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Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego

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Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-11 11:29:15


http://www.spamihilator.com/shaw/shawcartoon/test/mj1.htm

Just change the compression as shown above (no preloader so you might need to reload).

Anyway, flash will compress it anyway later.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-11 11:45:20


I don't know if this has been asked or answered before so I will will give it a shot. I have a digital video recording camera, and I cannot take single frame shots with it. I have made stop motion movies in the past (nothing worthy of NG) but in order to get the small single frame shots, I would have to click record and then as fast as I can click record again to stop the recording.

It's annoying, and the frames are sometimes different lengths if I do it wrong. :( Do you know of any way I could make it so I didn't have to do that with the camera, or any other really cheap cameras I could buy to take single frame shots? Thanks for the help, and thanks for this Tutorial, I am sure it will help a lot of people out.


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Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-11 12:12:35


Schorhr, your lego stop motion movies are awesome. How long did it take you to make them?

You'll probably hate me for this, but I was once a great fan of lego - I bought tons of the stuff, then once it got old I passed it to my brother. Now we just aren't interested, so we're going to sell it on - almost a room full of lego. Just curious - why do you like lego so much?


> twitter.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-11 12:15:31


At 8/11/04 11:45 AM, Sentinel_specter wrote: I don't know if this has been asked or answered before so I will will give it a shot. I have a digital video recording camera, and I cannot take single frame shots with it. I have made stop motion movies in the past (nothing worthy of NG) but in order to get the small single frame shots, I would have to click record and then as fast as I can click record again to stop the recording.

Does it have firewire? If so, you can capture frames via monkeyjam with no trouble at all.
It must be in recording mode on some models though.

It's annoying, and the frames are sometimes different lengths if I do it wrong. :( Do you know of any way I could make it so I didn't have to do that with the camera, or any other really cheap cameras I could buy to take single frame shots? Thanks for the help, and thanks for this Tutorial, I am sure it will help a lot of people out.

Lots of webcam will do the job, but it has to have a VGA Chip, thats 640x480 or 300 000 pixels.
Dont buy one that has only half! Also some only have half but they advertise it as interpolated 300000 px.

Ebay or use froogle.com, decent cams start at 10 dollars. Here in germany i got one at a local store for about 15.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-11 12:53:48


At 8/11/04 12:15 PM, schorhr wrote: Does it have firewire? If so, you can capture frames via monkeyjam with no trouble at all.
It must be in recording mode on some models though.

Yes it is by Firewire. I will try that out sometime then. Thanks. But doesn't it take hours to go through every single frame of animation just to get them to be one frame? Seems like it would take ages.

Lots of webcam will do the job, but it has to have a VGA Chip, thats 640x480 or 300 000 pixels.
Dont buy one that has only half! Also some only have half but they advertise it as interpolated 300000 px.

Ebay or use froogle.com, decent cams start at 10 dollars. Here in germany i got one at a local store for about 15.

Thanks a lot. I think I will just see if I can use the monkey Jam thing though. Thanks again.


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Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-11 13:39:02


At 8/11/04 12:53 PM, Sentinel_specter wrote: But doesn't it take hours to go through every single frame of animation just to get them to be one frame? Seems like it would take ages.

What exactly do you mean?

Yes it takes long, especialy if you want 24 FPS.
Big animation studios finish 5 seconds a day maybee. But if you have a simple set and 10-16 fps you can easily finish a minute in one session.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-11 14:11:41


At 8/11/04 01:39 PM, schorhr wrote: What exactly do you mean?

Yes it takes long, especialy if you want 24 FPS.
Big animation studios finish 5 seconds a day maybee. But if you have a simple set and 10-16 fps you can easily finish a minute in one session.

Alright, I guess it doesn't take as long as I thought it would. Thanks again for the help. I am definitly going to try it out someday. What about the quality of using the Monkey Jam thing? Is it still good, or does the program mess it up?


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Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-11 14:50:28


All that monkeyjam does is saving pictures and making a "playlist".
So go to settings->format->png if you want lossless compression. BMP is too big, jpg has quality loss (but its set to a low compression).

Also you should choose the highest resolution your camera will be able to provide, though if you only want to make some internet films (flash, website...) then 640x480 or even lower will be fine.... But you can still convert it to a smaller size later, so use the best (if your computer can handle it- some computers i used could not replay the movie in the preview window fast enough due to the huge pics)

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-12 14:40:34


Well people--- any screenshots / screendumps?

