Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by liveunderwater, on 2001-07-21 22:45:58

Water and fire in a stop motion set

I am building a castle.. brick by brick. The problem is that there is water around the castle and there are torches on the castle itself. How on earth is it possible for me to animate with two very variable objects?

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2001-07-22 01:12:22

In the past I'd film the fire and water as separate live action elements and add them in through double exposures. The water around the castle might also work well as mirrored plex if it doesn't have to move.

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-22 09:05:49

I did a commercial a long time ago that faced the fire issue. It was a moving shot with action passing in front of the flames and this was years before having a non-linear system. I shot a torch-like flame and then, on paper, created a cycle of a shape that seemed to be convincing. Using this as a guide, I sculpted clay replacement flames that had a flat bottom. It was about a 36 frame cycle, I believe. Using plaster of paris, I made molds of these flames by simply turning them upside down and pushing them into the wet plaster. Once the molds were made and the clay removed, I cast the flames in clear resin. While the resin was still gel-like, I carefully inserted a small Christmas tree light in each flame, leaving the base sticking out. Then, using the Christmas tree light bulb holders as a base, I built them into the torches on the walls of the corridor. There were about 6 altogether. By cycling the flames across all different torches, I was able to have 6 different torches going simultaneously. Their light output was pretty high, and looked great as it flickered against the walls. I had tried just burying one light in the base, but the resin flames looked more like neon and didn't seem to actually "glow" like they did with a bulb actually in the flame. In-camera too! A lot of trouble, but they looked great. I've kept them around, but have never used them since. However, if I had to do it again, I think I would just put a single light in plain view on the torch handle and mush KY jelly around it from frame to frame. I've never done it that way, but my gut instinct is that the random nature of it would probably work as good as the cast resin flames I spent forever creating! Roger

Posted by Nick H, on 2001-07-22 19:27:05

Roger's trick sounds great if you can't double expose live flames on. (Say you had camera moves, but not motion control.) The tedious bit to me would be changing the flames from torch to torch every frame. What if the cast flame were a fully 360 degree round object, that could rotate around the bulb? It could look different on different sides, so you just give it a turn? I found candle flames can look ok shot single frame, (except the candle burns down quicker) but wouldn't scale well, too simple looking for a torch. Flat clear acetate cutout flames painted with stainglass paint might work almost as well as the cast flames. I've done pools of still water with actual water, because I had creatures wading in it. I fould that if there was any stuff floating on top it tended to move eratically from my hand disturbing the surface as I animated, and if I thickened it with wallpaper paste it became more stable. If nothing goes into the water, I'd go with the perspex. If it had to ripple, cgi water or real water composited in would be the easiest if you can. If it were possible to have a large sheet of ripple perspex under the set, with the moat a cut out hole through to the perspex, you could move the perspex a little each frame. Probably more suited to a river where the flow is in one direction. I haven't tried this, I'm just speculating.

Posted by liveunderwater, on 2001-07-23 16:27:47

I think that it was bad of me to ask such a questoin here. I am very new to this, it has been my passion for some time but I have not been able to do much. I am starting on a small project and have read many things on animating, but the terms and various items used in replies that I received from my post have helped me very little because I do not understand what is meant by them. I do think that it would be a good idea to make frames on glass to animate fire, and I think I could do it, but double expose? You mean to shoot twice on the same frame, but with a real flame on the second shot? I dont understand. I came to this forum because there are many things that I do not understand, and I want more than anything to animate using stop and go techniques. I want to go to school for it, but I cant get into Columbia College of Chicago now because I waited for a letter of recomendation taht has yet to come. (If it ever does) Please, would someone please explain to me what is going on? perspex???

