Stop Motion

New Gear from Edelkrone. I Want, I Want, I Want.

I have been a fan of Edelkrone gear for some time now. They are producing innovative, well made camera gear at an affordable price, that meets a variety of my shooting needs. This morning I received an email from the Edelkrone team introducing a new module for their SliderPlus video sliders, and I have to admit this is a piece of gear I really want.

The new Craft Module for the SliderPlus is designed to help you figure out the math for time-lapse, stop-motion, and macro-motion videography, all of which require lengthy and often complex calculations to get right. The module simply asks the shooter a few simple questions and then calculates the complex math needed to execute the camera move smoothly over time.

The videographer chooses between photo or video time-lapse modes, then inputs the start-point, end-point, duration, frame and the final movie duration.  The Craft Module will calculate and program the movement and let you know the maximum allowed shutter speed needed to get your shot. If you choose to you can also set up without setting the end- or start-points, to calculate automated static time-lapses in seconds. The device also features a timer function to schedule a time-lapse for later.

The real sweet spot for the Craft Module, is the way it can be combined with the Edelkrone Target Module to create responsive object tracking so that the camera stays focused on a single point as the unit moves. This allows you to create a smooth pivot around an object as the camera tracks over time. Something that is extremely difficult to do by hand and achieve smooth fluid results.

I said before that the Edelkrone gear is high quality at an affordable price, and it is. That doesn’t mean it’s cheap though. Good gear will set you back and this is no different. The slider, and both control modules will run you a little over $2000.00 when it is all said and done. Frankly I think that is a bargain  when you consider what you are getting for your money, and what you will be able to achieve with this kit once you start shooting with it.

StopMo Pro and a Cool Animation About StopMo Pro.

The National Film Board of Canada is currently offering their StopMo Pro for iPad2 software for just 99 cents. If you have any inclination toward film making and or stop motion animation this is a no brainer. Seriously. The software is a killer, easy to use tool that produces great results. Now with that said, take a look at the stop motion animation below that was made with StopMo Pro for iPad2.

Ninjas vs Superbugs

I say this time and time again, just because you are making a stop motion animation, you don’t have to make it look like something from the 1950’s. Case in point, First Avenue’s animation for IBM, “Ninjas vs Superbugs”. It is a hand crafted stop motion piece using puppets. It is a solid blend of LoFi and current video techniques. It looks 21st century, and it uses old school methods to pull it off. Below is the finished piece, plus the behind the scenes video as well. Not only is it a great little animation, it teaches you something about nanotech and MRSA.

How To Make a Jarritos Stop Motion Commercial.

Below are four great videos from CHRLX for Jarritos and GSD&M. While you would think this is a full on stop motion short, this is actually a blend of CG characters and real world filmed backgrounds. The first video shows you how they did it, the following shows you what they made.

Fear of Flying with No Stop-Motion.

Below are two videos. The final “Fear of Flying” and the Making of film that shows how much work goes into something like this. “Fear of Flying” has one more awards than you can shake a stick at, and rightfully so. The film has a great story line and character development, and the animation and post work have great production value.  Oh and there is no stop-motion technique used on this film. Watch the Making Of to see how they did it.

BlackMath’s Mixed Media Animation for Disconnect.me.

Boston based BlackMath always produced top notch video and animation work. Recently they produced a piece for Disconnect.me that has been getting a lot of playtime on the internet. I’m loving their latest piece for Disconnect.me is because they combine stop motion with CGI in a way that doesn’t feel all stop motiony (I know, I know, “motiony” is not a real word). More often than not folks doing stop motion animation feel as though they have to throw in a bunch of post effects and make it feel vintage. The video below and the making of video show how good BlackMath is, and how much work goes into making something like this. Below both is my micro rant about the old timey look. I placed it at the bottom so you can skip it if you want.

I’ve talked about this before, the insertion of gate weave, frame judder, noise, dust, vignetting, etc. The thing is, it usually takes away from the piece, and the ambiance that is being created represents technology that anyone under the age of 30 has probably never experienced in real life. In my opinion, stop motion video works best when it feels fluid and seamless. Like it was created in 2013, not 1930.