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-   -   XL2 and Stop Motion video (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/44593-xl2-stop-motion-video.html)

Richard Wagoner May 14th, 2005 08:43 PM

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

Jay Gladwell May 15th, 2005 06:16 AM

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

Rik Sanchez May 15th, 2005 08:53 AM

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.

Richard Wagoner May 15th, 2005 11:49 AM

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

Travis Maynard May 15th, 2005 11:58 AM

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.

Patrick King May 15th, 2005 12:02 PM

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.

Jay Gladwell May 15th, 2005 12:45 PM

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

Josh Mellicker May 15th, 2005 01:43 PM

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)

Travis Maynard May 15th, 2005 02:08 PM

Oh! I was unaware! That's great though!

I take it you can shut it off in the menu?

Daniel Kohl May 15th, 2005 03:08 PM

You can also just use the Camera without a tape. That will do the trick as well.

Jay Gladwell May 15th, 2005 03:18 PM

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

Josh Mellicker May 15th, 2005 03:58 PM

Woops... I was thinking of the "photo" feature which is not on the XL2.

Pete Bauer May 15th, 2005 04:21 PM

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.

Jay Gladwell May 15th, 2005 04:22 PM

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

Richard Wagoner May 15th, 2005 08:04 PM

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

Jarrod Whaley June 11th, 2006 11:32 PM

I just finished a stop-motion project (as DP and editor), albeit on a GL1. The process used would be exactly the same for an XL-2, though.

I simply ran the tape for 5-10 seconds for each set-up and then adjusted the length of each clip as needed in post. For stop-motion, you are not going to need 24 or 30 frames per second anyway, unless you're a complete masochist, as shooting that way would require an obscene number of movements for your subject. I probably ended up with something like 1-10 "frames" (short clips of static video) per second, and the results were more than satisfactory.

The drawback to shooting this way is that you have to manually adjust the length of each clip, and I'm sure it's not hard for any of you to imagine how repetitive that can get after a while. But the advantage is that it forces you to compose the amount of movement that's necessary--in post, when you can actually *see* it, rather than relying on guesswork during production. For example, if you're shooting frame-by-frame (like you would with film or single-frame video capture), you have to be able to visualize your models' movements while shooting. If the model is supposed to take a few steps and then pause, you have to account for that, or else you end up having to duplicate frames and whatnot. With the "short clip" method, you're basically building your movements from scratch in post, which makes you pay closer attention to the animation.

Short clips also produce a more natural-looking pattern of video grain, because the grain is allowed to "move" naturally, rather than laying there in a static pattern on each frame. The natural grain motion, in my opinion, helps bolster the illusion that the models are actually moving on their own.

I'm really happy with the way my project turned out. Here's the site (which has a clip) for the project I'm talking about in case anyone is curious:
http://anti-arktikos.com/

Ash Greyson June 12th, 2006 11:28 AM

The picture mode which shoots for 5 seconds is perfect for this work... that way, every clip is consistent...



ash =o)

Jarrod Whaley June 12th, 2006 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
The picture mode which shoots for 5 seconds is perfect for this work... that way, every clip is consistent...

In theory, yes. Except for the fact that (as someone has already said) timed intervals would be hard to work with when you're moving models around. The amount of time needed to do that is wildly variable, and you'd either end up with lots of unusable clips of yourself making adjustments or else you'd be standing around waiting for the next 5-second grab.

Or did I misunderstand what you're getting at?

Matthew Nayman June 12th, 2006 02:02 PM

Doing Stop motion?

Use a rebel XT or other Digi SLR set up to a computer using a live capture...

Talk about HD.

Jarrod Whaley June 12th, 2006 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matthew Nayman
Doing Stop motion?

Use a rebel XT or other Digi SLR set up to a computer using a live capture...

Talk about HD.

Depends on what you're doing. The project I worked on included live-action and puppetry. Also, if you're outputting to anything more high-res than NTSC or PAL, you still have to have a really beefy editing setup or render times will kill you. I was looking at routine 16-hour renders at NTSC anyway, because of all the compositing and color correction this thing required. 64-hour renders just weren't an option in my case, nor was plunking down the $$$ for a faster computer.

And if you're spending that much money, why not shoot on 16mm?

Video is way cheaper.

Matthew Nayman June 12th, 2006 06:22 PM

I just mean if you're doing only stop motion, then you just take the picture sequence into AE and downres to SD... it's a nice way to do it. In production of one right now .Will post when done

Ash Greyson June 12th, 2006 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
In theory, yes. Except for the fact that (as someone has already said) timed intervals would be hard to work with when you're moving models around. The amount of time needed to do that is wildly variable, and you'd either end up with lots of unusable clips of yourself making adjustments or else you'd be standing around waiting for the next 5-second grab.

Or did I misunderstand what you're getting at?


The XL1s have a photo mode that only records for 5 or 6 seconds. This means you could just speed up a clip and every frame would be the same length... you can take as long as you like in between... I did pixilation with the XL1s all the time...


ash =o)

Jarrod Whaley June 12th, 2006 09:28 PM

I kind of half-way thought that might be what you meant. My GL1 does that too. In retrospect, it might have been a good thing for me to use that. After a while though, when I became accustomed to it, my grabs became pretty uniform in length anyway.

I still kind of feel like the grain is probably more "natural" looking with clips of video, but it sounds like you got some good results.

Jeff Miller June 20th, 2006 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
but it sounds like you got some good results.

DSLR worked fine for _Corpse Bride_ :)

Jarrod Whaley June 20th, 2006 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Miller
DSLR worked fine for _Corpse Bride_ :)

I'm sure they also had better computers to work with than most of us do, too. And a lot more people working on it.

I'm not trying to be all contrarian, I'm just pointing out the potential workflow issues that come with processing such large image files into a video stream. It's probably not practical for a lot of situations.

Jeff Miller June 20th, 2006 03:01 PM

Agreed, I'm sure they had a whole animation studio. And they used modified Canons, not stock rigs. OTOH not every photograph has to be a nine megabyte raw CCD file, DSLR does great JPEG's. And there's open source tools for streaming JPG's into an MPEG or whatever. Geez I gotta try this someday lol.

What your doing sounds cool, I'm just adding the SLR info in case someone else wants to try. Video will do animation too, people do it all the time. Actually the first short I remember making was a stop motion with my Video8. I sure wish I had those tapes now! :)

Jarrod Whaley June 20th, 2006 03:07 PM

Yeah, you should definitely try it. I had a great time doing stop-motion. It was also frustrating and tedious at times, but on the whole, lots of fun.


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