Tag Archives: stop motion animation

More puppet set building tutorial

Here are more pictures of the in progress set building. I already have the first several coats of grass and sand glued on. Then I added some different colored textures from the same company as the other. It is like colored chunks of cushion foam. I dabbed some glue then sprinkled on the foliage.

I put on plenty but only some of it will stick to the glue. I will have to brush off the excess and refill any holes I find.

Try to remember where real grass would grow and real rock would fall.

Some small pebbles glued on to look like debris that has fallen down. This debris is called “talus” I think.

I had a tree frame from a craft store laying around so I glued some green clumps on the branch tips. It is just started in this photo. I had to let it dry a bit before adding more green to it. This tree frame is just wires twisted together at the trunk and then spread out for the branches. The trunk is wrapped with paper and then painted. Easy enough to make.

The tree on the right is a little bonsai tree that had died on me so I removed all the dead branches and just kept the trunk. I then glued green clumps on the tips and glued the whole thing to the set. Any stick or branch would work for this.

This is a big crack in the paper mache I have to fix and/or hide.

This photo below was taken with a flash. The unflattering flat forward light from the flash will show all the defects and help you see what needs work.

This is what it looks like with the studio lights. You can see the hotspot on the right. I will fix that before shooting.

My puppets will start on the right side as you are looking at it, and will slide down the mountain to the left mostly out of control.

Below you can see some reflection from the paint. It is always better to use flat paint for landscapes but I didn’t have any. I will have to do something to fix that.

Go ahead, make a mess, have some fun.

A failed puppet

Well, I tried to make a new puppet and failed. The challenge was to sculpt something in clay, then make a plaster mold of it the clay, then cast it in brush on latex to make a skin for the puppet.

Everything started out great. I found some professional plastilina oil based clay and some softer water based clay and completed my sculpt. Here is the side of the clay sculpt. It stands about 5″ tall.

Now you can see the head and arm and leg sculpted in plastilina clay.

white clay is soft water based clay, grey is plastilina

The plaster mold process went great and all the molds were completed. I used two part molds for the body, arms, and legs, and a one part mold for the head. Once the plaster was dry, and the clay removed, I brushed in vaseline for a mold release.

I pulled the skins out and tried to attach them to my wire armature. This is where the problems started. I didn’t have enough foam on the body to fill everything out.

The seams on the back spines and the front chest looked really bad.

And the details seemed all mushed together. The brown belt though that you can see is another experiment using rubber cement, thinner, and paint all mixed together to make a paint medium that will stick to the latex and still flex. It seems to really have worked well.

Above is a close up of the detail. Below is the head. I may leave this part.

I am removing the red skin from the puppet and starting over but the head seems ok. Below is a wrinkle in the side of the puppet.

I removed all the red skin and bulked up the body mass with more foam and will see what happens from there.

Neil Hughes (Neilbunyip) interview

Hello all

I thought I would answer the “10 questions”

1 What hand tools and power tools do you have access to?

A: The usual stuff in my shed, saws, hand drills etc, however my Dad is a retired fitter and turner and he has a full workshop with lathes, milling machines etc. For my next film my dad will be making most of the armatures, special rigs etc.

2 Where do you buy your supplies locally?

A: I’m from Melbourne Australia. I get supplies from local art shops e.g. Riot Art also latex etc from Onestop plastics or Barnes. And of course the mecca for all hardware stuff Bunnings!

3 Have you ever bought any supplies online and what?

A: I mainly buy books online all on animation, storyboard etc.

4 What is your favorite/standard puppet construction?
A: I find clay extremely frustrating but i love the look. I am also obsessed with light puppets so my construction techniques revolve around getting a clay look without the weight and the mess, so lots of silicone,sculpey, resin etc.

5 What camera and software setup do you use?

A: I have always used stopmotion pro from very early on. The Stopmotion Pro people are from Melbourne so they came and saw what we were doing at doghouse films and when I was at the Victorian College of the Arts film school to get feedback. I have shot on 16mm film with video camera for video assist. My next film will be shot on a digital still camera.

6 What is one of your biggest weaknesses in animating or studio setup? How do you deal with this?

A: In this day and age we are competing against CG with all its glorious camera moves and infinite sets. My biggest gripe with a lot stop motion is that it looks like it was shot on a kitchen table (which it probably was in a lot of cases) So I want to put more effort into getting the camera moving and giving the illusion of space in my films. I’m thinking of trying digital set extensions too.

