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Posted by Casey Jones, on 2005-12-22 14:29:29

Animated ocean

Hey all... I've been playing around with this idea of a boat at sea. The camera would be viewed from the deck or the characters POV. I've made a small rig that will animate a background posterboard image but the boat and character will be stationary. The rig resembles an automotive jack stand with a moveable arm that attaches to the background. I then move it in a rocking type motion and slightly adjust the character for gravity/force. I'm thinking this will simulate movement but haven't gotten any trials in yet. Does anyone have any suggestions that could help? Thanks!

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-12-22 17:33:38

Do you have to move the background up a bit each frame, easing off to smaller movements, then change direction and gradually build up speed going down? If so, there is an easier way. I used this on a boat (in O Pollo Mio, www.stopmoshorts.com Archives>Past Events), but it would work just as well for cut-out waves or for a background image. Make a disk with the hole just off centre, so it acts like a cam. Put a screw through the hole and into something solid, so you can turn the disc. Rest one end of the object on it, with a pivot towards the other end, just past the centre. Mark off increments around the outside of the disk, and turn it the same amount each frame. With its off-centre axle it will push the object up and down as it turns. The ease-in and ease-out and changes in direction will be automatic, and very smooth. If you put several of these cams on a dowel, but each rotated to a different position, that's a camshaft - you could have a whole row of waves going up and down at different points of the cycle by turning just one knob.

Posted by dynamator, on 2005-12-22 17:34:37

I have an idea that would simulate, like I said I my thread, I've experimented with the idea of rear projection. This may or may not be good for you I'm not sure but say, you took a background shot out on the water on an actaul boat that was moving and projected one frame at a time in correlation with your stopmo boat and charecters. Of coarse you would not shoot the actual real life boat or the effect would be ruin so shoot out at the water. The stopmo boat could be on some sot of posable platform that goes posesleft and poses right reperesent the rocking of the boat as it moves, but make sure the boat faces the sameway the ship did when the backplate was shot or it would look wierd. But this may not be a good method for you if your trying to make a complete fully-animated sort of look. If you did use this way though, you would have exactly the right sort of scene movement as real life does (because of projection). I am more then positive that this would simulate movement. It has the same principle idea as the rear projection screens that were used in the old time movies to show a person (or people) in there car on a street or road. If this is not anything you had intended just ignore my response, I do hope though I was some help though. dynamator

Posted by Casey Jones, on 2005-12-22 17:52:54

Those are both good ideas. The cam idea was something I thought about, but your description makes it sound pretty good. I had also thought about forward motion, but I'm sure it could be easily modified. I'm checking out your film now. About the projector method, I'm starting to experiment with that too... like you said with the driving scenes. I'm not sure if I can use it in the idea I have... mostly because of the cartoonish style of my character. I did think about animating a background and using it though. Like the old cartoon background loops for motion. Thanks guys for the help!