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-23 17:29:27

Hi! "Double expose" does, in fact, mean to make a second exposure on top of the first exposure. If you had a shot that was locked off (no camera movement), then you could animate your shot as normal, Then, when finished, you could rewind the film in your animation camera and line up the flame of a real torch with the previously exposed shot of the miniature torch base. By shooting the real torch against a pure black background, only the flames would re-expose the area where the miniature torch flames should be. Lining up something like that can be tricky, buy looks great once it is achieved. If you are just starting out, I suggest a simpler alternative. Cut an animation cycle of flames out of bright orange and red construction paper. The cycle should be about 12 to 18 frames minimum, I would think. Test this cycle in front of the animation camera to make sure it works well. Then, when animating your scene, replace one flame for the next for each frame shot. Light the flame with a small, bright orange spot light as close to the camera as possible to minimize the shadow cast by your paper flames. Use a little vaseline or KY jelly or diffusion on the lens to make the flames "glow". It should work quite well, expecially if you color the center of each flame with a red magic marker to give the flame a "core" like real flames have and if you light the flames hotter than the rest of the scene. "Perspex" is Nick showing his Aussi roots. Over here in the states we call it Plexiglass, just as god intended. ;) Roger Evans

Posted by Nick H, on 2001-07-23 18:27:37

"plexiglass" indeed! I will disagree about one thing though - I wouldn't put vaseline or KY jelly directly on the lens. Instead, I'd put a sheet of glass or, plexiglass, in front of the lens and put the stuff on that to do the blurring. It's a bigger surface to work on, so you can be more accurate.(Also I like to keep the lens clean, especially delicate coated lenses.) I made a simple matte box for my Bolex, with a slot that the glass could slide into. (It was held on by a flat metal base that went under the camera, the mounting screw from the tripod went through a hole in the metal and into the camera.) This was not only good for painting KY onto for blurring, you could mark the position where the flame would go on the glass, slide the glass out and shoot the animation, then wind the film back and slide the glass back in to see exactly where to place the live action flame. (And you could use it for positive and negative static mattes, as the name matte box suggests.) You can buy matte boxes for a Bolex, but this was much cheaper. But you're right, Roger, it's probably easier to put something right there in the set. As an alternative to construction paper, you could cut the flames out of tracing paper, and backlight them with pinspots (small spotlights that throw a narrow tight beam) to get a nice glow. But I still like the idea of the individual xmas tree lights right there in the torch.

Posted by JohnL, on 2001-07-23 18:44:56

Does anybody know how the candle flames in the nightmare before christmas were done. The scene where oogies kids are singing kidnap the sandi claws, and they throw the bug down to oogy. it looked great.

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2001-07-23 18:51:09

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jul-23-01 AT 05:14 PM (PST)[/font][p]Perhaps a Xmas tree light with animated cotton? We used an animated cotton gag (double exposed with heavy diffusion filter) for the gun blasts in ROBOCOP 2. It might not be subtle enough for a torch but could be worth a try. I also like Nick's idea: "cut the flames out of tracing paper, and backlight them with pinspots" That might be the most direct way to get a nice effect. RE: "Does anybody know how the candle flames in the nightmare before christmas were done? The scene where oogies kids are singing kidnap the sandi claws, and they throw the bug down to oogy." I didn't work on that shot but I seem to remember that they were real flames double exposed in. I know we used a real flame during Jack's experiments for at least one shot. REMEMBER kid's, don't play with real fire at home.

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-23 19:37:37

I didn't really mean to put vaseline right on the lens. Sheesh. What kind of a cameraman do you take me for! I was speaking conceptually about the simple things that might be available like vaseline or KY to diffuse the image a bit. But, good to be on the safe side and advise against putting right on the lens. Never know; someone reading this forum might actually follow given directions. (hah!) Plexiglass is the REAL name. Double HAH! Roger

Posted by liveunderwater, on 2001-07-26 01:18:07

When the time comes, I need to make the flame look as real as possible. would it be advisable to try doing a double exposure at a beginner's level? I have been animating things periodically, and reading many tutorials on animation, but I am starting on my first full project. Using a difused gel shot and paper cut outs sounds as if it would turn out looking cartoony.