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-18 20:12:33


Wow... you were a BIG help! I havent been able to afford a decent flash program so I kind of put all my sketch work aside for now till I can get one but Claymation has always been something I wanted to do. Im going out tonight and buying all the stuff ^_^ I worked a *tiny* bit with it before useing a digital camera, legos/clay (cheap clay) and a slide show/power point thing on my computer but I never like to start things unless I could finish em and since I never knew I could do this without a good flash program, I never worked at it very hard (all the stuff Ive done before was real lame). Anyway, thanks for all the help!

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-18 21:04:08


schorhr why did you change your sig? your old one was awsome.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-19 03:03:01


@Joe:
Oh well, i was getting tired of dozens of NotToxic animations when reading posts :-)

At 8/18/04 08:12 PM, PhroxenPhoenix wrote:

:stuff
Glad to be of help. Also check out my signature for a free flash programm- if you just want to play arround with cartooning a bit, its OK. Else, Macromedia Flash is the way to go, plus you can get Studio MX for arround 70 bucks at www.ibackups.net, which contains Flash MX (previuos version, but great), Freehand (Designing /CAD /Print Programm), Dreamweaver(Webdesign) and many more.

The only question is what to use.
While monkeyjam is awesome, it does not have onion skinning (seeing the previous immage shining through), so if you tip over a figure or tip over your camera, its impossible to find the previous position. But it can do everything else... Timing, Layers, FPS, Video exporting.

SMA/Anasazi is very basic, does have onionskins, but you can only take pictures continuously. No deleting, no speed changing. Only use it for small projects.

http://software.dacamyo.net/mo/show.php?lang=english has a stopmotion software which works great with Monkeyjam.
You take the pics with it, since it has onion skinning, and then you import the pics into flash, free www.liveswif.com lite, or of course, into MONKEYJAM :-)

Have fun animating! Please post some of your work-in-progress here, that would be awesome :-)

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-19 06:14:32


As I wrote in the Free Flash thread a minute ago:

Get http://www.quiss.org/swftools/
These free tools will enable you to add a preloader to an existing SWF movie, it will enable you to turn a series of pictures into a flash movie, and much, much more!

So if you made a movie, with either a tool i talked about earlier, or with the swftools or any other (post here please), you can simply add one of my preloaders.

You will need to use the one with the same fps (frames per second) play speed, since the first movie will define the final movie playing speed.

http://www.notToxic.com/loader/loader-6fps.swf
http://www.notToxic.com/loader/loader-8fps.swf
http://www.notToxic.com/loader/loader-10fps.swf
http://www.notToxic.com/loader/loader-12fps.swf
http://www.notToxic.com/loader/loader-15fps.swf
http://www.notToxic.com/loader/loader-18fps.swf
http://www.notToxic.com/loader/loader-20fps.swf

its real easy, really.
Go to START->RUN and type in CMD, which will open a dos box.
Now type in cd c:\program files\swftools\ or whereever you have placed the swftools ;-)
Also copy your Flash files into there which you want to combine!

Now type

swfcombine -t loader-20fps.swf yourmovie.swf

( -t means that no movie is master/slave, so both movies will be put in as movieclips equally. if you are currious about that, just look it up on the site of swftools...)

So now you have your stop motion movie flash with a preloader... even without using flash!

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-19 06:30:23


Oh by the way, with the simple command I posted it will allways create a "output.swf", so make sure you dont overwrite your old stuff, rename it!

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-19 15:04:27


So whats up people? So many wanted to try making a movie, and no one posted a simple frame :)

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-19 22:27:09


At 8/19/04 03:04 PM, schorhr wrote: So whats up people? So many wanted to try making a movie, and no one posted a simple frame :)

Hold your horses... I just barely got the mic and web cam :P I forgot the clay while I was at the store so Im just gonna play with playdough and some tooth picks a little bit (I know playdough sucks but we have LOADS of it that no one uses so just to test everything out, it shouldnt hurt)

Oh, I tried to get a camera with everything you said but I didnt have all the stuff written down so I hope I got a good one:

Creative NX web cam w/ 6' usb cable
352x288 cmos sensor
Snapshot and video capture (up to 640x480)
Bonus Mic....blah blah blah...

