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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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR68D8Llgbw

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Comment by John T. Vonachen on May 16, 2021 at 7:53pm

The advantage of stop-motion is that the lighting always works because it's a photo.  If I took exposure sets of individual elements in with two axis of rotation and then used cgi pre-visualization and replace them with compositing them together none of the lighting would be right.  It would be different and interesting but not really stop-motion.

The disadvantage of stop-motion is that it's time consuming and expensive.  The only two studios the I know of are Laika and Tippet studios.  I don't know much about it though.  The story telling flexibility I think is pretty poor.  The editing process is very limited, in my opinion.  You can't change your mind like you can with just normal film production.  Agree or disagree?

My end goal is to bring automation to stop-motion.

Comment by StopmoNick on May 16, 2021 at 6:44pm

I actually used a 150mm rotary table to turn my harpy.   https://vevor.com.au/products/150mm-dividing-attachment-rotary-tabl...   

It has degrees, and is geared down, so you could even get precise moves of less than a degree.  

It can also be done with a geared head like the Manfrotto 410 Junior, though it has a stiff action (so it stays where you put it) so it wouldn't suit being motor driven.  I added a dial to the crank, which is geared down, so I am not relying on the fairly small dial that measures the final rotation.

This concept is a little like the computer printed replacement face idea that Laika have developed, you build a library of all the mouth and eye positions you want in advance, then the animator just pops the right parts on the puppet as needed for that frame.  A lot of work making the sets of expressions, but you can re-use them over and over, every time you need that phoneme or expression. 

Comment by John T. Vonachen on May 16, 2021 at 6:22am

Thanks for commenting.  What if someone wanted to make a piano except it would only play one song starting from the left and moving to the right.  That's kind of what stop-motion is.  My software lets you play the notes in any order you like and any length and any frame rate.  I take the photos one degree at a time, eyeballing it.  Tedious but fruitful.  Eventually I will use a Raspberry PI to control a stepper motor and can communicate with Dragonframe in order to automate the whole process.  If I add a worm gear to reduce the movement, instead of just moving one degree I could make it move 1/10 of a degree generating 3600 exposures instead of just 360, so slower smoother movements can be captured, something that would be impossible to do manually.  I can make these movies in any frame rate, 30, 60, 120, any.  Eventually I want to build a rig so that the rotation is not just in one but two axis.  What this is moving towards, I'm not sure.

The table of events means, at this time (in seconds), set the acceleration to x number of degrees per frames per second per second.  So design a behavior and be able to generate the another movie in a different frame rate with the same exposures or the same movement with a different set of exposures.

I saw the trailer for the movie you worked on.  It looks charming.  I often watch UK movies.

Comment by StopmoNick on May 15, 2021 at 7:58pm

I don't understand the maths, but I do see how having a complete 360 degree set of images would let you animate any rotation you like.  Works well for a product shot or logo.  It would also be great for a spaceship or any rigid flying craft, you would have a complete library of angles and could use the same images for many different composite shots.  You could have it fly a straight path using the same angle for many frames, a gentle curve repeating the angle a few times, or a tight curve by actually skipping angles.  I can see the possibilities.

The closest thing I ever did was for a flock of harpies flying in a big circle (for indie film Legend of the Golden Fishcake).  I put my puppet on a turntable, and like you I shot a frame for each degree of rotation.  But it was flapping its wings, not a static object, so if the wings were up when it was facing 10 o'clock, and down by the time it got round to 12 o'clock, it would always be like that.  (Unless I shot another 360 frames with the wing positions different - I think I did.)   They were rotating in place, but in post I could move the image so they went around in a wide circle, putting them in the spot that matched where they were headed.  With the first set of images, I could still get several harpies, each at different positions in the circle on frame one of the composite, with their wings in different positions. And of course, I didn't want to make them stop and fly backwards, they just had to keep going forward for the duration of the shot.  So I didn't need to worry about acceleration.  

Comment by John T. Vonachen on May 13, 2021 at 3:19pm

This is an example of the input to the program:

time type value DEL
0 acceleration 110 X
0 speed 0 X
0 angle 180 X
0 friction 1 X
1.3 acceleration -110 X
2.26 angle 0 X
2.26 acceleration 0 X
2.26 speed 0 X
3.5 acceleration 110 X
4.43 acceleration -110 X
6.19 acceleration 80 X
7.86 speed 0 X
7.86 angle 0 X
7.86 acceleration 0 X
10 stop 0 X

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