Here is the newest animation of my goblin, shot on ones this time instead of twos.  I prefer the fluid look of the ones over the twos and will continue in this direction.

Apparently there are a few dust specs on my lens and I bumped some foliage towards the end. I also didn't intend for his nose to be visible when we push in to the cave. I spent almost as much time in Photoshop trying to clean up my rookie mistakes as I did animating, and ending leaving the shot just as it was, out of the can.

I prefer the fluid look of the ones over the twos and will continue in this direction.

This was also shot with my home made "shelf boards on saw horse" dolly track - I should have eased in a bit slower.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKtBwaHLGxQ&feature=youtu.be

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Now that we can see him close up, that puppet really looks great! Nice paint job and skin texture. 

You don't need to worry about dust on the lens - it won't show up at all. You can use a lens that's pretty smudged up and has crap all over it and you won't be able to tell at all from the finished shots - anything that close is so out of focus it dissipates into invisibility unless it's pretty big. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself - hold a toothpick right in front of the lens and take a shot - you won't even be able to tell it's there. Your finger might show up a little - that's getting too big to just disappear. 

However if you're stopped all the way down to a little pinhole then things will begin to show up more. It has to do with the size of the obstruction compared to the size of the aperture. 

Here's a page demonstrating this

About the offending nose - for a moving camera shot it's a good idea to take pictures at the beginning and end of the movement - I mean before actually shooting the animation - and look at them to make sure nothing like that is going on - often you can't catch little things like that in the framegrabber image. In fact frequently I just take pictures before I do a shot - you can't really see things they way they'll look onscreen until you snap a nice big HD shot of it. I usually snap off a bunch of test shots working out my lighting and camera position etc. 


Thanks, Strider - good advice, and I sure appreciate the compliment. 

As to those pesky spots - they show up tiny but bright in the larger Quicktime export I made of this sequence - and since it's a traveling shot, they really stand out.

The spots don't appear to be on the lens after all - they show up when I switch lenses.  Hmmm . . . and the color of each spot stays the same each time I shoot a test.

See attached photo:

Strider said:

Now that we can see him close up, that puppet really looks great! Nice paint job and skin texture. 

You don't need to worry about dust on the lens - it won't show up at all. You can use a lens that's pretty smudged up and has crap all over it and you won't be able to tell at all from the finished shots - anything that close is so out of focus it dissipates into invisibility unless it's pretty big. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself - hold a toothpick right in front of the lens and take a shot - you won't even be able to tell it's there. Your finger might show up a little - that's getting too big to just disappear. 

However if you're stopped all the way down to a little pinhole then things will begin to show up more. It has to do with the size of the obstruction compared to the size of the aperture. 

Here's a page demonstrating this

About the offending nose - for a moving camera shot it's a good idea to take pictures at the beginning and end of the movement - I mean before actually shooting the animation - and look at them to make sure nothing like that is going on - often you can't catch little things like that in the framegrabber image. In fact frequently I just take pictures before I do a shot - you can't really see things they way they'll look onscreen until you snap a nice big HD shot of it. I usually snap off a bunch of test shots working out my lighting and camera position etc. 

Even closer and he looks even better! Especially in that dark atmospheric lighting. 

Ok, what you've got there are stuck pixels. Hre's a quick rundown on the varius types of bad pixels (this article is in relation to pixels on LCD screens, not cameras, but I believe it's the same thing):

First of all, it’s important to know whether what you’re dealing with is actually a dead pixel, a hot pixel, or simply a stuck pixel. Dead pixels are pixels on an LCD monitor which appear completely black, since no light is being emitted at all. Hot pixels are pixels which are always stuck on, making them appear white. Stuck pixels, on the other hand, may be red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, or yellow, depending on which of the three RGB subpixels are stuck on.

I found this video about fixing bad pixels on a Canon - I assume other cameras have a similar feature:

If this doesn't work apparently you can send your camera to the manufacturer and get it fixed, but they'll have it for at least 2 weeks. 

** EDIT

Oh yeah, also I forgot - bad pixels start to show up when your camera is getting hot - as in it's been on for a long time. Apparently heat in the studio can make that happen faster. 

Try this - play this video fullscreen and record some video of it with your camera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaTTjJncONI

Making the sensor cycle rapidly through all primary colors will sometimes force those stuck pixels to start working again. 

Discovered through this post:

I had a problem with a stuck blue pixel on the bottom right hand corner of my pictures and videos (all ISOs and conditions) from the first picture I took with the camera. It was so big I could see it on the 3 inch screen of my D7000 without zooming in on the image captured. So I upgraded the firmware when it was released but to no avail. I was getting ready to send it back to Nikon when I remembered a video I downloaded form the web a few years back that I used to remove stuck pixels from my then newly acquired Sony PSP. It worked then and I thought it might work now.

So I aligned the camera in front of my computer monitor, played the video back in full screen and put the Nikon on video mode and recorded a few minutes of this video. It is a simple video that plays back at about 5Hz, red green and blue cycling images. Simple but effective. After a few tries of this and rebooting the camera I managed to get that pixel back working. I have not had a single problematic pixel since.

Now I am aware that this may have been a "sleeping" pixel, one that just took a little longer to "awaken" from its brand new slumber before it started cooperating; but its a simple, quick and free way to try to get those troublesome pixels up and running. Well worth a try before doing anything more drastic. Just google stuck pixel video and record in video mode. It effectively exposes all the pixels of the sensor in real time to the video. It was originally meant to free up stuck pixels on displays but I think this may help with camera sensors.


Thanks, Mate!  I will try to do these this weekend and see if I can fix this myself.  I just got this "almost" new camera back from a Nikon repair shop a few weeks ago, and can't afford for it be out again this soon.


Strider said:

Try this - aim your camera at the screen and play this video fullscreen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaTTjJncONI

Making the sensor cycle rapidly through all primary colors will sometimes force those stuck pixels to start working again. 

Discovered through this post:

I had a problem with a stuck blue pixel on the bottom right hand corner of my pictures and videos (all ISOs and conditions) from the first picture I took with the camera. It was so big I could see it on the 3 inch screen of my D7000 without zooming in on the image captured. So I upgraded the firmware when it was released but to no avail. I was getting ready to send it back to Nikon when I remembered a video I downloaded form the web a few years back that I used to remove stuck pixels from my then newly acquired Sony PSP. It worked then and I thought it might work now.

So I aligned the camera in front of my computer monitor, played the video back in full screen and put the Nikon on video mode and recorded a few minutes of this video. It is a simple video that plays back at about 5Hz, red green and blue cycling images. Simple but effective. After a few tries of this and rebooting the camera I managed to get that pixel back working. I have not had a single problematic pixel since.

Now I am aware that this may have been a "sleeping" pixel, one that just took a little longer to "awaken" from its brand new slumber before it started cooperating; but its a simple, quick and free way to try to get those troublesome pixels up and running. Well worth a try before doing anything more drastic. Just google stuck pixel video and record in video mode. It effectively exposes all the pixels of the sensor in real time to the video. It was originally meant to free up stuck pixels on displays but I think this may help with camera sensors.

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