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Posted by simon, on 2003-06-30 04:57:53

Set floor

Hello everybody! Me and my brother are in the middle of a clay animation project right now. And the biggest problem right now is the set floor and the tie downs. I need some advice about what to use as a set floor and how to cover the holes from the tie downs. I do not have the time to write more at this moment but I hope some of you have some good advice. /Simon

Posted by Strider, on 2003-06-30 05:19:25

Hi Simon! :) A good general approach is to use plywood for your set floor, and hide the tie-down holes with modelling clay mixed to the right color. Or sometimes you might use a wooden floor with a paper covering... like a printed tile patttern or something, and maybe use pieces of tape or paper to hide the holes.

Posted by simon, on 2003-06-30 05:30:34

in most of the scenes we are planning to use a floor with black and white coloured squares, looks like a chessboard. Then when the foot moves away from the set floor I can replace the squares that have holes in them with squares without holes. So I produce lots of replacement-squares to cover the holes in the set floor. What do you think about that? Do you think it could work? /Simon

Posted by Strider, on 2003-06-30 05:53:31

Sounds fine to me... I can't think offhand of any problems. Well, ok, maybe one... The replacement tiles would need to match the old ones EXACTLY, including paint color and reflectiveness. One nice thing about just filling in a hole with some plasticene is that the foot covers the area where the hole is, so as long as you fill it well enough, it's hard to see the moment when the change is made. did I explain that very well? No? let me try again... If you were to simply drill a hole and fill it between two frames in a film, it would be pretty easy to see that SOMETHING strange happened, even if you can't tell exactly what. But luckily, the foot covers that area, and you don't see the newly filled spot until the foot lifts away, so it's not like a sudden change. It even can seem like the foot made a little depression. Now, I'm just worried that, unless your replacement squares are really precise duplicates, you'll be able to easily see that something BIG has changed. Well... actually, how big are the tiles? I'm piocturing them pretty large, but if they're say smaller than a scale foot square, that might work. What material would the replacement tiles be? If it's paper, then you have to worry about how to fasten them down so the edges don't lift. maybe some glue-stick would work. If they're thin wood or something similar, then there's the thickness factor. You'd have to lift the foot a ceertain distance before you could pry the old tile out and get a new one in. That's not really a problem though, unless the tiles are pretty thick. I'm just afraid that if you don't have the ability to make all the tiles exactly identical, you'll end up with something that looks like a Michael Jackson video, where each tile lights up when he steps on it. You ought to go ahead and test both methods and see which looks better.

Posted by David Rosler, on 2003-06-30 13:52:26

I wonder if magnets, embedded in the feet of the model and making up certain tiles on the floor, could not be a practical answer if the models are not too large, heavy, or too reliant on the tie downs (if they have wide feet with short heavy legs, for example, so most of the weight is actually held by that leg.)

Posted by Nick H, on 2003-06-30 21:35:11

I like the replacement tile idea, wished I'd tried it for my green and white tiled kitchen set. I painted the squares on my particle board floor, and went with a speckly blotchy look so the slight difference in plasticene colour just blended in with the other blotches. And as explained above the foot hides the hole at the time the plasticine comes out or is put back in, so there is no "pop". To replace the whole tile you'd need a perfect match, you'd never get the blotches the same twice, so you'd want a single flat colour that you painted on all the tiles of that colour at the same time. (For patterned tiles, possibly you could print 2 identical copies on the computer printer, then glue them to card and very carefully cut them the same?) Cardboard tiles, thick enough to not curl up and cut with a stanley knife, might match well enough. You'd pre-drill all your holes and make certain there was no sawdust that would stop a tile sitting flat. The tiles where the feet don't walk could be stuck down, then the replacable tiles would just sit in between and locate themselves. One drawback is that you can't see the hole you are aiming for with the foot as you animate, since you don't change to the drilled tile until the foot is covering where the hole will be. You might need a tiny mark to show where to aim. I think it's worth a test, and if they do flutter about you can stick down the drilled ones and fill the holes with plasticine and do it the other way.

Posted by simon, on 2003-07-01 08:54:50

I'll do some testanimation before the real shooting, so that I know what has to be done. My plans are to have squares that are smaller than the feet, that way I hope I will not have to drill at all, but that I'll be able to remove one square and use the bolt in that square-hole. And when the foot moves from the floor, I'll put the square back. But as I said, I will do some test and plan the feets movement enough to know which squares in the floor that ought to be removeable.

Posted by Nick H, on 2003-07-01 20:26:42

Sounds like very big feet, or very small tiles. If the whole tile is hidden by the foot, there shouldn't be any problem with registration. My tiles were 60mm square, like a scaled-down 1 foot square tile, so most of the tile was still visible when the foot was on it. Making all those tiny tiles will be fiddly, but it should work.

Posted by Strider, on 2003-07-01 20:27:15

That sounds like a plan. Tiles smalleer than the feet should be perfect, though I'm nit sure I understand about the "square hole" thing. If your tiles are removeable, then there has to be some sort of surface under them. Something like a tabletop or a piece of plywood. That would need to be drilled through, right? Maybe I'm missing something.

Posted by simon, on 2003-07-02 07:56:23

Drilling the squares is not necessery if I use remove-able tiles, and I will. Yes, I will use a table of wood, and drill the holes in the table top. Above that I place a layer of tiles and some of those tiles will be remove-able. So there is no longer any need to drill the tiles, but only the wooden-table.

Posted by Strider, on 2003-07-03 01:04:55

Gotcha! :-) Good luck... hope it works for you.