Posted by Nick H, on 2001-07-26 04:23:19

What have you got to work with? Will you finish on film or on video? What camera? If it's a Bolex that can do accurate backwinding of the film, you can double expose. But for realism, you still want some interactive lighting - if the flame were really there it would throw some flickering light on the wall or nearby objects. So maybe put the real globes in the set, and possibly double expose the flames in over top. But you might be surprised at how good the cutout flames can look, provided you diffuse out those cut edges. Will you be putting the footage on video and editing in the computer? If so, you could composite some flames on in a program like After Effects, Digital Fusion, or Aura. Or in a 3d program like Lightwave, you put your animated footage in as a background image, and map the flames onto little rectangles you can place in position. The tricky part to double exposure is lining up the flames perfectly. It occurs to me that you could use a beam splitter (a sheet of glass or animation cel at 45 degrees in front of the camera.) Lock everything down. Build your live torch set, backed by black cloth, off to the side. You will see a double image through the viewfinder, your set seen through the glass and the live flames reflected off the glass. You can move the flames (in little black pots) around until you see them sitting exactly in line with the model torches. Then film the flames, with no light on the set so it's black,and backwind to the start of the shot. Next, put out the flames, light the set, and shoot the animation. This would be more accurate than marking positions on a sheet of glass in a mattebox, since you could se both at the same time to check alignment. The flames might need to be shot a couple of stops wider to compensate for being a reflection off plain glass, therefore dimmer. Jim Aupperle or Roger might be able to say if this is a dumb idea or not. Of course, if you've got some kind of in-camera video assist with vision mixer you don't need to piss about with the beam splitter, you can grab a frame of the set, pan the camera around to the flames, and use a slider to mix back and forth from one image to the other. I'm guessing you don't have that.

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-26 08:07:29

Hi, Nick! I think the glass idea is perfect. Only I would change the order of when to shoot the flames. Good cameras aren't SUPPOSED to eat film when you backwind, but accidents do happen. Any time I had something that required backwinding, I would always lay in the easiest exposure first. Ultimately, he could line up his animation set with the flame via the glass and go ahead and shoot the flame first. If the camera jammed or ate film for some reason (who knows?) the fire is much easier to reshoot than the animation! Then once he knows he has safely backwound the film, he could proceed with animation, secure in the knowledge that the fire is already latent on the film. I used to do it the other way, but after one accident long, long ago on a MAJOR animation set up, I started reversing the order of multiple exposures. Too nerve racking during the rewind stage. In fact, he could shoot an entire 100 roll of flames for all the scenes from that camera position. Anything he shot, the flames would already be there. As far as shooting the flames hotter, I don't think that would be necessary. One of the nice things about glass shots like that is if it looks good to the eye, then it usually works. Also, it might be better to change the light level of the animation set to match the flames, if necessary. That way, he could stay with a consistent f-stop. My 2 cents. Roger

Posted by Nick H, on 2001-07-26 19:35:44

That's worth 3.9 cents Australian, Roger! I think you're right about the order to shoot it in, and keeping the same f stop if possible. Of course, we're assuming Liveunderwater is shooting on film, if it's video this backwinding stuff doesn't apply. Another thought - you'd probably want to scale down the flames a bit to get more complexity, which means making them bigger and putting them further away. You'd have to check the lens for "barrelling" - many lenses do a slight zoom effect when you change focus. (Not only zoom lenses. The Nikon primes I use on the Mitchell are real dogs, I can't do a pull focus shot because the zooming is too distracting.) If the lens doesn't barrel, no problem. If it does, changing the focus would alter the alignment of the flames. So it would be necessary to stop down enough to have a deep focus, so both the set up close and the flames further away would be sharp without any change in focus. A Switar 10mm lens would be ideal.

Posted by liveunderwater, on 2001-07-27 03:15:18

The glass splitter, correct me if Im wrong, was used to create Zero in Nightmare Before Christmas, correct? That is something that I have always wanted to learn to do. I have seen a lot of posts concerning what I am using for my project. Well, that is still to be determined. I am working on puppets and stages right now. Because it is going to take me so long, I am really only looking to learn what I need to do for all of my animating right now. That is why I need to know about the fire and the water, because I am in set construction and I dont know how I should build the water around the castle and the torches on and insideof it. I am thinking that I would like to get a 5.1 megapixel camera, with a 3 gig smartmedia wallet. I want to get the digital camera because I think that it would be easier to work with on a computer, and I want it to be high resolution so that I can get it transfered to film. I work at a theatre and would be able to have it shown there (for friends and family and such) Im rambling a bit, I just saw Planet of the Apes at a staff showing and now I am tired. I have been carefully reading all of your posts and thank you very much. I now have a few options for the torches that I am fairly confident I can accomplish, and I think that I might have some ideas for the water. Are there any problems with going strictly digital?

