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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 14th, 2005, 09:43 PM   #1
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XL2 and Stop Motion video

I'm considering both the XL2 and the Panasonic DVX100A as near term
purchases. One of my requirements is the ability to do
STOP MOTION ANIMATION. I believe the DVX can do this with
its "intermittent mode" but I can't find a reference on the XL2.

Anyone on this board know of this?

Many thanks,

Rick
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Old May 15th, 2005, 07:16 AM   #2
 
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Rick, I'm not aware of any video camera that is capable of "true" stop motion animation. That would require exposing one frame at a time. Like the DVX, the XL2 has what Canon calls an "Interval Timer" capability. This is the same thing as Panasonic's "Intermittent Mode." Both cameras shoot a few seconds of video at a predetermined interval. The Canon's rate is .5 second, 1 second, 1.5 seconds, and 2 seconds of video every 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes. The Panasonic is similar, if not the same.

Jay
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:53 AM   #3
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Richard,
You could do it using a stop motion animation software, I use Stop Motion Studio, it's a Mac only software but there are other programs like it for windows,

here is the link for it http://www.loudinc.com/animation/stopmotionstudio/

As Jay mentioned above, the cameras only shoot in intervals, not frame by frame. the software takes a snapshot one frame at a time and when you are done you just render out the photos as a movie in whichever size and quality you want. You don't run any tape at all, just connect your camera via firewire and the software does the rest. Hope this link helps.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 12:49 PM   #4
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More on DVX Stop Motion mode - looking for XL2 equiv.

Guys: Thanks for the quick and concise replies. Here is an extraction from
the DVX manual regarding the interval mode:

Interval mode and Rec time are related:

----------------------------------------
REC TIME
(Camera)
For setting the recording duration for which
intermittent recording is to be performed.
0.5s: 0.5 sec. 1s : 1.0 sec.
1.5s: 1.5 sec. 2s : 2.0 sec.

INTERVAL REC(Camera)
For setting the intermittent recording mode.
OFF: Intermittent recording is not performed.
ON: When the START/STOP button is
pressed, intermittent recording is
performed with the cycle set by the REC
TIME item and INTERVAL TIME item.

ONE-SHOT: The time lapse shooting mode is
established.

When the START/STOP button is
pressed, recording is performed for the
number of seconds set by the REC TIME
item, after which the recording pause
mode is established.

O When intermittent recording is set to ON or
ONE-SHOT, “I –” flashes on the left of the
VCR operation mode. When recording is
started, it stops flashing and lights.

O Even when intermittent recording is set to
ON or ONE-SHOT, the intermittent
recording mode returns to OFF when the
power is turned off.

OWhen the progressive mode has been
set to 24P or 24P (ADV), the OFF is
established regardless of this item’s
setting.
---------------------------------------

In reading the XL2 manual @ page 79-80 I don't see the equivalent
"ONE-SHOT" setting. I don't know if this is a show stopper or not.

Thanks for the Mac SW links. I'll look into them!

I appreciate your time and efforts,

Rick
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Old May 15th, 2005, 12:58 PM   #5
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I really wouldn't advise using the XL2 as a stop motion camera because of it's Auto Shut Off feature. While using software to capture a frame by frame your Xl2 will shut off (Because of inactivity, you wont be pressing record or anything on the camer when using software on your computer) unless you put it into standby mode and hitting the standby mode button will move your camera and you will get a jerk in your stop motion.

I had problems with this with my previous camera. They should really make it possible to turn that Auto Shut Off feature off, because it would make some pretty stop motion animations :).

I'm not absolutely sure that you cannot turn that feature off, I just haven't came upon it yet.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 01:02 PM   #6
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Uh, I may be reading it wrong (I'm not a DVX user), but the text you pasted indicates to me that the "ONE SHOT" feature doesn't capture a "single frame" of video, to me it indicates it captures a "single interval" which the user establishes as 0.5s, 1s, 1.5s, or 2s (which equates to 15, 30, 45 or 60 frames of imagery). It appears to be exactly the same capability as the XL2.

Barry Green needs to weigh in here and straighten us all out.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick King
Uh, I may be reading it wrong (I'm not a DVX user), but the text you pasted indicates to me that the "ONE SHOT" feature doesn't capture a "single frame" of video, to me it indicates it captures a "single interval" which the user establishes as 0.5s, 1s, 1.5s, or 2s (which equates to 15, 30, 45 or 60 frames of imagery). It appears to be exactly the same capability as the XL2.

Barry Green needs to weigh in here and straighten us all out.

You're right Patrick. The DVX does not expose one frame at a time. It can't for one thing--none of them can--due to tape transport limitations. Tape cannot be moved through a camera one frame at a time the way film can be.

One way to capture one frame of video is with the Firestore FS-3.

Jay
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Old May 15th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #8
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You can set the XL2 to record, say, one second for each still frame. Then, in post, you can speed up the video so that each second takes a frame.

There is software that will do a better job. (http://www.istopmotion.com/)

The XL2 does have an option to not shut off, but disengage the tape transport (XL1S did too)
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Old May 15th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #9
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Oh! I was unaware! That's great though!

I take it you can shut it off in the menu?
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #10
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You can also just use the Camera without a tape. That will do the trick as well.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:18 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Mellicker
You can set the XL2 to record, say, one second for each still frame. Then, in post, you can speed up the video so that each second takes a frame.

There is software that will do a better job. (http://www.istopmotion.com/)

The XL2 does have an option to not shut off, but disengage the tape transport (XL1S did too)
But you're still using the "Interval Timer," so you'd have only 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes at the most to get your next "shot" set up! The number of items you could animate would be very limited. Even then, I seriously doubt it would be as smooth as true single frame stop action animation.

Jay
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:58 PM   #12
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Woops... I was thinking of the "photo" feature which is not on the XL2.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 05:21 PM   #13
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The two options I see are to use:
- the shortest (0.5 second) recording increment to get 15 progressive frames per "stop action" and then speed up the video by 15 times in your NLE.
- a still camera and import as a series of still frames to a timeline within your NLE.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 05:22 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Mellicker
Woops... I was thinking of the "photo" feature which is not on the XL2.
Now, Josh, that sounds like something I'd do! ;o)

Jay
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:04 PM   #15
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XL2 & Stop Motion - my thanks

Guys: OK! It looks like a frame grabber and the XL2 is the way to go. I got
confused by the language in the manuals and started down the wrong path.

I appreciate the words of wisdom!

Rick
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