As we've put the finishing and final touches - such as extending the video toward 1 minute - we managed to finish the footage by 3:00pm Saturday on the 3rd of May. However, Tom our editor will be importing sound a music through the animation through the rest of the weekend for it's final evaluation on Monday.
Many things were changed, especially when moving to different software. Instead of DragonFrame as we promised, we moved to Vegas because it was a little easier to use and obtain.
It was all worth while in the end.
As part of the editing process, we picked 12fps as our main speed through our stop motion animation. The frames moved fluently throughout the animation, and the lighting was significantly improved with the new set provided.
Many things were accomplished, so many of the things changed were not documented. However, although we changed the setting completely, the story board remained the same, following the final.
As a new set, we've spent the weekend recreating our previous animation to improve lighting and quality of the images taken.
You can see how the animation has changed dramatically, but follow the same storyboard. Once this is compiled the quality of the animation in general should be much better than before, as we had the right resources needed such as lamps and props.
Because DragonFrame only uses particular cameras, we needed to compromise in terms of camera version. Our camera, a Nikon D3100, is not supported in DragonFrame because it has no 'Live View'. Instead, we will continue using this camera until we believe we have all the sequences we need for animating, so we'll stockpile the images onto DragonFrame instead.
As we were viewing the animation currently, we were able to identify numerous problems with the animation.
Lighting has become a major issue in our animation. Without a steady lighting source in our animation the lighting becomes mixed, with the camera auto-adjusting to different shades of light. Because it's so hard to keep a steady light throughout our animation, we will try find a light which will be stable and be used in the animation (hopefully without spending money, perhaps a bedside table lamp would do.)
When taking difficult shots in the animation, some shots were out of focus. Because I'm the photography I wasn't sure where to focus on - the background (especially in texture) because the texture in the background needs to be in focus enough to illustrate detail - or the subject at shot (in this case the paper plane). It's difficult to decide on which things that should be focused on in particular sequences, but we believe we've done a good enough job for the first 3 - 4 sequences.
Tom, our editor, reviewed the software we chose to use for our animation (Hue Animation) and realized that the software is much too simple for what we're doing. We will now be using DragonFrame's 30 day trial for our animation. We'll be quickly gathering what we have done so far and embedding the pictures into DragonFrame.
It was hard to decide, but we managed to decide on filming outside. We didn't get much time to figure out if green screen or real material would work better.
So we decided on using real material. It turned out well - well enough to show texture. We might come back to this sequence and see what green screen affects the outcome, but in the meantime we need to continue on to the next sequence. This animation is due on the 4th of May.
What I'm focussing on currently is trying to make a piece of music that follows along with the animation. Such as drops in tone at particular parts of the animation. Our group understands the importance of music in an animation, so we're going to continue filming with our animation and getting familiar with Garage Band.
Through the use of Garage Band I was able to manipulate pitch, tune, and many other things provided. This allowed fluent control over music and sound, and I was able to produce different audio tracks quite easily. I had found a folder on my laptop which had old audio-tracks (mp3's) that I had made in previous years. I will seek permission to use those in class today.
Because Texture is one of the Elements of Design, it is important to include it in our animation. But because it's texture after all, we've been discussing how we were going to represent it using a paper plane. What we want was a paper plane flying past different textures.
We're trying to decide if we should use a green screen or real texture outside the classroom. Right now we're trying out green screen, and if that doesn't work we'll work our way around that. The only problem with using the outside world to represent texture is the lighting; if we can't finish this sequence today the lighting will change dramatically from both lessons.
Because music and sound is quite important in an animation, we have started to investigate music and sound while we're still developing the stop motion animation.
We want an original piece of music, rather than something already made. Therefore we need to discover other software that will allow us to do this. The only software we were presented on our laptops was Audacity, but the school computers also come with GarageBand, a rather in-depth music and sound maker.
The only problem we are having is that the animation is not completely finished, and parts that require sound or FX still need to be established.
We've decided we will try make a small piece of music to become familiar with the software we might be using, as long as we know the basics we will be ready to make sounds at the end of the developing stage of the stop motion animation.
We will also be using Lynda.com to help us with this part of the animation.
As we're going through the story board, a piece of paper is then folded into a paper plane. We planned for it to fly, but we had no idea how we were going to make that happen without difficulties. With an easy research, we've conducted an experiment - which worked out - with pieces of string attached at every point of the plane so our hand won't be in the animation, but it will look like it's flying. The string is barely visible in the video.
At this point we've animated into our next sequence, texture. We are making a more detailed storyboard which is soon going to be on this blog, but at the moment we're still experiencing issues when it comes to lighting.
Two different scenes with two different lighting problems (Too light and too dark)
Before we're moving onto Texture - our next element of design we'll be portraying - we're testing out Green screen. We have made a very makeshift set of green paper to help with this, and we're relying on our editor to figure out what programs can be used to make the green screen work functionally, and make what seems to be a paper plane flying past different textures. We have a scene where we've tried it out. We'll do a comparison and see if anything has changed through the green screen.
So at the moment we're exploring software that will help us with green screen. If we can't find any software, we'll go back to originally making the paper plane flying across real materials.
The three different shapes we chose were the triangle and cube, the two most distinct shapes we can easily see when it comes to SHAPE, through the Elements of Design. The triangle is then flattened and re-morphed into a cube.
Our first frames are held with the first sequence of our story board, the clay-mation. A pink clay ball appears out of the wall and morphs into two different shapes. However we have expected to see mistakes.
Shadows here are a problem. Because the light behind us casts shadows behind the people who are taking the pictures, the frames can flash with different shadows and errors. We might fix this, or use this sequence as a test run and move up to the Photographic rooms. We are still deciding, however, and we've continued onto the next sequences.
At this point the clay rolls into the middle of the table, and starts morphing into shapes.
Because Hue Animation only has a select few of compatible cameras to use, unfortunately the Nikon D3100 is not compatible with the software.
Instead of hooking the camera to the computer directly, we will be individually taking the photos frame by frame as usual, and then be importing these photos into the computer as normal.
We have also decided where our first set will be held, which is in the back of the Digital Technology room. However, we might switch to the Photography rooms upstairs to have a better background with proper light and no distinct shadows.
Dragon Frame software is expensive (295$) and our group will most likely not be using this software due to its surreal price and complexity.
Hue Animation is simple and quite easy to use. Onion skinning is supported, which means that we can easily make a Stop Motion animation using this software. We will most likely be using this software to make our animation.
This software is somewhat similar towards Hue Animation, except this software doesn't support many cameras, but can be used as an app on iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices.
This software allows the use of digital animation, as well as facial editing plus character animation. We might be using this to add more simplicity towards our animation as it's quite easy to use. But, we will only use this if we have enough time to complete the animation however.
and Cinema 4D
Cinema 4D supports almost all sorts of animation, but the complexity towards the studio may take some time to get used too.
For now we've decided to use Hue Animation, as it looks easy to use and it seems to support a camera we already have. We have started to make a more in-depth storyboard, and once that is finished we will immediately start gathering the objects we need for our stop motion animation.