Hey everyone,

I am getting very close to finishing my set and I am preparing for filming. I'm a little nervous to animate my characters because I'm not using tie-downs. It was a decision I decided not to do because I didn't really know enough about it and it seemed like a lot of work (and I have a limited amount of time). My characters are fairly tall (range from 8 - 12 inches) and quite light. I am thinking of using sticky putty at the bottoms of their feet but I know that's not going to be perfect. 

Any advice or tips on animating so things can run smoothly would be very appreciated!

Thanks :D

Views: 142

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

If you really can't fit tiedowns - which would save you time animating and make it much easier - the alternative is a support rig, that you will have to erase in post-production.  It's what you would use if the puppet had to jump or fly, so both feet are off the ground at the same time, only you use it for walking as well.  It can be as simple as some armature wire, glued into a base that is either heavy, or can be screwed or clamped down.  Sometimes I have the wire glued into a small wood block, but then put the wood into one of those flat vises that are used with a drill press - just a small cheap one.  It's heavy enough to anchor the rig, and can also be slid along the set.  This one attaches to the puppet by having 2 wires sharpened to a point - I just stab them into the foam.  2 wires stops the puppet from spinning around.  For heavier puppets I have holes in the armature to attach a rod and  use a balljoint rig, but for this one there was no need.

The rig will keep the puppet from falling over, but you still should use a dab of blu-tack  to help keep the foot from skating around while it is supposed to be the one taking the weight.

The quicker type of tiedown to make is just a nut epoxy puttied into the foot, and a screw, with a wing nut on it, that goes up through the set and into the foot.  The winging is for tightening it down to the set floor.  You don't need the fancier T-and-Slot type that I used in this tiedowns video, which take more making. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK1tAh_kCZE   But if it's just not feasible, go with the support rig.

You probably won't need to see the full puppet for every shot, so you can support it with something that's out of frame whenever you are shooting just the head and shoulders, or from the waist up, or even from the knees up.  That way there is no rig removal to do.

No tie-downs... May the gods of stop motion protect you, child! 

If the putty doesn't work (probably won't, because of the height of the puppets) you can try other types of adhesive, such as crazy glue and hot glue. Hobby glue can be pretty useful too.

Worst case scenario, move the camera closer, keep the feet out of frame, and use some wire to literally tie them down.

Best of luck! Send some pics when you can :)

Oy I know. I'll do tie-downs for my next film I promise!

I actually found a solution; I bought a magnetic sheet of steel and cut it all up, put it in places that I'll be animating my characters. There's magnets at the bottoms of their feet. Just to keep them stable! The film will have lots of close up shots, I want it to be claustrophobic, so I think I should be good!

Daniel Wernëck said:

No tie-downs... May the gods of stop motion protect you, child! 

If the putty doesn't work (probably won't, because of the height of the puppets) you can try other types of adhesive, such as crazy glue and hot glue. Hobby glue can be pretty useful too.

Worst case scenario, move the camera closer, keep the feet out of frame, and use some wire to literally tie them down.

Best of luck! Send some pics when you can :)


You da best! I will totally use this technique in the future, but since I'm trying to avoid post-production editing the best that I can, I won't be using it this time. 

Thanks a lot, and boy do I love the pictures you include! 
StopmoNick said:

If you really can't fit tiedowns - which would save you time animating and make it much easier - the alternative is a support rig, that you will have to erase in post-production.  It's what you would use if the puppet had to jump or fly, so both feet are off the ground at the same time, only you use it for walking as well.  It can be as simple as some armature wire, glued into a base that is either heavy, or can be screwed or clamped down.  Sometimes I have the wire glued into a small wood block, but then put the wood into one of those flat vises that are used with a drill press - just a small cheap one.  It's heavy enough to anchor the rig, and can also be slid along the set.  This one attaches to the puppet by having 2 wires sharpened to a point - I just stab them into the foam.  2 wires stops the puppet from spinning around.  For heavier puppets I have holes in the armature to attach a rod and  use a balljoint rig, but for this one there was no need.

