That would work well for anything you can 'puppeteer' by hand in realtime, but it wouldn't be possible to animate the object while doing that - does that make sense? I mean, it's fine for making a block slide around or float up off the table, or making a cup float etc, but those don't have arms and legs and facial expressions that need to be animated at the same time.
And even for making simple objects move around, the result lacks the character animation would impart. Though I suppose a talented puppeteer who understands ease in/ease out and the rest of the principles of animation could do a much better job than they did in that video, where the objects moved around with no sense of momentum or finesse. It always looked like an invisible man was moving them, you know? Which is different than an actual animate object that has a life of its own would move. It has the same kind of fake feel to it that wire rig work generally has, which never moves the way a person really would - the arcs usually go the wrong way, down at the center rather than up. And of course Im not saying this rigging solution does exactly what wire rigs do - just that it creates the same kind of unconvincing illusion, at least the way they used it in the demo, though I'm sure talented puppeteers could do better.
I see what you mean strider... for some reason i was assuming that during the "second pass" the animator could change the eyes...but now i realize that would defeat their whole premise because the images dont register until they are identical.
i was actually a professional puppeteer (muppet style puppets) so had this worked i could have probably done a decent job at it... but oh well...lol
i still havent figured out what exactly they are selling... do they just have the idea? is it part of some other software like adobe? or is it a stand alone piece of software? Very confusing.
i came up with an idea for an animation using 12'' action figures (i know nick hates them lol) but i am having issues finding a decent rig that doesnt require machining and hundreds of dollars...
i think i came up with an idea... i have one of these
those magic arms are rock solid ...i will affix a clip or magnet on the end and most likely glue metal washers on my action figures back and chest... then i will be able to rig front or back without even having to cut their clothing....
i plan to rig every walking or full body shot rather than "tie down"... i know its alot of photoshopping in post... but im cool with it...
most scenes will be from the waist up anyways!
ps- heres a little hint at what i have up my sleeve...I LOVE THIS SOOOO MUCH!! CHARLIE
A rig can be as simple as a nice thick piece of armature wire, like 3/8" or 1/4".
I learned the hard way that you really need to tie down the feet even if you're using a rig for walking, or in my case for jumping. If you don't the feet will slide all over the place while you're animating the body. It's possible you could fix that using the framegrabber to re-position the weight-bearing foot each frame after you're done animating, but that's time consuming and fiddly.
When the puppet's in the air it probably won't show as much if it moves a bit forward or backwards because there's no ground in contact with him to guage that movement by visually, so nobody will be able to tell. But with a foot that needs to maintain the illusion of remaining planted rock steady on the ground it's essential that it really not move even slightly.
I did a couple tests using a rig i made out of armature wire yesterday and you are so right... the foot does slip on occasion...thats why i was hoping a rock solid rig might help... i wasnt super enthused about drilling holes in the feet of a 200 dollar action figure... but i guess i may need to...
would that picture hanging putty work in a pinch? combined with the rig it would atleast keep the foot in place and the rig would do most of the work...
im willing to rigorously paint out every frame if need be...
That would be better than nothing, but really weak, and the slightest tension would break it loose instantly. I'd consider gluing a little piece of cloth to the bottom of each foot that's painted the same color as the set floor (or else bright fluorescent green to make it easy to erase digitally) and that sticks out slightly on the side of the foot, and then pin that down to the set. Maybe a thumbtack that's also painted to match the set floor. Not perfect though, it would still allow a bit of movement.
Of course another alternative would be magnetic tiedowns in the feet.
ive been experimenting a bit with magnets... i will just need to reconfigure the flooring of my set for it to work...
just for reference....i wonder what the best way to do a bolt tie down in an action figures foot? just use a pointed screw?
After a while a pointed screw would just chew through the plastic - I'd try to find a way to ebbed a very small nut inside the foot. Unless these are really big action figures then a 4-40 screw should be sufficient, which is really small.
What's the name of the guy who does the action figure animation? I can't recall offhand, but he modifies action figures to make them more stopmotion-friendly. He cuts out the joints and replaces them with stronger ones, and embeds nuts in the feet.
I can certainly understand not wanting to cut up $200 action figures! But I suppose it depends on what's more important to you, ending up with action figures that are pretty much untouched, or having good serviceable stopmotion puppets that look like action figures. I mean, if a film only costs you $200, then that's a really low budget!! And the film itself lives on, even if the puppets are destroyed, as rubber ones always are. They achieve their immortality on film.
I'm not judging, Im just saying the choice is yours - if you want to do no damage to the action figures, then you're making the animation very difficult and the results probably won't come out great. If on the other hand it's the film itself that's important, then the figures are just tools to achieve that and are expendable.
Though I'll bet with enough finagling you can probably do it without modifying them. I just think it'll be a huge headache and might not look as good as if you had modified them. Not sure what I'd do in your shoes - probably make my own puppets and leave the figures untouched.
You make so many good points!! i will most likely embed the nuts and do it right!! i actually plan to superglue metal washers to the chest and back anyway...so the body itself will be ruined... its just with that chaplin figure...the shoes dont seem to be replaceable...so though the bodies would only be 60 or so to replace the shoes would require purchasing a new figure alltogether... atleast for now...hopefully they will be begin to sell the parts ala carte!
but i do agree that the film will create a sort of imortality for the figure...and thats so true!... plus ive been quoted thousands for someone to do my latex casting and moulding for me... so at that rate this one action figure is definitely getting off cheap!!
ps- i hope to one day have expertise to build some quality puppets like you guys use... but i am so intimidated by things like moulding and latex... so im trying to figure out the best way to tell a story in the meantime...
Ok, the guy's name is Patrcik Boivin - and chances are you've already seen this, but in case you haven't:
It does look like he uses them pretty much unmodified until a joint breaks and he fixes it. It helps when most of their arms and legs are against the ground like they were in the breakdance segment, and that he uses two rigs at the same time. Can't tell how the rigs attach to the puppets though. Do they clip on, or maybe he glues them?
Ok, they're definitely just clipped onto the clothes, I see that now. With enough rigs used simultaneously you could probably do just about anything with action figures, unmodified.
YES!! AMAZING STUFF!! i actually did see his stuff a few months ago and ironically i refound them a couple hours ago (we might have been watching them simultaneously hahaha)
those rigs he uses are called "helping hands" they are actually magnifying stands for soldering and craft work.... i will probably buy a couple of them soon! I think you are right... with the use of multiple rigs it could definitely work... he actually masks out every single rig on every single move when keying... so he doesnt even worry about the rigs...
have you seen his mr bean vs michael jackson? so great!!
looks like he's doing alot of work on commercials now... good for him! hard work rewarded!