Wednesday, December 21, 2005

1: The Beginning

Stikfas are hard to animate.

Well, not that hard, but we'll get to that. The first thing I had to do was fix my computer. It was having all sorts of problems, couldn't get the network working, couldn't get the webcam working, couldn't keep it from freezing or crashing on me. Good grief.

Gave me a chance to clean up all those little plastic sticky outy doohicky thingys left from the plastic frame. A nail cutter was quite useful, but there are these big white blotches still. Ah well.

I don't have a storyboard for this movie. It's mostly fluid fight scenes, and the angles I always play around in my head. I do have the main fight scenes figured out. So I have it in chunks. I don't know how it's going to end though, haven't figure that out yet. :)

Anyways, once my computer woes were fixed, I decided to start on the first scene, the girl, we'll call her Maggie, wakes up on the platform. Immediately, I realize it's hard to keep her from moving around because her joints are too stiff. I also don't know how to animate the hair well. I tried a shot of her getting up, then a closeup.

I was interrupted then and stopped there.

When I came back, I gave up on that and decided on having the fight between the red kicker and the green puncher. Knowing that I needed something more secure than blue tac to stick these guys to the base, I used Lego pieces which snapped quite nicely onto the legs, replacing the feet. With these, they could stand up properly and were quite sturdy.

Now it's the first attack for those two, and red kicker is supposed to do a high roundhouse to the head, while Maggie dodges and then elbows the green puncher. I got so far as having red kicker's leg go up, and then I stopped. Not only was it close to 1am, but it already looked off.

I stopped, and decided to do a test shot of just red kicker alone, hoping I would get the timing right. Doing it in 30fps for the faster shots, I know my regular 15fps sense of timing and spacing is skewing things. I was able to do a roundhouse kick with red kicker (about 15 frames) in about five minutes though (for a 1 second kick) and it looked ok. I don't want the initial crane stance to be too slow, but slower than the actual kick. The follow through would gradually slow down. It does look relatively natural, although because it's so fast, it doesn't look like red kicker is actually turning. It just looks like the kick comes through and the body almost stays still.

Good enough though, hopefully I will be able to combine the movements of Maggie to dodge. I don't know about trying to get green puncher to move in, but we'll see.


At 2:30 AM, Blogger rastAsia said...

Errol... `its huge to get tips of this sort on how you created the FIGHT video. I spotted it on youtube day three you released it (thanks to Gooogle Alert) and now STiKFAS themselves have sent you kudos for one of the most briliantly excecuted videos - ever. Its just too smooth to be true and now the world of stikfans gona woo you to making a full length feature film! *Kidding on that one.

I guess the fact that you share the 'making of' with us audience the basic fact that you used a Lego piece to hold Stikfas stance on the Lego board is a priceless tip. May we know what part of a Lego piece that is?? I see the picture on the blog, but on what Lego set did you plug it from? Looked like the piece for a car axel where the wheels gets attached to - I thought. I'm clueless with Lego.

Even then, the part where Maggie did her stance and tapped her feet waiting for her opponent. I will not even wanna know how you kept her so stable upright and adjusted her feet to make her tap in waiting for her opponents at 1:20. Unless of course you repeated the frames back n forth. Gota be!! No blu tack exposed or seen - unless you painstakingly photoshop it clean. Did it not fall or move as you do those tiny movements?

Errol dude. I'm just purely amazed on the smoothness and process you went through with it. Best part yet, to share your world the joy on having 2 kids and keep your passion for animation with the world of Stikfas and Brickfilms is an inspiration to many stop motion novice out there.

Now let me get my 2 girls to bed while I try my feat on having this 3.5" fellas to act for me. BTW I've added your film link in my myspace. I'd be more than happy to sponsor you more Stikfas figures just to see more feature films from you!

FIGHT deserves an award for the 2 min film. It definitely say something to the fluidness of Stikfas figures compared to Lego with its articulation and dynamic body design for stop motion.

Now let me see how you did that move again... Frame by frame.... A M A Z I N G amazing AMAZING.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Pram said...

You've got it, man. I'd kill for timing like that!

What are you using to grab frames and toggle between them and live feed?


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