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2001-07-27 10:34:41

RE: "The glass splitter, correct me if Im wrong, was used to create Zero in Nightmare Before Christmas, correct?" That's true, on NIGHTMARE we used a beam splitter for the majority of shots with Zero to get the ghost effect. The best place to read about this approach and other traditional visual effects techniques is Raymond Fielding's excellent book "The Technique of Special Effects Cinematography", very highly recommended, a must have volume. By the way, transferring digital images to film is VERY expensive. If you want to end up on film it's usually best to start with film, unless you have a large budget to play with. Jim Aupperle

Posted by ThomasArts, on 2001-07-27 15:37:45

Or a movie which promises to get successful .

Posted by liveunderwater, on 2001-07-27 15:38:49

Isnt shooting on film also really expensive? I dont even know what type of film I would need, and I would need to get a different camera. I dont know anything about that stuff because I have rarely been able to find information on what cameras are used in stop motion, what films, styles... etc. It isnt looking good for me. At least I am still working on puppets and sets

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2001-07-27 16:31:34

RE: "Isn't shooting on film also really expensive?" Yes, shooting on film is rather expensive. However, in an earlier post you said something about wanting to show your animation on film. Taking your animation from a computer file to film might more than eat up any money you'd save by shooting digital. Also, if you wanted to work at film quality your pixel width should be 2k (2048). This will require a high end computer to handle that much information. You might want to consider doing your first project at video resolution, about a 720 width. Much easier to handle and going from digital to video is not nearly as expensive as going to film. Start small the first time out and learn by doing. Many people who are first starting out think that they are going to have results like ILM and Phil Tippett. Not going to happen. Takes time and many, many tests. The fun is in the learning. good luck Jim Aupperle --

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-27 17:48:16

"I think it would be fun to be an animator." Roger

Posted by ThomasArts, on 2001-07-28 09:15:45

Yeah , that's true . Being able to watch your results on a big screen is a great feeling , but it is not worth that price . Shooting on film is quite expensive and especially when you start out , you'll make many mistakes and you'll have to repeat things over and over again and this is much more costly on film as on video . Of course . Also I'm working with film , I shoot all my tests and trials on video . It is faster , much simpler and such much less expensive . So you get an impression of what your results are like . OK . When I look through a viewfinder I can imagine , what the picture will look like on film . But that takes much time and a lot of experience . My recommendation for you is to start out with video and then , at the time , you'll make less mistakes it is still time to get a film camera for the case you want to get on the big screen with your stuff . Working with film means so much to learn and so much to know and so much to pay , that it is not the right thing for the beginning . But if you want to project your stuff , I'd recommend 8mm or 16mm , not 35mm or 65mm . Good hunt , Heiß

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2001-07-27 19:05:29

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jul-27-01 AT 05:35 PM (PST)[/font][p]Hi Roger, "I think it would be fun to be an animator... I think it would be FUN to be an animator! I think it WOULD BE FUN to be an animator!!!" Ah yes, there was a time, lasted for many years too. Sorry to hear you are not going to make it to the convention. Like many things around us this could be the last of a kind. I don't expect to see another convention with a stop motion theme. Wonder what happened with my above post? Not far off the mark is it? "The fun------------------------------------- Transfer interrupted!" "What a disagreeable old man I have become!" Jim

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-27 20:10:47

"You're too old to keep calling me 'sir'!" "And you're too old to be called anything else!"

Posted by liveunderwater, on 2001-07-28 00:50:02

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jul-27-01 AT 10:55 PM (PST)[/font][p]I am taking my time with this project. I do expect to get at least decent results. I have been working with stop and go for a while, I think i said that, but this is my first major project... as in... actual story line to follow. I am running a gig of ram on a 1.2 mhz computer, and have my second computer networked to it (and it isnt a piece of crap, alot of people would really enjoy having a primary computer as nice as my secondary) I do a great deal of computer work, I do alot of flash animation, so I know the work haul that would come from doing an animation in digital, and I believe that I would not have many problems. I know that if I shot on film, it would look much better, but if I shot with digital, things would be easier for me. For example, I know how to take digitals, make them into an animation, and edit them (or edit the frames before making them an animation) but I do not know how to take film into a computer for editing, other than having them developed amd then scanned... Again, the reason that I am here in this forum is to learn as much as possible, and i think that all of the guys here know what they are doing. My dream is to animate using stop motion, and I thank all of you very much for helping me. However, I am now very confused, and do not know how I want to shoot the animation.

