Saturday 8 March 2008

The Animation Attic

PARCEL TAPE and cobbled-together ideas of make-do animation studios have, in the past few days and weeks, been sensibly hurled into the Rubbish Bin Of Silly Plans and replaced with a quite state-of-the-art-yet-cosy set-up under our eaves, complete with all sorts of bells and whistles and contraptions to make animating easier.

Follow me up the ladder (which incidentally, I fell down the other day and bruised every bit of me!) ... to the Animation Attic, where I have made a comfy little hideaway for move-clicking.
You can't stand up in it, but on the underside of a legless table I have arranged my studio.

Following my first depressing attempts to secure the video camera with tape to some bits of clamped wood, and finding that the camera sagged over days as the tape melted, I was spurred on to track down a sturdy alternative. The gem of a find that has saved my bacon is a strange prehensile grabber sort of a thing called a Gorillapod (like a tripod of the simian variety) which was perfect for holding the camera still at a 90 degree angle. It is vital for stop frame animation that the camera is As Still As The Grave otherwise huge jolts occur in the film, lurching you out of your suspended disbelief.
Anyhow, as you can see the camera is clutching a plank of wood with its new monkey paw and I am able to happily move my tiny scraps of paper around to make my film.

Tui's Mac has also made life much easier, not that I know the first thing about them, having never laid a finger on one before now, but its smooth workings mean that I can concentrate on the task in hand.

I have been battling with the movement of waves on the seashore for the past few days. The beginning of the track is gentle and sparse and I had made a sea more worthy of pirates and leviathans, dark storms and lighthouse rescues! Though I am pleased with the movement of a gull in flight (made from several pieces of paper no bigger than half a nail-clipping). I have been pushing the pieces of the scene around with the tip of a sharp knife as my fingers are too big.

Today I have happily finished a 20 second segment of calm calm sea and am pleased. Another cheerful discovery was that I am able to animate at 8 frames per second, still achieving as smooth movement as I did with 24, and saving bucketfuls of time.

I have also begun my new attic animation with a different stop-motion frame grabbing program ~ Framethief, designed for use on the Mac and it is a wholly lovely program to use - simple and yet it does the clever things I need.

Tomorrow I will climb the attic ladder again with a cup of tea and a hot water bottle and sit curled up poking at little bits of paper until I have made some small seconds of film and my pin-needled cross-eyed body calls me back to the kettle.


Crista Noel Smith said...

How exciting! The image looks absolutely beautiful.. can't wait to see it moving. Hurrah for cozy holes to work in.

Shelley Noble said...

What a lovely little haven of art in motion! I wish you many happy hours creating your wonderful films.

Debbie Miller of Onion Patch said...

This is going to be so awesome!! I just can't wait but I will. Be careful with that ladder.

Tess Kincaid said...

Thanks for the peep into your artsy little studio! As always, I am fascinated with your work and hope to see the animation someday.:)

Anonymous said...

I love the look of that drawing you have there! You really are suffering for your art aren't you? Hope the bruises don't reoccur!x

tui said...

The film looks so very beautiful ... the kettle is on :)
x tui and orla wren x

G3T Films said...

Hi Rima, I found you through Shelley's blog. And pleased I did too.

The current project looks wonderful and I enjoyed the music clip you did previously as well.

The size of the pieces you're animating sounds truly terrifying to me but the size appears to suit your cool little studio.

Psst... also... animation isn't about always about saving bucketfuls of time. It's often about loving the simple, slow process of creating the illusion. In that vein, I'd be more inclined to shoot on 12 frames a sec.

Rima Staines said...

Thanks all lovely people for sweet comments :) ;)
Yes it is a lovely space to work in and I am now working happily on the next scene.
Thanks for your thoughts G3T films... The great thing about framethief is that it captures the frames but you can opt to play them back at whatever rate you choose afterwards... and believe me I enjoy the painstaking process very much :) I think "bucketfuls" was just me being creative with language :) Hehe...
On with the move-clicking
Cheerio everyone

craftswithcare said...

Hi Rima

Thanks for visiting my blog and also for the sweet comment! I am adding your blog link under my 'Artists Blogs' section.
I love your blog and would love to visit it again and again! If you ever sell your original illustrations, then please let me know!!


Gretel said...

Apart from concern over your falling, I am really excited to see what new wonders you are creating, I am sat here with my neck twisted trying to peer at the drawing.
I have an old film clipper thing gathering dust, I think one used to place cinefilm in it and clip out the bits of film you didn't want, but I guess your software programme does that for you...

Joanna said...

That all looks very exciting hope its coming along well, do be carefull on the ladder

Doreen Frost said...


Your art is stunning. I just love your banner.....and everything else for that matter. I'm going to pop over to your ETSY shop.


Jo James said...

Oooooh, I'm so excited at the prospect of seeing your finished bits of animation. Your drawings are so soul-full, with a bit of movement I suspect they will become truly alive.

Diane Smith said...

Hi -

I really like your work! I also like some of the samples of other artists that you noted and will be sure to check out their sites, too.

I'm new to the blogging world and just set up my own art blog. Come by and visit sometime.

Unknown said...

This is a cool workspace, and your animations are great!
Thanks for stopping by and adding me to your linklist,
will do so, too!