StopMotionAnimation.com

taking one frame at a time since 1999

Hi all,

I've been lurking a bit and I really appreciate the breadth of knowledge people are sharing here!

I'm looking for advice about setting up a small space for a beginner to work through the full process of stop motion animation. My partner is an accomplished artist who's been wanting to get into stop motion for many years. She has all the skills and experience she needs to set up scenes and make puppets and sets, the problem has always been getting space and equipment for a production. We're also going to be living in small-ish apartments for the foreseeable future and we have young children, so things get cramped and can't stay out where curious hands can find them. We finally got a reliable system in place for painting and illustrating last winter, which involved adding a folding extension with legs to a heavy-duty roll-away cart, and now I'd like to see if I can set her up for animation. We won't be able to do anything fit for more than a few seconds of video at first, and I expect she'd start with a mobile/tablet app rather than investing in cameras and software right away (and I know she'd rather make sets than work through post-production with green screens and things like that), I just want to have everything together so she can go through the whole process. I have two main questions:

First, can I set up a stage for things like tie downs and backdrops that can be attached and removed from a 4x4 foot tabletop? Does anyone have examples I could work from? Ideally this would be one piece because any bigger project has to be set up after kids' bedtime and stowed in a back room at the end of the night, but I'm open to any ideas people have.

Second, lighting. Can I just get an LED ring and other lights people have been using for home video setups during the pandemic? Would it be best to go for more professional, free-standing supports right away rather than finding ways to clamp things to furniture or whatever? Are there good lighting setups that can be collapsed and stowed? Lighting dim apartments has been a very common problem for all kinds of things, so I'd be willing to go for higher-end equipment here if I can afford it.

Finally, what other advice do you have about working in tight spaces? I'm not an animator, so if there are specific things that will be big challenges here I'd love to know ahead of time

Thanks!

Devin

Views: 237

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Great job - looks like you are just about set to start having some fun!!!  Good luck Devin!!

Devin said:

Thanks everyone for your input. This is what I came up with; I sort of combined the Aardman stage design and StopmoNick's rostrom setup. My carpentry skills are marginal and the rostrom was cut out of a leftover plywood panel with a jigsaw, so it's ugly but I'm happy with it. The table is 18"x24" and about a foot high. If anyone wants plans or a parts list just let me know and I'll put something together. The one thing I will say is that I went with a 19 gauge steel sheet for the top with 3/16 drillings and 51% open area, and it's flexible enough that I had to put extra screws around the edges to keep it in place. Not sure how it'll hold up long-term. I'd go with something thicker if I did it again.

I coughed up the money for the Manfrotto variable friction arm Simon recommended and I'm glad I did - it seems like it's going to save a lot of effort in several different ways. I also can't imagine how it works internally. Like at all.

My partner is very excited about it! I'll point her here for any future forum needs.

Thanks Nick! It's true a small unit to put on top would let me do more, that's a good idea and I'll consider how to make it happen.

Devin, it looks great! So happy my setup helped. It might help to turn the clamps flush to the table and stage so she doesn't bump them while she's animating, I found out the hard way and took an embarrassingly long time to solve. I like the hinges in the design, did you use the same kind inside the corners?

excellent point about the clamps; they'll stick out anyway because the tabletop extends just beyond the apron and it would interfere if I tried to rotate the clamps (although they can be better than in the photo obviously). I'm pretty sure there's an easy way to rig up low-profile extensions that will allow for smaller clamps hidden under the table. I'll post back here when I try it.

I used piano hinges on the inside corners to fix things tightly and distribute clamping forces across the frame without having to lay out multiple hinges (they're partially visible if you click on the second photo in my post). They can be a bit expensive but if you're willing to spend some quality time with a hacksaw it's much cheaper to buy long ones and cut them down.

Thanks; I did find several like the one in the link. Tool cases, flight cases, and road cases were the search terms I wound up with but I never found anything reasonably sized for this application. Cases I found that could hold the 24x18 top were typically very large and designed for musicians' amps or mixing boards (and far out of my price range). I need something that's just a few inches on the third dimension. I wound up ordering a stiff-sided artist's portfolio case that's 26x20x3, but it's more like a folder for flat stock than a box for supplies. The clamps and the tripod won't fit, and I'm not sure the handle will carry the weight of the whole setup, but it should at least stand in a narrow space and stack fairly well when flat.

