Hello, everyone!
My name is Haruko Napochka, and I am totally newbie here. Mostly, I've been making/learning cut-out, but thanks to your web site, I've started experimenting wire armatures and tie downs with my paper marionettes.

Today, I've just constructed a handmade multiplane set for my new cut-out project, and I ran into a very basic problem : CAMERA SHAKE.

As you may see in my attached video (http://youtu.be/nYhGyJ-pQYE), everything is wobbling. I'd like to make it stay still, so I stuffed around the camera stand with some bubble wraps. But they did not worked well.

During test shooting, I realized that in every 2 frames, it shakes vertically, then in horizontal direction in the next 2 frames...

Is the CAMERA's problem, maybe ? I am not sure what should I do for the next step...
Could anyone give me some advice for this problem? If so, I'd be very grateful :)

Before asking you, I will write down the details of my set and camera below :

Size of my set : (L) 750 mm (W) 450 (H) 1500 with 4 glasses
Camera : Nikon D90 with Nikkor VR lens 18-55mm
Camera stand :  LPL CSC10, which is fixed by 2 screws on the lumber stuck on the wall
Scale of my room : Approx. 8.25 m2 (I've been using my loft for shooting painted in all black)



Thank you for reading this, and thank you in advance !

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Are you using a remote shutter release? Because that shake looks like what you would get pressing the button on the camera.

A remote shutter release is a pretty essential tool. 

And hello! And welcome! And good luck with your project.

Thank you for your kind comment and kind welcome, Dean B !

Yes, actually, not a release of itself, but I'm using a software called Dragon for taking photos by pressing enter key at PC side. Maybe using the remote shutter release is better than the software ?

During the shooting, I felt my camera shaking due to the shuttering.
But I think it is quite normal that camera shakes a little when it closes its focal plane.

At that time, I wondered how everyone fix the camera so stably. 
or in this case, maybe should I retouch every single frame in post?
How do you often avoid a camera shake, if I may ask you or anyone...?

Thank you again for your reply 

2 things I can think of - either your camera has stabilization turned on - which ironically destabilizes it for stopmotion - of maybe your camera support just isn't sturdy enough. 

The stabilization can be called different things - and again ironically, one of them is anti-shake! On many cameras it has a little icon of a hand with the fingers spread as if saying "Stop!" - what it actually does is to sort of jockey the position of the image around a little to make things match up from one frame to the next, so if you're doing stopmotion it might align itself according to a puppet or something that you actually want to be moving. Something like that anyway, I don't know all the technicalities of it. But you need to go through your manual or the menus and figure out how to switch it off. 

My thinking is that upright arm the camera is mounted to might just not be strong enough or secured well enough. You might need to try making something stronger for it. 

Is there any chance it's not actually the camera, but maybe your entire rig or some part of it? What I would do is find a way to test each variable - Somehow make sure the camera itself can't possibly move, and shoot another test. You need to determine which part of the rig it is, or if maybe it's that pesky Anti-Shake. Or if maybe it happens when you move. Is the rig set up on a concrete floor or a wooden one? Sometimes wooden floors will sag or move a bit when people walk around.

Thank you so much for your kind advice, Strider ! I apologize for my late reply.
I didn't know that the camera stabilization destabilizes for stop motion, and I appreciate that I could know this tip. I will turn it off, and try shooting again. 

As you gave me the advice for rig, I'm searching where can be the suspicious part:

1. Does the upright arm camera move ?

2. Or does the rig move ? 

And I totally agree that both of them are not strong enough. The rig is also set up on a wooden floor. I tried not to move from where I was during a shooting, but it seems a slight change affected to the frame... 

I am still not sure if they are good ideas, but thinking to beef the rig up like the photos below :

I will try them, and I hope that they work well...

Thank you again for your kind advice !

Excuse me that I write again today !
The reason why I came back is to tell you that I could successfully solve the shake problem after some attempts thanks to both of you !

Consequently, I fastened the rig by 2 more brackets for each, made a Styrofoam box for shock absorption, and set it under the camera. (Camera stabilization is turned off)

It seems that they worked well ! I could finally shoot the stable frames like my video below.



Thank you so much for both of your advice to solve this problem !
I will start shooting my cut-outs again

Aha! Great news!

Thanks for coming back to show how you solved the problem. It will be useful for anyone with similar problems in the future to see what you did.

Keep us up to date with your progress 

Excellent!!! Good work on solving it. Glad we could help. And yeah, be sure to let us see the finished film! 

Thank you so much for your wonderful messages, Dean B and Strider! I'm very happy to be here, because I could receive such a warmhearted supports. This film will be my first client work for movie manner, so I'm afraid that my clients might not permit me to upload the full version, but I really would like to show you my finished one, even if it'd be a part of the film!!(I'd like to show on this message thread, if I may, or my video page:)

Mine is still far from "professional", but thanks to your support, I'd like to enhance my skills further.

Thank you again!!

Dear Dean B and Strider,

Forgive me to write back to this old thread...! I've just finished my film, about which I could receive both of your practical advice, and I just wanted to show you in this way...

Fortunately, I didn't have any problem of camera shake since then. I'm glad I could finish it

Wow, fantastic job! That looks very professionally done. Thanks for posting it here - it's always great to see the finished project!  

Oh, thank you, Strider ! I really appreciate your kind message !! Me, too. I'd also like to explore around this site to see other members' finished works from now on. 

Strider said:

Wow, fantastic job! That looks very professionally done. Thanks for posting it here - it's always great to see the finished project!  

That was very well made, I think it should be shown before the movie in every cinema!  Thank you for coming back to show us how it turned out - it's always good to know when the advice we give is actually helpful.

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