taking one frame at a time since 1999

All Blog Posts (252)

My Production Diary for Jam #3 (H21-918) pg03 "Silicone Failures"

6-19-21 (147) - I bought Dragonframe 4 $338 (USD) with tax. Got a free upgraded license and a link to Dragonframe 5

6-28-21 (156) - Dragonframe controller arrives, much smaller than expected which is a good thing. I doubt I'll even use it since my current set up has my monitors away from the stage.

6-28-21 (156) - Since you do not need a set for the Jam, I will start working on the puppets first. I'm so lazy that I am reusing an old practice sculpt from last year. All I need to…


Added by Steve Copeland on July 12, 2021 at 6:30pm — 10 Comments

My Production Diary for Jam #3 (H21-918) pg02

H21-918 is the working title for the production. I came up with the real title as soon as I had my idea but revealing it now would be a spoiler.

H21 for Halloween 2021 and 918 for the deadline of September 18th but I'll be finished long before that date. (this is a lie)

4-1-21 (68)

Today is my self imposed deadline to finish a costume commission. I am not finished, and I decided to do more of the project then I intended and everything I am doing is taking twice as…


Added by Steve Copeland on June 19, 2021 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

My Production Diary for Jam #3 (H21-918) pg01

First blog ever so I'll try and keep from not writing a novel. I decided to do a small film for the Stop Motion Jam #3 and decided to start a blog about that journey. Not every day will be a post and not every post will be about the film but in the end isn't it all about the film and film making. Can I even call it a film? Here are the first few entries in the Production Diary: (the date of the entry then the day of the project counting up to the deadline)

1-23-21 (0) 



Added by Steve Copeland on June 19, 2021 at 1:00pm — No Comments

here is some info on the puppets I have

I dug in to the boxes of my dads puppets. They are all from commercials. Jeno's pizza italian chef, Jeno's pizza Roman chariot ( 21 heads and 4 puppets plus the chariot and horse), Nice n' soft, Magic Chef, Lipton tea bag hand boy (?), Spiffits, and a few miscellaneous single puppets. My dad was part of the team at Cascade and later at Sandler, Coast and Trio, that did the Pillsbury Doughboy but all that stuff was pretty popular. I found one unpainted head today that I'll keep.  I'll try and…


Added by Leigh Rayner on June 16, 2021 at 8:47pm — 4 Comments

looking for a good home or homes for old armature puppets

My dad worked in Hollywood in special effects for many years, including doing a lot of stop motion special effects. I have 3 or 4 wooden crates with armature puppets, I think all from commercials, probably in the '80's. They are in fair condition, the foam rubber at this point isn't the greatest, but the metal armatures are fine and there are sets of heads that go with them.

I will get some pictures and try and identify who these characters are and post more here. There are also a…


Added by Leigh Rayner on June 15, 2021 at 3:09pm — 3 Comments

Just signs of misery and mere existence

Lately I have been trying to build a backdrop. Here are some pictures sharing the process with all of you, to whomever absolute stranger you may be.

To get me started, I found leftovers of wood at the house…


Added by Metalmadcat on May 17, 2021 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

Applying physics to stop-motion

I have created a wonderful technique.  What I do is put a figure to be photographed on a lazy susan and take 360 photos, one for each degree.  I then use a program I wrote to arrange and reuse the exposures to make as many frames as I need reusing many exposures for multiple frames.  I apply physics to the movement.  Here is an example using acceleration.  I also have friction but this does not show this feature.…


Added by John T. Vonachen on May 13, 2021 at 3:16pm — 5 Comments

camera rig for product video made with mostly 3D printed parts

Camera sits on a block which is 3D printed and hot glued with just a small drop.  Lazy Susan with pointer and armature for product.  Background held up with supports.

Added by John T. Vonachen on May 2, 2021 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Off-Grid Animation Studio

Hey Folks!

I own an animation studio called Springtime Jellyfish, and I've spent the last year and a half milling my own lumber and constructing an off-grid tiny house animation studio in the woods of upstate NY. I've calculated out what I need for solar and it's EXPENSIVE, so I've started up a gofundme to cover the costs of the solar system. Please give it a look,…


Added by Cait on April 30, 2021 at 7:50am — No Comments

SMJ3: Painting the set

Painting the concrete block wall consisted of first painting a base layer of gray then adding black and brown washes for depth and color. White was dry bushed on to further bring out the texture.

