I have one gripe with the site, and only one. The atmosphere of the chat room, whether due to the fact that there are more lurkers or the quiet nature of stop motion people in general, is very cold. On the old board, we didn't even have chat, and it felt more like a closer-knit community. I don't know whose fault this is, and am not pointing any fingers. It just bums me out that very few are taking advantage of the live conversation feature that is the Main Room. So much sharing could be happening, and simply isn't. I've sat and watched newcomers come in and greet everyone, with no response. The worst thing I ever saw was a respected veteran member from the old board completely ignored when he posted his greeting card for the holiday season.

This is not how it should be. We need to participate and give each other more. There are other mediums where quiet selfishness is the norm. It does a community no good when nearly all of the members browse the boards, glean whatever information might help their own film, and sit on their own secrets. As a veteran member myself (gosh, going on 10 years now) I can feel a definite difference between this site and the old one. This one is much quieter. Certainly not a criticism of Anthony's hard work, or the ones who do contribute. Just, please, stop taking so much and leave a little for the next person! That's the whole point of this site. We've been given so much to work with. Let's not squander the gift.

There, I've said my piece. Now I'm going to go greet the new members and make them feel like they belong. That's something I think everyone has a responsibility to do...Especially after seeing so many newbies grow up and become fantastic animators and directors. You gotta start somewhere... Let this be the place. Make Anthony proud.

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Hi Don,   I have only been doing stop motion for about a year now and still am in the rookie category compared to some of the talented people on this site. I didn't even realize that there was a main room for quite some time simply because of the awe that I was in over not only the site itself but some of the best stop motion people in the world! I always try to share everything I can and just be myself, really. It is challenging both learning and sharing but I make an effort to add to the pool of resources on here:) 

There is always someone out there that knows more about this stuff than I do or can answer more accurately but I still try to offer any help I can. I am bad however at doing the welcome thing...guilty! lol It has always felt like I would be welcoming a visitor into someone else's house I guess ;)  

Anyway, an official welcome from Tim Daniel aka TEDCO Studios ;) to all visitors past, present and future.

Hi TEDCO. I still like your avatar :)

As far as how long you've been doing stop motion- I started playing with it somewhere around now 20 years ago. I was 14. Oh dear, I wish that was only 20 years ago. Keep forgetting I'm 36. It's been 22 years since my first stop motion attempts! Still a rookie... I find that a great way to learn about movement is to study the heck out of any live action video you can get your hands on. I used to think it was all about studying other people's animation, but they tend to exaggerate motion in an often stylistic way, and that's of no help to someone just starting out if they don't know what was exaggerated and why. I'm now back to shooting 30 frames per second, one frame at a time and studying video by pointing my Unibrain (shout out to Strider) at the monitor. It's the only webcam I've ever had that could do 30fps video, and I love the ability to capture reference footage in Quicktime (Mac OSX). Learning a ton just by thinking about every action in multiples of 5 frames (that will give you a subtle rhythm, and every action will fall somewhere between rounded numbers.

That's how I think about timing, anyway. It's especially handy on exposure sheets, to circle or underline every 5th or 10th frame. You know that 5 frames is 1/6th of a second at 30fps, and for something like the follow through in a sneeze, that's enough frames to convey the forward movement. You don't really see 5 frames, so much as feel it. 10 frames is 1/3 of a second, so a lot of holds will be about that length of time, especially in quick and frantic pose to pose animation. 15 frames is half a second, so you really see that...And 1 full second is good for a comic beat.  I know 30 FPS seems like too many frames to animate, but when you think about it, LIFE happens on one's. You can always switch to two's when you can't get an increment small enough for ones, or to save time if you know which movements to emphasize and which to leave out. I tend to find one's are more fun and comfortable because you're communicating with every frame at your disposal. You can have more overlap, so it can be smoother. Shooting on two's, in some ways, is like using only half of the alphabet to convey what you're trying to communicate. Some people work mostly on two's and switch to one's for fast moves, but I tend to do the opposite. One's FLY! If I need to slow something down, I'll switch to two's and keep the spacing close together so it doesn't strobe.


That's barely scratching the surface, but hopefully you just learned a little bit about timing. Timing is everything in animation. If you don't have a stop watch, the "groups of fives" thing really works. It ensures that you're always shooting enough frames to make moves and poses readable on-screen.



Donald Carlson said:

Hi TEDCO. I still like your avatar :)


That's how I think about timing, anyway. It's especially handy on exposure sheets, to circle or underline every 5th or 10th frame. You know that 5 frames is 1/6th of a second at 30fps, and for something like the follow through in a sneeze, that's enough frames to convey the forward movement. You don't really see 5 frames, so much as feel it. 10 frames is 1/3 of a second, so a lot of holds will be about that length of time, especially in quick and frantic pose to pose animation. 15 frames is half a second, so you really see that...And 1 full second is good for a comic beat.  I know 30 FPS seems like too many frames to animate, but when you think about it, LIFE happens on one's. You can always switch to two's when you can't get an increment small enough for ones, or to save time if you know which movements to emphasize and which to leave out. I tend to find one's are more fun and comfortable because you're communicating with every frame at your disposal. You can have more overlap, so it can be smoother. Shooting on two's, in some ways, is like using only half of the alphabet to convey what you're trying to communicate. Some people work mostly on two's and switch to one's for fast moves, but I tend to do the opposite. One's FLY! If I need to slow something down, I'll switch to two's and keep the spacing close together so it doesn't strobe.


That's barely scratching the surface, but hopefully you just learned a little bit about timing. Timing is everything in animation. If you don't have a stop watch, the "groups of fives" thing really works. It ensures that you're always shooting enough frames to make moves and poses readable on-screen.


As someone who only has a few 5 second attempts under his belt, that was a good read. Thanks!

Hi Don, Thanks much.  Sounds like I am on the right track so far because I do all my animation by "feel" lol   I have been doing 30 frames on ones like you suggest and only shooting with twos to slow down the action as well ha ha. Of the methods I have seen, this one feels the most natural for me, when I am breaking up the scene into sections and arcs. I look forward to trying a full 30 frame comic hold, I think the most I have done is around 20.

I have heard a lot of people like reference videos but have not tried that yet. I do use reference extensively for creating characters, props and sets but have always just done my shoots improv. I just try to become that character for a bit and do what I would do. Guys like me??? I'm a guy like me! Ha ha

I don't mean to say that I couldn't be bothered in any way, I always mentally review the action before shooting so I can figure out what feels right for how many frames will be in a scene based on the scene duration and the character. I think of it, like you say, in sections of 30 per second and into smaller blocks of 5, 10 and 15 frames. It feels like if I shot only (or mostly) on twos I would be shooting 15 frames a second.  Sorry to stray away from the main chat topic. Sounds like you have some awesome advice to give and I am always eager to learn new tricks:)

 Maybe we could start a separate thread to scratch away. 

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