The Silver Lining | Barbie Memories!

carrieryan posted about her Barbie memories. I started to reply there, but kept coming up with more memories, so I figured I’d just make a post about it here.

I don’t know why, but I never liked the actual dolls as much as products associated with the dolls. I *adored* the Barbie Around-The-World trading cards though, The trading cards depicted photographs of Barbie fashion styles over the years. My favorites were the cards with holiday Barbie because her dresses were so extravagent. My sister, my cousin, and I would divy them up (not an easy feat, we constantly fought over this), then parade them around in a beauty pagant, eventually eliminating the cards until we crowned a winner. Our very own Survivor: Barbie

I did, of course, have a few normal Barbie dolls, but mostly, I only cared about making my own clothes for the Barbies. Luckily, only the dolls received my tragic fashions. I never made life-sized replicas.

A few years later, I moved away from the trading cards to video games. My parents bought a Commodore 64 computer. They still have it hooked up in the basement just for a few laughs every now and then. We owned two games for it, one was Donald Duck, the other Barbie. The object of the game was to get Barbie ready for her date. You had to find her clothes, get her hair done. If it took too long, the guy would stand her up. Poor Barbie! Life can’t get any worse than being stood up! I remember we’d have to decide to play the game an hour in advance, because that’s how long the disk took to load onto the computer.

My last rendesvous with Barbie happened only a few years ago. I spent six months doing graphics for THE BARBIE DIARIES. Let me just say, dressing up Barbie didn’t compare to what I had to do on this movie. The renders came to me in layers. Barbie arrived naked and hairless. (Much like the real doll, only she lacked head hair as well).  I had to composite her clothes back on her to avoid render mistakes from cloth/hair simulation. We used to laugh at the videos of the naked characters dancing around (since my scene was the dance scene). I don’t have any images of that, other wise I would post it. For now, here are two videos of the work I did on the movie. I compiled this to keep only the scenes I worked on. Compositing is essentially taking a CG character or green screen footage and marrying it to a new background. In my case, I also had to paint out and fix any mistakes involving clothes or hair, and I created the lighting scheme in the dance scene using 2D lights.

FYI, the next outline post will go up when I get home from work tonight. I left my draft of the blog there. Oopsie.

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3 Responses

  1. So fun to see more of this side of your work, Shana!! That’s my multi-talented critique partner…

    I think there’s a Barbie theme going around the internet these days. Where did that spring up from???

  2. i never realized how much i loved barbies until i had to stop playing with them. i still look at them in the toy aisle sometimes. did you have the barbie and the rockers tape? i pretty much played it non-stop for a month.

    your job sounds so fun!

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