Well? Cost me 30 bucks so it better be good (I know you can get em under 20 but none of those had the 640x480 res which I KNEW you had to have.)

Anyway, Ill start workin up somethin soon... gotta lotta ideas ^_^ Just lemme figure everything out first sheesh :P

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-20 02:35:23


well... I spent about... oh who cares.. a while figure everything out (getting used to everything I mean) made 2 quick animations usesing the trickcam and liveswif and this worked great... Ill have to like recheck this topic to like make sure I got everything. Ill build the set(s?) tomorrow and stuff, get the clay (my mom suggested pipe cleaners so.. =? Ill try those too..) and hopefully Ill have stuff to post up like saturday.

This claymation stuff is awesome. Im gonna have so much fun with this =)

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-20 02:46:03


Playdough is ok for trying some stuff. No trouble.

I hope you are not going to beat me up, but as i warned in one of the early posts, you DONT have a 640x480 cam...

"352x288 cmos sensor"
"Snapshot and video capture (up to 640x480)"

Which means that your camera has only 362x288 and interpolates 640x480, which will never look as good as a cmos sensor with real 640x480.
BUT It is not going to kill you ;-)
I dont know how it is with warranty and "30 day return warrenty" over there, but you might consider that and I will help you find a better cam for the same cash. As i said, it will not kill you, but most likely the picture will not be as it should be when its interpolated.
If you have some time make a couple picture of some stuff and send them to me in full 640x480 as JPGs or upload them on some webspace.
Use www.irfanview.com if you dont have a programm capable of converting to jpg with a realativly good compression quality.

Anyway- No rush!
And dont be too disapointed now.
Just in general, a low resolution cmos sensor is a rip off.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-20 03:14:46


ok... Im a dumb ass... I knew i was gonna end up screwin up... (i wasnt TOO that bumbed with it since I never had one but... I want a GOOD ONE.. I did think the camera was a little crappy but I tried to over look that.) Umm I got it at walmart so theyll take anything back if I say it doesnt work correctly...

Anyway, Ill put up a couple pictures later i was just headin off. They only had 3 cameras there and this was the best as far as I could tell unless i got this BIG 50 dollar pakage thing. Umm so yea..

I thought you said GET one with 640 x whatever.. oops... anyway. Ill take it back. Its just down the street.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-20 03:30:06


At 8/20/04 03:14 AM, PhroxenPhoenix wrote: ok... Im a dumb ass... I knew i was gonna end up screwin up... (i wasnt TOO that bumbed with it since I never had one but... I want a GOOD ONE.. I did think the camera was a little crappy but I tried to over look that.) Umm I got it at walmart so theyll take anything back if I say it doesnt work correctly...

Anyway, Ill put up a couple pictures later i was just headin off. They only had 3 cameras there and this was the best as far as I could tell unless i got this BIG 50 dollar pakage thing. Umm so yea..

I thought you said GET one with 640 x whatever.. oops... anyway. Ill take it back. Its just down the street.

OK, sorry, but if the cmos sensor has lower then 640x480, you can be certain that the quality at 640x480 is never going to be at the optimum.
But show some pics, maybee its as good as mine which interpolates to 1024x786 pretty decent. But i doubt it.
Sorry for the bad news.

Have you considered buying one online? Even without a creditcard I am sure you'll find some decent cam, even at ebay
->
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISA...6&item=5117417848&rd=1

Even though the postage is 10 bucks its probably cheaper (total 14$) and better. I once got a cam labled with 640x480 cmos sensor and it hadnt, thats why i prefer stores, but of course i order mine online when it comes to the price.

Or this one for 4 bucks + 5 postage
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISA...6&item=5117345252&rd=1

Even though some cams do have 640x480 they dont neccesarely are better picture wise, but usualy a higher resolution is better, since you have more image data.

Also a focus ring is a must due to the close distance in stop motion recording. fixed focus is great for outdoors, not for stop motion filming ;-)

Well, to wrap it up-
get a cam where you have 14 days money back, and dont get it if it does not say at least "sensor with 640x480 / 300k-350k pixels".

