How well does the rig removal function work in Stop Motion Pro 8? This tutorial shows you how to do it and what the results are.
In the tutorial we used a Logitech QuickCam web camera that has a 2MP resolution. The software is Stop Motion Pro 8 Studio Plus!, and the rig is an Animation Supplies rigging system. Oh, and yes - that's a Han Solo toy figure. You can visit the official SMP web site…
The tools you need to drill your ball bearings are few. You first will need the delrin eye ball drilling kit with a 1mm drill bit from our store.
You then need to provide a block of wood with a shallow 5/16" hole drilled into it at about half the height of your ball bearings. Finally you will need a nail or center punch with a hammer.
Place a delrin ball bearing into the shallow hole in your piece of wood. Place the tip of your nail or center punch on the tip of the ball bearing and softly strike it once with your hammer. It doesn't take much to make a dimple.…
We get a lot of questions about what the best types of digital cameras and equipment are used to make your animated puppets move on screen. This equipment includes digital still or digital camcorders, digital computer capture cards, capturing software, and editing software. You may even be using sound recording and sound editing programs as well, and if you really get into things you may use plug-in programs that add motion blur. So as you can see there is no simple way to explain this process of doing things digital, but there are some basic rules that you need to know to get started.
The first thing you will need is a digital camera. We recommend still cameras if the camera has a video out option to preview your images on your computer screen while animating. The Olympus C 4000 "also the…
Armatures are the support for your new creation. Basically it is the skeleton underneath the clay which will allow you to move your character in small increments for animation. The items you will need are, 1/16th inch aluminum armature wire, 1/8 inch wooden dowel rods, steel craft wire, a scrap piece of wood, two small wood screws and a hot glue gun if you can get one.
The tools you will need are a power drill, a screwdriver, and a pair of wire cutters.
The first step in creating your armature is to take your spool of aluminum armature wire, and stretch a four foot piece out, and fold it in half so you have two straight parallel pieces of wire. Place the two ends of wire into the chuck of your drill bit, while you hold the other end of the wire under a chair leg.
Then start the drill and twist the wire until it looks like the wire in the picture. The reason for this is because it makes the wire twice as strong, and also less likely…
Oil based clay is the best clay for animation. The best brand is called Van Aken. Van Aken clays come in many colors, is very inexpensive, is animation proven and non toxic. Making new colors out of existing colors from this brand is extremely simple to do. All you will need is a double boiler, a large piece of plastic wrap, and a spatula.
First, boil some water in the double boiler, and place the base color clay you want to change the color of, in the top pot. Once it is fully melted, place different colors of small pieces of clay into the pot to modify the base color. Keep mixing until the clay is completely fluid, and adjust the colors accordingly. Next, place a long piece of plastic wrap on a level table top.
When you have the color clay you want, pour the still melted clay on the plastic wrap slowly, until it is all out of the pot. Any clay left in the pot should be quickly rubbed out with a paper towel so the next time you…
Tools are the single most important part for sculpting your oil based clay characters. And guess what the magical, most widely used, best tool there is for sculpting? Your fingers of course.
Your fingers can squish, smooth, pinch, flatten, and poke clay better then any tool. Good metal, plastic, and wooden tools are important as well. These kinds of tools are used in places where detail is too small for fingers to get into or for sharp clean edges.
Sculpting tools also scoop out holes for eye sockets, and ears, and mouths.
One tool that you wouldn't think of for sculpting oil based clay is the paintbrush, in combination with a 35mm film can. John Ashlee taught me one day when I went to visit his studio, how you take a film can, stuff a wadded up paper towel inside of it, and pour mineral oil "we now recommend olive oil" inside of it until it is absorbed by the paper towel.
You keep pouring, until the…
Accessories are things on clay characters that are made out of different materials other then the oil based clay. They include making parts out of hardening clay, plastic, metal, or any other material that is hard. As you can see in the picture, some of the most useful things are plastic beads for eyes, teeth sculpted from hardening clay, which has been painted, and there are many more.
In the short film by Nick Park, he sculpted the entire upper body of Wallace from clay, made molds, then cast the upper body in fast cast resin. He then painted it to look like clay so it matched the rest of the body. The arms, head and legs were to be animated, so they were made from English Plasticine clay. It is a very smart idea for a character because you can't accidentally squish the hard resin or ding it with tools when you animate it.