The rig will keep the puppet from falling over, but you still should use a dab of blu-tack  to help keep the foot from skating around while it is supposed to be the one taking the weight.

The quicker type of tiedown to make is just a nut epoxy puttied into the foot, and a screw, with a wing nut on it, that goes up through the set and into the foot.  The winging is for tightening it down to the set floor.  You don't need the fancier T-and-Slot type that I used in this tiedowns video, which take more making. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK1tAh_kCZE   But if it's just not feasible, go with the support rig.

You probably won't need to see the full puppet for every shot, so you can support it with something that's out of frame whenever you are shooting just the head and shoulders, or from the waist up, or even from the knees up.  That way there is no rig removal to do.

If the magnets are strong enough, this should do the trick... Wish you luck!

Just be careful so the feet won't twist around their own vertical axis when you are touching the puppets. This is the kind of thing we don't notice during animation, only after you hit "play" O_O

The magnets in the feet might work if they are strong magnets.

One drawback is that, as the feet get close to the metal floor, they will want to snap down onto the floor.   I've seen magnets in use in the UK, and what they did there was have steel in the puppet foot, and a steel floor, and a powerful magnet under the floor.  It was a cylinder, like a size C battery, with a threaded hole up the middle.  A screw went through it, so that when you wanted to remove the magnet, you could turn the screw from the bottom so it went in and pushed the magnet away from the underside of the floor, until you could remove it by hand.  You didn't place the magnet until you were ready for that foot to go down onto the deck, so the foot didn't get attracted too early.

Where the feet are not seen, there will me many ways of rigging something to hold the puppet, so it's really only in a few shots that you have to deal with this.

Good luck with the shoot!

Neodymium magnets should do the trick! They are also useful for other things such as replacing faces/heads etc.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

STOPMO JAM on Facebook

stopmo jam 2

The deadline for STOPMO JAM 2 is looming. August 15th. Get er done and once you do, send me a message here. I'll hook you up with a Dropbox to upload your JAM. Sorry...no late entries this time. 

BLOGS

Create a Blog for your personal page. Go to My Page and click on Blog Posts. Access all Blog Posts here.

MESSAGE BOARD CATEGORIES

STOPMO NEWBIES
basic stopmo discussion

ANIMATOR TALK
experienced animators looking to improve

CAMERA & STAGE
animation camera, lighting and moco rigs

ANIMATION TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
animation tool and rigging discussion

STOP MOTION & COMPUTERS
frame capture, editing, and post-production

STORY
script, storyboarding and storyreel discussion

SOUND
lip-sync, sound effects and music

YOUR STOPMO FILM PROJECT
discuss your stopmo film

ARMATURES
ball & socket and wire armature discussion

MACHINE SHOP
metalwork tool & talk

SCULPTING
sculpture information and advice

HAIR & COSTUME
materials, patterns and technique

CASTING
foam, silicone and resin

CLAY
clay puppet construction

GENERAL PUPPET MAKING
other puppet fabrication issues

STOP MOTION SETS
set design and construction information

MODEL DEPARTMENT
miniature prop discussion

MATTE PAINTINGS
glass matte paintings and backgrounds

GENERAL SPECIAL EFFECTS

STOP MOTION FILM DISCUSSION

FAVORITE STOP MOTION CHARACTERS

PRO ANIMATOR DISCUSSION

FILM FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

ANIMATION SCHOOLS

STOP MOTION BOOKS

STOP MOTION ON VIDEO

JOBS & PROJECTS
post here if you are looking for talent to hire

SWAP MEET
stop motion items for sale

CHAT BOARD
general discussion

SITE FEEDBACK
report bugs, comments and suggestions here

SPAM ALERT!

StopMotionAnimation.com has been hit hard by spammers lately. They have been creating several fake accounts every day, contacting and harassing members and posting suspicious content. If you see anything suspicious, don't click on any links, instead, send me their User Name. I will suspend them. 

Questions & Feedback
Report Spam or Abuse

© 2017   Created by Anthony Scott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

.xg_widget_forum_index_index .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_listForCategory .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_show .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;}