Dinosaurs visit the wizard of hollywood for a digital make-over

This sort of movie is termed a parody or spoof – a send-up of a common genre of movie.  The main purpose is to illustrate different types of characters that can be used -ie- clip art, miniatures, paper cutouts, and digital avatars, as well as use of sound clips for continuity. Particularly watch the dinosaur enter the ‘make-over chamber’.

A cross between The Wizard of Oz and Maynard G. Krebs and The Son of the Monster that Devoured Cleveland. The entire nonsense was filmed at my desk. The Hollywood sets are from LionHead Studios The Movies, which allows creation of your own movies. Flyover was done with camera filming still shot of  The Movies set. PowerPoint was used to animate the characters in still shots. Other shots used hand puppetry.  ‘Make-up’ was ‘natural media’ effects in Painter software (Van Gogh, cartoon, metallic .. etc) applied to still shot of hand puppet (similar effects are available with Photoshop). These still shots were then animated using CrazyTalk software and the sequences strung together.

The ‘make-over chamber’ scene illustrates the technique of ‘rear projection + puppetry” now made possible with non-flickering computer screens. A plastic dinosaur is bobbed up and down while the set itself (from The Movies) is ‘moved’ on screen using keyboard controls.  Because the chamber is a 3D set its walls appear to move past as the dinosaur ‘walks into it’. The exit from the chamber was an avatar dinosaur from Kahootz.  Such puppetry can be done with either real puppets or avatars. The opening credits scene looks similar but was actually done with still images of the dinosaurs and Hollywood background animated in PowerPoint. The latter method lends itself to re-use and editing.

Dinosaur as ‘Walk of Fame’ star was done with PowerPoint ‘fill’ effects. Cheesy end rolling credits done with stock Adobe Premiere ‘title’ effects. 

Instrumental sountracks were from Serif MoviePlus. Concluding song was composed and sung at my desk, hence the lame sound as I didn’t want others to hear me singing it. Points to consider and discuss:

  • Types of characters that can be created: clip art, miniatures, paper cutouts, and digital avatars .. etc
  • visual special effects
  • zooming of still shots for fly-over
  • animation of still shots to bring life to characters
  • editing and re-usability of PowerPoint animated scenes
  • rear projection + puppetry technique for moving scenes
  • audio: merits of commercial clips, compose-your-own etc.
  • embedding instructional media in a silly spoof rather than in a serious ‘now click on the red button …’ style of edu-demo
  • use of familiar and archetypal themes such as the Wizard of Oz, A Star is Born, make-over TV, monster movies

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