Turf is finally online

The interactive version is now operational!

Click here to Watch Turf, the interactive version

About the project

A collaborative piece by Barnaby Dixon and Bazyli Brzóska. The project explores the nature of borders with an unlikely coupling of stop-motion and interactivity. Both Dixon and Brzóska are final year students at University of Wales, Newport. Dixon from the BA Animation course, and Brzóska from BA Creative Sound and Music. Turf pays an aesthetic homage to platform games of the 90′s whiles metaphorically tackling real world issues, such as political geography and residual animalistic traits in humans.

See the fabrication process and the exhibition

Alternatively, watch the non-interactive version on YouTube

For more information, visit our blog’s Turf category.

Riverfront exhibition

On the 9th of May 2012, we were given the opportunity to display Turf at an interactive media exhibition held at The Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport. We obtained a projector and a touch-screen, so that the viewer could move around the map with a simple touch.

Here are cards we printed to promote the interactive experience of Turf available at watchturf.com

Bazyli preparing the touch screen and the projector before the private viewing.

Explaining the concept of Turf to viewers.

Spectators viewing and interacting with the touch-screen.

Editing Turf

The editing process was finalized by pasting all the individual animated spaces onto one large (4K) sequence in Adobe Premiere, in order to be synced with each other and with the music.

Turf – Block number 4 test

Character number 4 test

Turf – Hue test

Here’s the original colour:

Here is the same image but with an alteration the the hue. A tempting alternative.

Turf – Completed set

Here is the completed set. With a set up to test the foreshortening and luminosity of the boarder lines.

TURF – Movement tests

Below are some tests made for all the characters. In these tests I wanted to establish a basic style of movement for each of them, portraying the characters energy and personality. Also previewing a few ‘steps’ of their ‘walk’ cycles.
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Black light Backdrop and Set

I have considered a lot of options, including digital projection and computer effects, of how to create the effect of the glowing shapes and lines which the models create and manipulate. The usage of ultraviolet light is the option I settled on.

First I will explain how the set is set up…

The set is in essence very simple, Two MDF boards joined in a basic ‘L’ shape.

The back wall is lined with galvanized steel which will be painted matt black to prevent reflections and to keep it generally inconspicuous. Galvanized steel is magnetic so therefore the coloured shapes would be able to stick to the back wall through magnetism. Above this there is a mounted UV strip-light, which will flood the set with Black light.

So far I’ve been able to get hold 4 UV sensitive colours, also most white paper glows light blue under black light. The 3 remaining colours (red, blue, purple) I can only get hold of in acrylic paint form, so they have been ordered. These colours will be stuck/painted onto flexible magnetic sheets, allowing them to be stuck to the back wall.


The set needs to remain as close to black as possible so whatever character is on set, must be lit by a spot light, ensuring the character is clearly visible but the set isn’t flooded. I’m considering side lighting the character and adding an upwards ‘lip’ on the set floor on the side of the light source. It would be possible, in this instance, that the characters feet would be too much in the shade, which would be unacceptable as the legs provide most of the visible movement. So if this happens I would colour the legs with UV sensitive ink to insure they stay seen.

This concept are provides a (too) perfect vision of how I want it to look. This is the effect I will be working towards, but I would not want to quite reach it, as it shouldn’t look so slick.


Set design

The set will be extremely basic, designed to give the impression of an almost completely black space, this is to accentuate other elements of the film. Carbon steel would seem to be a good material for the set, due to its strength, and the fact that it is magnetic. Magnetic-ness is a required quality because the constructs of the characters, boarders, blocks etc. will be stuck to the back ‘wall’ to give the impression that they are hanging in space. However with minimal lighting on the set, how are these lines and shapes to be clearly seen? A possible solution is ultraviolet ‘black light’, if the elements are produced in with the ‘day-glow’ colour spectrum, then they should shine without the wall they are attached to, becoming visible. The black light source itself will be in the form of a UV strip light mounted on the back wall, and high enough to not appear onscreen.

Production Schedule