Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Beyond Halloween Town

Nooooo! This October 2023, will be the 30th Year Anniversary of The Nightmare Before Christmas.  It feels like, it was only recently that I attended the 25th anniversary year reunion (that was 5 years ago). This is like the Twilight Zone, an altered state of time, another dimension, transporting us into the future at warp speed. I do not like 😕 ... but ... I digress!

2018 Reunion, 25 Year NMBC Anniversary - Mike Belzer, Lionel Orozco, & Anthony Scott

SF Studios was a general commercial studio for many years. Later it became the studio for Nightmare Before Christmas and renamed Skellington Productions. This building, including the pink one next to it, no longer exists. That location is now an elementary school.

In the past years, there has been a variety of books about Nightmare B4 Xmas. Just released in August, is a fresh NEW book. The Nightmare Before Christmas - Beyond Halloween Town: The Story, Characters, & Legacy ... EMILY ZEMLER is the Author.

This is not exactly a behind the scenes about the technical stop motion effects, but more about the production process from the beginning incentive of the story and interviews with some of the original crew & key players involved. Also it goes into the enduring impact & cultural phenomenon that it still has, even in 2023, in spite of the current mind-numbing excess of CGI movies and its onslaught & bombardment on the audience, perhaps getting weary of it. Maybe that is why the Guillermo del Toro Pinocchio was a refreshing change.

I found a few preview pages of the book at these links >   Page 23 - Page 24 - Page 25 - Page 26

Since we are on the topic of The Nightmare Before Christmas,  I am going to briefly and shamelessly promote myself. I just have a sense that Youtube's Search Algorithms seems to have been suppressing my channel for a long time.  After over 5 years since I posted the above video .... it has only received 64 Likes. I say What the F'k? If I was of the opposite gender and showed some 'skin' ... the videos would get a plethora of Likes & thousands of views in a very short time. This Social Media Game is insanity & illogical 😡
We now return to the BOOK 😁  I do not always like to refer people to the corporate empire entity known as Amazon ... but ... they have a good descriptive page about this new Nightmare book ... also some free preview pages and the price for a hardcover copy is reasonable.  As of this posting, it is under $27. (USD), it is about 168 pages. The link is here ....



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Saturday, September 2, 2023

StickyBones - High Performance Poseable Figures

I have not been current with these kinds of poseable figures. I recall from some years ago, there was a line of poseable very small toy figures called Stikfas. This one, is another brand known as Stickybones. They are not the action super hero figure types, but instead, these are designed with ideal human anatomical proportions. Stickybones figures are produced as a reference poseable figure for artists & illustrators. It is a more sophisticated version of the old school Artist Manikins (Link). From what I see, these figures can be very expressively posed, similar to what a real human person can do, mimicking action poses of ... athletes, dancers, martial artist, etc.

One of my observations - I do not see any mention whether Male or Female figures. Stickybones just calls them 'human high performance poseable figures'. They are basically all the same anatomical form ... a somewhat androgynous design ... perhaps reducing manufacturing costs. Actual measurement is 8.5"(215mm) height. If an artist were using these figures as drawing / sketching reference of a female anatomical form, I suppose that you can add clay to the 'chest and hips', to give it a more curvy appearance.

The price is on the higher scale at $71. (US) for one figure. Stickybones are sold as kits, and so, you have to assemble them. If you are a drawing / sketch Artist, it would be a one time investment  ... a tool to aid in producing your art works. At Amazon (Link), there are various similar jointed figures at much less cost but quality maybe not so good, according to some of reviews. Also, the figures are small at about 6 inches (152mm).  

For Stop Motion: I have seen some reasonably good animation using these Stickybones. They are very useful for practice animation, but it might be restricted to more realism human motion. IMO, not ideal for stylized or cartoon-esque animated characters. It depends on the animators skill & talent if they can get some creative animation with these figures.

Some have also modified the look of the Stickybones and made miniature clothing or turned them into an action figure. Stickybones figures appear to be made from mold injected plastic resin. The joint tension relies on the plastic balls being pre-compressed by the plastic sockets ... the balls snap into the sockets. If the joints loosen, you can maybe use a heat gun to bend the plastic sockets for tighter tension, however there is the risk of damage ... or maybe use Tacky Putty (Link) in the Sockets.

 If you add clothing to the figures, the ball tension might not hold in certain poses. If you are animating the figure 'as is', just the bare figure form ... the joints seems to hold the tension during animation posing. It has magnetic feet, tie-downs and of course, you can use a simple animation support rig to hold and stabilize the figure.

Stickybones started as an Indiegogo Funded Campaign back in 2016 (Link). They received over $ One Million Dollars $ (Usa) in contributions 😮

You know ... searching briefly, I could not find that much stop motion use of Stickybones ... it is minimal. Mostly out there, it is from beginners doing only a few quick seconds of stop motion. The better stop motion examples are actually from the Stickybones Company. They hire experienced animators for their promotional ads! So, I'm guessing that the primary consumers are perhaps Artists who are using these poseable figures as human anatomical body form reference ... which was the original design & purpose of this product.



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