After several miss-steps, I finally coaxed my guy to walk across the stage for my first ever walk sequence. I think I did an okay job, but definitely room for improvement. So, now I've got a few questions and was hoping for a bit of guidance from the good people at this site.
Here goes: On the live view screen, I made 8 evenly spaced markers per step and tried to make him move forward that much on each grab. But, then I'm wondering, does the head, chest and hips move forward at an even rate like that? And, this means I have about 16 poses per full step. Is that typical? If, I wanted it smoother would that mean 32 poses per step!? Lastly (for now), to make him move, or play back at a natural pace, would I double each frame?
I'm not sure what you mean. Do they make pointers to put on it? Or dials to go behind the pointers? Both I imagine, but I just use armature wire and tape it in place, no clock faces on the Manfrotto for me. Or sometimes I'll just use the drawing tools in Dragonframe to draw a line and put marks on it if I'm doing a camera move, and in that case I don't even need pointers on the dials. But I always always need to draw up a cheat sheet to remind me which direction I need to turn each knob!
i just meant the little markers that it comes with...did yours not come with these?
Oh yeah, it's got those, but I've never used them. When you're set up for a shot and the studio is mostly dark and the camera is jammed in upside-down 6 inches from the puppets you usually can't see those. It's also a pretty rare luxury if I can ever see the focus marks on my lens. I need something bigger that sticks out a ways that I can see from behind the camera.
I don't use the marks on my Manfrotto head, I put my own dials on, just behind the rubber grip so they turn with the knob. I file little notches around the centre hole so they fit on the splines and don't turn freely. (I took the rubber grip off one so you can see the splined shaft.) That means the movement is scaled down by the gears, so I can get a reasonable amount of control. I might put temporary pencil marks in between for ramping up to speed, then eventually get up to moving 2 or 3 of my marks per frame.
You can see I made a similar dial in clear Perspex for the centre column on my Foba tripod, so I raise or lower the camera is measured amounts.
If I do have to shift focus, I need to scale down the amount I turn the focus ring on the lens. So I make a half circle or 3/4 circle out of foamcore that sits snugly on the focus ring, and is around 250 - 300mm ( 10 - 12 inches) diameter on the outside. Then I can make many more small marks than I could in close to the lens, for the same amount of rotation. Because of the zooming effect you get when re-focussing, you want to keep it very smooth and even. Last time I did this was for someone else's film, I usually manage to avoid it on mine.
ugggh! its all so complicated! Do u ever wish you just shot live action? hahahaha
This is awesome, i am very new to Stop motion animation and i am very thankful for all the feedback you experienced guys give. I'm learning its all those little things that help make a quality animation.
Here is the finished shot with the throw at the end. I've learned so much just doing this one sequence. https://vimeo.com/70498181 Next, I'm going to see if I can do something that looks more human and less cyborg...
I was just doing some focus pull tests to check the difference between lenses of different focal lengths, and I've come up with a different way to remember which direction to turn the lens. So naturally I pulled up this thread about walking timing and poses, which is where we've been discussing animated focus pulls and pans!
Anyway, it's like this - like I said above I grasp the focus ring between my thumb and second finger and I say to myself either "thumb up" or "thumb down - background".
This silly little phrase reminds me which way I've been moving it. I added the Background part to remind myself that when I move my thumb down the focal plane moves toward the background more. I couldn't think of a rhyme to remind myself that when I move my thumb up it moves toward the foreground, so I just don't say anything else when I'm going thumb up.
It's also important to do a certain amount of prep work for a shot like this. I always start by taking a number of pictures, including at each end of the focus pull just to see exactly what the camera will pick up. Often when I look at them I'll find a hair that looks gigantic or some other problem that I would never have seen otherwise until after finishing the shot, and it's best to get those surprises out of the way before doing the shot! Sometimes after taking my pre-production shots I'll have to do a lot of work to get everything really looking good for the big screen - brushing away little specks that I couldn't see until I looked at the picture full sized, spider web removal, or even tiny spider removal sometimes.
Then I take another test shot and check...
I move that you replace the term "thumb up" with FONZIE STYLE! lol