The Meal

Miles and I spent an hour with iStopMotion and boxes of toys today, experimenting with animation techniques. The topic’s been on his mind recently since he’s starting to really figure out where real actors end and animated characters begin – the quality of rendering in so many modern kid’s shows makes the line more blurry than it used to be.

This was our second practice clip, unpolished and without sound, but he really got the hang of it after a while. Took about half an hour to create these 10 seconds, but he says he’s willing to put in the time to create more fluid flicks in the future. And I realize now that we should have been working at the default 20fps rather than 15.

Click to play

A friend of his stopped by while we were working on it and he told him “We’re making a movie about animation and I’m the conductor!”

Heard of an alternate stop-motion technique the other day – rather than feeding DV camera output to a Mac and grabbing still frames directly into a sequence, mount a digital still camera instead. Since the images will all have sequential filenames by default, you can drag then into Final Cut Pro, setting the initial duration for each image, and get the same effect. Except that you’ll have had the advanced features of the digital still camera, and the advanced features and controls of FCP rather than being limited to what iStopMotion offers. Hmmm…

Music: Guru Guru :: Woodpeckers Dream

8 Replies to “The Meal”

  1. To miles : Next time make sure that we don’t see the hands doing the animations (really makes the director look like a bad director).

    To Scott : Why do you host this file yourslef instead of using services like dailymotion ?

  2. Ludovic: Give Miles a break – this was his first time “conducting!”

    As for hosting things like this (images, video) myself or using an external service – it’s always a judgment call. Usually I’ll use an external service if I think it’s something that might get decent traffic or that I want to get extra traffic via the network effect. But for a small thing that won’t be interesting to very many people, it’s easiest to just drop it into the blog and move on. And it gives me more control over quality and presentation (using an external video service would result in it being automatically re-encoded). Basically, I’ll use an external service if there’s an advantage to doing so. But if there’s nothing to make it worth the extra hassle, I won’t.

  3. Not when it’s encapsulated in a patented, non-redistributable, non-modifiable format like QuickTime.

    [link]

    That “.mov” will kill anyone without QuickTime installed, be the encapsulated content adherent to h264 or no.

    If you want to use h264, please encapsulate with x264, not QuickTime. :)

  4. mnep, the link you pasted in is to the poster frame, not to the movie itself. Or did you mean to link to this?

    It’s not possible to “encapsulate with x264” – x264 is just a library for encoding h264 – it doesn’t encapsulate anything.

    I’m confused – players that can handle QuickTime wrappers are available for Linux, right? (a quick search tells me yes). And h.264 decoders are available for Linux. So I’m not clear exactly what’s causing the hang-up. This should work fine. Pretty vanilla stuff.

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