31.7.08

Replacement Animation

Yesterday I messed around with the first animation I've done in a long while. It was a simple replacement animation. I had nothing else to do so I gave it a shot, following the template from "Creating 3D Animation". Since I don't have the proper equipment yet(still is being sent over from the US via shipment) I used my old Sony s60. As a result, I could not control the focus nor use a remote so there is some camera shake and flicker due to changes in focus. All in all I think it turned out pretty good. I may do some more practice animation tests if I feel like it and since I can't get the best quality, they truly will be tests. This is 12 fps by the way. If I took doubles, I could've played it back at 24. It took me a while to get it uploaded. Blogger doesn't take over a certain size videos and Youtube was having problems so I ended up using Google Video.



I used 6 different replacement parts in total, as seen above.

29.7.08

Haven't Been Doing Much

I haven't been doing much in the past few days. Been too distracted by other things or not had enough motive to work on the animatic. I probably should soon though, summer vacation is coming to an end. Today I did twist about 20 feet of wire using a drill however.

Clay Animation Tutorials


Majed Elass over at his site, Clay Animation Tutorials, has some nice video tutorials to learn from. So far he has three done: "How To Make Replacement Mouths", "How To Make A 6 Inch Armature Tutorial", and "How To Keep Your Puppets Standing With Out a Tie down Tutorial!" (These link directly to their video page and not to the site). They're pretty well done and are a good way to learn something new. The site also has a blog, photos, store, and a featured video page. They are updated from time to time, depending on how busy he is. I've linked to both the site and his Stop Motion Magic page below.

Clay Animation Tutorials
Stop Motion Magic Page

25.7.08

Promised Pictures

Here are the promised pictures I was telling you about.

Possible Lighting


Plumber's Epoxy Putty?

Vince Backeberg's FAQ on Claymation


Here's a nice FAQ done by Vince Backeberg about clay animation. It's got some nice information on it. The link is below.

Vince Backeberg Claymation FAQ

24.7.08

More Video Work


Today I did a lot of work with the videos; I edited some and redid others. I also converted them to a .flv format in preparation for the site. The sizes of them will be slightly(you can hardly tell) larger than they are now, but hopefully the quality will be a little better. Click on the image above to view them larger. I still have to do a few more, but I have to find the images somewhere in my masses of files if they still exist. If they no longer exist on the computer, I probably have a burned copy of them somewhere.

As for the animatic, I hope to do some kind of animating marathon or something so that I can get it finished up during summer break. I doubt that I'll have tons of time once school starts. I may try to animate maybe 1-2 hours a day if I can get myself to. If you want to see a little of how it looks, I've included a short test clip that I did below. Sorry for the quality, I compressed it a little too much. Depending on the render times, I may cut down on a few amenities(reflections, motion blur, ect.) to speed up progress.


video

23.7.08

Settling In

I'm finally now where I'm going to be living, partially at least, for the next two years until my graduation. It's taken a few days, but the internet has been hooked up so that I can now write this blog post and get connected again. I haven't done too much since the past post because I was really busy for a week and didn't have much access to a computer with internet. Since then, I've been able to do a little more work on various things. I've created some ads to place on the side of the blog for the Animate Clay affiliate program, done a tiny bit more work on the hole animatic (the timing is screwed up though so I have to figure out how to fix that), and right now I'm working on re-rendering all my videos that have the "Stop Motion Pro" watermark from the trial on them through Blender 3D's sequence editor. Doing the videos now is preparing them for the new site. I'm hoping that I can get them to be bigger and better quality even if they aren't great to start with.

When I went and looked at a few of the stores around the neighborhood I found some pretty good news. Being in a smaller city/town, I wasn't sure how much stuff I would be able to buy here, but it seems to be better than my last situation in the states. True, I won't be able to buy everything I did in the states (mainly Van Aken clay and Sculpey Polymer Clays), but that's why I brought some back with me. What I found more as good news was found in the hardware store. I was a little iffy about bring back one tube of epoxy putty, but it seems that the hardware store might carry it. I'm not sure exactly, but it looked like the stuff, only as a yellow shade. I think it ran around roughly 4 bucks U.S. I'll probably check it out sometime in the future. I'll post a junky picture of what I saw sometime so that you can see it. I also saw a variety of lighting there that I can possibly use. I'll probably try to take a few pictures of them and ask about them on Stopmotionanimation.com. Anyways, that's all for now. Hopefully my posts will get shorter in the next few days.

21.7.08

Animate Clay


Animate Clay is one of the most well known sites out there about clay animation, probably being that it's at the top of Google, but also because it has some good information. The site was created and is run by a man by the name of Marc Spess. It was one of the fist sites I ever visited and the articles there are a good place to learn. On the site is a blog where he shares different stop motion news from time to time, a forum, a store, links, a gallery, and more. One of the best resources on the site is the forum which I've been a part of since April 6, 2006. The message boards have helped me greatly in my journey of learning claymation in that I could ask questions, get feed back, and read about what others were doing. The links are also a nice resource as well as the articles.

In the store he runs, different materials are available as well as some video tutorials. I suggest purchasing the videos if you are serious about clay animation as they are a good way to learn about sculpting, animating, and other topics. Showing, as is done in the tutorials, is an easier way to learn than reading a book or online.

Anyways, go check out the site yourself if you haven't already seen it (you may have come to this blog from that site), and if you have, go reread and look through the forums to learn more about clay animation.

