Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive

THE SMA ARCHIVE

ANIMATION DEPARTMENT

PUPPET MAKING

MINIATURES & SET BUILDING

SPECIAL FX

STOP-MOTION IN FILM

BULLETIN BOARD

MESSAGE BOARD HELP

THE SMA FORUM ARCHIVE

STOP-MOTION SETS

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-08-29 16:07:03

Ok, here i am again. Im building a forest/cottage scene

Since i couldnt get started with my city project, ive started a new one, Im using blue screen to add a forest background into my set and im going to be making plaster of paris houses, brick by brick, As seen on a website. But, im wondering how good plaster of paris is for making moving doors added, For example, im making a garage door that can open, will plaster of paris be stable? Cause i dont want a car coming out and ripping the door off its hinges! Also, im looking to create a house with windows and everything, But the neat trick is that im going to scale the house down to small, And the people for the outside scenes, so while the people in the house defend themselves from skelewags, or monsters or something, on the outside, i can make lots of the little creatures, and it will look really cool and keep me on a low budget. Anway, Im getting back to the point now. As i say, plaster of paris, for my garage door, also i was thinking about using it for a door that can open and get smashed down, or would i have to completly make a new door for that? Or make abstract of just the door and a few bricks i can destroy???

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-08-29 21:30:06

That's funny, I'm doing a cottage in a forest too. With little faery creatures outside in the forest. But I bet they are very different films. I've only shot some of the interior scenes so far. The outside of the house is a different model. I'm using a painting as a backdrop, with some tree models, to save hassles with doing blue/greenscreen with green trees and blue moonlight. I would probably not build brick by brick, but first make the basic wall out of particle board, mdf, foamcore, or some other sheet material. (depends, do you have a bandsaw or jigsaw, or only a Stanley knife?) Then I would cut out lots of thin brick shapes from 3mm (1/8th inch) mdf, sand the edges and give them some uneven wear, and glue them onto the wall. A light texturing with plaster over the top for extra texture might look good, or that putty stuff Strider uses. Or a little glue and sawdust. Mostly you want to brush it into the gaps for the mortar. Or you could make up one brick or stone wall, take a rubber mould of it, and cast it in plaster, with fibreglass matting to reinforce the plaster. You would want wooden door frames though, to attach hinges. If the wall is not flat but really wavy/wobbly you could roll out some clay, press brick shapes into it to form a negative mould of a brick wall, then cast in re-inforced plaster from that. For really small 1:24 scale (people are just under 2" tall) brick walls I made the brick pattern by cutting lots of brick shapes from thin card. I vac-formed sheets of brickwork from that, but you could just make all the visible sides of the cottage that way. Make the door from mdf, wood, balsa wood, thin plywood strips to make planks, something like that. Not plaster. Balsa is good because it is soft, you can age it by going along the grain with a wire brush. If it has to smash, you could animate the planks splitting and falling by attaching them with sewing pins or blue-tack for that scene, then moving them a little each frame. Sometimes you can break a piece of Balsa wood, then push the ends together and fill the join so it doesn't show, so it's easy to animate it splitting apart. In my showreel at www.Stopmoshorts.com there is a wooden house collapsing, all animated frame by frame. Some pieces are held at one end by armature wire so they can fall down a frame at a time. Some planks have pins in them, and there is a row of holes in the framing so they can move down to the next hole. I had to make special pieces that were designed to fall apart, not the sets I used for the rest of the film.

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-08-30 06:02:44

Thanks! That was all very helpful and im sure it will save me money. I mean a brick mold was $35 and thats about 20? So yeah, Ill get some MDF or something. Its a nice site, Ill watch those films later on, Still searching for the Wooden house.

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-08-30 06:30:55

Wooden house - Go to Showreels, you'll find 2 there, Jason's and mine. Mine is the second one. The collapsing wooden house is in 3 shots right near the end of the clip.

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-08-30 09:44:36

Ok, ill check that section. Also would balsa wood be good for my house? Its light, and can be cut easily. I just found a models and hobbies shop near me, and i think its my favourite store. Its got grass and trees and floor, wood, clay everything!

Posted by Strider, on 2005-08-30 16:01:01

Balsa wood is too weak for something like that. Better to use soem basswood or just any kind of ordinary wood. If you make a house out of balsa and then bump it accidentally, you'll crush it!

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-08-30 16:20:40

Hmm, i was thinking balsa wood to be fine, i mean, its cheap and the only thing the house needs to do is maybe get a window smashed or a door opening. Again it is very light, maybe it would blow around the set. Unless i bluetacked it down.

Posted by Strider, on 2005-08-30 19:37:54

Oh... is it just for a very small model of a building? That might work then. Still very delicate though... I think I'd try to build it over a block of styrofoam or maybe glue together a few blocks of the Balsa to get the basic shape of the house first, and build over that.

Posted by stopmoanimatior, on 2005-08-31 00:13:59

If you are at all concerned on how your going to destroy your door first there are to things. One being whatever would you do endup using make sure before you start filming "weaken" the wood either by softening it with water or heating it whatever suits you. Then, below your animation table set up a rig that will literally pull the door down the rig should be made of some sort of metal clamp that is attached to a jack-like mechnisim. (The jack I am referring to is a car jack). Experiment with it. I hope I have helped in some way. stopmoanimatior :*

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-08-31 04:26:57

Yeah, maybe that i could have like a battering ram that can fall down when i release the string and hit the door and bounce back because it hits a spring above the door and bounces back then i could be very quick and catch it with a ruler to stop it falling again

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-08-31 23:54:40

Sorry if I've got this wrong, but do you understand that in animation nothing actually falls or swings on a string or bounces? You have to position it for every frame, it needs to stay there while you take the shot, then you position it again for the next frame. You don't move very quick and catch it. You have all the time in the world, between frames! Again, sorry if I've misunderstood, but it sounded like you were talking about live action.

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-09-01 03:02:05

No! That was a rig i was going to make to bash the door in without you seeing it! Sorry for the confusion. I think im going to have to make something tear a hole in the garage door. But i think paper is too flimsy and light can shine through it. Any suggestions? or could i make a cardboard door and penknife it and then rip it?

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-09-01 04:34:24

Ok, it was the bit about moving quick and catching with a ruler that confused me. I like to use balsa, and pre-break or score it with a knife on the back, because it has grain so it breaks with little jagged edges like real wood. But you could use cardboard, scored on the back. For a rig I use armature wire glued into holes on the broken bits, so that the bits are supported as they are animated splitting apart and falling. Mostly I can keep the wires out of sight, hidden behind the falling bits.

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-09-01 05:49:09

Ok, that sounds like a neat idea.

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-09-06 04:54:08

Also i made a sweeping brush out of sculpey and i dont know what to use for the bristles. Any ideas?