Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by jamesride101, on 2006-09-29 15:34:12

studio ceiling hight

Has anyone here had problems shooting a puppet film because of the height of the ceiling? I might be moving into an appartment that has low ceilings(about 8ft) and I'm alitle worried about it. There is enouph space and the floors are concrete but the ceilings.... Should I be worried? The puppets I'm making are 12" so the tallest set piece could be a few feet tall.

Posted by mefull, on 2006-09-29 17:05:44

8 foot is kind of low, not ideal but I'm sure you can make it work if you have to. The limitation in my mind would be lighting, you would usually want to be able to put the lighting up higher, but I don't know what your lighting set up is like? The other thing that might be a concern is your backdrops if any? Of course you could lower the animation table but that kind of makes the animation that much harder on your body if you are working on your knees or crawling on the floor.

Posted by slothpaladin, on 2006-10-02 02:45:50

I working with 10.5 inch puppets with an 8' foot ceiling, I've never had a problem in the set but backdrops (green screen and sky) are a pain and sometimes lighting is annoying as well. If your animation takes place in interior sets it should not be that much of a problem but if it takes place out side things could get tricky.

Posted by exit_44, on 2006-10-02 03:12:55

Lighting problems should only appear when you have a big outdoor set and you want to simulate a high standing sun - solution for this could be setting your animation table lower - so you can work sitting - this can be problematic again when your puppet are standing far in the set and you have some trouble reaching them while sitting. If you want to light an average indoor or 3 wall set the ceiling height should not be a big issue - the ceiling in my studio is about 8 foot high between (2,40 - 2,50m) another point would be camera position - again on big outdoor sets a bid moco can not "fly" over your set - but who´s working in an 8 foot high room owning a big moco - or even without a moco - if you want to have an extrem high camera angle watching down on your character - you8 mightn have to lower your set. anyways even if you have a low ceiling there is a possibility to hang a small lo-co-moco (no boom) from the ceiling and therefor being able to move into the set. J.

Posted by jamesride101, on 2006-10-02 10:33:22

thanx guys :) I'm glad to hear from everyone especialy the people that are working with 8ft ceilings :) I quess that if worse comes to worse, I could shoot my "epic outdoor shot" somewere else(one of the reasons I got a laptop computer) Any more coments on the ceiling issue are more than welcome :-) . also does anyone have coments on the type of floaring that can be problematic? I''ve only ever anymated on concrete floars before so anything else would be a new experience for me. The place I might be moving into has a carpet over the concrete floar which doesn't sound so bad, but I might have to instal wood floars and I was wondering if anyone has any workarounds for the inherit wobliness of wood. perhaps I could put 4x8 sheets of ply on top to make it more stable...

Posted by Boy Oyng, on 2006-10-02 13:47:58

Unless it's very thin carpet, you won't want your tables resting on it. But it'll be nice for you feet... Wood over concrete shouldn't be wobbly. Personally, when I was shooting stuff in my living room (miniatures, but not much animation), I found 8 ft ceilings to be too low. Most of what I was shooting were "exteriors." Light height is a limitation, as noted above. But the low ceiling also impinged on choice of camera angles. If you are planning any low angle shots, then you have to lower your table, which means you have to lower your camera even more. On my one "interior" scene, the low ceiling was OK. One advantage of a low ceiling is that you have a built-in reflector (assuming the ceiling is white). I even tacked up a silver reflective cloth to bounce light from. And if I'd been desperate, I might have put a mirror on the ceiling. B

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-10-02 18:35:42

When I was shooting in my old studio, with a ceiling height of 2600 (8 ft 8 inches) it did limit my shots on an outdoor set. I really wanted my backcloth to go up another foot for the wide shots with the 10mm Switar lens. I was forced to make my sets a little lower than was comfortable, to get in more sky. And as already said, it's too close for an overhead sun. My lighting bars are 6" below the ceiling, and the light hangs down from that, so the centre of the light would only be about 7 feet up. Fortunately I wasn't ever making the animated version of High Noon, so I could put the sun off to one side for a morning or evening look. :7 With interior sets, I found the same as the rest of you, ceiling height isn't an issue. The Natural History Unit's studio where I shot Good Riddance has a higher ceiling, 9 or 10 feet. But then I found that, because I'm now shooting 16 : 9 widescreen, I don't need as much height. I've set up in my old studio for the long-delayed June round entry for Stopmoshorts. It starts with a wide shot of a barren landscape, but I just don't need as much sky height as I did with 4:3 pictures, I need width. The other thing I've found is that, shooting on the digital camera, I can easily add in a little more sky in Mirage if its a static camera shot, which the really wide shots usually are. I can also extend the set with a digital matte painting, without worrying about film weave, and see the results instantly. So I don't need a higher ceiling or bigger studio as often as I used to. This is good news, since I'm planning to build a big shed for my own studio space at home, and space in the back yard is not unlimited. My old studio has wood floors, I missed them because I could actually screw things down to the floor. (like the tripod and the set, after I've kicked them and ruined the shot the second time.) In the NHU studio with concrete floor, I have to rely on sandbags. I was thinking my home studio would have a concrete slab floor like a garage, but I might lay particle board flooring over it. I'm thinking the legs of the set table would probably press down into carpet enough to be stable, but a big sheet of ply or particle board over the carpet would spread the load and float on it, and might make the set go up and down when you walk near it. I do a lot of plastering and painting on the set, which doesn't go well with carpet underneath, I like a space where I can make a mess. If it was a rented apartment I think I'd at least lay plastic sheet down, then particle board if it looked like it would be stable. When I worked in the bedroom I hung plastic drop sheet on the walls around my workbench.

Posted by Boy Oyng, on 2006-10-02 18:50:51

Interesting about the 16:9 easing the height issue. Careful with that particle board on concrete, Nick... Might wick moisture up and start to swell and crumble? Also, them thar screws don't hold so well in that thar particle board.

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-10-02 19:06:17

Hadn't thought of the moisture issue, good point. Maybe there is moisture resistant particle board flooring... If I have a raised wooden floor, I have to build everything higher, and there is a 3 metre limit on exterior wall height allowed near the fence line. I always planned for a 3 metre (10 ft) ceiling, but I'm finding I could reduce that, so I guess I could have a suspended floor and 8' 6" ft ceiling inside. In this carpeted apartment, moisture won't be a problem at least. Particle board screws hold well enough, I just screw little blocks down that stop things being kicked sideways. In time though, the board would get a bit swiss-cheesy. Then it could be recycled for building rough ground exterior sets.

Posted by mefull, on 2006-10-02 20:38:13

[div class="dcquote"][strong]Quote[/strong] If I have a raised wooden floor, I have to build everything higher, and there is a 3 metre limit on exterior wall height allowed near the fence line. I always planned for a 3 metre (10 ft) ceiling, [/div] Nick How about digging a half basement before you put up the 3 metre (english spelling?) wall. Then you could have 15 foot ceilings. Mark

Posted by Boy Oyng, on 2006-10-02 21:10:34

All right, I'm silly, Nick. You could probably just put down a plastic vapor barrier between concrete and particle board and be all right. Or to get fancy, just float the p.b. on a grid of 1X3s to vent it a bit. You'd end up with 9'10.5" ceilings. Close enough for govt. work.

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-10-05 05:13:16

Why didn't I think of plastic sheeting? I'm silly too. A half-basement...hmmm... might turn into a swimming pool in the rainy season... Yeah, Metre is British/French/Australian spelling.

Posted by Boy Oyng, on 2006-10-05 11:22:32

You know what they say... "Silly minds think like... ... ...huh?" With a swimming pool, then u could find out how do u animate water.