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2001-07-28 08:51:55

Hi liveunderwater, I sincerely apologize for adding to the confusion. From what you said in your above post I'd guess you're on the correct path and that shooting on digital and doing your finishing work in the computer is the way to go. We have people of all levels of experience here and I had the impression from your early post that this was your first project of the kind and it sounded like a very ambitious one for the first time out. Since you plan to use the computer you might want to consider having a program like After Effects to composite in your fire effects. Have you heard of the CDs in the Pyromania series from VCE? I have the first two and plan to get the third one once I get back into working on my own projects. Check out: The fire elements were all shot high speed on film and then transferred to digital in both Mac and PC files, very high quality and for what you get the price is a bargain. Keep at it and don't let the growling of an old dinosaur throw you off. If you have any other questions I'll try to help and there is a considerable talent pool here besides. best wishes, Jim Aupperle

Posted by JohnL, on 2001-07-29 09:55:52

what are some of the advantages in having your animation on film? Im very pleased to say ill soon have access to a dvd writer, but next year will still be considering film for a rather large poject ill be doing. so whats film best for?

Posted by ThomasArts, on 2001-07-29 11:16:36

If I got that right , you are asking what are the advantages of film . You can sum this up with one word : Film-Look . The so called Film look is the special look of images printed on Celluloid which can't be achieved in any other way , I think . Absolutely clear and sharp . Fully realistic colors , perfect field depth . Further you can project film on a large screen . Digital Data can easily be destroyed by one wrong mouseclick . And , film is real . It is not just an illusion consisting of 1 and 0 , it is something you can touch , something real , so to say . Just to name a few .

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2001-07-29 11:24:51

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jul-29-01 AT 10:19 AM (PST)[/font][p]The one big reason to shoot your animation on film would be if you wanted to be able show your project as a motion picture and didn't want to go to the expense of scanning out computer files to film. On the other hand, if you plan to add computer effects and would need to scan the film to computer in the first place then it would seem to make sense to originate with a digital camera. I think that is how the current STAR WARS sequel is being done. The tricky part there is finding a system that will give you acceptable quality for your intended venue. I think that doing an all CG project would be easier than doing a stop motion one because you are originating your images within the computer without having to import them from another medium with the possible loss of quality. I wonder if the MONKEY BONE stop motion was photographed with film or digital cameras, that would be worth checking out. I think the only way to be sure of the quality of a digital system if film is the intended release would be to do tests and take some work all the way to the release print stage. For a film quality resolution you'd probably want a camera that can give you 2k images and then you would need to determine the acceptable bit depth depending upon the amount of digital image manipulation you wanted to do. For high end comps there are programs like Shake that work in 16 bit floating point (no, I can't explain floating point, I do plan to take a Shake class at UCLA and then I'll know). Ah well, so many questions and options. Hope some of that helps. On NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS we did most of our fire; water and smoke effects in camera by double exposing front and rear projected live action elements that had be photographed against black. I don't think that there are any film makers left who would use that approach to add their effects so the answer now seems to be CG. Any other thoughts on this? I hope that some others on this board will add in with their experience. Has anyone taken digital or video photographed stop motion to a professional 35mm film release and if so what was the process? RE: "Digital Data can easily be destroyed by one wrong mouseclick " ThomasArts To this I say TRUE, all too true. If a person does not have a high degree of knowledge and experience dealing with digital data it is very easy to shred your image information and end up with a histogram that resembles a broken comb. With some study and experience this should not be a problem but there is much that one needs to be aware of. With all this being said, if I were asked to do a stop motion project that needed digital effects and a film release I would investigate very carefully the various digital image forming systems. I would need to prove to myself that the quality in sharpness, color reproduction and contrast is up to the level expected in film. best wishes, Jim Aupperle

