Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by JeNnDyLyOn, on 2011-02-12 09:25:39

Would this be okay for a set?

I was clearing out a bunch of crap today when I came across some empty boxes that were in pretty great shape. I was wondering, would it be possible to mount a set onto this, provided I knock the side-walls down and fasten the base to the table I'll be working on?

Posted by Strider, on 2011-02-12 09:36:56

*sigh* OK -- you inspired another craptastic mouse drawing. At least I won't be able to hear how hard you laugh... If you cut where I drew the lines, and then fold the flaps backwards, so they're pointing OUT rather than in, then you can duct tape them down or screw or nail or hotglue or clamp them down onto your table, thereby holding the upright walls fairly strongly in position. You don't wan to REMOVe the side walls... that would weaken the set dramatically.

Posted by grecodan, on 2011-02-12 09:39:03

Whatever works for a for a set! You might want to search for some of stopmonick's threads on his sets. He had a whole series on making buildings and such out of cardboard boxes.

Posted by JeNnDyLyOn, on 2011-02-12 09:48:12

Hey, that's cool! Gotta love Photoshop huh? That makes a lot of sense and yup, that's what I meant about breaking the walls down... ♪Break the Walls dooooowwwwwn♪ ♪For those about to rock and what ya want♪ ♪Baby you know you're--♪ *ahem* Sorry about that, sometimes the pro-wrestling fan in me just comes out XD Thanks, Mike!

Posted by JeNnDyLyOn, on 2011-02-12 09:50:01

Exactly! That's what I say, too :D I have a big pile of these boxes so I guess I'm set for, well, my set ^_^ Of course, I'll need props and to actually build upon it but that's all good. I'm looking forward to that part. Great tip, thanks! I'm going to hunt those down right now :D

Posted by Nick H, on 2011-02-13 18:58:05

I have used some of the thick corrugated card from the boxes my Mac and monitor came in, to make set walls. The ones in that Arab Soukh thread referred to were the outsides of buildings, so the box remained pretty much intact. It solved twpo problems - getting rid of the packaging, and finding material to make my set! For an interior set like you show above, it can be useful to leave the sides on so they act like a hinge. Swing one side out if you want to put the camera over there. You don't get gaps in the corners when it's all one piece, and it keeps it all rigid. Strider's right - fold the bottom bits outwards. For my set of Poe's room, I made cardboard walls, each as a separate piece, because I am using the same back wall piece as two different walls. It has a door in the middle, but the fireplace and chimney fit over that so then it is the wall opposite. The side walls have to swap around, it can't be one big piece folded at the corners. So there is a strip of timber hot-glued along the bottom at the back, so the wall can be clamped or screwed onto the set floor. I also have a wood strip going up the outside edges so it can be screwed or clamped onto the next bit of wall. That also keeps the cardboard straight. I can take either side wall off to allow better camera access if I want to shoot from that side. The corrugations can sometimes show up if the wall is just painted. For Poe's room, I printed up some wallpaper, so that covered it. But if you look up at the top in the wide shot of the room set, above the picture rail where there is no wallpaper, you can see the corrugations: For the building exteriors, I had a coating of tile adhesive which gave it a rough texture and hid any corrugations. If I cut a window or door in the card, I have timber strips to cover the edges so you don't see the corrugated layer in the middle.

Posted by JeNnDyLyOn, on 2011-02-14 18:04:56

Neat! I actually checked that thread out earlier and was astounded by what you were able to create for your Poe set. I was even more baffled when you explained how you were able to make everything mostly out of some cardboard, MDF and printed patterns. The way you painted and crafted everything is of course professional but you make them look so rich and detailed. Truly wonderful. It really makes me feel good that I can strive to make a professional-looking set as well by just using some cardboard and materials around the house. I think I'd like to try using MDF, too, to see if I can make some cool things, too. Thanks so much for your thorough explanation on how you made your set work. I look forward to making mine! I understand you used the printed paper for wallpaper to cover up the texture of the cardboard but I was wondering if there was any paint that you recommended would be good for cardboard?

