When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Let it snow!

Today's call time for us was 1 pm. What a huge change from all the other shoots we've been on this year!(that Kent Parker is all right with his scheduling!) We only needed to do the miniature snow for the Hess Express gas station today, and this was shooting at around 4 pm. For some reason, this year went really smoothly. I guess after 8 years we finally know what the director wants. :) We use baking soda for all our miniature snow fx. It works superbly with a host of different scales. The best part about using baking soda is the ability to be able to 'sculpt' it with compressed air. Gently blowing it with the air creates ultra realistic snow dunes. You can actually get those wind blown, overhangs you see on ditches in the winter. The biggest problem is keeping the parking lot surface clean so the toy car tires don't get marks on them and appear to look wobbly when the car rolls into frame. It took a few hours to set up and sculpt the snow to everyone's liking, then the shooting only ran about 40 minutes.

After the shoot, we went to dinner with Kent, Erica, Lisa, and Dale. This was a great treat that certainly doesn't happen with every commercial. All of these people are great to work with, there are no swollen egos or an imaginary hierarchy, just really great people. Dale will be heading back to Vancouver on Sunday, and I wish him continued success as Visual Effects Supervisor on ABC's new series 'Once upon a time'.
It's only been a few hours, but I can hardly wait until next year!


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