A few years back, I found a site selling workbenches designed specifically for stop motion animators. They had a slide out platform for your laptop, plenty of drawers, area to rig lights, I think maybe even a blue screen you could erect in the back.
I didn't think much of it at the time, but since then, I've moved into a small two bedroom apartment and have no room to set up a studio. I thought this thing may actually be perfect given my space. Problem is, I've looked and looked and can't find it, or anything like it.
Has anyone seen anything like this? Can you share the link if you have? Any other suggestions?
Awesome, currently researching building one compact workbench/table myself. Thanks for all this useful info!
My preference would be to still put the camera on a tripod, not attached to the workbench/animation table. I don't like the idea that touching the table when animating might jiggle the camera. And I want to be free to re-position the camera from one shot to the next.
In a small space where my track doesn't really fit, I stick with the Manfrotto 410 Jr geared head - sometimes I mount the camera way off centre, on the far end of a wooden board, so that when I pan the camera swings in an arc, so it does a sort of combined track-pan move.
Mounting lights on the table isn't such a bad idea though. I would just screw a vertical length of wood on the side of the table, and attach the light to the top of that with clamps or screws.
A folding rostrum has the advantage of folding up flat when not in use, like if the animation room sometimes has to revert to being the dining room or spare bedroom. You can see one open out in my tiedowns video (at Youtube). When set up, it's no more compact than any other table of the same size though. And more permanent table can also have a lower shelf for storing props and puppets, so there is something to be said for that too.
I don't like the idea that touching the table when animating might jiggle the camera. And I want to be free to re-position the camera from one shot to the next.
I've found that when having a camera attached to the table, if you bump the table, the set and camera all move the same, so there's no discernable movement. With this compact set-up I have in mind, you'd be able to move the camera to any position around the perimeter of the bench if you use the Superclamp. Granted, you won't have as much flexibility as just picking up a tripod and moving it, but I suspect you'll be able to achieve the same end result.
Thanks for the other suggestions regarding lighting.
Good point, if everything you see is on that table, it would all move together when bumped.
Many of my sets have a separate backdrop attached to the wall, so if the set moves, it shows, whether the camera moves with it or not.
Ah yes, that makes sense :)
Not quite what your after I think but thought I'd share anyway. I am currently trying to sell my house so had to come up with a set/stage that could be disassembled quick if anyone came to view. This was my solution all based on a workmate. It all bolts together and of course the bench can be folded down quick, the stage floor is thin ply suitable for drilling holes through and can be replaced easily as its held in place by 4 bolts so just 4 holes to drill when you want a new one. This just happened to be bits of timber and dexion I had lying about. Keith
Christopher Kezelos said:
You are a prince among men sir.Couldn't agree more! Strider is astounding in his research skills and generosity with the information he uncovers (and often proves worthy of trying.).
Got a set on the workmate stage I built, thought I'd share a couple of pics. Shooting takes place in between people visiting house, when I have to take whole set up down. Oh how I wish house would sell!
Some additional info I wanted to add about articulated arms from earlier on the thread:
I'm copying this image from the last page. I said there that this little doohicky still lets the geared head spin freely - well I was wrong. See the 3 little screws just visible on the top of the platform? They match up with recesses in the bottom of the geared head base. All you have to do is loosen the screws so they stick up slightly and then they'll fit into the holes and voila! No possible way it can slip around. Absolutely rock solid, and far far FAR better than the long brass studs I posted earlier. The image is a link - click it to see the item on Amazon.
When you know how to use it properly, this thing is solid as a tank!