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-29 21:55:23

Jimmy wrote: "On NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS we did most of our fire; water and smoke effects in camera by double exposing front and rear projected live action elements that had be photographed against black. I don't think that there are any film makers left who would use that approach to add their effects so the answer now seems to be CG. Any other thoughts on this?" Actually, even though I composite via Premier, I still use things like front lite/back and shooting fire and smoke on black. I use the "screen" and "multiply" transparancie filters like crazy. The screen filter is exactly like a double exposure and the multiply filter is just like a bi-pack; perfect for adding a hold out matte to a background plate. I find I like compositing this way more than using chroma key or even Ultimatte. I get zero fringing and soft edges, to boot! Layering in soft edge smoke and fire is a breeze. In fact, I currently give seminars to guys using After Effects and they are amazed that Premier can even do high end soft edge compositing. Not bragging, but my composites in Premier look better than most After Image comps. But then again, I have the advantage of a photographic background and understand the principles of optics and exposure. Virtually all of these youngsters are button pushers. If there's no button with an effect label on it, then the effect is impossible. The notion of creating mattes and counter mattes really blew their collective, tiny minds. Roger, the heretic "digi-saurus, stop-a-saurus, ani-mopatus rex" How's that?

Posted by ThomasArts, on 2001-07-30 06:38:13

Great new inventions , Roger . And you are very right with this button-pusher thing . When there's no button , it is impossible . Your new words are really good . Ey , what's the heart of an animator called ? - Animotor Oh gee - I'm not good at this , Heiß

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-30 07:35:11

Nonsense! You do just fine, considering your original language is German. In fact, combine all the new ideas you spread around with the fact that you are a German animator and I guess that makes you "The Germinator". (Hah! I can't stop myself!) Roger

Posted by ThomasArts, on 2001-07-30 10:17:31

Yeah , thanks . That was of course just a gag . I know that I'm good baby ( Again a gag ) . Germinator , that's really good . You should become a comedian . Oh my god - he's gonna get us all with his gags !!!

Posted by Squee, on 2002-03-18 19:31:10

"I guess that makes you "The Germinator". (Hah! I can't stop myself!)" hahaha, i found that really funny, i dunno why. hehe... anyhoo i'm in the same position as you, liveunderwater, except I've never made anything stop-motion! well, nothing that flowed at least. I need advice too! this quasi-confusing ramble of posts helped;) I'm attempting to piece my movie together using Adobe Premiere... i have no clue how anything in stop motion works, is premiere ok for that? I'm researching stop motion for my senior project (a big project that every senior at our high school does), but i'm kind of in the dark. A long-time fan of Nightmare Before Christmas though... more questions coming:) wow, you are all so knowledgible! *bows humbly in the presence of The Wise Ones*

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-07-30 15:28:00

Oh-ma-gawd. Spoon me with a gag....

Posted by Jim Aupperle, on 2001-07-30 16:21:58

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jul-30-01 AT 02:26 PM (PST)[/font][p]MovieStuff, "I always gagged on the silver spoon." Citizen Jimmy

Posted by Stix, on 2001-08-01 11:44:04

I heard that to get a film look with video, FX people output there video with about 10 translucent layers of the image. Is that true and why does that look better? Also, if space permits can someone post a tutorial on doing those composites thru Permier without resorting to chromakey? Thanks.

Posted by JohnL, on 2001-08-01 11:54:05

So what do you guys think about shooting all in camera effects. I love the fact that it can be said that things like the nightmare before christmas is all in camera, its a really cool principle. but in the end a special effect is a special effect (or at least as far as the audience is concerned). And to take it to the degree of the secret adventures of tomb thumb was the most fantastic thing ive ever seen. But where is the opinion heading now (as far as you pros go). Most of the time i cant tell the difference so i dont care to much, but see the cgi plane at the end of chicken run brought on a whole new hatered of he computer for me. Im actually about to make a stop mo with all cgi backgrounds because i dont have space or money for real sets, but my fear of making somthing that looks like the computer was used is massive. (sorry if im getting of the original topic, but i guess it fits into fire and water a little)

