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STOP-MOTION SETS

Posted by xowster, on 2004-12-16 12:05:18

snow for sets

hello! does any body know the best way to create snow for a stopmotion set? like the snow for rudolph or from the new movie elf? thanks!

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-12-16 19:17:09

I know we've been through this before. I used salt, sometimes lightly sprayed with a misting of water which made it go crusty, over a plaster covered set. Sugar works too, or lots of things. Big areas where the puppet doesn't walk could be covered in cotton if you want a soft look. For falling snow I sanded some polystyrene foam to get fine particles, hung a box with holes in it, and filmed the snow falling against a black cloth. I waved a bit of card to get occasional gusts of wind, and the lightweight styrene responded very well. Then I superimposed the falling snow over the scene. I added a little salt each frame, so the snow seemed to build up.

Posted by Jeff Mahon, on 2004-12-27 13:08:01

Molded styrofoam would be best if you could afford it because it glistens like real snow. i like to use sugar or salt because they reflect back light, which makes it glisten too. Plus sugar and salt is heavy enough not to move unless you make it move. Too bad Anthony is so busy. The snow in NMBC and the new Davey and Goliath was perfect. i would like to know exactly how it was done. Jeff

Posted by I ANIM8R, on 2004-12-20 11:57:08

Someone once told me that the snow in Nightmare Before Christmas was styrofoam, though I can't imagine how they had gotten it to lay like it does, in beautiful, smooth hills and drifts. Personally, I once shot a couple of winter bumpers and simply used white clay. I thought it worked perfectly. You can smooth and mold it to your landscape with ease and when characters interact with it, its easy to put it where you need it. The downside is that if your set is up for a long time, the snow can get dirty or dusty and can be a bear to keep clean. But in my shots of inner-tubers sliding down a snowy hill, the clay moved around very realistically and then stayed where I left it, as opposed to salt or sugar which seems like it might be very difficult to control. Just a thought...

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-12-20 21:37:04

I wouldn't lay piles of loose styrofoam for hills and drifts, I'd carve the styrofoam blocks into that shape. Maybe that's what NMBC did. The styrene particles are so light a sneeze would send them flying. They fall nice and slowly which is good for shooting falling snow, but you'd want something heavier to stay put while you are filming.

Posted by Buzby, on 2004-12-27 04:38:02

I used cooking Flour, if you use flour seive it onto the set from high above the set and just let it fall. The studio next to us was using salt for his snow, it looked great, but be careful it turned his floor into an ice rink and we were all skidding all over the place. I nearly took our set out at one point!

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2004-12-27 15:03:35

The At-At Walkers, In Empire Strikes Back walked on Baking Soda. It's good for that scale, I'd go with something other then sugar. Didn't Ethan from Angry Puppet Films say he used sugar? I think it was him - he said one day there were ants walking all over his set one day eating the sugar the next day. That could definitely be a problem depending on where you live :D Marc http://www.animateclay.com/signature.jpg Visit: http://www.animateclay.com http://www.zombie-pirates.com

Posted by The Ant, on 2004-12-27 19:51:23

I saw this weekend Davey and Goliath's Snowboard Christmas. Animation and special effects were good and especially the snow and it felt like it was really shot outdoors. Anthony Scott was credited as animation director. If he sees this topic maybe he can say what they used for the snow effects.

Posted by AngryPuppet_, on 2005-01-17 10:29:46

[div class="dcquote"][strong]Quote[/strong] The At-At Walkers, In Empire Strikes Back walked on Baking Soda. It's good for that scale, I'd go with something other then sugar. Didn't Ethan from Angry Puppet Films say he used sugar? I think it was him - he said one day there were ants walking all over his set one day eating the sugar the next day. That could definitely be a problem depending on where you live :D Marchttp://www.animateclay.com/signature.jpg Visit: http://www.animateclay.comhttp://www.zombie-pirates.com [/div] That must have been someone else Marc- I used the sculpted foam covered with baking soda and glitter technique that Ross Shuman told me about. I agree it is the best way to go- and you can get nice little footprints in it.

Posted by Strider, on 2004-12-27 23:46:17

I think Ron Dexter mentioned some of that stuff on his site. Let's see if I can remember the addy.... is it www.rondexter.com ? Yep, that's it. Glad he kept it nice and simple! Somewhere in all that stuff are a few sections about the Davey and Goliath movie. Not sure I could tell you where without digging all through it again. Ok, near the top of the page is a section called Avalanches. He talks about the snow effects a bit there, and possibly elsewhere too. The whole site is fascinating... well worth bookmarking and spending some time absorbing.

Posted by Anthony Scott, on 2004-12-28 04:33:21

Ron has a lot of great information on his site which features a section about stopmotion, information acquired from the Davey and Goliath Snowboard special + a few Gumby and Davey spots. Here is a direct link to the section on avalanches: http://www.rondexter.com/stop_motion_animation/avalanches.htm Ross Shuman built the snow sets which were made of wood with styrofoam sheets on top. The foam was sculpted using a hot wire. Then the foam had a glue/baking soda mixture laid on top. Finally, baking soda was sifted on top to give it a fresh snow appearance. We also added glitter into the baking soda sometimes but I am not sure if this was always used. I don't have any details about what kind of foam or how to make a hot wire. It was all very messy so be warned that you will have baking soda everywhere!