7 What is one of your biggest strengths or assets, and how do you utilize this?

A: I have a very strong sense of story and character. My head is full of story ideas. This can be a blessing and a curse as I sometimes lose focus on one idea and start on another. I now have a real producer to work with and keep me on track.

8 What about this process do you enjoy the most?

A: Hitting the play button when I have been working on a shot and seeing the inanimate come to life. It still gives me a buzz seeing that.

9 Name some goals you have in this field.

A: Make more films and If I can get paid to do it all the better.

10 Write and answer your own final question.

A: Okay,

10: What were your main influences and inspiration.

A: I grew up watching a lot of TV animation etc. I loved Morph, and the muppets, fraggle rock , Astro Boy, Star Blazers, Dr Who. The most important inspiration moments for me were:

The Skeleton scene from Jason & the Argonauts (Still excellent after all this time)

Star Wars

The Dark Crystal

The Nightmare before Christmas.

The Wrong Trousers. I saw this after finishing college and it was the film that gave me the final kick up the bum to start animating.

Cheers

Neil Hughes

Sven Bonnichsen (Chestnut) interview

Thank you so much for the interview questions, John!!

1. You have so many artistic endeavors. What draws you to stopmotion?

I’ve got stopmo fever. It’s like lust: all-consuming. I’ve tried to figure out what it is about stopmo that makes it worth such an investment of time, energy, and money… But what I come up with is that I must have fallen in love so early in childhood that the attraction is beyond rationalization. I can’t talk myself out of it — so I guess I just have to accept my fate. (Makes me happy — so not a bad thing!)

On an intellectual level, one of the things that’s appealing about stopmo is that it makes use of just about every other artform: painting, sculpting, photography, filmmaking, writing, music, acting, dance… It feels like the Uber-artform: a topic so rich, I can study for decades without getting bored.

I also like how stopmo is so linear. You shoot a frame of film, for better or worse, and then you move on. I love how this means I can’t get overly fussy — and I love the sense of progress as I rack up frame-count.

2. You have made brass armatures, and steel armatures. Can you describe how they feel compared to each other?

To me, brass feels buttery when it slides against itself. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc… Think of the smoothness of the edge of a copper penny. When the joint moves, it’s sort of like that.

Steel feels solid. When I really tighten the joints down, they’re going to STAY… And I’m not worried about the sandwich plates buckling — whereas that’s always in the back of my mind with brass. A tight steel joint feels like it might almost squeak when I turn it (it doesn’t, though).

3. What kind of tips can you give us future metal workers as far as armature construction and machining?

Oy… That’s a big question, so forgive me for breaking my answer into parts.

I. BASIC METALWORK: Three years ago I’d never done any metalworking at all — the whole idea was really intimidating. It was a matter of overcoming one hurdle at a time. Tackle them in this order, and you’ll be well on your way:

A. Put a piece of aluminum from the hardware store in a clamp-to-the-table vise and cut it with a hacksaw.
B. Drill a hole in a strip of brass K&S, and tap it (make it threaded for screws).
C. Get a soldering iron and solder a brass nut to a brass strip.
D. Do some more soldering work, but using a butane micro-torch.

Fire was really scary to me. My first micro-torch actually came with a creme brulee set I got for Christmas — kinda funny, but it made learning fire work a lot easier!

II. HANDTOOLS VS. BENCHTOOLS: Mentally, I think there’s a big leap from using handtools up to using benchtools. If you want to make a steel armature, like in LIOs tutorial, then you absolutely need a drillpress. You’re also going to have to order parts online…

I wanted to come up with an armature design that’s a stepping stone for people who aren’t ready to dedicate a table to benchtools… And using raw materials that can easily be found locally. My brass armatures were made using an handheld electric drill, a Dremel, brass beads from a beadstore, and K&S from the hardware store. I wrote an an in-depth tutorial here: how to make a brass ball-jointed armature

III. MILLING MACHINES: Want to take the next step beyond open-hole joints? Then buy Tom Brierton’s book, Stop-Motion Armature Machining: A Construction Manual. Yes, it’s $50 — but it’s the ONLY book on the subject.

Step-block joints, hinge joints, swivel joints… You’re going to need a milling machine to make them. You’ve basically got two choices: a mini mill, which weighs 100+ pounds — or a micro-mill, which weights about 35. I opted for the Sherline micro-mill. It’s less powerful than the minis — but we’re doing small work anyway, so that’s not much of a constraint.

