Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by Animation1999, on 2008-01-14 08:54:37

How to make a small playground set

Hi I'm very new(just joined about a half hour ago). And I was wondering if any of you knew how to make a small playground set with 2 swings,a sandbox,a couple of trees & 1 set of monkey bars. Also, How do you make the grass for the ground? Just want to know. Well please reply.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2008-01-14 09:45:56

It would definately help to narrow down a few things first. Firstly, what is the style you're after? Cartoonish, gothic, realisitc...these are a few examples. After you know that, you'll at least be able to start doing sketches of what each piece of equipment looks like and start to form an idea of what the whole playground will consist of. Another thing to consider is what you plan to do on this playground set. Is there going to be a lot of animation going on or just a little? Are you going to use screw tie-downs for the characters to stand or magnets? Overall, what do you see this playground scene looking like...we need a few more details to really provide any kind of help. I can also give you the advice to read through the handbook since you are new to this site because it has lots of starter information on everything needed to make a stop motion film. Handbook (invaluable learning tool): -Mike L.

Posted by mijahu, on 2008-02-01 21:54:51

Don't know if anyone's mentioned this yet, but I read somewhere in this vast forum a long time ago that you can take some fake fur, paint it with acrylics, and it will be stiff like grass and should stay in it's place between each shot, so it doesn't look too fake. Haven't tried it, but it sounds like an idea.

Posted by Animation1999, on 2008-01-14 10:09:38

The style I'm looking is an average realisitc looking daytime playground. Also this is just a practice set. I'm planning on making all kinds of sets(Some I'm even planing to sell on ebay to all those stop motion dudes!!)

Posted by youneekusername, on 2008-01-14 10:29:09

Well, your artistic goals sound interesting. Although I highly doubt many will purchase complete stop motion sets. You may get in business doing custom sets for interested clients...but even that chance is slim. Simply because stop motion is very "underground" and usually the people involved are involved because they like doing many of the skills involved with stop motion themselves. If you are starting to make sets with the idea of selling them and making money - I don't think that is a very good idea. I don't want to discourage you, but i'm just being honest here. It's a different story however if you plan to make this for yourself and make your own short film with. That's a great idea! :7 For realistic sets...I would start by browsing through dollhouse or miniature sites. Just look at the different props and models to see how they're constructed and what materials you could use to get that look. Heck, if you do 1:12 scale you could just buy some of them instead of build them yourself! Although, 1:12 is pretty tiny for stop motion. Most of us (generally speaking) go somewhere in between 1:12 (dollhouse scale) and 1:6 ("barbie/GI Joe" scale.) I don't really go by scales. I go somewhere in between and then just make sure everything looks about right for whatever style and purpose i'm trying to capture. Here are a few sites that are filled with miniatures. And again, the handbook has a ton as well... (Best site in my opinion - lots of stuff and great prices.) (Lots of stuff but the prices seem a little high.) (just another good site to browse through. There's tons of miniature sites out there.) -Mike L.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2008-01-14 12:59:32

Another thing that I wanted to add, but forgot... Whenever I need to make a set the first thing I do is look up pictures of wahtever i'm trying to make. I'll look at all kinds (realistic, cartoonish etc.) because often times stop motion sets are suggestions of a place or time but not entirely accurate in every little detail. So that's why sometimes I look at cartoon representations even if i'm going for a somewhat realistic look - just to get an idea of how the general layout looks in it's simplicity. I remember one thing Nick H always says is to look at things in real life and try to imagine the shape instead of the object itself. Then think of all the things you have (or could possibily buy) to make that shape. Once painted, who's gonna know the difference!? Common things I use when making sets are foamboard, hot glue, craft sticks, wood dowels, balsa or bass wood, plastic food containers, aluminum wire or soldering wire, clay, paint, paper, and the list goes on and on depending on what i'm making. Basically just design what you want, then look around your home or go to an arts & crafts or hardware store to find materials that could be transformed into a miniature prop. The best part about it is there is no right way to do it! You tell 10 different stop motion dudes to design and build a swing set and likely you'll get 10 different swing sets made out of 10 different materials! Hope I helped motivate you to just start experimenting! -Mike L.

Posted by monnie101, on 2008-01-15 01:52:55

My old best friend's mother was really into doll houses. BOy those things can get expensive! I remember shopping for some props for my own set and they had all kinds of great stuff but after a while of adding items to my cart I saw that I was creating a bigger bill then I was imagining! So then what I did was try to use them more as inspiration and only buy what I felt I really needed. It works out good. When I was really young, like 8, I would eat my cereal quick so I could use the boxes to create houses, pyramids, and all kinds of things using tape, glue, toothpicks, and everything else I could find. I made entire houses. lol My cousins used to joke that I was Magiver, you know that old show where he could get himself out of a jam with basically just a paper clip and some spare pocket items lol.

Posted by Animation1999, on 2008-01-14 14:42:27

Thank you for the helpful info.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2008-01-14 16:20:39

not a problem my friend. by the way, just out of curiousty, is it for a film or are you just interested in building sets? I didn't mean to sound like an ass during my above mini-rant, but had to help a newcomer out. -Mike L.

Posted by Animation1999, on 2008-01-14 17:06:00

these sets I wanna make are just practice and maybe once I get an idea I'll use in it a film but for now just practice.

Posted by monnie101, on 2008-02-04 13:05:06

That sounds like a good idea. My niece has gotten acrylic paint on a furry bear and it hardened like a rock lol!

Posted by mijahu, on 2008-02-05 19:04:35

Haha, that happened to this old teddy bear I got for Christmas one year!

Posted by Nofby, on 2008-02-20 05:48:23

If your set is only for practice, you dont need to worry about where you will drill holes for tie-downs ect. But when you make it, you may as well use it for a film, since you have already made a set. Anyway, good luck with it. And for the sandbox you could use... wait for it....SAND! :P But when you are animating, be careful not to nudge it. Nofby