This video represents 5 hours worth of work. Stop motion is not the easiest or the fastest, but it is the most fun ever!!
Sooo...today I couldn't wait to play around with the new setup. I got it all in the dining room and rearranged my extension cords so I could have everything plugged in at once. I watched a tutorial video on Pinnacle's website. It worked great. I learned a lot. There are a few things I still need to learn...like how to get it into better focus (which may be Pinnacle settings, may be my camera or mid range lense), and how to get it to shoot rectangle shots instead of square. But the final product turned out better than I hoped it would. I am kind of excited to see this, and am maybe leaning more towards doing the 72 hour EFS horror film challenge. And now I need to write my fan film script, so I can get it done for Anglicon. So many more things I can do now. I am so stoked. I still look at it and see how not professionally produced it looks. But I am heading in that direction. And that makes me so happy. :)
This video represents 5 hours worth of work. Stop motion is not the easiest or the fastest, but it is the most fun ever!!
I was not very happy with the way that octopus video turned out. It is kind of fuzzy. It is jumpy (that part is my fault, I was not patient enough to get the right frames and tried to duplicate, which I know rarely works well in stop mo). So I started looking online for Pinnacle studio tutorials. With the newer version, you can shoot stop mo directly to computer, and it has fewer requirements than Dragonframe. They are having a sale, so instead of $120 to upgrade, it is only $69.95. I have been struggling long and hard, and right now, the point of everything I am doing is to figure out the best way to use the equipment I've got. I can still use version 18 if 20 does not work with my laptop. So I decided to go for it. I may regret it, but it isn't as bad as the $300 oopsy with Dragonframe. Which according to thier tech specs SHOULD work with this laptop and does NOT. Won't even open. BTW, thier support is CRAP. I do not reccomend Dragonframe, even if it turns out to work great after I have the money to upgrade my laptop.
Pinnacle upgrade is downloading right now. I guestimate I will know if I have chosen wisely or chosen poorly in about 30 minutes. Fortunately for me, all I will be out is $70 and my frustration. No melty faces or whatever. My plan is to do a little playing around tonight, and if I can get it to recognize my camera, shoot and whatnot, I will do some actual shooting tomorrow and Periscope it. See if I can get a better video. If not, I will be disappointed.
The other thing I have been thinking over is the 72 hour Horror Film challenge by Eugene Film Society. This year it is going on Oct. 22-24. I mean, it was a frustrating blast last year. And if I can get this to shoot better, I may be able to get a better video than last year. But do I want to deal with it? I have other things I want to work on. BUT.....it would also be a great way to test the new setup, see what I can do with it. I have committed to a DnD game on the Saturday. With how much time was wasted last year with the computer shutting down and losing 3 hours of work, I may be able to do it. I have to decide.....I already committed to the game, and they are counting on me, so if I do it I would have to budget 5 hours out of that to go do that. THough that is tentative, and we have no final go ahead on the game. I suppose I can put my hat in the ring, then decide to drop out if I want.
Argh. Why can't I just be normal and not obsessed with this stop motion crap? I mean I love it. I LOVE IT. I dream about it. I literally cry when something goes wrong, I want to do it well so badly. When it goes right, it goes so right. I wish I had more of a natural aptitude for this, and it wasn't so hard for me to get a good finished product. Sigh.
I really need to get creative with my titles. :P It has only been a week and half, but I thought I would post anyway. Just kidding. I am trying to be better at keeping up with this thing. It feels like it has been months, though the calendar says it hasn't been. I really had fun playing with the Dremmel. I haven't taken it out for anything else yet. I am itching to, but I am worried about using it when I don't need to and killing a project that would have otherwise been fine.
I have been writing, but haven't really finished anything. This week we have had issues at work with the servers, issues at home with an injured ankle, and emotional issues dealing with this time of year. Also, someone in France has decided to usem y debit card number to try to purchase Formula One tickets (of all the fucking things), so they had to close down my debit card. My plan for this weekend was to price out alginate and get it ordered. Nope. I cannot do anything online now. Grrr argh. At least my new bank had the courtesy to call me first. They gave me a chance to get cash before they closed for the weekend. And they also replaced the money and flagged my card number. That is much better than what my previous bank did. My previous bank let the bastards clear out my account completely, from clear across the country, minutes after I used it here, so clearly it WASN'T ME. I had to jump through a ton of hoops to get it cncelled, a ton of hoops to get my money back, I had to threaten to sue in order to get my legally mandated 45 day credit until it was cleared up. I had to send a police report 4 times before they acknowledged they recieved it. At least this time the transaction was flagged, they saw it was from another country, and called me right away.