Sherline also has some great package deals, so you can buy your accessories all at once. I found that well worth the money — how can I learn the basics of machining if I don’t have the tools in front of me? I decided that for the cost of a class on machining, I could buy the machines and teach myself. Three of my machining books (including Tom’s) use the Sherline in all their photos, which is also nice.

Most folks feel you should have both a mill and a lathe… I’d actually recommend just getting the mill to start with. (What attachments to buy — that’s another topic we could discuss.)

IV. WIRE VS. B&S: Know when to use wire armatures and when to use ball&socket armatures. Roughly speaking, a brass armature takes 20 hours to make — and a steel armature takes 40-60 hours to make. If your puppet’s going to be onscreen for less than 5 minutes, use wire. Even stopmo TV shows use mostly wire; it’s only the feature films that can afford B&S for most of their characters.

Also, I recommend not putting your first armatures into puppets. Me, I’m treating learning armature-making as one thread, and general puppet-making as another. When I feel comfortable enough with armature-making that it’s no longer a huge challenge, then I’ll feel like I’m ready to put B&S inside puppets. Until then, I’ve found it really valuable to keep my armatures for display, studying them to figure out how to improve the next version.

4. You are working on a computer animation called “Let Sleeping Gods Lie”. Can you tell us about it?

LSGL is an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s novella “At The Mountains Of Madness.”

In the original story, antarctic explorers discover an ancient city at the South Pole that pre-dates the human species. It’s revealed that aliens, the “Elder Things,” created all life on Earth — but they were overthrown by their own slave-race of protoplasmic blobs, the Shoggoths. The great emotional revelation of the story is that the Elder Things were not simply mindless, malicious monsters; they were sentient “men” like us.

My main inspiration for the project is the annual H.P. Lovecraft FilmFest, which happens here in Portland, OR. No one’s done a film version of ATMOM before — I want to beat out Guillermo Del Toro and be the first! No one’s put these amazing five-legged space aliens on the screen before… I want to see a mad stampede of them galloping.

I’ve been working on this project for five years now — and it’s probably going to be just a bit over five minutes long. (At a cost of about three hours labor per one second of screen time. ) The fact that working on LSGL prevents me from doing stopmo right now just kills me… But, Cthulhu as my witness, I WILL finish this monstrosity!

5. What aspects from your art training and experiences do you bring to your stopmotion?

Anatomy. I’m still studying, but what what I’ve learned so far is very useful. I recall Harryhausen once pointing out how most amateurs’ dinosaurs have sausage legs… The more you can build plausible (if not “realistic”) musculature and bone structure into your sculpts, the better they’ll look on screen.

Music. I play piano, and have a musical sensibility about how I want sound and motion to mesh together… Taking a tip from LIO, I’ve found it extremely useful to figure out timing using a metronome. I’ve tried using a stopwatch, but it feels really counter-intuitive to me. Listening to an audible click that’s 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 of a second makes estimating how long an action should take much, much easier.

6. What is your animation goal?

I want to produce top-notch, professional-quality puppetfilms — either working independently, or with a hand-selected team of other indy artists.

I’d like to become so comfortable with the materials and processes of stopmo that I can go from idea to film relatively painlessly. I like the idea of using stopmo as a 4-dimensional sketchbook: not just paintings — not just sculptures — sculptures that move in the dimension of time.

I want to make films that get chosen to go on compilation DVDs. Especially the annual “The Animation Show” collection or AWN’s “The Animation Show of Shows” series… I’d like to get seen on the Channel Frederator “original cartoon podcast,” too.

7. What area of this craft do you consider your weakest? Short posts Maybe?

Ha!

Right now I feel like my weakest area is Content. I’m putting a lot of effort into learning craft skills, but I’m not so clear about what kinds of stories/images I want to produce.

Props and sets are also weak points. Some people delight in creating miniature worlds… I find I’m most oriented toward puppet fab.

8. What off-topic things that you have studied or learned have you discovered that you find useful in stopmotion?

Oddly enough, the outside skills that have most helped me with stopmo have to do with personal organization and time-management…

I’m a compulsive note-taker. Whenever I’m working, I always have a clipboard with a legal pad on it so I can jot down thoughts. I highly recommend it: translating what’s in your head into written words will help you learn faster and more thoroughly.

