Yesterday was a frustrating day. Two Canon 20D cameras came. Both have got dirt on the sensors, so I have had to order a sensor cleaning kit (which turned up today, really quickly).

The lights came on Monday. I had some assembly problems with them and had to sand bits down.

I tried one of the three lights out (on boom stand) and the cameras, by making a one second animation. I used iStopmotion animation software with the Canon 20Ds and thankfully it works really well.

Ordered 8 skateboard wheels to make a dolly.

I’ve realised that a nine inch model will be too big for the space I have to build the set in so I expect I will need to use 6 inch models, this might change if I decide to make the set somewhere else, but it’s unlikely I will.

Feeling a bit like I’ve gone off the boil about this film. Hopefully it’s just a passing phase. Need to put my schedule on the wall and a day list.

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Test Sets

February 11, 2010

Earlier this week made the decision to buy a studio light set and ordered one off eBay. I’m also going to get a Canon 20D. Ahh it’s only money (eeek!).

I got a load of pictures up on the Wall o’ Inspiration (Sorry, it’s blurred because they are not my photos). The boys are a bit concerned that I have pictures of little girls on my wall, in case I die and they come under suspicion of being dodgy.

I built some test sets, as follows (Nancy is helping me out here, she’s about 11cm tall):

Small window cut-outs (Test 1)

Small window cut-outs (Test 2)

Large window cut-outs test, I thought this looked really cool and realistic, especially with the curtains

I did some tests on a door to put in a top window and ‘glossy’ paint work, using a print on glossy photo paper, just for the door itself.

Unfortunately the glossy doesn’t show well in this picture!

I also did a test for a correct scale door (assuming a 9 inch child model)

Finally I did a test row of houses:

This is 8 A4 sheets taped together

Nancy & Peter model the houses for me

Context shot

Thoughts about tests:
The set tests were made by gluing matt photos on to medium card. The row of houses went quite wobbly overnight so I need to make a proper wooden frame for the final set and use greyboard or maybe MDF or plywood to stick the paper houses onto.

The ink ran with the glue so I am planning to get the sets (houses, pavements & road) printed on sticky back paper.

Next actions:
I need to work on the narrative & storyboards and do some tests to work out how wide & high the sets need to be for what shows in the viewfinder.

Wall O’ Inspiration

February 10, 2010

I put in 2 bids on eBay for Canon 20D bodies but I let myself be outbid, I’m not in a rush to start photography yet.

I have been printing off images for my inspiration wall. I do not want any pink on my two little girls because Pinkstinks! I’m looking at quite old style toys, a wooden skipping rope and I have ordered a pattern for a cute doll. I’ll be a challenge to make a doll for a 9 inch model, I guess that doll would have to be about 1 inch tall. I could go to 18 inches for my models if it helps.

I spent Monday finding inspiration pictures for my Wall o’ Inspiration, characters, terraced houses, kids fighting etc.

I have also printed out some large pictures cut into A4 to make mock ups of a terraced row, I need to ask the people who I got them from on Flickr if I can use them as I’ll be posting pics of my efforts later. I will be doing my own photography at some point, if the weather EVER gets better!

I had a thought about music. I need to find out about using it, licensing etc. I was thinking about just one song drifting in the background as if from the radio.

My friend James brought round his massive ‘lamp of dreams’ for me yesterday as another lighting option, but he tells me it makes the electricity meter whizz round like a catherine wheel, so I may have to reconsider using it.

The other day I was looking at software specifically for creating animation. I think I was browsing animateclay.com and came across an article about it. After a quick research I found iStopMotion, which is supposed to be one of the best ones for Mac. I want to be able to shoot straight from the laptop with my stills camera.

I bought the mummy bear’s bed version, which cost £86.82, including a backup disk and VAT.

I installed the software and (damn it!) neither my Lumix DMC-LX3 or my Canon 350D work with it for direct capture. I may need to buy another camera. There are a few cameras that are compatible. I could buy an expensive Canon 20D with a lens that I could use on my 350D (I always wanted another lens for it) or I could buy mid priced compact camera.

I’m torn. I shouldn’t be spending, but this film is going to cost money one way or another.

In lighting news, a friend of ours brought two floodlights over for me to borrow, need to do some tests and see if they are good, or if they will be blinding!

Update: I am bidding on a Canon 20D body only on eBay, I can always sell it after.

New Blog

February 7, 2010

This is my new blog, where I will detail my day to day activities as I prepare to produce my stop-motion animated film, which is currently under the working title of ‘Best Friends’

I will be documenting the preparation for the film, the making of the film and publicising of the film. The blood, sweat and tears (especially the tears, I expect!)

This is my main blog, but I wanted to make a special one for this, the last unit of my BA in Graphic Design.