NEW DEADLINE IS AUGUST 21, 2022!
SCI-FI is the theme for STOPMO JAM 4! We're breaking out the X Files: Aliens! Spaceships! Robots!
So what is a STOPMO JAM?
It is a series of short animated ideas that all relate to the theme. We've done Spring, Run and Halloween thus far. This time, it's Sci Fi!
Puppets can be made of clay, paper, foam, wire, sand, whichever materials you can utilize to create your design but it must be stop motion animated. Sorry no LEGOs, action figures, toys, or store bought items are allowed UNLESS it is modified (painted, covered with paper or clay, etc). The goal is to make a hand-made experimental film. Stop motion puppets, 2d cutouts, sand, painting, pixelation*, all hand-made animation techniques allowed.
*animating your hand interacting with a puppet is ok
IMPORTANT: Your Jam must start and end with the camera lens obscured. See this similar idea here in this VIDEO from LAIKA (but it doesn't have to be characters fighting). You just need to cover the camera lens at the start and at the end of your shot. This will help when I edit all the Jams together.
Once you are completely finished with your Jam, upload it to online storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox or WeTransfer and send the link to my INBOX.
If you have any questions, post them below.
Important Technical Requirements!
For your Jam to look its best, please adhere to these guidelines.
Shot Length: up to 20 seconds maximum
Frame Rate: 24 fps (not 23.96 or 30 or 29.97....24 please!)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 @ 1920 x 1080
Finished Animation: export to Quicktime (H264 is good)
Add your own Sound FX and/or music. Make sure you have the rights to it. Better yet, record your own!
DEADLINE is now August 21, 2022. This may seem like a long ways away but for stop motion people, it's just around the corner. Remember, you have to build and animate everything yourself. You could easily spend months just building a puppet. Start thinking of your idea first, once you have nailed it down, get to work. If you have any questions, send me a message thru SMA.com or better yet, reply to this thread. Content must be ok for kids to watch.* I reserve the right not to include your animation if it doesn't fit into these guidelines. Ok go make something!
I haven't used either - I prefer to sculpt by hand for now.
PS- I had a small stint in a shop that worked on some armor for the collector cosplay crowd, storm troopers etc. I can tell you that the screen-used props incorporated a lot of ordinary things. For instance, on the desert trooper's backpack, part of a cylinder is patterned from the underside of a tupperware lid from the
'cool-aid' pitcher in the 70's a lot of us kids had. ;)
A cheap option would be Stop Motion Studio. I have tested the free version of the SMM app on my iPad and iPhone, and it did all I needed. I could lock the exposure/focus/white balance so they stayed put, click back and forth to compare the live view with the frames previously shot, replay the animation, and capture and save the images in HD. The main limitation was the it was using the video function of the camera, not the still image, so it was limited to a short exposure and needed more light than I usually use to avoid it boosting the brightness and getting grainy. I believe there are versions of SMS that also run on computers, and maybe can connect to DSLR cameras, but I am not certain about that.
After capture there are usually other programs needed to crop and shrink the big 3:2 DSLR image down to a video format like HD 1920 x 1080, do wire removals and fix-ups, and composite elements together. I do most of it in TV Paint, but have used After Effects for green screen keying. I just lost access to all Adobe subscription software like AE and PS (via educational institution) so will probably do all future keying in Da Vinci Resolve Fusion. Da Vinci Resolve is a professional grade editor that is free, and I switched to it from Final Cut Pro 6 with no regrets. Fusion is the effects part of it, which I have only just started to look into. Probably it can also replace a few other programs I use. I do still have PS and AE Creative Suite 5 from before Adobe went with the monthly subscription payment plan, and they also do what I need, but they are on a very old computer that struggles with loading 100+ frames of hi res still images and takes hours to render the key.