I also keep a magnetic, digital kitchen timer attached to my clipboard, so I can better keep track of time. Over and over again I set it for a 1-hour countdown. It means that I know very precisely how much time I’ve put into a particular project… Which in turn gives me more realistic expectations about how long future projects are going to take. It also helps me really focus my mind during the work time I’ve committed to.

9. What things do you foresee for stopmotion?

Well, digital technology has made stopmo immensely more accessible. I know I wouldn’t be doing it if I had to buy film stock and work with a Bolex… Combine this with the landmark year when both Wallace & Gromit AND Corpse Bride were in the theaters, and you get an unprecedented influx of new wannabe stopmoes.

I think that framegrabbers are creating a new species of animator. Harryhausen and the like had to be human framegrabbers — going into a sort of hypnosis, where they could see the puppet’s last pose floating in mid-air. People learning stopmo now may get a little of that experience, but I don’t think anyone now will develop the skill to the extent that the old masters did.

Pay attention to Laika studios. They’re the ones working on “Coraline,” and they’ve got plans for more feature-length stopmo films to come. With the exception of Aardman, none of the big animation houses have been doing stopmo on a regular basis… I think when they see that Laika has claimed U.S. stopmo for itself, the big boys (like Disney) are going to scramble to put together some stopmo films of their own, just to stay competitive.

10. write and answer your own last question.

Q: Apparently you’ve written a bunch of tutorials and essays. Is there any way to easily find all that stuff?

A: No — not yet. When I write tutorials, they go up on the Scarlet Letters blog first… And then if they seem worth sharing, I repost them on SMA. Unfortunately, this means that all my best stuff gets buried as new posts go up.

So, to solve the problem, I’m in the process of putting together a stand-alone webpage that collects all my stopmo work in one place. I’ll post an announcement at SMA when it goes online.

Sven Bonnichsen
Scarlet Star Studios
http://www.scarletstarstudios.com/sven

Leevi Lehtinen (Leevi) interview

1 What hand tools and power tools do you have access to?
Dremel kit, power drills + unnumerous handtools

2 Where do you shop locally for your parts?
Mostly from hardware and art supplies shops.

3 Have you ever bought any supplies online and what?
Anything that I’m able to get cheaper than from local shops. Cameras,
clays etc. Also items that are only available overseas, i.e.
armatures.

4 What is your favorite/standard puppet construction?
I buy ball and socket joints. Then build the armature myself. Stuff
the puppet with light material, can be clay or foam. Finally sew
clothes and sculpt super sculpey heads and hands. I use replaceable
faces and hands.

5 What camera and software setup do you use?
Nikon D70 + spycam. I’ve used numerous softwares. Depending of
availability. For my next project Adobe Suite and Stopmotion Maker
hdmi. I might change to Canon 40D.

6 What is something you know that you think others here may not?
I maybe have more knowledge of photography than average animator, as I worked as a photographer for several years before changing into
animation.

7 What is one of your biggest strengths or assets, and how do you utilize this?
Probably the photographic skills. I do my own light and photography set up.

8 What about this process do you enjoy the most?
The feedback after film premiere.

9 What would be a great compliment on your work?
Entry acceptance to a film festival.

10 Why do I animate on two’s?
I don’t aim for a perfect flow of movement, but personal expression
and character developement. I’ve found out that I’m able to express
the feelings of the puppets better, with fast workflow of shooting on
two’s. When I shoot on one’s I need to concentrate more on the
movement and less to the mind of the puppets. I don’t say that
animating on two’s is better than on one’s, but it works for me.

thanks Leevi.

Seamus (Nofby) interview

I may as well answer some Q’s!

1 What hand tools and power tools do you have access to?

A: My neighbour owns a relatively large work-shop with all the essential tools like drill-presses, band saw and dremel tools etc. I do alot of set-building there. ( He’s retired, and ‘the young man’ next door is allowed to work in there,hehe…)

2 Where do you buy your supplies locally?
A: A large art store specialising in crafts. Has a specific craft department where I have access to lots of sculpting items and other essential supplies.

3 Have you ever bought any supplies online and what?
A: Alot from Tiranti.com ( sculpting supplies and tools) also wood and plaster ( like balsa, plywood and MDF). I find most things in the local art store but for those speciality items, it’s online.

