Monday, 26 September 2011

Lessons Learned

Over the weekend I finally got to do some animation!!! I first tried on Saturday but had so much trouble with my rig I couldn't carry on and had to wait till Sunday to fix it and try again. The rig is, in true stop motion fashion, just a knocked up mish mash of bits and bobs I have lying around.
It consists of a really heavy anglepoise lamp base with threaded rod glued in and two old umbrella swivels from some of my old photography equipment that I don't need anymore.

With these all bashed together I finally had something to work with and got some tests done

The rig is still proving to be a big problem and really effecting the animation. It keeps slipping and tilting the puppet and also the arm is swiveling very slightly making the puppet lean to one side. I thought this would be an easy thing to fix whilst animating but found that it wasn't at all. So many little problems end up being one big problem and made it a very disheartening and stressful time on something that I have been so excited about for so long. So the conclusion here is make sure your rig behaves!

One HUGE problem has come to light while doing these tests, I cant secure my puppet down with magnets. The magnets are far to week even with the thinnest board between them and the feet. This means he has to be rigged at all times which is pretty much useless as I am limited in how I can move him with the rig attached.
I have made changes to the rig and will be doing some more tests today but this has confirmed my earlier thoughts that I am going to have to make a new puppet.

I will post more about the new puppet after I have done some more tests with the current puppet. I will probably post the results later this evening or tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed!

Also over the weekend I have decided to set up a new blog that is dedicated to real stop motion animation. I'm talking strictly puppets!
At the moment i have just posted a load of short films and 'making of' videos. I'm starting t think whether this was a bad idea as things are quite easy to find and people wouldnt have much use for it but then again it's always nice to have a place where it is all bookmarked for you.
I think it would be better as a sort of database site rather then a blog. I'm just a bit unsure. Have a look and let me know what you think as I would really appreciate your feedback on this

Also if you have twitter you can follow @realstopmotion for updates.
And you can also follow my personnel twitter HERE


  1. You say "fails", I see brilliance! There are not only nice cycles in there, but character as well. Impressive - Looking forward to seeing progress!

  2. Which magnets are you using? Have you tried some of the crazy strong ones? I know these can pick up very large weights. Also because they're spheres might be handy to use on joints?

  3. the only issues with that walk cycle is that his hips and shoulders should tilt. (if you armature allows it?)

  4. Doesn't every new animator long for magnets to work! LOL! I think they would work if the pupp were made of strictly paper, etc. I bought some Rare earth magnets to try on heavier pupps but they are too powerful and dangerous for me to use (fingers can easily get smashed and mangled by getting in the way of two of them slamming together, etc.)

    I love the way you rigged your rigging. I bought a bunch of--more odd and far less pro--stuff like this (a swivel shower head as base, etc.) and was too sheepish about putting a few things together to make a rigging. So thanks for giving me the courage to try!

    I know for me tiedowns through the feet on *most* of my movements isn't going to work b/c the set is too thick and inaccessible, etc. Will have to come up with something that keeps the feet on the ground without having to unscrew each step I think.



  5. Just watched the clip--I loved it! Personally, I only really love handmade (with all it's irregularity) frame by frame. I want to feel the animator was making the film as art. CGI can do the impersonation of life gig as far as I'm concerned.

    I'd love to see more artists such as you making handcrafted stop mo as visceral art.

  6. Looks good man!! Your first cycle is pretty should be proud of that..

    yeah man...magnets = fail...ha! I have never seen them work...

    good ole tie downs man...

    Ill be looking out on both your blogs.


  7. Nice tests. Good toe-bend ;)

  8. Aww you are all so awesome!

    @Paul Thank you matey!

    @Robbidoo You the man!

    @Marc I would of liked to have some tilt on the hips and shoulders but he just wouldn't play nicely! Silly fella

    @Shelley, I bloody LOVE your comments!!!!!!!! They always make me smile :D You my dear are amazing!

    @Jriggity Many thanks Justin. I tried magnets as they are what most the TV shows use over here. But the puppets are about 5" smaller than mine hahaha

    @Dean Thanks very muchly Dean!