Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Whoa check it!
So, the strings are tricky, but I've decided to go ahead and use them anyways. Here is the link to my flight tests as of yet:
pegasus frolicking loopy loop
the clumsy descent from heaven
I'm learning that NOTHING in stop motion can happen right the first time. Who'd have thought? My violin-string-flight-adjustor boxes work perfectly. But silly me, I did not design them so that my flying horse/angel/spaceships will be able to CHANGE DIRECTION in midair. I thought I could get away with animating the turning of the set and create the ILLUSION that the horses were flying through place, however it's a little fake because the horses remain perfectly placed within the frame as everything else moves around them. This was a dumb, lazy thought. Luckily the violin-string-flight-adjustor boxes are only fastened to the stands by masking tape, so I can easily take them down and make adjustments. What I will need is some sort of pulley system, something like a rod that extends from the box, and can be adjusted left to right. However, there is a problem in that I could only attach one arm per box, when I had planned to have up to three flying objects at a time. Only one of three would be able to change direction! Here's a diagram, it may or may not help you understand what I'm talking about:


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yay! My set is finished!
A city of cardboard was all I could afford.
I cut it up and glued it in,
and strung it through with chord.
Mostly, it is made from stuff I had lying around or snatched from friends and family, but there were a few things I had to purchase: glue (both super and hot), wood (for the base and table), dowels and wire (for the telephone poles), foamcore...
For a pan-view clip, link to vimeo!

Now remains the question: how will I animate the flying angels and ponies!?!? I am hoping to order the Dragon Stopmotion software within the next couple of days. It looks awesome! I watched a tutorial and the interface seems very sensible and as if it were actually designed by an animator.
But now to ask the real question: is it more sensible to animate the ponies flying through my set on strings, or to prop them up on green screens and composite later? I will be testing this out this week. String flight first; I really do want to avoid as much compositing as I can. Why? Because there is something magical about seams and strings that you don't see so often these days. My animation is done by hand and in this project, I want to emphasize that fact. Not to mention, it seems like less fun to match lighting and angles for compositing.
I'm thinking that I will have to make some sort of wind-up device to adjust the string height. Just a simple peg in a hole-type-thing. Something that would remain snug, but loose enough for me to adjust. Like my violin strings! Good idea Travis, you're sweet!

Does anyone read this shit?