4 What is your favorite/standard puppet construction?
A: Foam build-up. Simply because it gives me the best results for my puppets. A alumminium wire armature with foam for body mass . I hand-sew the clothes and I think it gives my puppets their own special personality. I normally sculpt my puppets heads in sculpey, or built up liquid latex. For a recent puppet I cast its head in solid latex to widen my puppet building experties by using molds. For non-speaking puppets- sculpey. For speaking puppets with more expression ( normally the main characters in a film) latex over the head armature, then I can incorporate eyebrow wires and jaw mechanisms etc.

5 What camera and software setup do you use?
A:Stopmotion Pro v6 with a live streamed DV camera. ( Will be upgrading camera for The Child Snatcher filming)

6 What is one of your biggest weaknesses in animating or studio setup? How do you deal with this?
A: My biggest weakness is dealing with the lights I have scattered around. I have to get the right lighting setup without making the shot turn out like its in the middle a Star Wars battle. I’m researching a bit and I’ve got some books and refrences about lighting, so I’m gradually understanding and learning how to create a good atmosphere for my film.

7 What is one of your biggest strengths or assets, and how do you utilize this?
A: My best strength is coming up with a look for my film and incorporating that into my puppets, sets and props. So taking it from the paper to 3D is a very enjoyable process for me.

8 What about this process do you enjoy the most?
A: Seeing your ideas and sketches brought to actual existance realy pays off and theres nothing better than having the world and its characters you have produced conmee to life in 3D form and in the final film.

9 Name some goals you have in this field.
A: 1. Work hard and don’t let any dreams or aspirations fly away. Grab em’ when you can!
2.Enjoy what I’m doing and improve everytime I step out of that studio.
3. Have a career in this field whatever it takes.
10 Write and answer your own final question.

What is your favourite refrence?

A: All my books,this board and all the friendly helpfull people who visit here and most will stop at nothing to help and give you sound advice.

Nofby

Seamus. J
Nofby@hotmail.co.uk

**********************************

Blog:
http://nofbyscorner.blogspot.com/
Youtube space:
http://youtube.com/user/Nofby

Sam Roe (Purehilarity) interview

Here is the next installment in the interview series., Purehilarity.

1. I see that you are attending Delaware College of Art and Design. What kind of stuff does a school of art teach someone about animation?

You get a sort of mixed teaching in art school. Some teachers are more focused on the business side of art while others are interested in art as a form of an expression. In terms of animation you get to learn about tons of different animators out there, you learn techniques such as overlapping action and squash and stretch, and you get to play around with different mediums such as clay, puppet, traditional, etc.

2. What kind of goals do you have for your films?

Just to create something beautiful.

3. What do you think your strengths are in this craft?

I think I am okay all around, not particularly strong in anything specifically.

4. What have you found to be the hardest about stopmotion?

Armatures probably. Theres so much to them and they are so important to the whole thing. If you don’t take your time on them and rush to the next step you’ll create a lot of stress later on.

5. With all those video games and Ipods out there, what draws you to stopmo?

I just love the fact that it’s everything. You’re every kind of artist rolled into one and you have to do so much. When I get bored of one aspect of it theres tons of others to think about.

6. What kind of camera and software do you use?

For my latest one I’ve been using both a Sony digital video camera and an older Fujifilm digital camera, Stop Motion Pro, Adobe After Effects, a little bit of Photoshop, Adobe Premiere,

7. What kind of tools do you have access to for your stopmotion?

I got a power drill this year and thats been AMAZING. I never thought I’d be so excited about a drill but I’ve gotten so much use out of it. At school I have access to a band saw, a belt sander, and a drill press, so those are very helpful as well.

8. Any animation you have seen lately that you really liked?

Darkness Lightness Darkness by Jan Svankmajer.

9. What do you tell your peers about stopmotion?

I tell them that it’s a lot of work and that it’s not playing with dolls

10. Where do you get most of your knowledge of puppet animation?

Stopmotionanimation.com!!

Thanks Sam.

Olie (SkullnBone) interview

Olie just joined us and posted a few photos of his new castle set and told us stories of his knight puppet he is working. He was the newest poster on the list at the time so I sent him an interview also.

1 What hand tools and power tools do you have access to?

My Dad’s garage! I use a Range of tools, from Portable Drills/Dremel Type Cutters/sanders to Jigsaws and I can also work a Lathe (yet to use something lathe-d in a project!)

