Deciding the use of puppets took me back to my childhood, when my grandmother used to tell me and my brother stories using her own-made marionettes. I was amazed by how real the stories felt when told by my grandma’s puppets, and how her only voice could create so many different characters.

In 1997, many years after she passed away, I accidentally found her marionettes in the attic and I instantly fell back in love with their expressiveness. I decided to make an entire film with them (my first feature film, “Marionettes”) and I still like the idea of relying on puppets to tell stories.

However, in contrast to some of my recent works in which puppets are animated in Stop Motion or other computer-generated techniques, this time I decided to animate them in live action. A puppeteer gives much more emotion to a character than any computer program. Or at least, my skills as a puppeteer are much better than my skills as a computer animator. 

With very few exceptions, every object and scenario you get to see in the video clip is a scale model: from the waves at the sea to the pencil holder over the man’s desk.

It is all made on cardboard, wood, paper and fabric. CG elements were only used during the compositing stage, to add some details and a “final touch.”

For the characters’ bodies, I used organic textures as well, and created their faces entirely in Photoshop, except of course for the singer’s eyes and mouth. Those I shot at Cube’s studio in Paris: I had Gabi singing and gesturing in front of the camera for quite a while, to then use his features for the animated characters. I added his eyes and used his mouth to lip sync as the song went. I liked the idea of the main character singing to -basically- himself, as if he was reproaching the fact that he never has time to do any of the thing he should be doing.

Tracking points in the singer’s face, in  order to apply them to the puppet at the time of eye animation.

With Singer Gabi and Produccion Coordinator for CUBE CREATIVE, Nicolas de Roosambo, discussing final details. 

So far, this is the video in which I used more mixed techniques. I hope the hand-made look achieved shows the great amount of hand-make work behind this clip.

All the material has been recorded with a Canon 7D in 1920 x 1080, 25 fps. Most of the clips were copied into a hard disk and then imported directly in After Effects in their original format. The keying has been made with Keylight without major problems. I was really amazed by the quality of the compression, since I could isolate the images quickly and much more easier than with HDV.

A 3D environment was generated in After Effects, using as layers elements recorded with the Canon 7D (mainly video, but also some photographs worked on Photoshop).



PREVIOUS CHAPTER:  THE SONG, THE SCRIPT AND THE STORYBOARDpasletemps_making.htmlpasletemps_making.htmlshapeimage_13_link_0