STOPMO JAM 4 Behind the Scenes!

Post your behind the scenes photos here. I took a couple of snaps from the Robot Dance Title sequence. I made the puppet out of Sculpey and Armature wire in about a week. Animation took 5 days and Rig removal took about the same. It was very last minute as I was extended on Pinocchio by 6 weeks which cut into my time a bit, but I got 'er done! Please feel free to post your pics and share your experience.


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    • ok that's cool approach..  


      yeah I can relate to working to audio.. I use to play and write piano and guitar.. so I get that approach..  

      I like the idea of a computer monitor behind.. so you don't need to do green screen then.. but how do you manage not to reflect the cam lens onto the screen.. 

      inregards to using an old chair.. that's very clever.. whatever works in it.. it's good to think outside the box.. also save alot of money that way.. it's like those stages they sell for puppet tie downs.. they not cheap.. you can just make your own quite easily.. if you needed that..

      it's interesting that all the prep and building sets etc takes the most time.. the animation itself can be done quite quickly, depending on what finish you want.. 


      lol drinking on the job hey ;) whatever works in it.. it takes alot for me to get in the right mood to be honest.. somedays I can't even go in the room.. I try and do something else instead if I can.. like watch YT vids on craft or editing or whatever..   


      I did find your jam quite funny.. when they being sucked up.. was it 'wosh' sound..    there were a few on there that had that simple kind of humor, which is good... 

    • Green screen would not work because the clay is shiny, and it would reflect a lot of the green background, causing there to appear to be a hole in the puppets. It might have worked if there was a good deal of separation between the foreground and background. Maybe even using a backlight that overpowers the rim of the green screen reflections on the puppets.

      The camera lens does not reflect in the glass because of the position of the light, which is diffused with parchment paper. However, one unexpected annoyance was the fact that if I wasn't careful with lighting from the side, you would see the reflection of the sheep in the glass. Another problem, was that if I shone a light on the back wall, you would be able to see my white wall and ceiling in the reflection. So, I had to hide the lights from the glass as much as possible by choosing very careful angles.

      The nice thing about the setup, is that the backlight from the computer monitor is very even. Getting lighting right on a multiplane setup is the most time consuming aspect. The background must always be the brightest thing in the image, with dimmer foreground lighting. Otherwise, you get *shadows* on the background. This took me a long time to realize, and it didn't help that I was working with LED lights which never got very bright. Ended up ditching those for Halogen PAR-20's on this project. I love those, they are what Will Vinton recommended in his class in 2012, and I just happened to be using them already years earlier by complete coincidence.

      After finishing this one, I animated a fun gag shot that features two of the same characters from this year, and one puppet from last year's 'Jam. That will be on the "prammation" Insta soon. As a celebratory ritual, I always do one more bonus animation before striking the set. This time around, it took a couple of hours to animate, and required some resculpting. It was fun, and inspired by an old animation from the '90s in which an animated robotic glove punches a bully's face off, leaving just a skull that looks confused. The difference, is that the glove has been replaced by another weapon. One that is rather appropriate to the subject matter. 😉

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    • Hey Don, what a interesting idea shooting over glass! all rigs out! I like it. May be I use it for some scenes. Your farmer is cute, the sheeps are a little "2D", I think it's complicated put its 4 feet on the floor if the sheep is 3D, doesn't it? 

    • The feet never touch the ground. I cheated, hehehehe!

  • There's a bts video of my jam4 for anyone who wants to have a look.. 



    some pics... 



    • Hey, James

      that's a wonderful set!

      what material did you use for create the rocks?

    • Hey Antonio, thanks for the positive feedback..

      I loved your animation actually, I'd like to know more about how you shot that scene of your spacemen falling through the sky then onto the surface of the object flying.. That was so so good.. I was impressed..

      I had no script or storyboard at any time during my jam4, so I was just exploring ideas to see what worked, what didn't, I started off with polystyrene packaging, I had here, to build out the set, then got some expansion foam and then decided on curved steps, a mate gave me some left over foam sheets and bits, I'm not sure what type it's called, but soon as the steps were built, and sprayed some expansion foam over bits to build out the landscape, then I started to get an idea of what I was doing, then started trying to carve some shapes for rocks out of the sheets of foam bits over, to give some more definition of shape, and height, and interest to the set.. You can see all of the progress in the bts vid, and I think in the pics there, you can see that I improved the rocks, I actually ended up using real rocks from my garden, blue pennant stone, I felt it gave the set some authenticity, amazing texture on these rocks, and colour.. Spent days arranging, rearranging until I was happy enough with the layout, then I was hoping to drill holes into the rocks and anchor the rocks to the set with threaded 8mm / 10mm  rods but that didn't work, they cracked even using 4mm, so I carved holes into the expansion foam for the rocks to sit, and then more expansion foam to secure them in place.. they are heavy, I had visions of them falling on the floor in the middle of the night animation studio, is a front room in an upstairs flat.. So I had to make sure I secured these solid to the set.. Same with the rocks where my robot is sitting nesr the cave fire and behind the fire, these are all real rocks from the garden, also had to secure them onto the set, used screws all the way around the base of the rocks, and covered with tile adhesive cement that I used for the floor and the cave walls and steps, and everything, and used expansion foam behind the parts of the rocks you can't see, to give extra support, theres parts where i had two rocks ontop of one another.. Rigging was abig issue on this set.. So that's my secret out lol..I couldn't make those rocks, almost obelisks, as good as using real rocks, at least not at the moment.. 


    • You really have an almost shadow box- looking setup. Deeper, though. I really dug the layers of focus and shift from foreground. The next time you shoot on glass, you can create the illusion of a floor being walked on by having a vertical plank of wood joining the glass at a 90 degree angle and having the camera loom over the set and look slightly down and backwards. That really sells "gravity" in 2.5-D clay on glass and you won't have to armature the puppet(s).

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