Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-03 09:05:36

Snowy Icy Angrypuppet

Hey everyone- It's been awhile since I posted anything so I figured I put a little something out there to share. I finally got myself set up in the new studio (garage) and built a set for a couple shots for the opening of my film. It's only going to be used for two shots so I didn't build it too heavy-duty, just masonite and foam on top of metal sawhorses which are glued to the floor. I made a hot-wire foam cutter tool to make the icy cliffs and chunks, and used a technique for the snow using joint compound, fix-all, white glue, baking soda and fine glitter. You never actually see the tops of the cliffs in the shot, the weird jagged shapes are just there to make interesting shadows. I lit it with one 1000-watt light, with a heavy blue gel and diffusion. I am going to add a small halogen practical light, right next to the vent thing, to add a small pool of warm light to add some contrast. The pictures below show the full set, the camera rig for tracking in on the model and then a test shot of what the set will end up looking like in the film (with some focus problems at the moment). I'm heading to Tokyo for a short break, but when I get back I will get to actually start animating again on this set!

Posted by teabgs, on 2004-08-03 09:53:18

Ethan: That looks sweeeeeeet man! The snow looks really nice through the camera. Is it solid or does it 'give' at all? I'm just wondering if we'll be seeing any footprints in the final film. Whenever it is that you finish of course. I've been looking forward to seeing more from yours...I'm excited to see you still working on it!

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-03 10:09:01

Thanks for your comments Jason- The snow does 'give' especially in the deep parts where the crust of snow is built up over foam. In the shallow parts it can still give about 1/4". There are 3 shots on this set. One is just a camera move into the vent. The other two show my character coming out of the vent and running to the doorway-like crack in the ice on the left side of the set. Should be fun to try the footprints thing!

Posted by Yagan, on 2004-08-03 10:10:03

wow ! cool ethan !!! want to see more ... aaaaaargh ... you're website is down !!! :'( ... and i'm going on holidays ... so i'll wait for your next updates !!! :D

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-03 10:18:44

thanks Yagan! Yeah, I've been meaning to get my website up again but I'd rather be out in the studio than at the computer. Maybe by the end of August. ;)

Posted by Yagan, on 2004-08-03 12:01:30

> but I'd rather be out in the studio than at the computer well, that seems to me judicious ... excellent an idea ethan > Maybe by the end of August Great, i'll be back :D ;) Friendly

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-08-03 18:53:59

Nice set Ethan. I look forward to seeing it with a character in the set, see how the lighting picks out the character, the effect of the practical lantern as well. I'm carving styrofoam at the moment too, only mine is a big stone lantern inspired by one I saw in the Shinjuku Gardens, in Tokyo. Is this part of the Jersey Devil film, or a different one?

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-03 19:00:29

Thanks Nick- I can't wait to put the character in there also. Carving styrofoam is fun but nasty toxic. I spent almost a week in a 90 degree garage with my respirator on.....ugh. As far as the Jersey Devil film, that one is being made by someone else here, but I can't remember who. This is part of my ongoing project though. Shinjuku Gardens eh? I'll have to look that up- we leave for Tokyo tomorrow!

Posted by StopMoWorks, on 2004-08-03 21:10:13

Whoaaa....getting into some heavy duty set building. This is getting serious. I better get going on that "you know what". As usual, "life" getting in the way :-( Some of yous people maybe did not notice the clever little trigger mount bracket tha Ethan made for his cam ....looks like it uses a standard plunger trigger cable. Probably eliminates possible camera shake .... he doesn't need to touch camera when shooting frames.

Posted by Strider, on 2004-08-03 21:31:30

That looks fantastic! the glitter really helps... that's one thing that people often don't get in fake snow, that glistening effect. Ethan is quite the home handyman when it comes to rigging up all this equipment. It was one of his suggestions that led to my building my camera motion unit on a drill press column. Also I think he brought up the idea of using a lab jack for vertical movement. lol, I have the same setup at the camera end... the Manfrotto geared head mounted on the lab jack! But mine is just set on a machinists cross-slide table with a maximum 11" travel. It looks like you have some type of linear slide unit (the black box with the two pieces of square tubing extending from it to support the camera) sitting on top of a dolly. Is the weight of the camera counterbalanced on the other end? It just seems like it would want to tip otherwise, especially considering it looks like your dolly just sits on skateboard wheels on a track of round tubing. Is this a film with your Angry Puppet character? Or somebody else? By the way, it's Josh Jennings aka Sockpuppet who is doing the Jersey Devil film.

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-08-03 22:10:03

D'oh! Angry, Sock, I knew it was one of the Puppet brothers! I ought to remember, I did some modelmaking for it. I'm going to have to up the caffeine dose... ...Ok, thats a couple more brain cells kicked in, I can picture the angry puppet character now.

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-03 23:07:09

Hey guys- Thanks for the words of support- it helps a lot when you are spending many hours alone in an overheated garage to get some feedback from others! Lio: Sharp eyes to pick up my little trigger rig- I actually am using it coupled with the 10-sec countdown timer on the camera since this rig has a little bit of wobble in it. Gives it time to settle after the trigger is pushed. One drawback of the camera I use is no wireless remote.... Mike: Yep- the camera is counterweighted on the other end with a stack of 2lb weights. The dolly it is mounted on is the one that Brady built for me a year or so ago. Gotta' give him credit on that one, it is working great, even better when it is seriously loaded like it is here. This whole set up is part of the same project I have been chipping away at for awhile now. I'm trying to complete the intro sequence and then try to get some money interested in helping me complete the film. Thanks again for the feedback everyone- I'll be back around here in ten days or so...

