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Posted by mijahu, on 2008-02-05 15:58:53

Moon and Moonlight

Maybe this would be better suited for the Camera and Lighting forum, but it seems that there are only camera questions in there as of late. The moon isn't prominent in the story, so it will most likely be out of focus a lot of the time but I would like it to be lit. I was thinking of just painting a moon onto some sort of material and placing a lamp directly in the back of the moon. Anyone know of good materials or lamps that would work best for this? I can't run any tests right now, as I'm completely broke x( I was also thinking about the stars. Any ways I can illuminate those? I was thinking white Christmas lights poking through the material or something... Does anyone have any other ideas?

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2008-02-05 16:23:29

[div class="dcquote"][strong]Quote[/strong] The moon isn't prominent in the story, so it will most likely be out of focus a lot of the time but I would like it to be lit. I was thinking of just painting a moon onto some sort of material and placing a lamp directly in the back of the moon. I was also thinking about the stars. Any ways I can illuminate those? I was thinking white Christmas lights poking through the material or something... [/div] For stars see the interview with Chuck Comisky on how they did the effects on the TV show SPACE ACADEMY. http://www.70slivekidvid.com/space/chuckcint.htm "Black duvetyn was hung on the back walls, white Christmas lights were hung and painted black and scraped clear to vary the light output giving us a 'practical' starfield." On NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS we used a painted cutout moon mounted on a black stick. You could download a photo of the moon and have an inkjet print made. Jim Aupperle

Posted by mijahu, on 2008-02-05 19:03:33

So the moon didn't shine? Nice effect there...thanks for the tip!

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2008-02-05 19:24:38

[div class="dcquote"] On NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS we used a painted cutout moon mounted on a black stick. You could download a photo of the moon and have an inkjet print made.Jim Aupperle [/div] The small cutout moon was used in the sequence where Jack is preparing to fly off in his sleigh. The large moon behind Jack in the graveyard in the beginning of the film was lit from behind as I recall. The attachment shows the cutout moon which was supported on a c-stand wrapped in black velvet. [div class="dcquote"] You can aim a small spotlight at the moon to make it shine... that's a common solution. Mike [/div] So common that's what we did. (see attachment below) Jim Aupperle



Posted by Strider, on 2008-02-05 19:24:52

You can aim a small spotlight at the moon to make it shine... that's a common solution. Or cut a moon shape out of your backdrop material (could be a big board, sheet of cardboard, canvas, whatever you use for a background), then put a transparency of the moon behind it with a light behind that. Stars could also be punched out. You'd want to put some diffusion material behind it wherever there's a cutout... something like tracing paper, so it will catch the light and make it visible there. That would include behind the moon.

Posted by Nick H, on 2008-02-05 20:45:16

Two ways I've done a moon, where I didn't want to permanently paint it onto the night sky... The first with a card cutout pinned to the backcloth and lit with a spotlight, the second with just light from a slide projector: http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/dc/user_files/5426.jpg For a starfield, I used a big Holland blind painted black, with lots and lots of holes poked in it, some with a pin, some with a nail so they aren't all identical. Behind it I hung a sheet of translucent material, like Mike said, to catch the light, and backlit it. A moon shape could be cut out as well, but then you'd be stuck with this big round hole. But mostly my backcloths are stapled onto a ply panel on the wall, and there's no space to put a light behind it. Fibre optics can work for something like this, since the fibres are small and don't need much room. They would all lead down to a single light source. A lot of work though. Little Christmas lights can work on a really big set in a live action studio, but they are too big for a typical stopmotion miniature set.



Posted by prammaven, on 2008-02-06 09:57:52

Wax paper or baking paper works great for diffusion, that's how I used to make a moon, which was the wax paper taped over a hole in a piece of dark blue or black poster paper. It had a desk lamp behind it, which was possible because the poster paper was taped to the arm of a swing arm lamp. Don Carlson Pram Maven Films http://www.youtube.com/prammaven http://www.prammavenfilms.blogspot.com