But for most people, fake ties, pens, pencils, calculators, swords, guns,…
Set building is just as basic as building a good wire armature. Tools used to make sets are basic. Most tools used to make sets consist of saws, hammers, hot glue guns, paint brushes, and drills. If you already have some basic tools you may already have all you need to make a set like the professional set makers. One of the more advanced tools to use for making sets are hot wire foam cutters.
Designing sets are simple as well. Sets are basically tables with a minimum of three legs. The table top part is where you place your puppets, set walls, mini props, outdoor scenery, and everything else in your created environment. There are important things that an animator needs when he or she is going to animate on a set. One of these needs is the height of the set. The set must be built at a height that is comfortable for the animator to animate puppets on. A bad design would have the top of the set too low for an animator causing the animator to hunch over for many hours on end.…
Now you are ready for animating, but don't know where to start. Some basics include timing, acting, lip sync, and gags. One thing not taught in any animation book I know of is how to animate mouths in clay, so I will try to explain basic mouth construction for animation. You start by roughing in the features of your characters head. The next step is to hollow out a deep hole where the mouth will be. Also, if you have white teeth on a green character, it will look funny as the white clay slowly turns green from the lips around it. So make the upper teeth from painted hardening clay. One trick is to take the color clay that your characters face is made of, and mix a piece of it with a darker color and place it in the back of the mouth before adding lips to your hollowed out face. It looks more natural, and causes the lips to stand out a little better. Lastly, add lips over the teeth.
When you animate the lips, a common practice is to cut a wedge shaped piece of clay out…
by: Low Jeremy
There is not much difference between using a digital camera and a manual camera. In fact, most experts believe that using a digital camera actually spoils the photographer, making everything so easy for him. Still, there are many who remain daunted by the prospects of using a digital camera especially when their training comes mainly from manual photography.
There are a number of skills that one needs to learn before switching to the digital format. Read through and find out some of the things that you need to develop.
Digital photography involves dealing with computers. In fact, operating the digital camera is like operating a small computer. There are functions that are actually similar to the computer like formatting and delete and a whole lot of other things. You need to be familiar with the functions in order to be able to maximize the digital camera.…
Finding work in the stop motion field can be a daunting thing. Most people will ask themselves - hmm, do I go to college? Do I spend 40,000 dollars to learn this craft? Or is there a way I can save my money and get work on my own?
Since the people already working in studios have the same passion for stop motion, they are going to help people similar to them. In other words finding work in…
The last thing were going to talk about is the trusty surface gage. It is highly under rated. That's probably because you can't plug it into a computer, press buttons that light up on it or program it to do the animation for you. Also surface gages have been a tool for machinists since before the first automobiles were invented, so it's something your father or grandfather might have lying around in their work shops.
Stop motion animators learned how to use surface gages to keep track of where puppet parts were in a 3-D space before the time when Stop Motion Pro or other capture devices were invented yet. The reason why they are still a viable tool in the animators tool chest today is because even modern and convenient capture devices of today can't track a puppet in a 3-D space as reliably as the gage.
Why do I say this? It's simple. When you put a puppet on a video screen with your camera, it only sees everything in a two…
Learn how to do the basics of lip sync for animation without paying for a sound program. Just watch the video above to learn how it's done.
The free program which works on PC's and Macs is JLipSync that you can find here:
The program JLipSync requires that you have JAVA installed on your computer. Download the proper JAVA package for free here:
To record your own voice to use in your animations, use the free program called Audacity from this link:
Just remember to record in 8 bit mono with 1 channel or it won't open in JLipSync.…
Lego and Stikfas toys allow film makers the ability to skip over the puppet making process for instant gratification. This is one area of stop motion animation that is really starting to explode on the internet and it's one of the most basic forms of the art.
Almost no artistic experience is needed. With the inexpensive digital web cam's and software, anyone can make a film of their own. In most cases where a film maker uses these kinds of toys, they will modify or customize them. This can involve popping one Lego mini-figure head off and placing it on another body.
Some people will print out small mouths on clear plastic adhesive labels to make Lego toys appear to talk. And some people will completely re-paint these figures for a very personalized appearance.…