Posted by Brady, on 2004-08-04 07:57:58

The set looks great Ethan, I can't wait to see more. I'm excited to see the dolly being used in a shot. Mine has been collecting dust since I built yours. My day job hasn't left any free time for working on my film. Keep up the good work. Brady

Posted by mefull, on 2004-08-04 18:17:39

Wow Ethan, Kick ass job on the set. I can't wait to see some stills of the puppet on set. This is inspiration for all us part timers to get going, keep going, go! thanks for sharing, really nice job. Mark

Posted by Serious Bender, on 2004-08-07 23:01:57

I am a sucker for snow sets, and this one kicks serious posterior. Fantastic form and texture. I can't wait to see some of your tests from this set.

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-30 11:04:26

Here's a shot from my snow set. I still have to paint out wires and put a blur on his rapid cartoony run off screen.

Posted by teabgs, on 2004-08-30 11:38:24

dude, that looks sweet! When are you going to finish the film?! :P

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2004-08-30 12:21:38

See what, Happens when you leave your child in the swimming pool for too long? They end up looking like the Angry Puppet heh. Nice shot Ethan! Marc Visit:

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-30 20:44:07

>dude, that looks sweet! > >When are you going to finish the film?! :P teabgs: Finish? Wow, hadn't even thought about that yet. At the rate I'm going it will take a few more years at least. It's hard when I can only work on it in my free time outside of work. I will be done with the first little chapter sooner than that though and will cut that together as a teaser for people to see. Thanks for the feedback!

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-08-30 20:44:18

Holy $#!t, that looks good!!!

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-30 20:51:15

>Holy $#!t, that looks good!!! Thanks Nick! Coming from an amazing animator like yourself- that just made my week. :)

Posted by Strider, on 2004-08-31 01:31:08

Great work Ethan! It makes me laugh every time I watch it. Strange... I had a heck of a time watching it. I had to download the link to my hard drive, and even then it kept telling me Quicktime is missing software required to show it. I tried it with VLC and it just shut it down. And then suddenly it would play alright on my Quicktime player. Huh... Life... who writes this stuff? :+

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-31 09:25:58

Thanks Mike! Sorry it was giving you a hard time. I don't know much about this stuff, could it be something to do with me being on a mac and you a pc? Glad you got it to play finally.

Posted by The Ant, on 2004-08-31 15:27:39

I think Strider has Mac. I use PC and had trouble. The download was starting for about 4 minutes with only the blue Q logo visible on screen. Then suddenly it turned into broken Q indicating it could not download or something wrong. I have the free 6.5 QT player. I don't think versions vary that much unless you have real old QT. With Strider's QT clip downloads, the loading progress bar immediately shows. Maybe there're different ways to setup QT downloads? I know from downloading other QT clips at other sites, the download behaves differently including variances of screen sizes.

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2004-08-31 15:50:58

Weird...dunno' why it would do that. It's just a standard Quicktime file (.mov) around 7.5mb. It isn't set up for streaming or anything complicated. Maybe try reloading the link when it comes up as broken. Or maybe one of you quicktime pro's can download it and re-post it in a more dependable way?

Posted by teabgs, on 2004-08-31 16:30:19

"Or maybe one of you quicktime pro's can download it and re-post it in a more dependable way?" This should load in under a minute... even for you dial-up folks. ;-) This file is 170Kb and is setup for a fast you'll be able to see it downloading and not have to wait until the entire movie is loaded. Of course, it's much more compressed and not quite as nice looking...but it's still very very nice.

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-08-31 18:01:34

It loaded ok for me. But of course I had to check out the compressed version and watch it again. I really like the impact of the landing and the recovery.

Posted by StopMoWorks, on 2004-08-31 19:31:54

Hmmmmmmm....I had same problem as Ant. The broken quicktime icon appeared and it did not download. Looks like Jason might be our how-to-post-movies-online "expert". The second version downloaded in a reasonable short time even with my dial-up connection. Looks okay to me even if you say it was more compressed. Nice work Ethan. This thing looks like it's gonna have some nice production values .... the looks and just very finessed overall. Did anyone mention the puppet support wires slightly visible? Sorry about that ;-)

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-08-31 21:42:35

Yes, Ethan said: "... I still have to paint out wires and put a blur on his rapid cartoony run off screen."

Posted by Strider, on 2004-09-01 02:06:37

It's not really that complicated setting up movies to stream. Basically all it means is that people can watch it little by little as it downloads, rather than waiting for the whole thing to load and staring at a blank white screen the whole time. As soon as I figured out how to set up for streaming I always do it that way. You can do it with iMovie (Ant is right, I'm a Mac man too). Just export your movie to QT and you can set it up to stream. What you want to do is experiment with really short clips so you don't have to wait for long to test it. Then just try setting it up different ways. To test the clips, put them in your video folder for your site (the one on your hard drive, no need to upload to the server yet) and write them into the HTML code for your clips page (or whatever page you're using). Then open it and click it... you'll see exactly what people downloading it will see, except it won't take any time to load. You should immediately see the QT player with the bar across the bottom that shows loading progress. If you see that, then you've set it up for streaming. There's a lot of optional things you can do with streaming that you can just ignore.... hinting, optimizing for the server, etc. If you want any more lessons,email me and we'll make a streaming pro out of you! ;-)

Posted by Strider, on 2004-09-01 04:08:46

I put up a little tut on my site about how to do streaming video using iMovie. Check it out: It's not complicated, and maybe I don't know as much about it as Jason, but it works, and that's good enough to start with. :-)