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-08-01 14:48:09

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Aug-01-01 AT 12:51 PM (PST)[/font][p]Hi, Styx! To understand how "Film Look" programs work, you have to understand the difference between film and video. It is commonly believed that video has only 30 pictures going by each second and film has 24. And, also contrary to popular belief, film shot at 30 fps does not look like video because video actually has 60 individual pictures going by each second and not 30. This is because each frame of video is made up of two fields and the fields are arrainged in odd and even rows. They are presented one after the other and merge in the eye to form a complete picture. However, if anything moves during the scan of the first field and the second field, then that object's motion will be spread across more pictures. Now, if you shot film at 60 frames per second (and projected at 60 as well), then it would look just like video. If you used an optical printer to remove everyother frame of film to reduce it to 30 fps, then it would look like film again. This is because 30 fps is slow enough for the eye to make out each frame as a discrete picture separate and existing on its own. Something projected at 60 fps merges the images together so tightly that persistence of vision makes it impossible to sort them out and you get the classic "video look" of silky smooth action. Therefore, if you take video's 60 fields and throw away every other field, then you'd be left with only 30 per second. Just as film still looks like film at 30 frames per second, video will also look like film at 30 fields per second. All "FilmLook" programs do is drop the second field of each frame and repeat the first field in its place to fill in the missing screen information. This results in half the resolution, but the illusion of "film motion" is achieved. This will not emmulate the resolution of film or its higher dynamic range and latitude, but it does emmulate the motion characteristics. How to do it in Premier: First, apply the setting called "deinterlace". This will drop every other field and replace it with a copy of the first. Then, increase the saturation and contrast a little bit (season to taste, as my wife says). Then make a copy of that clip and put it above the other. Apply "Better Gausian Blur" filter set at level 10. Then, using the opacity handles for this upper clip, drop the opacity to about 15-20 percent. This will be like adding a little diffusion filtration and will remove the aliasing that results from deinterlacing. You can also use "flicker removal" instead of "deinterlacing". That deinterlaces only moving objects with mixed results but retains better resolution. The deinterlacing always works, despite the loss of resolution. Contact me privately and I'll go over the compositing stuff. Too complicated to get into here. Roger

Posted by Stix, on 2001-08-07 14:29:28

How do I get in touch with you MovieStuff ? THANKS.

Posted by MovieStuff, on 2001-08-07 15:06:51

Hi, Styx! or 713-862-3300 See my website at: Roger

Posted by 1, on 2001-08-07 19:16:53

I thought I might, Add my 2 penny's worth to the digital V film discussion. I have used mostly 16mm film for two short fils that I did. One for the Anijam project and my first short Teddy Bears Mistake. Plus a couple that didnt go anywhere and many tests. I have to say that watching a projection of TBM is really amazing to see. The clarity and color is amazing from work prints. But to be logical it is hard to work with film. Just editing it is hard since you need to have a very clean and large working area. Dust and scratches from projecting the film can make you go crazy after all your work. And sending off your film to pay a huge fee for all the processing and shipping makes it hard to want to use the film system. But it is a good way to learn I will admit. Now with digital the plusses to me are that you can shoot your work and declare your independance from a lab. That to me is the best part, and editing is great because you don't need to watch your stop watch as the minutes tick by in a post house thinking - my God this is gonna cost me 200 more bucks! Especially for demo reels this is great. Anyway to get to my point my latest two films were done digitally and I learn something new every time. The technology and editing programs are getting great. And forget about sending your shorts in film festivals. Who needs such a small audience? Put it on the web and the world can see your films :) Marc

Posted by Nick H, on 2001-08-08 05:11:10

In practical terms, today on the web most of the world can see a tiny, jerky, low-res travesty of the film you sweated blood over to make. I've seen The Periwig Maker projected at Annecy, to an audience of a few hundred perhaps, but it looked fantastic and the audience really appreciated it. And I've tried to watch it on the web via Atom Films. It took about 40 minutes to download via a 56 k modem. I watched some, then closed it halfway, it wasn't a ghost of a shadow of the great film I'd seen. I also saw one of mine video projected, and while it wasn't quite the same as a film print it did look pretty good. One day, when the web delivers video to the not very high standard of vhs tape, without long waits, that I can access on my machine, I'll consider it again. Admittedly, it suits some films more than others - short, simple punchy films work better.

Posted by flux, on 2002-03-18 23:53:35

marc posted some cool info on using premier and a couple of other programs to do stop motion with motion blur. it looked really nice. maybe you can get some useful advise from that thread. -i believe it was in the topic of stop motion using computers....

Posted by Squee, on 2002-03-20 20:56:44

thanks, i found it! i was actually wondering how to make blurs... dont have many funds though :( ah well, ill get by :) ill try the photoshop technique... many thanks!! "I could've told you, Vincent, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you"