Hey everyone I have recently revisited a short I left collecting dust a few years ago. A few months ago I took some time off from freelancing as an animator and designer in NYC to dedicate to this film. I would love any feedback and suggestions. I will be updating my facebook page with making of stills, I am finishing up puppets and getting ready to shoot! Please view my work in progress! I'm really excited to work on this and hope it furthers my career in stop motion! 

www.facebook.com/TamaramaStudios

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I just got the joke! The company name on the piano is "Hahn"! LOL! This is the type of subtle detail and humor I just love.

I didn't make this one so I can't really say much about it, but uses a sponge layer and a bit of funky foam on the bottom of the each key


 It works pretty, maybe the keys are wider than yours where Nick, or the keyboard shorter. I'm not trying to prove you wrong, no disrespect intended - Just in case its of any use.

My next try would have been to run a bar across the length of the back and have the keys pivot on it with a counter weight at the other end - like a see-saw (or teater-totter if your Canadian!).  I'm sure Strider and Nick must have already thought of this though, so sorry if I'm making you repeat yourselves.

After that I'm out of ideas. Tamara your idea sounds a bit too fiddly to me, but then I'm not as good a model maker as you and I won't have to animate it so I'll butt out!

Good luck with it, I look forward to seeing it.

 

Strider said:

We actually discussed that very thing before - Nick said he had tried that and itresults in all adjacent keys going down alongside the one being pressed. Even if you cut the foam into strips, that'll still happen - each key pretty much needs some kind of isolated spring return or a wire attached. It's a puzzler for sure.. 

Wow, that's fantastic! Thanks for posting, especially with the photographic proof!! I don't think Nick actually tried it, I think he was just theorizing according to the best known data available without actual experimentation. Another one of those 'comon sense' things that seem right until you actually try it! 

Looking at that, I can't believe it would work unless the keys are somehow isolated from each other. It's funny how sometimes real-world physics are surprisingly more forgiving than you'd expect them to be. I also like the counter-weighting idea. 

That's right, I didn't actually try it. It was mere speculation.
I do like the couterweight idea though. The keys could simply be longer on the back side of the pivot, that would increase the weight without sticking a bit of metal on.

Those images looks great, really functional. The counter weights is a good idea, like how an actual piano works. I guess the puppets finger would be the only thing pushing the key down? I would also block out only the keys that would actual be pressed down and only add the weight to that. That would alleviate having to go behind and manually animate each key with a little stopper! Does anyone have a suggestion of what I could use for little weights? thanks for all the input

I think Nick just covered the simplest way to do that - make the keys more than twice as long as the part that shows, so the back half of each is heavier than the front, and you don't need to add any weight at all. For instance, imagine a see-saw (teeter-totter for you Canucks  ) with one end twice as long as the other - that side will always automatically be on the ground (assuming nobody is sitting on it). 

Hmm, but then I suppose you're looking for a way to use the keys you've already made, which would need something added. Maybe just drill a tiny hole into the back end of each key (the ones that need to be animated only of course) and glue a length of wire into them. If necessary, maybe at the short end of the piano, you could bend the wire up in order to fit in enough to counterbalance the key in the short space you have. 

It might be easier to modify the piano so you can insert a strip of foam under the keys? Maybe sand or file away the underside of the keys (I'm thinking belt sander for speed's sake, or a Dremel) but leave just the front part of each key untouched to hide the foam.

Oh gotcha! Blonde moment. Sometimes its a bit hard to visual these things. I do have tail on the back of the keys but not enough to see saw it. Ideally id like to keep the keys i have. I think i will try to add the wire to the keys being played and i could even animate the key by moving the wire in the back then when its back at its starting position just add a stopper underneath.

The foam may work but every key is very manipulated by the surrouding keys that i could really have to secure the keys not being played. Then once the key is done being pressed down id need to put a stopper under because even if its 10 keys over they all shift down. Hmmm maybe i will combine the two, wire behind the key and foam underneath.

Ill just be holding my breath the whole time im shooting! X) ill just have to test it out and see what works!

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