The festival runs from June 3rd through 5th and my film will screen on June 5, 2011 in the Block-F section between 3pm and 6pm. This is the premier of the festival and there are some fantastic looking films being shown. Many thanks to the Jury and the festival director, Sven Bonnichsen, for selecting my work to be included in the program!
In both Man Drawing a Reclining Woman and the Sword of Damocles I have what looks like ghosting in the animation. My process is to shoot 12 photos for each second of animation then stretch that sequence in Sony Vegas to 24fps. Vegas then blurs every other frame. When analyzing the footage within Vegas frame by frame I would see one clean frame followed by blended frame composed of the the previous frame and the next frame.
What I found out a few months ago is a setting in Sony Vegas called “disable resample” which eliminates the blending and will render each frame cleanly. The result is that every frame is shown twice with no blending. The default in Vegas is set to resample which blends every other frame automatically for image sequence clips. I still haven’t found a way to disable it permanently but in the meantime I am re-mastering my films to remove the ghosting. Jason, on a thread for a related topic at the stopmotionanimation.com forum, mentions the same fix in Adobe Premier by unchecking “blend speed changes”.
Here is my breakdown of the process:
- Shoot 12 photos for each second of animation with my DSLR camera (the spy cam is the same)
- Import the frames into Vegas as a numbered image sequence
- For each sequence/clip I set the frame rate to 24fps and a field order of None (progressive)
- Drag the sequence to the timeline
- For each clip or sequence on the editing timeline I:
Right Click > Choose Switches > Choose Disable Resample
I needed to get some business cards to hand out at various times and decided to try the Flickr / Moo option. I have a Flickr site and read the specifications for sizing photos as Moo cards and made 10 card designs in Photoshop. I got the Moo 100 card pack for approximately $20 and it took about 10 days to arrive from the UK. The cards come in a little plastic holder which is nice. Click the photo below to see a larger version for more detail.
The cards turned out well and the paper is heavier than regular photo paper. They feel solid like a typical business card and have a matte/satin photo on one side and my name, email, and web site link on the back. I think the price and the ability to custom design up to 100 different types of cards is worthwhile.
The one thing I would do differently next time is to adjust the photos to make the images and text contrast more. For example, I used grey instead of pure white for the text on the photo and the grey at that size is a little difficult to read. However, they turned out great and should work just fine for my current purposes.
The lighting that I have been using for my films so far consists of incandescent bulbs and inexpensive Clamp Lights that you can get at hardware stores. I believe Karl at Between the Frames may be using the same lighting system.
I modify them by putting 4 holes around the rim which allow me to bolt armature wire onto the edge. The four arms of wire hold sheets of tracing paper in front of the bulb and housing which diffuses the light. By combining various bulbs and types of paper (printer paper, tracing paper, etc…) I can get different levels of light. I’m using 25, 40, and 60 watt bulbs and usually work with one main light to the side, one fill light on the other side, and sometimes one back light from behind.
To attach the 8.5″ x 11″ paper, I fold over the edges to make a seam and tape it closed. That makes a pocket for the armature wire, which has a bend at the tip to prevent tearing the paper, to hold the paper in place. Doing it this way makes it easy for me to remove the paper if I need full light or to switch to a thicker paper.
Clamp Lights have a tightening bolt that attaches them to a clip so they can be used and positioned in many places. In my experience, the spring clip that comes with the light isn’t stable enough and loses its grip over time. Therefore, I remove the metal spring clip that comes with the light in favor of using a wooden bead that is glued to a dowel rod or fixed to some other structure that is more stable.
In the photo below you can see one bead is fixed to the top of an old drum kit stand with epoxy putty and the other is a dowel rod with a bead and the rod is inserted into a wood frame. The light housing can be tightened to the bead which then provides an adequate balance between grip strength and the ability to rotate and position. It can easily be knocked out of place though so I have to be cautious when working near one of the lights during a shot.
I haven’t tried using color paper or cutting designs in the paper to see what effects that might provide but so far the system has worked out pretty well for a quick and dirty and inexpensive lighting system.
It looks as though my short film “Man Drawing a Reclining Woman” screened at the Portland Indy Animation Festival. I don’t have other information at this time except for the online schedule which lists my film and my name.