2 Where do you buy your supplies locally?

There’s a few local art-supply shops that I frequent for bits and bobs, a Shop called ‘Range’ has quite a good Kids section, where you can get anything from Plaster of paris, ‘craft wire,’ plastiscene and Fimo etc, but here in the UK it can be quite expensive for ‘the Key materials’ so I find myself shopping about quite a bit – What I would give for a stocked supply room!

3 Have you ever ordered any parts or supplies online and if so, what?

When I was First beginning I bought a couple of DIY armature Kits, they were useful in showing me what not to do, due to being quite an unreliable product, I have Made my own Custom Armatures since then. I have Used Ebay for Bulk ordering of Plastiscene which was quite beneficial because of the abilities to buy multicoloured/Metallic blocks and ‘people shades’ blocks

4 What are some of your strengths or assets that you bring to this craft?

When I tell people about what is entailed in my projects, they say that they “would not have the patience” and would “get bored” but I’ve always found working on models, set building, taking a picture -moving it a bit – taking a picture – moving it abit, Relaxing and Fun. Since an Early age I have always been making or modifying things and in school worked on many stage productions making Sets/backdrops/scenery and props whilst also working with DMX Lighting rigs and queue programming etc also including stage management/organising in general. I Did Drama and Theatre Studies in school and Film Studies (With Film + Tv Production) in college and at university – I have always thought I apply my knowledge better in a practical way and each of the subjects I have taken has helped me with my skills, I have always been a more hands-on kinda person which although has hidered my results – due to the Written and exam based assesed nature of College and Uni- If i could make a film in the style of a german Film Noir Homaging and Using Filming Techniques/styles etc I could do It, and Learn/understand it, Write an essay about it and you get 3000 words of rushed Dribble which normally results in scraping a pass!

5 What are some things you would like to work on?

I probably sound like a complete ‘mainstream’ newbie but I would like to work on a Tim Burton animation, I have always thought that the animations seem so ‘fluid’ and well produced, Growing up with the emergence of aardman and the wallace and gromit films, in turn would be a great honour to work for. I would also like to work on a Live action film, encorporating Harryhausen-esque animation into it – a Revolution I say! Bring it back on a large scale! I mean the abilities of CG is good but I think that it has overtaken the industry as an easy way out, don’t get me wrong, I still like it and all but I think that animation brings a whole new type of realism to a film

6 Are there any recent stopmo animations you have seen that you really liked?

On Youtube I have a few favourite videos that I like, one called ‘harmonica’ which I like the animation for and others that are good for sets etc. The bunny advert for some TVs is really good too, I liked the fact that they filmed it on the street and not in a fake studio set. I really liked the horror werewolf style of the curse of the were-rabit and i thought it was really well written.

7 What is your camera setup and software that you use?

I currently have a Samsung Pro815 SLR and a Sony DSC SR90e, I have Recently been using them for making music videos and band Photography, the Software that I use ranges from Photoshop to the best crappy Video Editing software I could afford – ‘Pinnacle Studio 10’ I also have a couple of webcams and often use free frame-grabbing software (or just wing it!)

8 What do you think would be the hardest thing to animate?

I think the hardest thing to animate would be a ‘realistic’ cloud of smoke or matching Music to animated players so that they would be playing in time etc

9 With so many Ipods and video games out there, why are you doing stop motion?

To begin with, I have Boycotted Ipods from day one due to their price and the fact that they are seen as a fashion icon, Video Games haven’t really been my style, I play the odd bit of warhawk but I think that I have too many things already taking up my time as it is! Since I was young and first saw Jason and the argonauts I have always been a fan and due to the hassle of working with actors and arranging shooting times etc I felt like a break. At University the option of making a short film as means of assesment came about which isn’t worth much of my grade but I am seeing it as more of my degree piece due to not being a writer.

10 Where Now?

Where Now? back to work on essays to try and pass my Uni course, a year of crappy 9-5 and then hopefully to Film School in Australia for a year. Then, the world is my Hamster (Oysters dont agree with everyone)

Thanks Olie for your replies.

