I wasn’t in the best mood going into this challenge. My father’s memorial service was on Saturday, and I just found it difficult to get into the fairy tale mood, which was the theme for the seventh Strike a Pose (Cycle 3) challenge. We were each assigned a fairy tale to recreate; mine was Snow White. I considered going for a dark fairy tale twist as in the wonderful short story by Tanith Lee, “White as Snow.” In her story, the queen is a good woman trying to protect her people from Snow White, who is actually a vampire. It would have been fun to do, but ultimately, I decided to be true to the original story and keep things relatively light-hearted.
I staged two scenes (and tried to stage more but quickly saw that most of the others wouldn’t work well): Snow White and the Huntsman (okay, that scene wasn’t so light-hearted) and Snow White and the Prince. As usual, it took a great deal of time to hunt down and install all of the custom content that I thought might help me complete the challenge. I’m probably going about things the wrong way, but I typically go hunting for CC before I start staging my ideas. It would probably take me less time if I staged first and then figured out what I need, but the CC is part of what inspires me and helps me craft a scene, so I don’t know if the process would work as well if I reversed it. The other activity that takes up the bulk of my time is going through the animations for each character to identify which will work best. I know the animations pretty well at this point, but it’s funny how an animation you wouldn’t think would apply can work really well in a given situation, so I always experiment and try several.
One thing I wanted to do early on in the shoot but gave up because I thought it would be too difficult was to use the “magic mirror” in a shot. I wanted to have a scene reflected in the mirror with the evil queen looking on. I figured it would be too hard to get everything positioned properly, get the right perspective, lighting, animations, etc. However, as I was wrapping up my Prince scene, I decided to give it a shot, and lo and behold it worked! I did have to deal with the discovery that mirrors won’t reflect foliage, only objects. Fortunately, I had some vines and rose bouquets that were objects, and they made decent background decorations. It took a lot of luck with timing to get just the right shot, and I went through more mirrors than I care to tell to get one that had the right look, but I’m really proud of how it came out. It’s a risk though; will the judges like it or think that it clutters up the scene? Another risk I took was to actually incorporate some “dwarves” in the scene. I used male children that I customized in CAS. I think they actually look the part, but I was not able to give them facial hair. I searched & searched, but it doesn’t appear that anyone has made a mod to add facial hair to children yet. Still, I think (I hope), the scene worked with them.
Here are my favorite outtakes from this challenge:
And one final thing:
ARGH! I just discovered I sent the wrong prince shot when I saw our pictures posted this morning. The shot I sent was missing a couple of elements, namely the cute little bunny and birds. I’ve sent the judges an e-mail asking if there’s anyway they can swap in the photo I intended to send, but I’m guessing it probably won’t be possible. Ah, well, I’ll go ahead and post it here: