"DISAPPEAR" - A stop motion film by Hendrikus De Vaan

"Disappear" is a stop motion short film that has been over two years in the making. Put together singlehandedly by Hendrikus De Vaan, with a score by Lily Unsub.


Comment by Tony Perry on May 23, 2014 at 7:23am

I really like this. A lot of atmosphere and looks good in black and white. great score too.

Comment by Marnik on May 23, 2014 at 12:30pm
That was brilliant - I really dig the film noir style! Character animation was great and some really impressive camera moves. Loved it!
Comment by Anthony Leigh on May 23, 2014 at 12:47pm

Hey, that was brilliant. Was the TSP report a nod to 'Office Space'? I really liked everything about the film, good work. 

Comment by Hendrikus De Vaan on May 23, 2014 at 1:37pm

Thanks guys! Appreciate the feedback.

Camera moves were made on a home brew motion control rig.

And yes, TPS report is a nod to Office Space, I'm a big Mike Judge fan!

Comment by Marnik on May 23, 2014 at 2:03pm

Could you give us more details on the motion control rig? Very interested!

Comment by Hendrikus De Vaan on May 23, 2014 at 2:22pm

Sure, I bought some parts from Emotimo for the head, to save build time, but the rest was all ball screws, linear motion guides and some very heavy duty timber.

I ran it from an Arduino Uno running the DFmoco sketch, driven from stepstick drivers attached to a repurposed CnC arduino shield from Buildlog. Had to teach myself some basic electrical things, had a few sleepless nights, but all in all it wasn't overly difficult I guess...

I don't actually have that rig anymore, since I moved to Europe I had to sell it, but I'm getting into 3D printing shortly and want to develop a low cost Moco rig using easily sourced parts as well as 3D printed parts. I think that would be pretty cool.

Comment by Simon Tytherleigh on May 24, 2014 at 9:31am

Lovely little film, such an expressive face on the man. The B&W works well, too.

The camera dolly moves were really impressive, although there seemed to be a bit of stutter some of the time. Were you moving it on twos?

Could you give a bit more detail on the moco set-up? Do you have some links to the gear you used? I am building a dolly at the moment, but it is all hand-powered as I am not familiar with Arduino etc. But you film makes me think again. There were some awesome dolly moves!

Comment by Mike on May 24, 2014 at 1:11pm

Great job! I agree with Simon on all points. The eyes were very unique too. They almost seemed to shimmer or sparkle. Did you do some kind of effect to achieve that?I'd also be interested in learning about the moco rig you built. I'm planning to build my own over the summer/fall.

As for the stutter, to my eyes it had to be on twos. To prevent that in the future, there's an old rule of thumb for animation in general (2d, 3d, stop-motion, et all): "If the camera moves don't use twos." It's easy to remember like that because it almost rhymes. With a slow simple pan, tilt, dolly, track, or crane sometimes twos can look fine, but ones will still always look smoother when the camera is moving.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed it all around!

Comment by Simon Tytherleigh on May 25, 2014 at 1:17am

Yes, the eyes were a lovely effect. I am also wondering how you did that. Did you have a little torch for them?

Just had a look at your thread from last year when you were starting your moco build. Did you go for the eMotimo TB3? It looks really neat, but what happens when you want to add more dimensions? I noticed that it has an option for a 3rd stepper motor, but that would be it, I suppose. Not very versatile. Your moves seemed to have something like 6... You said you got some parts from them, so presumably the pan and tilt mechanism?

Researching the Arduino online, it looks fairly straightforward to hook up, and can control lots of steppers, so that would seem to be the way to go.

 So far mine is timber and skateboard wheels, with a jib arm made from rectangular vent tube. 1st effort was in MDF and came out incredibly heavy, so next is in plywood! I am using a lazy susan bearing for rotation. I have made some basic linear sliders with tube and plastic overflow T-pieces, but of course backlash could be a problem. It sounds like you bought in components.

If you can post some photos of your old rig that would be great, also detail of what you hope to be offering.....

Comment by Hendrikus De Vaan on May 27, 2014 at 3:13am

Hey guys, sorry it took a while to reply, been really busy.

There are photos of the moco rig in the portfolio section of hendrikusdevaan.com

The pan and tilt assembly is from Emotimo, the rest is all parts ordered from china and a bit of basic engineering and soldering.

As far as worrying about the limitations of axis from an emotimo head, it's kind of irrelevant. I believe you can run up to four arduino boards from dragonframe. Even using the cheapest option, arduino UNOs, that still gives you 16 channels of motion, so it's unlikely you'd ever need to go over that.

I wanted to develop a new arduino shield, based on the Buildlog.net stepper shield, that would essentially be a plug and play solution. But I'd need to find someone with a knowledge of PCB design software because it needs reassignment of the pin layout.

It all sounds pretty daunting, but it's totally doable. Actually, I had a hand cranked rig first, but I could never go back to that after having used Moco, it just takes so much attention span away from animation.

The eyes were all done in camera. In fact, other than some light rig removal, the film is 100% done in camera. This was important to me.

Feel free to shoot me anymore questions, I'll answer them when I can! 


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