This is a follow up to a previous blog post on iStopMotion. I thought I would look into what it takes to produce a short video. So let’s start with the basics. First you will need some sort of concept. Just because these are not live actors doesn’t mean you don’t need to create a script and plan out the movie before shooting. The concept for this short is “Bug Wars”. We will be using some plastic bugs and creating a battle. The concept is simple enough. There isn’t a script but we will need to plan this out so we know what to shoot and what to do. This can be done by making a shot list or creating a storyboard so that everything in organized.
Step 2 would be to assemble the characters for the movie. In this case I have picked up several packages of fake bugs. Looking at the storyboard I will need to cut a few of them up so I can have some parts for the splatter scenes. I also need some additional items for props. I got some chunks of paper, plastic, wrappers and an old plastic cup. These will make great objects for my bugs to crawl over and add to the overall look and feel of the film. Now that most of this has been collected I need to build a location. Using dome old cardboard boxes I constructed a crude set for this fun film.
Clone Roaches - Bug Wars
It is time for the fun and hard work to begin. I had to make sure my lighting was even. I chose to use overhead lighting for this. It does make the image a little flat looking abut it is also easier to film. I have also used key lighting (main light to one side) but this will work best for this adventure. Setting up is important as well.
Look at the stage and the props through the camera. Get them all in place and make sure everything is how you want it. Once it is set you need to lock the camera down. You need to make sure that the camera and object don’t get moved until filming is complete. If you plan to have different camera angles the I suggest shooting everything you want at each angle then assemble it all in post production.
Don’t expect to be a fast process at 12 frames or more per second you will be taking a bunch of images. I also would stress that your finished size will be 1920X1080 max (in most cases) if not smaller so don’t think you need to set your camera on “full” or “raw” size images. You should get great results on smaller jpegs.
The set of Bug Wars
This is also important so you don’t fill your memory card and risk moving the camera to change it. Another item to point out is to keep in mind your depth of field. You can do some amazing effects like shooting a close-up at f2.8 to put the background out of focus. Just remember when you pull back to change the f-stop to f5.6 – f11 if you want more of the objects in view.
As I created this movie I used the onion skin so I could make sure I didn’t move items too much. I think this is a feature that really makes a difference. The only drawback is you have to accept the image and if you forget to do that you loose the frame. I also setup the grid to 16 squares. This is something you don’t really need to do but it helps direct the motion the way you want. In closing just remember this is a long process and the results vary but it is fun creating this type of animation. Next time I’ll talk about how I import iStop Motion into iMove and complete the post production work.
Thanks For Reading!!
This week was a sad time for the technical community with the passing of Steve Jobs. His vision and innovation changed the world for many people. The introduction not only of computing devices but the way we get music, movies and the revolutionary smart phones. I’ve never been a great follower or fan of apple as I am a Microsoft Certified Professional. Still over the last year of Grad school I have come to appreciate the products made by Mr Jobs’ company. I think his legacy ties into the vision of the book we are reading “The Art of Possibility “. He took chances, made a difference and was not afraid to follow his vision. I think everyone can agree Mr Jobs gave himself a well deserved “A”.
So lets say you have a lot of clips but nothing that you can make a good movie with. You still want to share what you have with friends. What should you do? How about making a movie trailer with some fast paced audio and fun titles. Using iMove this is simple and fun. The results will amaze you and your friends. It is very simple and has that professional look of a Hollywood studio.
Lets start by opening iMovie and creating a new project. Scroll down and you will see the trailer section. By clicking on a trailer you will get a sample view of what the theme looks like and the audio. Select the one that best fits your project. First you will complete the outline section. Each outline is slightly different. You will have sections for credits such as video, producer, actors and studio.
Once you complete this section you can edit the storyboard. Each section of text between clips can be edited or customized to fit your trailer. Finally you will fill in the shot list. This list will need several clips in each section. Clips are normally between 15 seconds and 1 minute. To begin simply highlight a section you want to use and iMovie will load it to the next section of the trailer. It will also trim the clip to the size needed so try to be close to the correct size when you select.
Once you are finished and view your creation it is time to share. You have several options here including a direct share to several of the more popular video host sites. Again this is a great way to take footage you can’t use for a full video and create something fun and different. Hope you enjoyed this… Thanks for reading!
So for those of you who are new to MAC computing let’s take a peek at the apple in the left corner of the tool/menu bar. If you click on it you’ll find “About This Mac”, Software Update”, “App Store”, System Preferences”, “Dock, “Recent Items”, “Force Quit” and of course your shutdown/logoff items.
These are quick resources and keep you from digging around in your applications folder trying to find information about your system. The “About” function is great if you want to check your disk space, memory, key information and version number. It is a quick and simple glance at what you have.
The other app under the apple you should get a good feel for is the “System Preferences”. For you windows users think of this as your control panel. From here you change your background, screensaver and change how your program dock works. You have control over your hardware here like mouse, keyboard and printers. Your network and internet settings can also be changed here. Finally you will find additional system information in the application.
You should note that some options change under the apple icon as you open programs. Explore and play a bit you’ll soon find this is a good place to start for many programs and settings.