The one I bought in a store looked similar to the one i linked above, and said VGA/640y480 cmos, but it wasnt, as you can easily spot when in full mode.
So unless you spend only 5-11 bucks I would allways get a cam with warrenty.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-20 03:34:34


PS: SInce the first link i gave you looks exactly like the one with the false 640x480 chip, i would rather recomend the second link even though I dont know the camera.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-20 06:06:28


...before you go run into the store though show some pics (but dont post them here since you need to rescale them, which would not display the actual quality unless ┬┤you crop it / just post a part of the immage )

Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-20 15:02:35


Still arround PhroxenPhoenix? Or did they beat you up when you went to bring it back? ;)

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-21 02:07:22


Yea Im hear. I didnt get on today and I havent taken it back yet but its all boxed up (it doesnt even look like it was ever opened so they probably will be to stupid to check... Its easy to get past the return center since mostly everyone in there is bored stiff and just wanna get out of thier :P)

I have a few picture (well alot of pictures) so Ill post a couple of those up.) umm yea, Ill go post those up real quick and stuff.

This time Im writing down what I need, lol. Not gonna guess :P Ill check out those two cameras after I take this one back and stuff.

This one DID have a focus thing though so at least I got that right :P

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-21 02:33:47


At 8/21/04 02:07 AM, PhroxenPhoenix wrote:
I have a few picture (well alot of pictures) so Ill post a couple of those up.) umm yea, Ill go post those up real quick and stuff.

--oops... didnt mean to repeat myself -_-

Anyways, heres the links to the pictures...

http://www.geocities.com/magic_dragon2k2/Image001.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/magic_dragon2k2/Image002.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/magic_dragon2k2/Image003.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/magic_dragon2k2/Image004.jpg

Lookin at em theyre pretty sucky... so i think they are pretty much crap but whatever...

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-21 03:06:17


So let me make sure I have this right:

640x480 CMOS sensor
Focus Ring (thats pretty much a duh)
USB connection (duh)
Snapshot and video capture (they all have this right?)
If over 10 bucks, make sure it comes with a warranty.

Anything else that would be good to have or look out for?

Ill probably go to a store and get one just cause I hate dealing with online purchases when it comes to something like this. Im still kinda skeptical of Ebay so thats probably the last place Id go.

Anyway, thanks for all the help.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-21 05:46:31


Dont be too sceptical about ebay. I have made some awesome deals there. Just check if the person who is selling stuff is reliable and has some positive feedback!

Anyway, i took one of your immages and resized it to about 50% (the original CMOS Sensor resolution), then i scaled it back up to 640x480.

As you see in the picture below, it looks the same again.

If you do this with a picture that has been taken with a webcam with REAL 640x480 resolution cmos sensor, you would see a qualityloss when doing so, since rescaling looses details (IF there has been some, which is not the case with a interpolated image of a webcam, that is bigger then the actual cmos size).

Anyway, I saw that it is a creative labs cam, which is a plus (they usualy have decent cams, I had two myself, they are very good at bad light).
Still, even a cheap camera will beat a good cam with REAL 300k cmos sensor (300 000 or 350 000 pixel, ~640x480)

I would really recomend that you dont spend more then 20-25 bucks in a store on such a webcam, well, if its a good one, maybee 30... But for everything more its just not worth it, since you can get two cams for anything above at ebay, plus I could send you one from germany for that price *lol*... (too bad that brand is not available there).

Now where was I (sorry for my big dialogs)....

Oh, yes.
Yep, you got that right. And yes, every cam takes video and stills, they all have a standard driver system these days (but this has not allways been that way). They either have windowsvideodriver or some directX drivers (or both), but thats really nothing you need to look after, since all USB Webcams these days have that.

Also, if you have a digital camera or a analog or even digital camcorder, be sure to use this- they will beat most webcams by lengths, in both image quality and details.

You would need a TV Card if its a analog camcorder, and if its a digital camcorder probably a firewire card.

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-21 08:58:47


Someone forgott to post the picture ;)

Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-21 10:27:03


So who else is using monkeyjam?
I just got a hold of the author again, maybee there will be a german version soon :-)

Response to Quick StopMotionTutorial- Clay&Lego 2004-08-22 03:49:53


I gotta new one... focus... 640x800 TRUE res or whatever... MUCH better picture. Much better everythign. Its a Logitech Quick cam I got for 30 dollars on sale :P Im not taking it back so... lol

Anyway, thanks a tone for the help. This one is MUCH better.

I have monkeyjam but I havent used it yet. umm... yea. Anyway, Ill post something later.