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Old August 31st, 2008, 02:49 AM   #1
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Filming Dollhouse with dolls and clay models

Hi guys,

My daughter(6 years old) saw a swedish childprogram where they filmed a "doll world" using some kind of "time lapse" or "still picture on tape".

Setup:
Cam on Tripod
Dollworld - where the children moved the dolls 1 cm or so a time.
Some lights and photoflashes for effect

Question:
How do I do? How many frames do I shoot on every "move"? Do I shoot still-frames(a couple of them) or do I tape as usual?
What final framerate should I aim at?
How do I edit?
I will add the audio last(with voice over and effects)

Please, enlighten me!

// Lazze
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Old August 31st, 2008, 09:24 AM   #2
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Shoot it with a DSLR camera like Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.
Do a quick Google search to find tips and techniques about stop motion.

Good Luck with your project!
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Old August 31st, 2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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I did a project like this about six years ago. It's extremely tedious and difficult to do right. Took me about two months of shooting for at least two hours and sometimes five every day to accomplish three and a half minutes of animation. I decided fifteen images per second was enough (as opposed to 24 or 30). I spent a lot of time figuring out things like "how long does it take me to lift my arm up? Is it two thirds of a second or three quarters of a second?" And then translating that into a number of frames (10 or 12). Also made movement charts so I would know where each character should be on any given frame of animation in a given shot (on frame 11 of this shot, susie's arm should be all the way out, but Frank's left foot is only halfway out, not fully extended 'til frame 25).

Built figures out of "Akins" clay, some kind of special oil-based clay (I think) that doesn't dry out like water based clay (I think). YOu build a wire skeleton by using thin gauge wire that you can buy in art supply stores, and sort of twisting it around itself to create some thickness (I know this is hard to understand without pictures). I used plumber's epoxy to make "bones" (the upper arm, the lower arm, thigh, shin, etc.). You coat the wire with the epoxy where you want it stiff (a thigh) and leave it bare where you want it to bend (the knee). The site I used as a resource (I think it was called animateclay.com) said something about baking the clay, but I ignored that and just put it right on the skeleton with no further preparation.

You'll do a lot of rebuilding your characters they get abused by the constant touching.

A couple things I would emphasize:

Make your characters kinda big. Mine averaged around 6 inches, maybe 7 inches high, and it was too small. Maybe try 10 to 12.

Also, if you ignore everything else, DO THE VOICES FIRST! Record the lines, then time each line, and then translate that timing into frames of animation, so you know how long to make the mouths move for (if a line takes 2.5 seconds to deliver, and you're doing 12 frames of animation per second, then that line becomes worth 30 frames of animation, dig?)

That may all seem long winded, but it's a pretty concise summary of what I spent four months on all those years ago.

Here's my final product:

http://joshbass.com/Site/Short_Films...njewswm9_1.wmv
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Old September 7th, 2008, 05:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for all good input!

I must simplify this somehow since my daughter wants to be a part of the project(and she is 6 years old).

I'll have to find the "right" level of ambition ... and maybe pick a well known story that we can illustrate with the dolls(like "the red riding hood").

// Lazze

Ps. John -> hahaha, got a good laugh watching your film! Excellent work! ds.
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Old September 8th, 2008, 04:22 AM   #5
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Great Work

Hallo Josh that is fantastic, should have been hilarious to do
but is way cool and hilarious to look at. I do dreaming
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