Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by stopmoanimatior, on 2005-08-30 23:54:09

How Can I Tare Down A Building During Monster Rampage

Okay here it is. For one scene in a new fantasy film I am making a prehistoric creature is to tear down the top part of a building (which in real life does exsist). I plan on doing this by filming the live footage of the building and put to a rear projection behind my model then have the top portion of that building made in minature and set up on and ariel rig to be suspended right in front of my rear projected images and have him "destroy" that. The technique I believe was used on the film eath vs. the flying saucers. I want to do this affect although I do not have any ability to matte out the top part of the building on the live action shots. Bluescreen and greenscreen is also not a good option I do not have good enough knowlege of how to composite and combine images through the computer or manually so I am kinda stuck right now I have been using a sony handy-cam camcorder (very unperfessional) I trying to find a good camera that can fit or come close to what I need in its features. Please help! Once again thank you! stopmoanimatior :7 :D

Posted by motion_station, on 2005-08-31 05:55:44

Couldnt you just make the moster grab hold of the building and gently cut it frame by frame?

Posted by Strider, on 2005-08-31 06:30:14

[i]*SIGH*[/i].... ;( We try and try... we talk until we're blue in the face, and do they listen? [i][b]NO!!![/b][/i] x( ...They ignore what we tell them, start a new thread, and ask the same questions again! Ok, I'll try this again. ;) It sounds to me like you've got it figured out, if you plan on doing in [i]in-camera[/i].... maybe using a monitor behind the set like I suggested on (one of) your other thread(s). No need to matte out anything if the hanging minature will be covering the top of the real house, right? And if you did need to matte something out... know how to do it? I'll tell you.... It's called bluscreen compositing. We already told you about that one though, right? I'm tellin' ya... once you actually download some software that'll do it and start playing around, read the manual a bit, you'll see how easy it is. I know it seems impossible when you don't have the software... you'll drive yourself nuts trying to learn it that way! (and the rest of us as well! :P )

Posted by GStacy, on 2005-08-31 06:49:44

I'm not sure if I understand your question, but I THINK I do... I have an idea, and it's relatively low-tech. First, you go out and shoot your background image of the city. (This could either be a slide you'll rear-project behind your scene, or it could be a blown-up still photo, like a poster, tacked up back there.) Then, you take that image into Photoshop (or another program) and erase the building you want to destroy in the shot. Then, you make a minitaure of the whole building, not just the top. You put that miniature in front of the background (where the real building was, before you erased it), so it looks like part of the scene. As long as you don't move the camera, it will all look like a 3D scene to the audience. Now your monster can move in front of the building, behind it, whatever. He can also destroy it without worrying about tricky optical effects, because he's right there with it. I'm not sure if that all made sense, but I do think this could work.

Posted by stopmoanimatior, on 2005-08-31 11:34:34

I will give it a try I promise you that I know it sounds pretty closely related to my Dynamation topic but I am trying to be more specific and get more responses to my questions. Thanks alot stopmoanimatior:7

Posted by Strider, on 2005-08-31 23:16:08

If you really want to learn how to do effects work... of [b]ANY[/b] kind, digital or film, what you need to do is start reading... there's lots of great infgo in here, and there are books that have much more specific, in-depth info. But I'll say it again.... you're getting [b]waaaay[/b] ahead of yourself! :P What I'd recommend is, get yourself a webcam and a nice cheap framegrabber and just start. At the same time, start learning how to make puppets and sets... unless you're content to use action figures or whatever.

Posted by stopmoanimatior, on 2005-09-01 23:42:02

Thanks for the advice Strider. Oh! and check out my thread for "replica harryhausen creatures" I'm sure you'll enjoy it!:D stopmoanimatior:*

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2005-09-02 00:53:50

Here, Is a super easy way to do it without compositing. Get a very high quality still image of your building and scan it in your computer. Then print out the building at a printer company to whatever size you need. Also take along some altered images where you add your monster damage to the same image in a paint program and print those out at the printer the same scale. Spray glue the images to some foam core and carefully cut out it's outline. Do the same to the monster damaged ones and then you can use them as replacements. Just when the monster smashes a part you can simply replace that part of the building that you cut out. For bricks and stuff you can hang a piece of glass in front of the building. When the monster strikes stick little bits of mini-bricks that you made or whatever onto the glass with some clay or sticky wax to animate it collapsing. Technically rear screen projection and matte painting is a flat plane, cut-out's aren't too far off. Marc

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2005-09-02 00:56:10

Oops, I just read GStacy's post, I should read the whole thread before posting :) Marc News: Blog:

