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Posted by EricHayez, on 2010-10-01 21:42:02

Stopmotion Film Set - Military Office

This is a set which I have almost finished for my upcoming film. It is meant to be a (well furnished) military office. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated, such as suggestions on the lighting, camera angles, things to add/improve on on the set etc. http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/dc/user_files/14218.jpg http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/dc/user_files/14219.jpg http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/dc/user_files/14220.jpg







Posted by Nick H, on 2010-10-02 02:54:26

Nice set, and I really like the practical lights on the walls. Did you make them or find them? You will need to run the wires through the walls and get them out of sight - probably you already planned to do that. What scale is it in? The furniture looks a bit like 1:12 dollhouse scale - well made but a little bit chunky. (There is a lot available in that scale but it's a bit small for animating - not impossible but more difficult to do slow moves.) I don't know where you would get anything like that in a larger scale like 1:6 unless you made them from scratch. If you did, great job! Looking at details - Floor is great - full of character and you really get the benefit of actually having the individual boards. The big beams on the walls and ceiling need to be darkened and aged a bit, more like the floor. And the angle bracing bits at the top aren't very convincing. The ends should be cut at a 45 degree angle so they fit against the wall and ceiling, not left square. They also too very clean and new. The skirting boards look too skimpy - I would put a flat strip down against the floor with the moulding (or is it round dowel?) sitting on top of that, so the total height is 3 or 4 times that moulding by itself. I like the dado rails along the walls. (I would probably darken those as well pale blonde wood does not suit the period feel I get from everything else.) The maps and plans on the wall, and all the set dressing is great - well chosen and placed in the room. The pine chest with drawers on the right is a little less convincing because you can see the large scale of the grain, and the drawer fronts are a bit thick. Having the actual practical lighting is nice, but it could do with a little extra. There's a ceiling so that makes lighting more difficult, but I'd like to see a light hitting the main character from behind/above and to one side maybe. As it is, the eye is drawn to some of the better lit areas and he tends to disappear in the middle. He has only soft indirect light on him, so a little rim lighting or slightly stronger light on him would put the viewer's focus more on him. Also it makes sense, he would want a light on his desk to see his papers. I would consider a removable section of ceiling so you can get a light shining down on him. You don't need the whole ceiling there for every shot. Or possibly another practical light, hanging from the ceiling? If there was a window on one wall, perhaps a wall we don't see, some diffused daylight from outside could come in from the side. It's funny because I'm working on a Victorian room set with a character sitting at a table - not military so there are both similarities and differences. My floor is a lot like yours only the boards go sideways across the room. I think I like the perspective view of them going front-to-back better now that I see it, I might change mine around! So I guess that's why I am so full of opinions on what I think it should look like, I've been looking at period interiors myself and working out how to do them. Of course I don't know when this is supposed to be - could be late Victorian, WW1, or even WW2. It could do with a couple of more military things maybe - a chest? some kind of regimental banner on the wall perhaps? Anyway, it draws me into this world, and makes me look forward to the film!

Posted by EricHayez, on 2010-10-02 18:41:53

Thanks! The room is actually meant to be underground (hence the fact it's a little dull and there are no windows), however it is an office for someone relatively important which is why the ceiling is normal height and it's been done up to look like any other "nice" room. I would agree that the beams and rails should be darkened. I was lucky, I actually found the lights on sale at a local hobby store, though I still had to tinker with them a little to get them the way I wanted. I like you're idea for the lighting, I'll be sure to try that. Haha, that's great, I actually really like it when the floor boards run in the same direction the camera is looking. It gives a great sense of perspective and depth. I'll be sure to look for some more military-type things to dress the set with. Thanks for the advice.

Posted by Nick H, on 2010-10-02 21:07:13

Underground - that explains the heavy posts and beams. I guess it's like a mine, or a bunker with a weight of earth on top to hide it. So what is the scale of the set and furniture?

Posted by Jeff Lafferty, on 2010-10-03 00:26:41

Very cool set and puppet, nice job. Jeff

Posted by EricHayez, on 2010-10-03 00:53:18

Yeah, that's the idea. A bunker, except still meant to look nice enough for someone who's earned their stripes. The furniture is 1:12 scale. The floor is made from popsicle sticks that have their round ends cut off (this makes it very cheap). The puppet is on a very similar scale, and the rest is tailored to look like it all fits together (more or less).

Posted by legomation guy, on 2010-10-03 00:48:21

Very nice, good detail too I love the big maps on the wall in the background. :)