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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 25th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #1
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Stop Motion Animation

Hey does anyone have any experience or information about using the XL2 for stop motion animation specifically and/or using video as a format for stop motion animation?

I was thinking of using the 24p format on the XL2.

Thanks in advance for your help.

E
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Old July 25th, 2005, 02:18 PM   #2
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Why don't you use a still camera and then assemble the clips in a video editor?
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Old July 25th, 2005, 02:38 PM   #3
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Premiere has a great feature called Onion Skin which allows you to see a ghosted frame of your last shot superimposed on the curent life view. Just leave the camera on and capture using Premiere with this feature turned-on. I've seen great claymation results with this technique. This way, you get true frame-by-frame shots that any video camera system under $10k can't produce (in camera).
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Old July 25th, 2005, 03:07 PM   #4
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Thre are several stop motion animation programs that can help with this and have the onion skinning feature mentioned above. I have one on the Mac called istop motion that I got for $50.00 that works great. I believe the standard on the pc is Stop Motion Pro or something similar.


http://www.brickfilms.com/

above is a link to a lego stop motion site. Check out the resource section for tips on animating and software. Most of the guys on this site use webcams, but most of the software they use will work just as well on a minidv cam. There are many links to software vendors and such.

The method mentioned above by Kieth will also work- but having animated a bit both with and without onion skinning, I must say that it is a must have feature.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 03:11 PM   #5
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Another good and inexpensive software app for this is called Animation Shop 3.0 from Jasc Software. It's included when you buy Paint Shop Pro. It does onion skin preview and can output .avi files. The other cool feature of this program is the ability to adjust the duration of all frames, or all selected frames. You can select 1 frame and adjust its duration independently of the others. However, unlike Premier, it can't onion skin over a live preview.

regards,

-gb-
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Old July 26th, 2005, 02:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Loh
Why don't you use a still camera and then assemble the clips in a video editor?
Keith,

the big problem of using a still camera for stop motion is the repeatability of exposure from frame to frame. A still camera just is not designed for stop motion. The exposure of each frame is slightly different because of variations in shutter speed and iris openening even in manual mode. You won't see the difference when you compare the frames, but when you load the frames into your editing program and play them back at 25 (or 29,97) fps, you'll see a more or less annoying flicker. Sad, but true.

What's more, each frame seems to be handled differently by the cameras circuitry even when you use RAW pictures.

I did some stop motion tests with the digital Rebel and the 20D. The 20D shows slightly less flicker than the Rebel, but it is still clearly noticable. However, I was able to reduce this flicker in AfterEffects to a level, that was no longer distracting.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 03:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer Hoffmann
A still camera just is not designed for stop motion. The exposure of each frame is slightly different because of variations in shutter speed and iris openening even in manual mode.
... or is it Rainer that you have had white balance on automatic mode? I've had no problems creating animations of still camera images when all possible settings are on manual mode. This applies at least to Canon D10 and EOS Mark II. Typically, I use the cross dissolve transition from one frame to another.

Flickering is another issue, which has to do with the resolution of still images. A good approach is to transform the resolution of the still images to that of the video, and only then import the stills to the editing software. (Flickering may still appear, and other tools as Rainer reports may be needed.)
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Old July 26th, 2005, 04:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lauri Kettunen

... or is it Rainer that you have had white balance on automatic mode? I've had no problems creating animations of still camera images when all possible settings are on manual mode. This applies at least to Canon D10 and EOS Mark II. Typically, I use the cross dissolve transition from one frame to another.
Lauri, I made sure that everything was in manual, even WB. Perhaps neither the Rebel nor the 20D are precise enough in terms of exposure repeatability? It is interesting that you had no problems with your cameras.

I didn't think about the cross dissolve, however. This may indeed do the trick. I'll do some more tests, I guess.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 11:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer Hoffmann
It is interesting that you had no problems with your cameras.
Well, my experience still does not proof there were not a problem. It is common that people tend to believe some correct data meant that things are right with all data. So, we both may have made proper obsevattions.

BTW, in Photoshop CS there is a tool to correct the differences in color tones between two different images. One can use the batch command to automatically finetune a large number of frames.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #10
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what is the best way to shoot for stop motion?

A. Firehose it
B. Make the motion on the subject, take a second or so of footage and repeat
C. Both
D. None of the above


????
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Old July 27th, 2005, 12:41 PM   #11
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Thanks all for your input but I guess Marco's post is more like what I probably should have posted to begin with. I was just looking any experience anyone might have had with using video for stop motion and what the best way to go about doing it might be.


Thanks again,

E
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Old July 27th, 2005, 12:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer Hoffmann
Keith,
the big problem of using a still camera for stop motion is the repeatability of exposure from frame to frame.
I did not know that. Interesting problem.
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