Just wanted to share this link to HIVE: Armature Building. Also ... does anyone have any experience with variac transformers. Do they regulate household current effectively to reduce light flicker during animation? If so ... does anyone have a favorite make/model that they would recommend. 

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The way I've had using a Variac explained to me, the Variac does not automatically regulate the voltage.  You keep adjusting manually. What you do is run the power through it, turn it down to drop the voltage by a volt or two, then check it before taking each frame.  If the voltage has dropped a little you turn it up so the output is back up to the same level.  If the voltage is up a bit higher, you turn it down a fraction, keeping it so it always reads the same.  Miles has been using one on Wombok Forest, he probably said what model it was somewhere in his online journal.  But no idea when.

I'll just check the StopMotion Magazine article to see if it said... issue 14, Oct 2011... nope, mentions it, plus a multimeter to read the voltage, but doesn't say what model.

Ok, it's in their journal for 2010, the photo used in the magazine plus another one,  but it does not say what the model is.  http://www.wombokforest.com.au/onlinejornal_2010.htm

I use a different system to regulate my voltage, a Double Conversion UPS.  It converts the AC 220 - 240 volts to DC and charges up a battery, then converts back to AC and outputs a couple of volts less.   Say if you were getting an average reading of 236 V, it would be putting out around 234 V, but it is rock steady.  A portable plug-in one would have cost around $1500 back in 2009.  I got a bigger one that is wired in, but only to use the lighting circuit I had already paid to get put in my ceiling for my movie lighting.  There was no need for more capacity, even less so now that energy saving LEDs and Fluoros are becoming more common than the halogens. (240v here in Australia, they come in 110-120V AC in the US and Canada of course.)

Thank you for the info. I suspected that was the case but wanted to make sure before I invested in them. The degree of accuracy from a transformer over a standard dimmer switch (which is how I have been working) is appealing. And running a digital voltmeter to monitor the output voltage seems so obvious ... I can't believe I've never thought of doing it.

StopmoNick said:

The way I've had using a Variac explained to me, the Variac does not automatically regulate the voltage.  You keep adjusting manually. What you do is run the power through it, turn it down to drop the voltage by a volt or two, then check it before taking each frame.  If the voltage has dropped a little you turn it up so the output is back up to the same level.  If the voltage is up a bit higher, you turn it down a fraction, keeping it so it always reads the same.  Miles has been using one on Wombok Forest, he probably said what model it was somewhere in his online journal.  But no idea when.

I'll just check the StopMotion Magazine article to see if it said... issue 14, Oct 2011... nope, mentions it, plus a multimeter to read the voltage, but doesn't say what model.

Ok, it's in their journal for 2010, the photo used in the magazine plus another one,  but it does not say what the model is.  http://www.wombokforest.com.au/onlinejornal_2010.htm

I use a different system to regulate my voltage, a Double Conversion UPS.  It converts the AC 220 - 240 volts to DC and charges up a battery, then converts back to AC and outputs a couple of volts less.   Say if you were getting an average reading of 236 V, it would be putting out around 234 V, but it is rock steady.  A portable plug-in one would have cost around $1500 back in 2009.  I got a bigger one that is wired in, but only to use the lighting circuit I had already paid to get put in my ceiling for my movie lighting.  There was no need for more capacity, even less so now that energy saving LEDs and Fluoros are becoming more common than the halogens. (240v here in Australia, they come in 110-120V AC in the US and Canada of course.)

I just watched Broken.  Really nice work!  Thanks for sharing the film and some of the process.

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