Keith Adams said:



Devin said:

I like this setup but I don't know how she's going to wind up doing tie-downs, etc., so I wanted to use a perforated sheet for the top. I am curious about that case in the background though. Did that come with a product or did you buy it somewhere? I've been looking all over for a case like that big enough to hold the stage when it's packed up but I can't find one anywhere.

Keith Adams said:

Here's one I used to use based on a workmate, it was pretty stable and could all be folded away.Keith

Hi Devin, Are you in the UK, try a search for aluminium tool cases this deal at B&Q looks pretty good

https://www.diy.com/departments/17-aluminium-1-compartment-tool-cas...

or you could try searching flight cases, probably a bit more expensive.

I like your solution, always wondered about going for a perforated floor but also keen to try magnets, at the moment still drilling holes through ply and filling them again.

Cheers......Keith

Thanks for the info on the hinges, I didn't know about those! Quality time with a hacksaw sounds about right...

Devin said:

excellent point about the clamps; they'll stick out anyway because the tabletop extends just beyond the apron and it would interfere if I tried to rotate the clamps (although they can be better than in the photo obviously). I'm pretty sure there's an easy way to rig up low-profile extensions that will allow for smaller clamps hidden under the table. I'll post back here when I try it.

I used piano hinges on the inside corners to fix things tightly and distribute clamping forces across the frame without having to lay out multiple hinges (they're partially visible if you click on the second photo in my post). They can be a bit expensive but if you're willing to spend some quality time with a hacksaw it's much cheaper to buy long ones and cut them down.

Just an additional thought on what looks like a good set-up... you need something to fix down the tripod legs. In the pic one of them looks dangerously close to the edge of the table! It could be something homemade, but ideally should be adjustable and hold the tripod feet rigidly. I like to use sandbags on the floor with my tripod, but clamps and a board with a hole in it might be better on a table.

Glad you think the Manfrotto arm was worth getting. They are excellent.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Website News & Tips

NEW MEMBERS

If you are new to the site, please feel free to introduce yourself on this Message Board thread.

MY PAGE
You can now customize your personal page. Go to My Page/Customize My Page.

PRIVACY
To control who sees your posts and Profile Page, go to Settings>Privacy.

MESSAGE BOARD & BLOG POSTS
If you have a question for the community, it is best to post your question on the Message Board instead of a Blog. Blogs are best for featuring your stop motion projects.

VIDEO
When posting a video, if possible, use the Embed Code instead of the URL. Your video will be a larger, more viewable size.

Stopmo Jam HALLOWEEN!

MESSAGE BOARD CATEGORIES

If you have a question or are looking for answers, you'll find a wealth of information here on the Message Board.

BEGINNERS a good place to start
ANIMATOR TALK experienced animators
YOUR STOPMO FILM PROJECT what r u working on?
STORY script, storyboarding and storyreel
ANIMATION TOOLS
 what's a surface gage?
STOP MOTION & COMPUTERS Dragonframe and VFX
CAMERA & STAGE camera, lighting and moco rigs
SOUND lip-sync, sound effects and music 
ARMATURES ball & socket and wire 
MACHINE SHOP metalwork tool & talk 
SCULPTING sculpture information and advice 
HAIR & COSTUME materials and technique 
CASTING
 foam, silicone and resin 
CLAY clay puppet construction 
GENERAL PUPPET MAKING 
other puppet fab issues
STOP MOTION SETS set design and construction
MODEL DEPARTMENT
 miniature prop discussion

and even more...
MATTE PAINTINGS
GENERAL SPECIAL EFFECTS 
STOP MOTION FILM DISCUSSION 
FAVORITE STOP MOTION CHARACTERS
PRO ANIMATOR DISCUSSION
FILM FESTIVALS AND EVENTS 
ANIMATION SCHOOLS 
STOP MOTION BOOKS 
STOP MOTION ON VIDEO 
WORK OPPORTUNITIES

FOR SALE 
CHAT BOARD 

WEBSITE NEWS AND FEEDBACK

SMA.com on YouTube

New NMBC Book!

© 2021   Created by Anthony Scott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

.xg_widget_forum_index_index .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_listForCategory .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_show .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;}