Posted by prammaven, on 2011-02-22 15:58:52

I didn't know about folding the bottom flaps out, as so far all of my box sets have retained the bottom (floor) as part of the design. The current set is a little boy's bedroom made out of a Gatorade box. Problem is, the back wall is only flaps held together with packing tape and it was very weak. I did not notice this instability until after knocking out the other two sides for camera and puppet access and installing a couple of little shelves. The way I solved the problem was by making a grid of heavy aluminum wire and angling it outwards the way the flaps would have been folded out. Now the wall is very sturdy. I love cardboard, being a night stocker there's always a lot of empty boxes. To make them stronger you can hot glue vertical wooden dowel rods to the sides. [a href=""] CURRENT REEL:[/a] [a href=""]BLOG:[/a]

Posted by Nick H, on 2011-02-14 20:30:18

The paint I use is basic water based matte wall paint - you can use the cheaper stuff, not the premium washable paint. I get a can of white base for pale colours, and a can of accent base for mixing stronger colours, and use the same universal pigments they have in the paint shop to tint the paint to specific colours. I don't need all the colours, a red, blue, yellow and black will make any almost colour. Maybe a green pigment for cleaner greens. If the corrugations are showing through, a thicker paint might help - like some of the ceiling paints. If that doesn't work, a layer of thin card, glued on, would smooth it I guess.

Posted by JeNnDyLyOn, on 2011-02-14 21:04:41

Awesome! I'm going to be re-painting the walls of an un-used bedroom here matte black for my studio. So while I'm at the store, I can see if they have any smaller cans or tubes of other colors. Thanks again :)

Posted by Strider, on 2011-02-14 21:42:29

Can you paint cardboard without it warping? I find even with thin wood it will warp pretty strongly. Now I usually brush the back of thin plywood down with water before flipping it over to paint the other side. That reduces the warping pretty much, but won't completely prevent it. I'd be afraid cardboard would do more than just warp... I could see it turning into something like a wet dishrag and just drooping right before your eyes... I guess put paint on very lightly... airbrush if possible, and don't make the paint really wet if you can help it.

Posted by Nick H, on 2011-02-15 00:33:12

Good point Strider. Plywood does warp quite a bit. So does the fairly thin corrugated ply from an ordinary cardboard box - it helps to paint both sides, so it shrinks in both directions. Hot glueing the timber framing on the back will also help it keep it's shape, so does folding it into 3 walls. The other trick we used to do with "hard card" - big sheets on non-corrugated card - was to shellac them first, then paint them. They seemed to warp less that way. The Poe set is a heavier Tri-Wall card - it has a skin, a corrugated bit, a middle skin, another corrugated bit, and a skin on the other side. It is about 10mm thick, so it doesn't warp so much in the sizes used for a set.

Posted by JeNnDyLyOn, on 2011-02-16 23:10:53

Hmm The warping caused by the painting worries me. I wonder if it'd be easier just for me to use the base of the cardboard only for the set floor and then just use painted canvases for backgrounds? But the main sets so far are a kid's bedroom, maybe the house and the streets when he goes trick or treating towards the end. For the streets, I think I'll try and go for emmy's approach and paint the backdrop and a few houses disappearing down a horizon and build some sides of a houses to go in front of the backdrop. For the kid's bedroom, I may go for the wallpaper look. Speaking of, I need to get to sketching those set concepts out :D I started story-boarding already though so I'm trying to get that at least 3/4 done by the time I'm ready to buy my camera and make my puppets.

Posted by Strider, on 2011-02-16 23:30:06

You could print out wallpaper and spray adhesive it to the cardboard... that won't cause warpage. Or just get some very small-scale printed fabric from a doll and hobby shop and use that for wallpaper.