Yesterday I got an itch and started playing around with stop mo again. I am trying to figure out the best way to accomplish the video I am doing for the Danny Elfman thing. I am concerned, as I xcan't use my Dragonframe with my current computer and I don't have money for a new one yet. Previously I used Osnap iPad app and exported all the pics to Pinnacle. I have struggled and struggled with that frickin program. Pinnacle is not my friend. However if I am going to get something worth submitting, I need to figure out how to shoot and finish this thing.
Now that I have a new battery and cable and screen, I am reconsidering using my iPad for this one. I know, I just bought an expensive camera with which to do this part. However, if I cannot use any of the software with it, it is useless. It looks like in Pinnacle Studio 18, which is what I have on my laptop, I could capture directly into it. I got a software upgrade and when I opened it there were options available that previously had not. I still cannot export video to 24fps, which irks me. I do not know how it would work. My plan is to play with that idea as well to see what I can do with it.
So in the next few days I intend to try to make a couple of shorts to see what I can accomplish with the different combinations. One obvious advantage to using the iPad is that I don't have to deal with lens flickr. As there is no physical external lens, there is nothing to compensate for. The Osnap app now also allows for you to shoot on the iPad and as soon as the picture is taken exports it to where you indicate on your laptop. That is nice. So...
1. iPad Camera and Osnap!, compiled and sound and editing done on video exported from Osnap (as opposed to the individual pictures to be assembled in another application) into Pinnacle Pro app on my iPad.
2. Ipad camera and Osnap!, shot directly to laptop and assembeld, rendered and edited in Pinnacle Studio 18, which I have on my laptop that has frustrated the hell out of me. I need to go through how to videos and actually play with it. See if I can get what I want out of it before I need it.
3. Direct shooting into Pinnacle Studio 18 on my laptop and see how much I can do with it, and learn about how it actually works.
I did get a short video that worked fairly well. It does emphasize the need to pay more attention when shooting.
So there ya go. I may be posting more often as I get things accomplished, not accomplished or frustration has taken over my sanity.
So...I am testing the new Weebly iPad app. It has been woefully inadequate for a very long time. Looks like it is now iPad friendly. This is the first time I have been able to type and see what I am typing. Generally it shows the words on the dark red background instead of the yellow page in the middle. Makes it hard to see.
I love using my iPad, and if I can use it instead of having to spin up the laptop, it is much better. I am also trying out writing apps for the iPad. The regular Pages doesn't really work all that well. I have issues with delayed typing, saving my work when I want to, trying to figure out my word count, draining the battery really fast to it is hard to go somewhere without an outlet to write. I haven't settled on one yet.
But really, I love this thing. I have now replaced the screen 4 times, and a few weeks ago I replaced the battery for the first time. It is not as hard as you'd think. The hardest part is disassembling it in a way that won't ruin it. Be patient with breaking the glue on the screen. Don't rip out the ribbon cables, pull gently and if they don't come out the first time see why instead of pulling harder. It took me 3 hours to break all the glue on the battery without puncturing it. It is glued to the back of the case. But I did it, and the rest was easy.
Anyway, I have been writing here for a few minutes, and no issues yet. This is awesome. Including a pic of my gutted iPad to see how well that part works.
Back from the con. It was fun. I am glad I went. I managed to stay out of the dealer's room mostly, so did not spend all my money. I got to meet Norman Lovett, the guy who played Holly on Red Dwarf. I got to hang out with some awesome people. I had a much needed escapre from my job search for a bit. I took a bunch of pics. Once I have had time to go through them I will post some to Flickr.
While I am still working on getting puppet hair to properly work, I have decided to go through the interwebs and see if I can find some animation contests/festivals to aim for. I found one I want to do, but I am so scared. I may not be ready for it. The winners will be presented at the LA Film Festival next year. It is a video challenge to make a movie...any kind - stop mo, live action, whatever....inspired and using Danny Elfman music for the soundtrack. He has donated some of his music from Rabbit and Rogue. Danny Elfman. I could be making an animation to DANNY ELFMAN!! It will require a good, finished polished video. I will have to write a full story, break it down, create charaters, build the puppets and sets, time it all, and make it look well finished. It is more than I have ever done before. The thought of it both petrifies me and and excites me at the same time. If I could pull it off.....wow. I have always said I want to make stop mo for a living. It won't happen by being reticent. I have 202 days to get it done. That should be enough time, right? I can spend half the day looking for jobs, half the day working on that. What if I can't? I have failed, and failed miserably. Look at the Eddie Izzard video. :P That was aweful. I don't think I can to worse than that. I think even Mr. Izzard said WTF to that one.
I think I would need to create simple characters. Simple as in not very sophisticated to build. People are great, and I still want to improve on that skill, but I think something less complicated may be better for this one. And I have to write a full story.
So...goal.....decide on the one I want to use, and write a short sketch of a story by Friday.
Then I will take the one I want to use and break it down.....make the different segments of music for the different parts of the story. Maybe I will split it up, like I did with the Douglas Adams audio, to make it easier to animate. Hmmmm
I pretty much finished the cane now. It looks ok. I did have a few issues. I tried spray painting the handle, which resulted in my hand getting black every time I used it. I resolved that by wrapping it in the stuff they use to wrap bicycle handles. It looks lumpy and is almost too big to handle with my shoert stubby fingers, but it works for now. I am guessing it will compact a bit with use.