Animate Clay

17.7.08

Pingu

Pingu is one of the main animated productions that I watched when I was little. It was on T.V. a lot, I watched it at school sometimes in a Chinese Class I had, and we had a couple videos of it. I guess it may have influenced me into knowing what claymation was and when I actually started making my own, I realized how it was made. Later on, I found out that they actually used a lot of replacement animation in it. Below is a video from You Tube of an episode of Pingu and if you would like to read up more on the subject, here's a Wikipedia article on it. I quoted a little bit of the article below as well and added a couple more links to the bottom of this post for you to view.

Pingu is a Swiss animated children's television series created by Otmar Gutman about a family of penguins who live at the South Pole. The main character is the son, Pingu, though some episodes feature Pingu's parents and (after her hatching) his baby sister Pinga, his friend Robby the Seal, and other minor characters.[1]

One reason for Pingu's international success was its lack of dialogue per se. All dialogue was in a honking "penguin language,"(called Penguinese) performed (without script) by Carlo Bonomi similarly to La Linea (also dubbed by Bonomi).





The Pingu Youtube Channel
The Pingu Official Website

13.7.08

Reference Sites

Need reference? I've listed a few of the different sites I've found or discovered over time that have images or textures of different things. They're good places to look if you're designing a prop or set and need to look at something to make sure you're doing it right.

CG Textures
Mainly meant for finding textures for computer generated stuff, but can still be studied for claymation stuff.

Morgue File

This is a site that has a lot of free reference images for artists. The site says, "The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. "

Google Images
Google images is always a good place to look if you're just searching for reference. Make sure you don't print something off for a prop(like an image of a map or ad) unless you know the copyright information about it.

Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists
If you need some reference for character animation or sculpture, you may want to consider getting this book. It has lots of images of different people giving different expressions for reference.

The Blueprints.com

This site has nice blueprints of different things like cars, weapons, ships, humans, and other things. If you need to build a prop or anything in one of those categories, it may be a good idea to see if it's on that site so that you can build one to more exact measurements.

Those are just a few of the many resources you can find for reference on the internet(or in a book). If you need more, I'm sure there is much more out there.

10.7.08

Some Quick News


Well, I've finally been able to get to a computer with internet to write up a post on what's been happening recently. I'm now in the land of Taiwan, hence the flag above, and things are going pretty smoothly. It's going to take a while before I have everything set up again for claymation stuff and animation(which I'm hoping to do). A shipment still has to arrive and I'll have to get settled into my house a little first. I haven't had much access to the internet lately, but I have had access to a computer, so I've still been able to be productive with "The Hole". I've been working on the CG animatic using Blender 3D. The animatic is probably not necessary for the animation, but I'm making it for fun, to practice my CG skills, and for the timing help it will give me. So far, the file and all the props are pretty much created in it, so the next thing that comes will be animation. I've done a couple tests and realized how poor my animation is with Blender. I'm almost a complete noob animation-wise(I don't think I've really ever animated anything before), but do know some basic ideas on how to do it, so hopefully that will get me through. This thing is also going to take a lot longer than I thought it was going to take to finish. Animation takes a while, with all it's tweaking, then there will be render times, and then after that, editing and sound effects. It might take a month or two before I have this finished. Once the animatic is done, I'll start working on creating props, animation practice and timing, as well as starting to think about building a set. After that comes the real thing. One everything is finished (hopefully, I'll be able to), I'm going to throw together a sub domain or some kind of small web page for it, and then present it to the world. Right now I'm also thinking about making an option to pay(only a few bucks or so) to download some extra behind-the-scenes stuff, like more images, a higher resolution file of the animation, the blender files for the animatic, and possibly a few other things, maybe a short PDF book about the whole thing, I haven't thought too much about it. There will be other stuff to view for free, just nothing that high quality since it will take longer to load and stuff on the web. Anyways, those are just some of the ideas and dreams I have for it, it seems strange that I'm making a big deal out of short animation, but whatever, at least I'm having fun.

9.7.08

Blog: Ceri's Adventures in Stop-Motion


Here's a blog called "Ceri's Adventures in Stop-Motion". The author describes it as, "I'm a 26 year old artist trying to teach myself stop-motion animation from scratch to a professional level within one year. Laugh at my over ambition!" That pretty much sums up what's on the blog and what is about, different things she is trying out with stop motion animation. Look at it to view some of the work in progress shots and things she has created by clicking on the link below.

Ceri's Adventures in Stop-Motion

5.7.08

More: An Animated Short-Film

This is an interesting short animation that I saw a long time ago and was reminded of recently by a friend. I suggest you check it out. Here's the description of the short, called More, found on the video's page.

The Academy-Award® nominated animated short-film tells the story of a lonely inventor, whose colorless existence is brightened only by dreams of the carefree bliss of his youth.

By day, he is trapped in a dehumanizing job in a joyless world. But by night, he tinkers away on a visionary invention, desperate to translate his inspiration into something meaningful.

When his invention is complete, it will change the way people see the world. But he will find that success comes at a high price, as it changes himself, as well.

If you would like to see it, view the links below. I've also added a link to see a little bit of the making of it.

More Video Page
The Making of More

1.7.08

Zombie Pirates


Zombie Pirates is probably one of the nicest clay animation blogs out there. It's done by Marc Spess, owner of Stop Motion Magic and Animate Clay, and is his project to make a quality series done in clay animation about Zombie Pirates. I believe he started the project in 2004. On the blog, he gives updates time to time as he has time to work on the project. There are also pages talking about the project, as well as lots of pictures and stuff. It's a good place to learn just by viewing images. While you're there, also make sure you check some of the older posts to see how the project has come over the years. I'll let you check out the rest yourself.

Zombie Pirates