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Stop Motion Advice Needed

Posted: Fri, 27th Jun 2003, 1:07pm

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Neo

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Axeman or anyone else out there who has experience feel free to jump in.

I just scored funding ($15,000.00 Canadian Pesos) to do a stop motion (Claymation) project. Problem is, our armatures are pretty useless. I've done the standard shlock of Net Hunting and I can't really find anything useful.

Does anyone have any practical experience creating armatures for Claymation puppets? If so, kick over some advice. Specifically, for feet and hands. What gauge wire are you using etc. etc. etc.?

Mecha and Sidewinder will love this when it's finished as it's about the sickest thing you're ever gonna see in 7 minutes or less.

Our website should be up for the film by the end of July so I'll post back so you can check out the madness.

In the meantime, help a brother out!!!!!

-Neo
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2003, 4:20pm

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Hajiku_Flip

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Hehe, sounds awesome! Unfortunatley I don't know anything about claymation, quite frankly its too hard! razz. Perhaps you should post this in the regular forums too and maybe one of the claymation guys could throw you a piece or two.
Posted: Sun, 29th Jun 2003, 7:49am

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Axeman

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Cool.

They claymation I have done was just with cheap modeling clay; I'm not sure if that is what you are using, but I have never had good results from running wire through them. I've tried different gauges without success, and I've tried pipe cleaner as well, which also doesn't work. As I'm typing I'm thinking that maybe solder would work, 'cause the main problem I've had with wire is that is cuts through the clay when you move it. Lead solder might be thick enough and still soft enough to work, depending on the size of your characters. What we have always done is just used straight clay, with no wire or anything in it. Problem there is that the lights make the clay soft real quick, so keep a refrigerator handy.

One other tip that might be useful is to create multiple feet or hands for different applications. I know that Aardman (the Wallace and Gromit and chicken Run guys) Studios uses this technique for their faces-- they have a whole tray of heads, with different mouth shapes, for different expressions and vowel sounds, and they just switch heads, so that there is very little changing of the shape of each piece. This helps the head to last much longer than it you were re-shaping the same head each frame. It seems that the same technique would work for other body parts.

Hope this helps, keep us posted on how its going, and if you have any other questions that maybe we can help you with.

Last edited Tue, 1st Jul 2003, 5:55pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2003, 1:49pm

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Neo

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Cheers guys.

I ran into a site called Animate Clay: http://www.animateclay.com.

It has some good stuff and I managed to get ahold of a copy of the Aardman 3-D Animation Book/Manual. I send over some pictures within a week.

Hopefully, I'll be the master of all things clay soon enough.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2003, 10:58pm

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Axeman

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Yeah, one of my friends has that book. It has some good stuff in it. I haven't heard of the website before, but I'll check it out.
Posted: Tue, 1st Jul 2003, 2:38pm

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Neo

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The dude just moved so his online store is offline, but the site is still up. Some cool stuff.
Posted: Fri, 18th Jul 2003, 3:49pm

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sidewinder

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sickest thing in 7 minutes, plus a $15,000 dollar budget? sounds pretty awesome.

You know, if clay doesn't work out for you, you could always go with some really soft plastic figures, made so you could change the head is needed. I think that's what they used for nightmare before christmas.