But I digress....I am good at that. :) Now that my ankle is doing a bit better and I am a bit more mobile, i will et going on it all again. I shot some footage a few weeks ago with my iPad. I am not happy with it, but I am trying to work with it. Main issue....the damn autofocus. Even after I have put it in focus lock it still kept refocusing. This is why I need a good camera damn it. I am getting tired of this crap. Makes it hard to get anything done. I have been playing around with the pictures in Pinnacle on my iPad. Not much help, but I think if I futz with it a bit more I may make something workable out of it. I tried transferring the pictures to my computer and working with them there. Every one of them were blurry. How the hell did it lose quality? All I did was copy them over. There are 400 some odd pictures. I guess I could try to email each one to myself. Or I could just say screw it and see what I can do in the ipad. Unless one of you wants to spring for a brand new camera? Yeah, didn't think so. I am also feeling jealous. Last fall a girl did an awesome Doctor Who stop mo, in the style of the old Rankin Bass Rudolph stop mos. it was very well done. And I am green with envy, cause I want to do THAT. And if I had money for the equipment I need, I could. I don't begrudge her the props. Cause she totally deserves them. I just want to be there too, and I am not yet.
Ok...enough of the whining. Time to get back to work.
Well, I had my first one-on-one session with Kevin Allison tonight. I was so nervous. He was very sweet, very kind, and gave me some valid feedback that I needed. I got some confirmation that I do know how to tell a story, even if I need to work on elements of it. That was gratifying. At this point we are looking more at the story than the performance. I feel that the more comfortable I get telling stories the better my performance will be. But this goal just skipped from anonymous attempt to real - to achievable. I just need to get my confidence and learn what to leave in and what to leave out. After tonight, I am going to research what storytelling opportunities there are in Portland and see if I can bribe someone to drive me up there from time to time.
I am very impressed with how present he was. It would be very easy for someone as busy as he is to just fluff it off. You know, not really listen, not really have any constructive feedback, just what he generally tells everyone. He really did try to assess my story and help me. I feel my money was well spent.
I am still working on the video in the Pinnacle app. It is taking way longer than I had hoped. I have about half the spidgetts done now. I was sick last night and today, so the rest aren't done, but I have been working on it. I probably won't work on it again for the next few days. I wanted to have it done by now. But whatever, I guess.
I have one person committed to doing voiceover for the web series. That is good. I am still looking, so if you are interested send me a message via the contact form.
OK, I need to lay down again.
I have been working on this video all week. I still don't have all the pictures moved into the timeline. This is tedious. Well, usually stop motion is. I have to import each picture, one at a time, and sometimes instead of dragging it, the app decides to send me to another folder. As there are no visible numbers on the pictures, and it doesn't save the markers, I have to figure out what picture I was on when it decided to crap out on me. This is the frustrating bit. I have not yet figured out what it is that makes it do this. I must admit I walked away a couple of times. I am now about 2/3 through adding pictures, then I get to actually work on finesses it all into a coherent video. I worked for 4 hours last night, and didn't get very far, so this part may take way longer than I anticipated. I shall continue soldiering on, and maybe by the end of the weekend I will have a video for you.
I have also been working on polishing my stories for storytelling. I have my first class on Monday, and I am very, very nervous. Just to get used to people hearing my stories, when one of my friends said he needed stories for his new blog I submitted one. If you want to read it, it is at Broken Treasures . It really didn't get much editing, and his spell check actually changed some of the words so they don't make sense. but otherwise that is mostly what I am going with. Feel free to read it and comment back here. I would love to know if it is too rambly, disjointed, whiney, etc.
Ok, back to the grindstone. I may go get tea and work somewhere else.
EDIT: I am finding that the app is now seriously lagging. Thinking maybe 1165 photos are too much for this app to process. SIGH SO I am starting over, and going to see if I can do this in spidgettes, like I did with the Douglas Adams video and still have something continuous and flowy. I am concerned with it becoming jerky and hard to watch. With the Douglas Adams audio I did the segments where the scene changes were so you'd expect a little bit of flow interruption. Cross fingers. And damn duplicating work.
