Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by GuilleGalli, on 2010-09-23 09:25:19

Hiding Tie-Down Holes / lost tutorial :-(

Hi, my name is Guillermo, I'm from Argentina. For several months I am moving into this exciting animation technique. I published some test ( and a small tutorial on basic principles of animation (soon in English). Now I would like to begin to resolve some details, for example hide the tie-down holes. I looked in this forum and found several messages that indicated the following url:, but unfortunately this site does not work anymore. Does anyone know where I can find this tutorial? (Hiding Tie-Down Holes) I read that is highly recommended. Thanks And Congratulations for this site! Guille.

Posted by grecodan, on 2010-09-23 10:09:18

Excellent work, Guillermo! Terrific character from simple movements! Your timing was impeccable. My favorites were the strong man posing, the guy with the machine gun, and the bashful guy at the very end.

Posted by GuilleGalli, on 2010-09-23 12:25:38

[div class="dcquote"][strong]Quote[/strong] Excellent work, Guillermo! Terrific character from simple movements! Your timing was impeccable. My favorites were the strong man posing, the guy with the machine gun, and the bashful guy at the very end. [/div] Thanks Daniel, I saw Eye of God in Vimeo. I liked the puppet and the way you handled the expressiveness of the face to communicate the idea. Congratulations! By the way, have you heard of the tutorial I'm looking for? Greetings!

Posted by Nick H, on 2010-09-23 20:18:01

The Stopmoshorts website closed down - but that tutorial was done by Mike, who posts here as Strider. It might appear somewhere on his website or blog. I can't ask him because he has been off the internet for 6 months now. Blog: It might be way back in the archives... I just looked through all of 2006 and 2007, and it doesn't look like it's in there. Website: I looked on the tutorials page and didn't see it. Youtube channel: It wasn't a video tutorial, but text and photos, so it isn't here either. I could probably have explained what the tutorial said in less time than I just spent looking for it! Basically, it tells you that there are 2 ways to hide the tiedown holes. You can fill them with plasticine, coloured the same as the set floor. I usually have blotchy paint so there is no one colour, so the plasticine does not have to match perfectly. When the puppet foot is above the hole, I poke the tiedown through from under the set, which pushes the plasticine out, and bolt the foot down. When it is time to remove the foot, I put the plasticine back in the hole while it is still hidden from the camera by the foot. It may not perfectly match the way it looked before, but you can't tell, because you do not see the change. The other way is to use TV Paint or Photoshop to fix it up afterwards. Clone a bit of the set floor nearby, and stamp that onto another layer. put that layer over the top so the hole is hidden. If the puppet goes through that spot on some frames, you would erase it while the puppet is in that spot. Also watch out for shadows - if the patch is bright, but then a shadow from the moving puppet falls across that bit of floor, it will stand out. So you will need to select some floor that is also in shadow to cover the hole for those frames. With a low camera angle, you may not see the holes anyway, especially on rough ground. **** I went to watch your video - and I'm so glad I did! Very good animation, smooth and full of character. They were only tests, but you actually made them entertaining! I hope I will see more animation from you - perhaps a short film one day?

Posted by GuilleGalli, on 2010-09-25 05:21:24

Nick, thanks for responding and for watching my video. I admire all your work. You are, as an animator, a reference for me. I could see how an independent animator does an excellent, impressive work, better than some big productions, and that gives me enthusiasm to continue learning to improve my animation. Thanks again! Soon start to make my first short film, which is why I'm looking to learn about lights, building sets, and other topics. Thank you for your information about the tutorial. I was doing tests and I was far better use Photoshop to fix the holes. Precisely the tool "Healing Brush Tool" was quite useful. Soon I'll post some test. By the way, what technique you use in your work? Are impeccable.

Posted by Nick H, on 2010-09-25 06:13:55

Most of the time, I do not hide the holes. I disguise them with the blotchy paint job and the low camera angle, but some can be seen if you look hard. Especially in L'Animateur, you can see the holes on the stage floor because it is smooth and a little bit shiny, but I decided to let them be seen. On the rough ground of the planet it is much harder to see them. There are big craters, small holes, bumps and rocks, so as long as the tiedown holes are not in straight lines, they don't stand out.

Posted by prammaven, on 2010-09-26 23:07:16

I used to shoot from a low angle so you couldn't even see the floor...But that tended to make the image look flat because of the head-on position of the camera. Now I just move the camera to one side or the other and crop out the floor whenever possible. If you watch most live action films, you never see the peoples' feet. I suppose animation is different, but I take a lot of my cues from non-animation cinema. When showing the feet is simply unavoidable, I would either make the floor out of replaceable tiles, or put something in the foreground, a prop or structure, that hides the holes. Between the three of those approaches, one should work for you.

Posted by castlegardener, on 2010-09-27 02:11:29

my latest film, I painted the floor with a complex pattern that hid the holes....there are a thousand holes but you never see them...the film is here..

Posted by Nick H, on 2010-09-27 18:35:20

That's true Castlegardener, I never noticed any holes! I'll have to go a and look again now. I did the same for my pub set - I painted the floor like a patterned carpet, and put the holes in the dark spots. If you put the camera up high and looked down at the floor you might see them, but at the usual angle - with the camera at puppet eye level and looking straight across - they just disappeared. It's the only set where I pre-drilled a grid of holes over the whole floor, usually I just out them where I will need them for the shot I am about to do. **** Ok, I looked at the castle floor again, and there are some shots looking down where I can see round dots - but they are a perfectly good part of the floor pattern. They don't stand out as tiedown holes. Now that I know what they are, I can see them, but I really had to force myself to stop going with the story and look for the holes. Now I'll go and just enjoy the film again!

Posted by inbetweener, on 2010-12-03 11:30:08

Here it is:)

Posted by Rocketspaceboy, on 2010-12-03 12:50:59

Theres a couple of other things I've seen as well. Use a Glue Gun and put glue in the whole and then paint it. Or use wood Putty and paint it. Another thing is that depending on your set floor you can also use nails or t-pins hammered into the foot instead of a screw or magnet. This is what was used on the Rank N Bass stuff and Gumby in the old days. I've met a lot of studio owners outside of the Americas that still use this method since it's cheap and easy.