Surface Gages

Have you heard of surface gages, but just don't know what they do or are for? Well, for one thing, they're used during the animation process. I personally have never used one(yet), and I had the same question a while ago. After some research, I found a nice article by Anthony Scott about them that explains what they are for and how they are used. You can buy a more professional one or make one yourself, I'd stick to making one yourself until you think you'll need it. Anyways, the link to the article is below as well as a link to a search on Ebay for them. You can find some good deals from time to time on there, just keep checking back with it.

The Importance of Using Gages by Anthony Scott

Ebay Surface Gauge Search
Ebay Surface Gage Search (different spelling variation may give different results)



Started packing up all my claymation stuff today for the move. I'm almost done, but there is still a bit more work to do. This means I won't be able to do any sculpting or any other things for a couple of months. The time is also getting close to where I should get my written blog posts ready and that I should also write a few more. I may post a few pictures later.


Finished Story Boarding

I finished storyboarding today for "The Hole", just to let you know. They aren't the best because I had some trouble trying to think in 3D space so a lot of the shots are from the same exact angle. While that isn't too terribly bad(some consistency is good), it can make it more boring if too many are the same shot. That's partially why I'm going to make the CG animatic. I'll be able to more easily visualize it in 3D space and mess around with the camera and stuff. A lot of animatics are made from the storyboards directly, and things are cut out and stuff, but I figured that this would give me a chance to use my 3D skills and it would probably be easier to do anyways. With the animatic, I'll also get a good idea of timing(very important as timing is one thing I'm aiming to work on in this project, I still am not sure how long the final thing will be) and I'll be able to get some sound effects in so that I can save time or look for the early, before the actual thing is finished and animated. The story boards also weren't annotated, partially because the template I had didn't have spots for them, but also because the script is pretty much annotating it for me.

I got 91 squares done if you were interested in that. I probably could've put more in, but I didn't since I'm doing an animatic. I don't think I'll show this stuff yet, I'm thinking about making a little "making of" thing at the end of everything and don't want to give out everything just yet or it wont be interesting.

This thing is coming along at a nice pace, hopefully I'll be able to keep it after I move.


Amazon Lists

Here are some good lists on Amazon for claymation products that are possible for purchase off the site. Check them out.

List 1
List 2


More Work on The Hole

I did some storyboarding for "The Hole" the last couple of days. There still is some more to do, but once that is done, I can pretty much get onto the animatic. Here's a video for you, a test I found on the computer that I did for "The Hole" probably over a year ago now. It was just testing to see how some things could work.


Writing for the Future

Today I spend a lot of time writing some more blog posts for when I'm going to be gone and busy this summer. So far I have 20 done and hopefully I can get a number more in. I'm not sure, but I don't think I'll have an internet connection or I'll be busy from the beginning of June to maybe mid August. After that, school will be starting up again, and I'll be in a dorming situation where I most likely won't have the ability to post much. So this is going to be the last month I'm guessing that I'll be really active with claymation stuff and this blog for who knows how long. It depends on the situation I'll be in with school and everything later. I'll probably try to get a post in at least once a week if nothing else. Anyways, just an update of what I'm doing. Putting off the tutorial for a while longer too.

CG Clay

Today on Animate Clay's forums, I became aware of a man who has tried to recreate some clay stuff into CG. His name is Javier Leon and according to his Flickr personal page, he is a computer graphics artist, and runs a very small visual effects company. He loves animation and especially stop motion films. So below, I've posted some of his stuff that he's made using 3dsMax. I'm sure you'll recognize some stuff from Wallace and Gromit. If you would like see see a little more, please click on the link below to go to his Flickr page, where I got the images. There are options there to see larger images as well. You may need an account to see them however.

Javier Leon's Flickr Photostream


Video: Complimentary: Yellow and Violent

Here's a neat animation done by Dan MacKenzie. It's nice and smooth and well done. Check it out below.


Random Ad Thing

I've been taking the last few days pretty easy claymation wise. I did make a random ad type thing today though. Click on it to see it larger.

I should probably get to writing more blog posts and doing more research sometime so that there will be stuff to post while I'm gone. I have also worked a tiny bit on "The Hole" stuff recently, but nothing that great.


Ron Cole Mold Making Tutorial

Ron Cole over at Wobbly Tripod, his blog, made up a nice three part tutorial on mold making. They're videos that teach the technique used for casting a sculpture for foam latex. I haven't done it yet, but I found the whole mold making process interesting. Maybe, someday, I'll try foam latex.

Here's the link.


Cell Phone

A few days ago I made a cellphone for a prop for the short I'm going to make. I know I haven't done the script and everything, but I felt like making something, and I was pretty sure that I would be using a cellphone in the story. I can always change it if I don't like it or it's too small or big or something.


Video: Magical Test Animation SFX

This is a pretty cool stop motion test I saw a while ago. It's a well done animation and the style of the character reminds me a little of Aardman's style. I believe that the character is foam latex, not clay, but I'm not sure about the rabbit. Check it out below.


Concept Sketching and Tutorial

Today and yesterday I've done a number of concept sketches for "The Hole". The things that I'm sketching may not even be used, but whatever, it's part of the movie making process. I still need to come up with a pretty solid script sometime so that I can storyboard it. That'll let me then do the CG animatic and all the pre-visualization will be done. After that I can start making final props, get the set made, light it, and shoot away. I'll probably have to throw in some animation practices in there so that I can actually animate somewhat decently. A lot of pre-planning will also have to be done for timing and where I'll be using wire to hold things up and stuff. Lots of work, but lots of fun.