Well, yes, I have been working on my video. The one I am making completely (well, mostly) on my iPad. I have gotten some people to collaborate and help record voiceovers. I tried to do both voices myself and it sounded like the same person for both characters. I really need to learn how to do voices. Anyway, so now I have all the audio I need. Well, mostly. I may have to rewrite the script a bit, as I am having a hard time finding a particular soundbite that is integral to the plot. But anyway, I probably would be shooting today, but I got distracted. I have been dividing my time between this and a new project. Yesterday someone at work brought in a bunch of stuff she had cleaned out of her son's room. This was included in the bunch:
It is a little bitty baby guitar. At first I was going to just restring it as a guitar, as 2 of the strings were broken and I had my doubts about the remaining ones. Then I went to the uke store for strings for my soprano uke and the guy suggested I string it as a concert uke. It is exactly the same size and shape. The biggest differences being the part at the end that holds the strings and more tuning pegs. So, while I have been working on my video stuff, I turned that ugly orange thing into this:
It is kind of hard to see. The light also makes it look lighter than it is. But I painted it green with silver trim, and painted the bridge black with silver trim. I also had to glue a piece of wood under the metal string holder. I found out the hard way that the metal eats through nylon strings quickly. Like, within minutes of stringing it and while trying to tune it. If I didn't have my glasses on at the time I would have put my eye out. I have strung it like a concert uke, and with a low G instead of a high G. It is interesting to listen to. Definitely changes how my chords sound. The strings are still acclimating. It will take a bit before they stop stretching and settle in.
But yeah, I would paint a bit, then work on video while the paint was drying, then paint some more. I probably would be farther along on the video if I could just leave this thing alone. But I can't. It's my new toy.
Tonight I am tired of doing stuff, but tomorrow I will get to shooting and editing. My plan is to have it completely done by sundown tomorrow. That is the plan. We shall see what actually happens. :)
So, I fully intended to have a completed video. You know what they say about the road to hell? I can totally see that. I did have some issues though that were beyond my control.
Well, not beyond my control, more like beyond my coping capabilities, so I decided to walk away until I was less frustrated and come back and problem solve.Only I never came back. I am going to tell you about my week, because I think it may be cathartic, and maybe someone reading this can offer me some advice. Or a one way ticket to the looney bin, either one. :)
So I'll start with the issues I was having with the video. I was hoping that I could do everything on the iPad. One of the issues I have had with this thing since I got it is my inability to transfer music or sounds to my iPad from my PC. I can transfer music I have purchased in iTunes with iTunes, but nothing else. iCloud is the same way. I can move stuff to my PC that way, but it doesn't work for moving stuff to the iPad. In order to time the animation correctly I need to record the audio so I have at least a basic idea how long to make it. I need to be able to use the audio I timed. I found one free awesome audio recording app for the iPad. The big issue is I can't import it into Pinnacle. There is an option but it doesn't work. I am guessing there may be a paid version of this app, though I haven't been able to find it. And I wouldn't spend money on something that may not suit my needs. I can record audio in Pinnacle, but only to do voice over for current video. I also can't record audio then export it into a different project. I tried that. So that is issue number 1 that I am trying to get over. And that is about where it ends.
Then I had issues at work. Those were not fun to deal with. I won't give specifics here, but I was pretty much at the end of my rope. Then something happened that took me to the end of that rope and made me feel like I was being hung with it.
