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Posted by MD Productions, on 2007-05-24 18:49:51

Animating a Puppet behind a cage (jail cell)

Just a quick question to the masses. I need to animate a character that is in prison and the shot requires that I see on camera all three walls as well as the bars. I was hoping to shot the character through the bars so that you would see the puppet moving around within the cell, but am wondering how to do so without having to move the bars every shot. How would you animate a puppet that is in a cage or jail cell. Thanks again. Adam

Posted by Eric Scott, on 2007-05-24 20:04:57

You could shoot the bars in front of a green screen and comp them in as a foreground layer after the animation is done. Eric Scott http://www.stopmoshorts.com/gallery/news.php

Posted by mijahu, on 2007-08-27 14:38:02

In the production of The Nightmare Before Christmas they cut out doors in the floor to be unnoticed by the cameras. Then they would just stick their hand through the floor and animate from there. I've never done it, and it looks tricky but it also sounds like a good solution if you don't want to do removable walls.

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-05-24 21:18:29

When I did a jail cell, I made all 4 walls removable. I only put in the walls I needed for a particular shot - sometimes 3, sometimes only 2 as in this shot. http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL65/42706/59767/357616.jpg If you shoot through the bars from a slight angle, you would only see one side wall and the back wall. Take out the wall you don't see for that shot, and reach in from there. If you want to change the angle, put that wall back in, remove the other side. If you do have a shot looking straight in, with all 3 walls in shot, do like Eric says. Or you could take one frame with the bars in place, then remove them and do the shot. Import that shot of the bars into AE or Mirage or Photoshop, put it on the top layer, erase between the bars, then put that over every frame. Hand erasing is not so bad if you only have to do it once.

Posted by Antimax, on 2007-06-09 00:33:56

You could construct a sturdy cage, and create a method of registering it very well to the base of your set, then take it off every frame when you need to animate the puppet. If it is registered very well, it may not change positions for each exposure. Or make one door so it can swing open and shut in the same place each time. This way you can open it to animate, then swing it back shut (hopefully registered in the same spot very well). Maybe...

Posted by jriggity, on 2007-06-09 03:48:47

these are all great options! I have been animating through the bars and over them.....but I have characters directly interacting with the bars on my set. In any shot where the chars arnt interacting...I would comp a pic of the bars in taken exactly in the scene exactly where its gona be. My wife also made me a really cool swinging gate that registered into the same position frame after frame. all excellent options. jriggity

Posted by connorgorman, on 2007-09-15 14:18:45

in wallace and gromit they animate feathers mcgraw in jail go on ww.waalacenadgromit.com and ask people on der