For the tutorial, I finished it yesterday, only to learn later that the audio wasn't synced up correctly. It's not too big of a problem, but makes the tutorial look strange in some spots. Hopefully I can figure out how to fix it. Once that's done, I can figure out a release date or something.

Sorry for not posting any learning or interesting stop motion material recently. I'll have to do that soon so that the blog doesn't focus just on my updates.


Tutorial Almost Ready

Today I worked and am currently working on the tutorial. It's almost finished. I'm just rendering out a larger version of the intro right now. Once I put that in, it'll be ready to render for the final thing. The blur thing never really worked out very good, even though I changed codecs, but I didn't want to mess with it anymore so I just left it how it was.

After it's rendered, there will be a couple more things to do and it will be finished. Man...using free stuff really does take a lot longer than it would buying something better. Part of what took so much time was me not knowing what I was doing, but rendering and switching from program to program also took lots of time. At least it's possible to do if you don't got the money to buy something better.

After it's finished, I have to figure out where to upload it to. Will I want to try to make some money or go for quality? Youtube won't allow the length I have so I may have to cut it in half if I want to put it there.

Still lots to do.


Cross Bow Prototype

Today I made up a little crossbow prototype for "The Hole" Animation I'm working on. I think it'll be pretty close to that in the final animation. I don't even know for sure if I'll be using it or not though. I should come up with a pretty solid script sometime soon.

Cutting Back and Tutorial

I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to do this yet or not, but I've been thinking about cutting back how much I post on here. This would simply make it easier for me to try to save blog posts for when I am gone. I haven't decided yet, but I'm probably going to either start this week or next week. Instead of seeing a post everyday, you'll start seeing maybe 3-5 a week.

For the tutorial, I closed the file and forgot about it so I didn't do anything more. If I remember, tonight I'll try to give the render another go(it takes a long time to render so I can't do it all that quick). Hopefully it will work this time... I'm anxious to get this finished and out of the way. I don't know if I'll be making any more video tutorials like this in the future. This one was almost too much trouble. It depends though. If this video gets me a lot of exposure, I'll probably go ahead and do a few more. I might drop the series name, Editing Free, since it's not really going to be a series anymore.


Aardman Ident

Here's an interesting animation done by Aardman called Ident. It's more of an animation that makes you think rather than for comedy purposes. Check it out below. If you want to learn a tiny but more about it, click here.


Animatic Start

Yesterday I ended up preparing the CG animatic some for when it'll be needed. I modeled the characters, a couple of props, and the basic scene. I also rigged the eyes so that they can be animated (first time I've ever done that). Anyways, below is an image of a little result of what I did.


Tutorial and Other Update

Blender recently had an update where the problem I was having was fixed so I was able to work on it more. I'm having another problem now however, but it may just be a codec problem. If that doesn't work, I'm not sure how to fix the problem.

Other than that, right now I'm starting to write up a bunch of extra blog posts for the future when I won't be able to post. I'm going to be moving and probably won't have easy access to a computer for 1-2 months. I'm not sure though. When that time comes, I'm probably going to cut back the posting from 1 post a day to maybe 2 or 3 a week. I don't think I'll be able to get 30-60 posts ready by then and keep posting now as well. To post, I'll be using Blogger's scheduled post system.

Claymation wise, I haven't done much. I got some sandpaper for some stuff today though. I'll have to try working on getting the CG animatic ready and try to come up with the script and story board for the short I'm planning. We'll see what happens.


Stop Motion Works

I had visited Stop Motion Works before in the past, but I hadn't realized how much information the site had to offer until a couple days ago. At a first glance at the site, the site seems to have a pretty outdated design(in my taste), but in this case, that isn't bad at all. What the site does lack in looks, however, it does make up in good information. On the site, you'll find links to a gallery, an About page, an FAQ page, a Library, Links, and a store. There are a lot of good resources or links to other resources on the site to learn about stop motion animation. So check the site out for yourself, see what you think of it.

Since the site doesn't seem to have the best link system, make sure you check out their site map as well to make sure you didn't miss anything you might be interested in. I personally missed seeing some links and and stuff while checking out the site.

Stop Motion Works


Claymation Commercials

After yesterday's post, I went to You Tube and searched for even more claymation commercials. I was pretty successful and found a little more than 40, although many had the same characters in them. After watching a lot of them, you can really see the difference between claymation and CG and that claymation has a special look to it. So here's a video player off of you tube that you can watch. I'll probably add videos to it every so often in I find them on You Tube.

I also got my other book today, I'll be doing a review on that too sometime.


Aardman Commercials

Think you've seen all the Wallace and Gromit there is to see? Well, you may have missed some Wallace and Gromit commercials that Aardman has done for different companies. You can view those below. Also, even further down, you'll find some other commercials Aardman has done, but not with Wallace and Gromit as spokespeople. These are some ways to see how stop motion is used in advertising as well as some more great animation.

Other Aardman Commercials

I've actually seen that last commercial on cable, in Taiwan, but it was translated into Chinese so that the people there could understand it. I had wondered if Aardman actually had made that or not after seeing it a couple times.