The Making of "Baking with Love"(a stop motion)
Updated: Jul 4, 2021
IDEATION & CONCEPT
"Baking with Love" started with a simple idea of interpreting the cliché saying of "putting your heart and soul in everything you do" in a different light, resulting into dark comedy. It is a story that magnifies a child's naiveness and obedience leading to disaster, through the simple act of following a recipe.
First thing first, we settled with the screenplay which allowed us to create a simple animatic. We wanted the film to be like a musical, a children's song, to magnify the shock effect in the end. We composed the music in
Garage Band, and wrote the recipe/ lyrics accordingly. In order to know how long the music we composed had to be, we performed the screenplay live action to get the rough timing for the film. The steps do not exactly synchronize with the final film, but all the major actions were included and we were able to compose the final music which helped us create the animatic according to the lyrics and beats.
Animatic by Yunxin
Then we started working on design and concept for the set, props, and puppet.
House Exterior & Interior Designs by Reeyan
Props & Furniture Designs
First we made a reference puppet out of aluminum foil and Sculpey to get the measurements and size correct. We used this reference puppet to determine the size of our furniture and props.
Next, we started with the animatable puppet. First, we made a plan of its mechanics and skeleton. We soldered together the some K&S square tubes (so the body parts can be connected and replaced) to make the main skeleton structure of the hip and chest. We covered it with Sculpey to give volume to the body. At the back of the upper-body, we also made a K&S square insert for the rig. Next we used wire to connect them. We used wire for the neck, limbs, and spine. After the wire, we used pre-wrap to give it volume. The wire are like the bones and the pre-wraps are like the muscles. The skin would be several layers of liquid latex painted over with acrylic.
The head was formed first by aluminum foil and then covered with Sculpey to smooth out and sculp the details. For the hair, we used felting wool found in Daiso. We proceeded to make Brie's dress and bow. We also braided in wires within Brie's hair and sprayed hair spray to make the hair more controllable and animatable. For the eyebrows, we also tried to make it out of felt wool, but figured that clay would be a better option.
PROP & FURNITURE BUILDING
Behind the Scenes of the Props & Furniture
We decided to build a floating set for more flexibility. We mounted the main baking platform on a magic arm clamped to a tripod, and Brie on the tripod with a rig attached. The working table was not completely firm because there were too many joints from the central support. Perhaps we should have mounted it on a tripod itself, instead of using a magic arm.
The background walls and props, were hanging from a beam on top and some were also being hold by tripods. The sky background was pasted onto the wall.
Had a lot of fun gaffing. We ended up using four lights for the main set. We used a total of four lights to light up this set. The main light, an Aperture Led panel, lights Brie in the front. Then the second main light is also a Led, comes in from the top left which cast some shadows. Next is a Dedolight which serves as the hair light for Brie and distinguishes her apart from the backgrounds. And lastly, it's another Led panel that lights up the sky backdrop.
The establishing shot was also built mainly on a floating set. it required a big space as we wanted to created great depth of field.
We cut out the shot of clouds as they were not immersive: they just looked like cotton on color background instead of clouds in the sky.
The animation was done at ones and followed the animatic's timing. We divided the animatic into individual shots and imported them into Dragonframe so we can animate to the animatic.
There were a couple of shots where we utilize replacement animation. One of the shot was the cracking-egg shot. We made replacement eggs from hot glue and plasticine. Another alternative we thought of for the replacement was to cut out plastic from plastic bottles. We were able to mix the eggs into the batter with the help of a heat gun! But we were not careful enough and it destroyed the bowl as it was made out of acrylic. We also made replacements for was the pouring-milk shot. We made different levels of milk in bottles.
The bouncing eggs for this shot were plasticine, shears in other shots they are just sculpey since they're static. We did some test animation for the eggs dancing!
For the pouring-batter shot, Brie had a hard time holding the heavy batter. Her holding the batter high kinda resembles the iconic lion king scene. The heat gun completely destroyed our cake tin as well, which was made out of Yakult bottle. We had to quickly make a new one.
There were several little problems during production. A lot we could not fix on set or realized too late. Thus, we tried to fix them in post. For example, while animating the pouring milk scene, the sky suddenly dropped.
We also had some flickering problems with a lot of shots. Might have been due to the animator's shadows. The book pages also moved easily as they were not glued down page by page.
We also painted in the the flour puff cloud effect!
Feel free to reach out if there are specific question about the film I haven't addressed!