Posted by Strider, on 2005-09-02 03:58:47

Hey Marc!! :7 Nice to have you back among us.... welcome back home buddy! I read your awful news about all the damage from the move, man that really just [i][b]*%^@$^[/b][/i]es me off!! x( I'm amazed you've been able to keep your focus on Zombie Pirates through all this. I hope the insurance company comes through for you and you can get a camera and pick up where you left off. I guess you'll be using a framegrabber now? Well, at least because you posted the info, you might help save other people from the same fate. I know next time I move I'll rent a U-Haul and get some help from my friends rather than use a company. And on a box with any expensive equipment in it I think I'll write "ugly but delicate china... not worth any money. Handle with care!" }(

Posted by Roy, on 2005-09-03 20:04:21

heyo: this link:;jsessionid=aWaX8TpksJF7?c=searchResults&FILTER_KEY=305390 should take you to a page of my little goofings. watch "50s Dream". it has some bluescreen shots in it, which could convince you that doing bluescreen via software really really really is simple. get some software and start playing. you'll be amazed. personally- i like the idea of gluing a print-out of the building on cardboard or whatever, then cutting it in to "destroyed" chunks, then attaching those chunks to wires, then animating that as the most destroys THAT building. low fuss, low muss, and it would look cool. :) Roy.

Posted by stopmoanimatior, on 2005-09-06 14:59:25

That is good idea but, I really want the building to have more demension then a clip-out pasted to carboard I want to actaually const a miniature in full detail and then stop-motion the monster ripping it off. I was thinking maybe doing what ray harryhausen did when talos cracked apart. First make the building out of fiberglass and brake the section is to be destroyed and then place it back onwith the rest of the miniature using puddy then stopmotion the building braking apart also giving the illusion of the building cracking (as the puddy is removed bit by bit each time the camera is stopped. Maybe this may give the proper illusion. Also when it is done the monster can hold the building which could be supported by suspeneding them on clear wire and just make it look like he is holding it then just stopmotion the creature dropping it. I know this will take time but I beleive when done right it will give a great effect! }( Thanks again stopmoanimatior:7

Posted by DanG, on 2005-09-06 21:21:58

Link you provided is a search page and I could not find "50s Dream" when I tried looking it up;jsessionid=aWaX8TpksJF7?c=searchResults&FILTER_KEY=305390

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2005-09-06 19:23:27

Hey Mike, Thanks, I'll try to post here more often now that I'm almost back to normal. Yea my luck got bad for a while there, still dealing with all the phone calls and paper work for the insurance. We'll see if I get anything, I'll definitely have to figure out what sort of frame grabber to go with. I don't want to get too off topic, I'll write something about that on the site once I get to figuring it out ;) Marc

Posted by stopmoanimatior, on 2005-09-26 17:54:36

My monster-on-rampage idea I still hope to make but not in current times. The past Im thinking of recreating Willis O'brien'sLOST WORLD with a little Ray Harryhausen touch. Key sequences will be fights between dinosuars fights between people and dinosaurs and people watching dinsoaurs fight basically everything I've allways wanted to make that had to do with dinosuars. I'm not looking for real historical accuracy more for great looks. stopmoanimatior :+

Posted by stopmoanimatior, on 2005-10-08 09:58:37

Hi its me again. I just found the script of the lost world. I am now going to begin the project. I have watched the original movie a few times to get a sense of what i'm aiming for. I was wondering, do you think it may be possible to do a sort of matte on a program like camera mate or windows movie maker by doing a simple cut and paste to each scene? thanks again Stopmoanimatior :*

Posted by dynamator, on 2006-01-10 16:34:21

That's gonna be some project their! :P And since nobody else has responded (for awhile) I will - I'm not too sure if those softwares are capable of doing mattes, but I'm sure if you really studied the software it probally allows you to do atleast a primitive one. What I have been told, software that is O.K. for animation and allows you to do composites is SMM I've read a little about it and it sounds like it would work. Another more professional one would be Adobe After Effects, and (if I am not mistaken)lightwave allows you to create composite images. I'm sure on one of the post it talks about what mattes are best to use and how to use them. If you go to a post I started about animation/combination phootage, Jim Aupperle (a veteran stop-mo animator) has given an extremly detailed reply about verious process and web pages that are all about mattes and chroma key. At least after reading that you will be able to have a better understanding of what it is you want. dynamator P.S. Stopmoanimatior, you don't mind if I borrow your monster-on-rampage idea do you?