In The Asteroid Belt really started in about 1995. The desire to do an interesting video around things I could do and make using the new Multimedia Technology, single-handedly.
Been drawing and designing interesting looking things since a kid watching Thunderbirds. So this combines that interest with making stuff with the interest in music production. All on the desktop.
Last Updated: Feb 3 2023
I first tried making Desktop SciFi Videos at the dawn of Multimedia in the early 1990s. I explain where that came from in my Where The Smoke Comes Out webcomic. It was an interesting thing to do, and I wrote a few magazine articles about it that were published in the UK and Australia. But at the time the video files were so large, and discs so small, it was difficult to make anything minutes long, and give it to anyone to watch. We all had dial up modems back then and YouTube was yet to be invented. I made most of the craft and human puppets way back then, and kept them safe. I made music with microLOGIC and a Roland D-110. I put together videos using Adobe Premier 3.0.
In the 28+ years since then the technology and infrastructure to handle video changed dramatically. Can now make complete albums and videos using a PC. At the end of 2022, I went back to what I started in 1995 and made a few instrumental animated music videos. Still using physical puppets and miniatures for the most part. They just have an attractive look to them for me.
An example of new miniatures are the Asteroids. Chunks of Blue insulation styrene, carved to a rough shape, party coated with Liquitex Modeling Medium, then sprayed lightly with car primer. The primer eats into the blue styrene where it doesn't have the paste, creating very interesting details. Painted with Liquitex Acrylics and a touch of Tamiya copper acrylic gives the mine able Asteroids we were after.
New Stop Motion puppets were made with aluminum wire, epoxy putty, foam, beads and Super Sculpey. The crystals are translucent FIMO polymer clay and translucent blue with acrylic white Liquitex highlights. Had planned to put a colored latex skin on the puppet limbs, but learnt opened Latex doesn't last long, so went just with the twisted wire with these, until we have more experience and aren't just going to waste a lot of Latex.
We have been making music with Reaper since 2008 or so. Have a few albums worth of music uploaded to Soundcloud and Bandcamp using the name Megacurve. Reaper has features for doing sound to picture that makes doing all this really simple now. You load a video that plays along with your project. I can put in named marks and do sound for picture and make sure a sound occurs at the right time. But in this project, sometimes the music was the driving point of a scene, not the picture.
At other times that swapped, so back in Moho Animation maybe the picture elements were done to sync with the music tempo or other event in the sound. So we tended to swap around of picture lead sound or the sound lead the picture in what was the most important. Some scenes where produced with Stop Motion using qStopMotion to grab the frames. The way I used most of those grabbed frames was to convert them into a multi layer Photoshop document with a transparent background, and use the Moho timeline to select which layer was active on the time line. This allows random access to the grabbed frames to produce a longer animation than were originally captured, and be composited against a background. For the case of the alien walking, a few frames were being repeated, while also being 2D animated across the screen.
For simple YouTube Shorts the resultant video is output from Moho Animation and uploaded. But for most of the episodes the music was put together with animation scenes in our video editor, Movie Studio. Useful when looking at pacing, and if scenes need to be extended or moved around.
During the making of the Episodes I had kind of rediscovered the sequencer approaches of Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre and had applied some of that inspiration in later episodes, mixed in with the heavy guitar. When I had "finished" the episodes, I was making short 1976 Tangerine Dream sequencer like pieces and wanted to use them some where. So I made the following 3 shorts. A case of music needing some place to use it. These are all HEADPHONE ONLY Binaural mixes using dear VR Music 3D panner. As I expect most will see this web page on their smart phone, and be wearing headphones . I just like the sound of this.
The original miniatures shown here were made in the mid 1990s, and I had Making Of Articles posted in UK and Australian SF Modeling magazines. The photos were published in black and white back then, but these short musical slide shows show a few of the color photos in those articles. The end also has a short animation of their use. There were all made with bits from model kits and sheet styrene and bar plastic. The upper hull here is the rear hull of a WWII Battle ship.
This mining droid was inspired by a Babylon 5 robot and the sub manipulators in The Abyss. Mostly sheet plastic. The Rocket nozzles were Resin accessories I bought at a Japanese Hobby store. The arm joints were similarly WAVE soft plastic ball/socket joint accessories from a Hobby Store. It is the airbrushed paint job that makes the difference though. Custom mixes of Tamiya Acrylic paints.
Similarly, the Starfighter was fabricated in the same way from sheet and bar styrene, a ping pong ball and a selection of kit parts. More Star Wars Y wing inspired, but original.
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