So...I promised pictures. So here goes....
After applying the decals I sprayed the whole thing with artist's varnish. It is meant to be sprayed over artwork to protect it from light and dust while still allowing people to see it. I think it looks great. It is brighter than I expected. And I used metallic blue for the background stuff, so with the varnish when I put it in the sunlight it looks like I used glitter. I am not a huge fan of glitter, so this annoys me, but still....not too bad.
So now I have a Tardis cane. If I do this again, I think I would do the background a more evenly. I would get someone to help me place the decals so they are more even. I need to figure out something better for the handle.
But there ya go.
So I did some modifications on my cane. I spray painted it with a matte black background, then did seom blue and white stuff to it. Here is the result thus far:
It turned out OK. I mean, I am not an experienced or talented painter, so it turned out not too bad for what it is. Here is a couple of closer views:
See, not spectacular, but not embarassingly bad. I found some small Tardis decals I ordered off the web. The first two are here, and they are the perfect size. Once I get the rest in, I will place them all and shellack the whole thing.
Once I get the rest and get the cane finished I will post some (hopefully better) pics.
So due to exciting circumnstances I have the opportunity to go to Anglicon in Seattle in a few weeks. I am really excited about getting away from home for a few days. Most days I don't leave the house, because I don't have a reason to. I can do my job search from my computer. Most places I am applying to have online resume systems in place. I don't need a ton of groceries, so once a week shopping is sufficient. Last week, I did not leave my house from Tuesday till Sunday. That seems pathetic. Well, I did go into the yard to take pictures. The bees were busy in the mint flowers, so I took the opportunity to practice using the telephoto lens. It is a Canon 75mm-300mm. Not the most expensive, but not bad. It is taking me a while to get used to it, and remember all the settings. My goal is to eventually try to get good pictures of the moon with it. That will have to be somewhere other than at home though, as usually I can't see the moon from my house due to trees and/or houses. But still, I didn't really leave my yard to take the pics. I posted my pictures up on Flickr. I also took the camera with me to the Fair on Sunday. I didn't get a whole lot of good ones, though. I need to learn how to change the settings correctly to get indoor flourescent and outdoor shots. If you want to take a look they are all posted HERE. I made an album of the fair pics. They are all so mushy. I need to figure out why so I can fix it. So many of my pictures are mushy. I may need to invest in a photoshop class.
Anyway, my point was that now I get to take a train up to Seattle and hang out with my fellow nerds for a few days. I am taking my camera and my uke, though I don't expect there to be any music there, per se. I have social anxiety, and I find it easier to deal with constructively if I have the uke in my hand. It grounds me....reminds me I am not stuck where I am, and if I need to I can step outside and noodle until I am calm again. And Anglicon is British fandom themed, so my Who songs and Red Dwarf will be totally appropriate. So now I am getting ready for con. What will I wear? Will I try cosplaying? I have been contemplating painting my cane with space scenes and Tardis's. I don't know if I will do that. I may try. I am not exactly sure how one would accomplish that. I am not an artist. Am thinking maybe paint it solid black and flick white paint on it to represent stars. Maybe use a sponge and some dark blue on it. Then I have to try to freehand Tardis. Hmm....There may be an easier way. I will have to think about it some more. I am putting puppet building on hold for the week. I need to get away from the heavy glue smell anyway. I did get some more tubing, so I may try assembling more bodies. Though a lot of my time will be taken up getting ready for the con. I wish I was able to do these when I was in high school. I think I would have been a lot better off knowing I have options. That I am not a loner wierdo. That there are others who think like me. What I did after high school may have changed a bit.
Anyway, there is a long rambly update. I really am excited to get out and away. I am excited to be with fellow nerds. I am excited to destress for a bit.
It has been 2 weeks since my last post. I have been pretty busy. Working on finding a new job. I am working on building more puppets to animate. I am low on square brass tubing, which is where I need to start. I use one size brass tubing inside of a larger size to make the joints.
First I took apart Wade to remind myself of how I constructed him.
For the torso, pelvis, head and "bones" on the twisted wire limbs out of grey extra hard Sculpey.
Next I created the head.
So now I am working on the head. It is baked and painted, and I am trying to decide the best way to get hair on it. Wade's hair was horrendous to do, and I don't want all my puppets to look like Wade, so a new construction technique is in order. I did some thinking and some research, and I have decided to make a wig. That way if it turns out bad i can easily redo it without having to redo the whole head. I am currently expreimenting with making a skullcap out of hardened glue. Then the plan is to try to root hair strands with a dall hair re-rooter tool, glue it inside the wig, and cover that with enamel to make it smooth and easy to attach with temporary tape to the puppet's head.
Another advantage of doing hair this way is I can make several wigs for a single puppet with several different styles, and I don't have to worry about trying to style a wig that has been glued in a way that makes it hard to change the hair style. Currently the last layer of glue is drying. I will continue with it tomorrow, and will post the results here.
Wish me luck!
Eleanor is an aspiring writer, stop motion animator, crafter, musician, and anything else shiney that might cross her path. She is a geek, nerd, and all around weird person.