some painting on the spare trucks I have.

Sunday, September 19, 2010



Miniature of Nogales Mexico
2 Miniature trucks, 1/32 and one larger
Pan of the city, truck driving down the dirt road and then a zoom on the back of the truck at the end showing the pigs in the back.

The end result will yield a short PSA.


So, influenza has been brought back up from the dead, but shorter and more PSA-y. It's going to be the first part of it, so the pan of Nogales Mexico and the truck driving down the road. The picture above is of Nogales. I intend to recreate the cityscape in miniatures. I'm basing the size of my city around the side of the truck. I believe the most efficient way of doing it is to have 2 trucks, one small one to drive down the road and one bigger one so that I can zoom up on it and not have to make the city 20 feet long. I'm looking for a miniature truck online so that I have something to base my larger truck off of when I build it by hand. I'm hoping for the city to be a few feet long by a few feet deep. The miniature car will be about 3 or 4 inches long. The picture below is the truck I hope to use.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I figured out how I'm going to document my progress. I have my tripod set up in the corner of my room and my cannon set to live view from my computer. I am going to invest in a remote snap so I can take pictures while I'm actually working on it. I plan to keep my point and shoot handy to take close ups of small items/details I may be working on. I'm posting a picture of the framing of my workspace so you can get an idea of what this is going to look like. Eventually I may have to change the setup but I think for now it'll be okay. As long as there are a few seconds of each static background it should look okay as a time lapse. Ideally it would be one static background but i think that is nearly impossible with what I have.