More stop motion shots…….

Some more shots. I may redo some of these shots as I’m not 100% happy with them, the motion’s abit jerky and the chroma key process seems to alter the colour of the puppet – it’s really fairly pale blue, but it’s coming out quite dark.  Some tweaking is in order methinks.  Problem is of course that stop motion takes so damn long that redoing these is gonna be quite a few hours work……

One thing I have noticed is that the video looks alot better once it’s been uploaded to YouTube.  I’m doing it in HD so I wonder if my computer is struggling to play it back smoothy…..doesn’t seem likely but who knows.  It’s mainly going to be seen on YouTube once it’s finished anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter too much.

Endless shots from the Endless Stair….

So here’re some more shots from the animation. This one is my first proper attempt at getting the demon walking. Every time I’ve tried previously this has proved pretty difficult so I’m fairly happy that this one has come out more or less OK.  Obviously it still needs to have the support removed and greenscreen added over the areas where the lights are visible.

This video is a sequence of model shots mostly which have had some shots of the moon added into the background using chroma key. The shots of the moon are ones I took a while back – I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom and caught sight of the sky which looked rather cool so I shot some video.

The idea here is that the shots establish the endless stair and then the camera dives down the chasm and the demon begins to awaken.

A tale about Endless Tech Stuff……

So as mentioned, one of the videos was generated using the ’stop motion movie’ function on my Nikon D60. I was thinking about buying a digital SLR in order to get a better quality picture for the animation and this function swung me round to buying this particular camera. The function won’t produce an HD movie unfortunately, but it will do a 640×480 AVI at a variety of frame rates.

I’ve been using it as a reference to make sure my animation is looking OK as I go.

Once the shots are ready I use a program called MakeAVI to string them together. The program also allows you to crop them to the desired frame size (I’ve been doing them as 1920×1080) and then output them as a variety of AVI’s and at a variety of different frame rates.

This has been a huge help as previously I would drop the .jpgs into an editing program and line them up frame by frame by hand. It used to take ages! A big thanks to Dream Sorcerer for letting me know about it!

A Tale from the Endless Stair

So I’ve finally started work on my animation.

Here’s a video of the first shot before it’s gone through colour correction, had the background added in etc.

The demon appears by crawling from a chasm. This is a shot of him standing up and looking around.

The video was generated using the ‘stop motion movie’ function on my Nikon D60.

Arise, Sir News.

So, I’m finally coming back to my stop motion animation, A Tale from the Endless Stair,  subject to any random flights of fancy or acts of whimsy.

I’ve been ironing out some of the technical issues I encountered whilst doing the brief trailer I produced a while back.  First off I’ve made a more secure support for the demon puppet .

I’ve basically shortened the support frame I previously had so that I can clamp it to the wooden frame and adjust it as needed.

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve ditched the set so I’m now going to be animating the film in front of green screen and a partial set.

Here’s a couple of pics of the setup:

A Tale about a Tale from the Endless Stair

So this animation has kinda been put on hold so I can work on the Measure of a Man Vid, however it is still being worked on, albeit abit at a time. I had a problem whereby the set was pretty much taking up my entire front room.  This meant I hardly had any space to work in and as the set was raised only about 10cm above the floor I couldn’t get any low shots as the lowest my tripod could go was about 40-50cm.  This meant I could only ever get shots of the puppets from above which was somewhat limiting.

I’d also encountered a problem with depth of field; basically my plan was to photograph the puppets in front of the set so I didn’t have to worry about green screen, however the models appeared as though they were only a few feet in front of the set.  This is because they were ; the puppet and set were both built 1/6th scale, so if they were full size they’d be a couple of hundred meters apart, however the camera isn’t fooled in the same way as the human eye and the effect was that they appeared as though they were very close together. You can see this in this short trailer I produced:

In miniature photography, smoke is often added to help with depth of field, this wouldn’t work in my case however as the smoke would not look convincing when photographed for stop motion animation – it would move and disperse and so the end result would appear to flicker as the smoke moved between photographs.

In order to get around this problem I decided to photograph the set separately and then use green screen to composite in the puppets at a later date, the same method I used for my previous animation Real 10.

This means I can dismantle the sets and actually get my flat back!  Here’s some of the pics I’ve took.  I’ve used photoshop to extend the sets beyond where they oiginally ended and also to add artificial blurring to elements that are further away.  This lets me fake the depth of field effect.  I can also then blur the background elements seperately whilst keeping the puppets in focus.