Month: August 2008

How to Determine the Best Frame Rate for your Project

Frame rates, otherwise known as frames per second, measure the frequency that video frames appear on a screen. While a higher frame rate will enable you to duplicate the look of professional animators, it will require twice as many frames (and twice as much work!) as slower animated projects. Knowing which frame rate to apply to your project will enable you to set the right tone for your film, dazzle the audience, and make the impossible seem effortless.

Green Screen For Beginners

Why is it called Green Screen? The idea is that, by using a bright yellow-green color of paint to serve as the backdrop to your film, those colors can then be eliminated in post production. This leaves your background completely transparent, allowing you to add a second frame which creates new scenery behind your action.

Free Stop Motion Animation Software

MonkeyJam and Anasazi are full-version freeware editing systems designed to capture your frames and create a polished, professional animated film. Both programs allow you to import existing visual files or capture your frames live by using cables that connect your webcam or digital camera to the computer.

Designing to Scale

To begin, take a look at the size of the studio. Make sure that your set will allow plenty of room to work around it, and take into account the need to reserve space for camera and lighting equipment.

Creating the Perfect Eyes for your Character

Unless you are a beginner or creating a stylized production, your character’s eyes should be made from a material other than clay. If your figure is made of clay, the eyes should stand out from the rest of the face. If you are using a plastic or latex mold, your eyes should have a realistic appearance if only to blend in with the lifelike look of your puppet’s head.

Creating a Winter Environment for your Film

The first step to producing a sub-zero ambiance is to create mounds of soft, believable snow. Plan the base of your set according to what materials you normally use, and focus on embellishing the surface of your floor. Some animators use baking soda, piling it in deep drifts and sprinkling it over exterior surfaces. Others complain that this method is simply too messy and that the fine consistency of the baking soda is difficult to work with.

Choosing your Clay for Claymation

For most animators, a non-drying, oil-based plastilina product such as Van Aken clay is used. In many circles it is viewed as the standard for clay animation. The beauty of Van Aken clay is that it is pliable, easy to use, and comes in many different colors. It can also be purchased at many craft retailers and is readily available online. A version of Van Aken clay, called Claytoon, is specifically designed to create Claymation characters and comes in multicolored variety packs and project kits which actually include directions about how to create different claymation characters!

Brickfilms: The LEGO Revolution

Thus began the cultural phenomenon known as the brickfilm. A brickfilm is a movie that is created by using LEGO’s, MegaBloks and other plastic, brick-shaped connective toys. Many people, particularly those who had long been LEGO collectors, started to use their blocks to build intricate sets and characters, carefully posing and then repositioning them for frame after stop motion frame.

Animation Software for Mac Users

IStopMotion, designed by Boinx Software, is one of the most popular stop motion programs utilized in a Mac format. It can capture live feed from webcams and video cameras, and offers a plug-in designed to allow uploads from digital still cameras.