Liquid acrylic ("craft") paint was used throughout.

The walls were assembled using rubber bands and some wedges that define the angle of the walls to…


Added by Dave Cooley on March 16, 2021 at 11:16am — 1 Comment

Does anyone have any experience using arri 150s for stop motion animation? I thought it was my other lights but its actually the arri which produces this flicker and occasional shift in light.  I h…

Does anyone have any experience using arri 150s for stop motion animation? I thought it was my other lights but its actually the arri which produces this flicker and occasional shift in light. 
I have tried everything. shooting at 1 second, changing fuse and bulb, covering up the back of the…

Added by Jacob Lee on March 9, 2021 at 4:33am — 19 Comments

SMJ3: Set construction

Though having a set is not required for StopMo Jam, I am using one that will be part of a larger production later. But it wasn't built yet, so here's how I did it:

Pete Ellis also shared some more ideas on set construction here recently.

Added by Dave Cooley on March 8, 2021 at 9:19pm — 3 Comments

Project Retro Rex Update 2

Made the proper skin texture and some tweaks to the design, and due to the modifications, this Puppet will be 1:12 Scale.

Added by CWPetesch on March 8, 2021 at 7:34pm — No Comments

Project Retro Rex Update

Decided to attach the head to the body to turn it into a full-body modular maquette, so it could be taken apart and be molded and cast separately.

Added by CWPetesch on March 3, 2021 at 12:43am — No Comments

SMJ3: What was I thinking?

Of course I can't just keep a storyboard in my head. As my old boss used to say, "It ain't real until it's written down."

Above are the first 6 panels of my storyboard for StopMo Jam 3. Well, for 15 seconds of screen time that's just about all of them (but I don't want to give the gag away). And looking over them now, I see that some…


Added by Dave Cooley on March 1, 2021 at 1:48pm — 1 Comment

More Progress - Head & Tail

I've made more progress today, this time working on the Head and the Tail. Like the torso, I sculpted the first halves of the Head & Tail using stencil outlines drawn on wax paper with a sharpie which was traced from the blown up printout of the diagram drawing I made for the design.…


Added by CWPetesch on February 28, 2021 at 2:30am — No Comments

Project Retro Rex has Begun!


Added by CWPetesch on February 25, 2021 at 12:44am — No Comments

Stop Mo Jam 3 progress

I've got a basic idea and have storyboarded out the shots. This is only on my head so far so I'm afraid I can't show you anything tangible. But one shot needed some testing to see how I could do it and how it would affect the set and camera placement.

The 16:9 format works against what I want since it is short and wide. The shot I have in mind is tall and narrow, so I mocked up a set by drawing a scale version of a window and then taping it to the wall. I set a puppet in front of it…


Added by Dave Cooley on February 23, 2021 at 11:41am — No Comments

My First Stop Motion Project - Retro Tyrannosaurus Rex

My First Stop Motion Project is under way, and what could be more appropriate than having it be a dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex. I intend to make it 16" tall and 33" long.

I drew this diagram of how the T. Rex will…


Added by CWPetesch on February 22, 2021 at 12:30pm — No Comments

i need stop motion mouths and glue

I need interchangeable mouths for a puppet, I have made puppets before but now I want to make a more professional one
With its own professional skeleton and with silicon but for the head I need interchangeable mouths, I thought about placing a magnet on the smooth part of the head and another magnet on the mouths to stick them, however, as the head is made of plasticine, I do not know what glue I need to sticking the magnet to the hardened plasticine please help :)

Added by Ssam on February 9, 2021 at 11:02am — No Comments

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Website News & Tips

This time, the theme is HALLOWEEN. All entries must be submitted by September 18, 2021. More info here.

If you are new to the site, please feel free to introduce yourself on 
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ou can now customize your personal page. Go to My Page/Customize My Page.

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

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.

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


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
 what's a surface gage?
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 
 foam, silicone and resin 
CLAY clay puppet construction 
other puppet fab issues
STOP MOTION SETS set design and construction
 miniature prop discussion

and even more...



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