The Art of Stop Motion – MAC fun with iStopMotion

The Fly Empire - Bug Wars

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!!


iPhone 5… NOPE iPhone 4S…

IT has arrived!!

Yes, that’s right, today I was #1 in line at my local carrier. I got the store’s FIRST iPhone. I’ve only play a little but SIRI seems to work very well. I asked to add some appointments to my calendar…done. It was just as simple as they said. As for speed my 3G android and my 3G iPhone side by side. By the time android loaded the carrier home page the iPhone was 3 screens in. So far speed is A+ compared to android. Next I looked at signal. Inside the carrier store you would expect full bars, iPhone yes……android 2 bars(fail!)

All my apps from my iPad for iPhone were as expected simple and quick to sync. I had already setup iCloud so once I logged in, BAM!!, all my contacts were ready to go. I still have to sync up my iTunes but I have to say so far the device has been a breeze to setup and almost seamless to transfer my information over to. The only thing I really need to do now is get my main apps reloaded if there are versions of them for the iPhone.

Tonight I’ll play a little with the video camera and iMovie (iPhone edition) and see if I can get something together and posted back on this page. So far I have to say I do not regret getting rid of that P.O.S. android phone. I will never go back to android, too many issues and no resolutions! My circle is now complete (for now), iMAC, MACBook Pro, iPad, iPhone….


Lucy Loo Talks Back – Shot with iPhone 4s and no additional lighting


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