Wednesday was payday. I decided that since it had been such a shitty week I was going to treat myself to lunch at Wendy's and a movie. I felt I deserved the emotional break. So I head over to Wendy's, which is just down the street from my work, and I order my food. At this point I was really hungry, as working on issues had made me miss breakfast and lunch. My card was declined. My card was declined three times. Insert your own religious joke here. This has happened before. From time to time my bank just glitches and usually getting online and clicking a box makes it all better. I was hungry and extremely annoyed, but not panicked. So I went to the library to use the wifi and do the thing with the thing on my iPad. That is when I lost it. My bank account was empty. Completely empty. My paycheck was just direct deposited. Not to mention what was left that I was saving from my last paycheck. All the charges were at physical brick-and-morter places in Louisburg, NC WAY THE HELL on the other side of the country. To my credit, I did not yell or scream at the customer service people on the phone who kept transferring me cause it "isn't my department". I was shaking, as my blood sugar was extremely low and I was pissed off, but I didn't yell. I didn't even yell and swear when the bank's fraud person told me I would not get my money back. I did cry in her ear though. Loudly. But I got the card number cancelled, and I had a new one sent to me. Then I went home and yelled and cried for a long, long time. I would like to commend the guy who answered the phone at the Eugene Police non-emergency line. He was very sweet. Though his first words were "Are you sure it's not an emergency?" By the time I got someone from Fraud on the line I was a bit calmer. I learned from that officer that it is actually illegal for my bank to not give me my money back. Once I prove fraud, they have to give me my money back. And Oregon state law says a police report is enough to prove fraud. Then I went and opened up a bank account at a different bank, where I was told that the law also states that while I am waiting for my bank to clear their paperwork for the fraud they have to provide me with a 45 day provisional credit in the amount of the fraudulent charges. Which was damn near everything I had. I had $3 in cash in my pocket, so I guess they didn't clean me out completely. Ha ha. I have made sure they got all the paperwork, and yet I still have not seen anything of the provisional credit they are supposed to give me. This is a bank that was recently taken to court for skimming off student's financial aid. They would place a charge, real or not, then not notify the student for months, letting their late charges and penalties pile up until the next financial aid check came. Then they would just take that money out of it. Court has ruled they were wrong and have to pay it back. However they don't have to pay while they go through the appeals process, so it may be years before any of us get our money back. Money that was from student loans that I am still paying on. My point in that long digressive ramble was that I expect to have to fight to get both provisional credit and my actual money back. I plan to touch base with them again Monday, but I don't expect them to be helpful. All that took me the rest of Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday.
Now it's Saturday. Most of my energy had gone into dealing with all that. Today I spent most of the day either sleeping or curled up with my iPad watching a show on Hulu called Who's Been Sleeping In My House? It's not what you think. This guy in Australia goes around to different houses in the country at the request of the owners and researches the history of the house. Kind of like Who Do You Think You Are and History Detectives all wrapped up in one awesome show. And I watched Doctor Who, of course. The Doctor makes everything feel better. :) Tomorrow I have to go back to work and try to get the fricken phone system to accept my programming for another line as it will be needed Monday, but after that I intend to try to problem solve the video issues.
So, it would reduce my stress greatly if any of you have a suggestion on how to solve my audio problem. And don't say "Buy a Mac". I didn't have money for that BEFORE the big clean out.
And as I feel the need to amuse myself with a non sequitur now, here is a spider that got into my water pitcher today. This water pitcher has a filter in the top and a hinged lid that has a fairly stiff hinge. I have no clue how the bugger got in there.
So today was supposed to be all about polishing stories for my foray into storytelling. And, like a good little procrastinator, I watched Doctor Who and played on my iPad instead. Which in this case is good, because I discovered something awesome. Remember a while back when I compared free stop mo iPad apps? Well, there is another one.
This one I mentioned before. It used to be called Avid, but now it is called Pinnacle Studio. It is usually $5, but until the 18th of September it is FREE!!!! So guess what I did, and guess what I have been playing with? Yup....the new app. Technically Pinnacle is just a video editing app, but it also does stop mo if you set it right. Almost in the same way windows Movie Maker does stop mo if you set it right (or used to). Seems to be more full featured than most of what I have seen for free. I can even set the pictures to hold for a number of frames, rather than fractions of a second like WM does. It also allows for audio to be added and edited in 3 tracks, you can make several clips then edit them together and add 3 more sound tracks. I just played with photos and audio I have currently on my iPad, which are not really stop mo related. it seems to have more freedom than WM had, and more editing capabilities. I like this. I do have to take pictures outside the app, though, as it isn't strictly a stop mo app.
Tonight, after I have had dinner and a short nap, my plan is to write, shoot, record and edit a short stop mo with my iPad. Just my iPad. I have a recording app. Not sure if it converts to Mp3 though. Or I can record audio actually inside the app. So by tomorrow afternoon my goal is to have a 30-60 second short done all in my apps. This shall be fun.
Hehe, I am like a raven. See something shiney, and I am diverted from my original task. Well, at least there will still be time to get those stories done. I have the basic structure done, I just want to polish them up. They are all a bit rambley. But this will be fun.
And, well....STOP MO.
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.
If you feel like contributing to help me upgrade equipment or pay for building supplies, feel free to click this button. Anything you contribute is appreciated muchly.