Mark Lagana (Mlagana) interview

1 What hand tools and power tools do you have access to?

A: my nonno and grandfather were cabinet makers, my father an engineer and later wood/metal tech/engineering science teacher, so we have accumulated alot of tools, between family and friends, and the workshop at my old uni, there’s nothing i don’t have access to. the ones i mostly use at home are drill press, disc sander/grinder, dremel, table saw, 4 vices set up, umm 2 power drills are handy, BIG PLASTIC CLIPS are handy, jewelery saw, helping hand (home made)

2 Where do you buy your supplies locally?
have a great metal shop nearby, but most things i need are half hour or so away by train in the city of sydney

3 Have you ever bought any supplies online and what?
too much to recount, just bought some 302 stainless balls from the states, some m2.5 countersunk allen key head screws from england, i could buy all my supplies online.. but i enjoy going to newtown for my silicone !

4 What is your favorite/standard puppet construction?
A: fave? haven’t mastered B&S armatures yet but i think BandS + silicone + material clothes

5 What camera and software setup do you use?
A: Panasonic PV-GS300 in the past, SONY DSC-V2 at the moment. frametheif, final cut, cubase.

6 What is one of your biggest weaknesses in animating or studio setup? How do you deal with this?
A: armatures. my puppets ankles break after a couple of walk sequences, i spent much of last year repairing various limbs mostly ankles. hopefully soon i’ll be using ball and socket

7 What is one of your biggest strengths or assets, and how do you utilize this?
A: hmmm i’m a very observant person, i remember strange things strangers say and am always scriptwriting in my head

8 What about this process do you enjoy the most?
A: probably when people say “that was soo good mark how did you do it you’re so talented”. i love animating, actually pushing puppets and becoming better at staying in deep concentration for long periods of time, and i’ve also come to enjoy puppetmaking, b&s armature making is growing on me too.

9 Name some goals you have in this field.
A: i would like one day to work on a big studio feature length

and also i’de like to independently make a feature length (probably collaborating with friends)

and i think i would enjoy teaching stopmotion, at a university level. teaching is in my blood and i love stopmotion

10 Write and answer your own final question.

q. what’s the most important best thing about filmaking?

a. stop animation

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my website: http://www.marklagana.com/

Terry Ibele (Mozen) interview

Mozen thought he could either knock out another quick animation to add to his list or answer some questions, I used my methods of persuasion to do the animation later. Here are his replies.

1. Your style of your work is very unique. Do you have an art background or does your trademark style come from somewhere else?

ummm, no. I guess it all comes from my first ‘official’ short film “Little Bits” where I was trying to make things easy and simple, so I went with basic shapes and faces with only eyes and mouths. I guess it all went from there.

2. Your films are mostly really short ones that are like a really well-designed joke. It builds up super fast, delivers the punch line, and gets out. Have you ever considered doing a longer short?

Well, there are my longer shorts “Little Bits” and “Supercow” which are over three minutes long, and of course “Sad Mr. Fastenpart” (which is over 10 minutes), actually right now I am creating/planning another longer film, I just made the two main characters the other day.

3. Your sound recording always sounds really crisp and clean. Any tips or suggestions so we improve our own sound?

My sound is crisp eh? Seriously I just speak or do whatever into my camera and that’s it.

4. What camera and software setup are you using?

My camera is a panasonic something handheld video camera, I bought it a few years ago to film “Sad Mr. Fastenpart”, the best thing about it is that it’s got a remote so I can press ‘record’ and ‘stop’ from a distance. I use Adobe Premiere 6.5 for the editing. I honestly have no clue what you guys are talking about by using special cameras and frame grabbers, etc.

5. Got any major goals within this craft?

HOBBY!

6. What do you consider your biggest weakness?

This may sound wierd, but lack of ideas. My animations are usually just the outcome of me trying to think of a good idea, and then just making due. Also, lack of time and stop-mo-knowledge. For instance, I’ve never used tie-downs so I avoid walking motions, the clay I use is also pretty soft (it’s from the dollar store) so I avoid too much limb movements too, because it usually droops.

7. Your work seems like a perfect match for advertising, have you ever had offers or would you consider doing ads?

offers: nope
suggestions from fans: yep

8. Any tips on how we can better entertain our paying customers?

as soon as I get paid, I’ll let you know

9. You watch a lot of animations, including a lot of beginners’ work. Have you seen any that really stood out lately?

lately? well there is this one that i just watched the other day called “clothespin”, it’s on the stop mo film discussion board. I really liked the character movements in it.

> 10 Write and answer your last question..
Q:what are you doing right now?
A: I am making banana bread!

thanks terry.