Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Push comes to Shove - my entry for StopMotionMagic's June contest

Unfinished, but the deadline crept up on me so I posted what I have. This is actually just the live feed from the Lumix, complete with Antishake icon up in the left corner and low res artifacts galore. After I get the scene finished I'll post the high res version, now locked firmly in the innards of the camera until I can wrestle it out. This is my first time animating 2 puppets interacting, and it's a lot of fun. Oh and on deadline night after hours of animating and encoding and uploading, I forgot to edit out my false starts on the beginning, so just ignore the first 2 blips. Heh.. yeah, I was gonna have bartender Ahab in there, but took him out when the deadline loomed too close and I decided to go with 2 characters rather than 3.

Marc and John provided the prompt "Puppet Needs a Drink" - and I wanted to also get in some more Physical Theatre exercises along the way, so I came up with a scenario to explore the idea that physical interaction between 2 characters can be broken down into variations of pushing and pulling.

There was quite a flurry of activity on the contest this month, including an incredible entry by Nick Hilligoss. Check the thread if you're interested. The link goes right to the top of page 11, where John compiled all the links... that's the place to check unless you want to read a long and rambling thread with clips interspersed randomly throughout.


Jessica said...

A lovely piece of animation! I know how hard it is to animate two characters interacting. Now I'm reading the Mime book as a suggestion of yours I understand how you move the puppet. I think it's an interesting way and hopefully I'm going to post on that later myself.

Your animation is fine so far though you could briden the variety of speeds. We animators tend to use our personal speed as a guide, but sometimes it works better if it's a bit quicker or slower. Especially the stumbling at the end could be a bit faster because the left one pushes him very hard and he has to balance himself again quickly. I hope this is helpful...?
I'd like to see some more!

Darkmatters said...

Thanks Jessica! I'm glad you got The MIme Book... I think it's like a secret weapon!! And I super-highly recommend Jaques Lecoq's Le Corps Poetique (The Moving Body) as a companion book.. together they spell stopmotion superpowers!!

I agree about speeds... that's something I'm working on. So far I haven't counted any frames at all... just doing this all strictly by feel. I know when I get to more repetitive movements like walking I'll need to count frames, but for now I'm enjoying just winging it! Oh, and I forgot to mention in the post... I suddenly switched from 24 to 12 FPS for this one.. took a little getting used to! So far I like it though. Hey, if Leevi can make it look so good, it can't be bad, right?

tonychauzer said...

Glad Mr. Running Jig got some face-time on the camera I always liked his look.

I have trouble with speed also and sometimes I have to cheat it a little :/ Delete an inbetween or two - along those lines. I extended each frame in my thingy to effectively make it "on twos" as well and it works fine - but there's something magical about 24fps I get from Nick's and Justin's stuff, it always gets me hooked :)

Hope to see the full animation with real deal frames!

UbaTuber said...

Buster!! Long time no see! :)

Jessica said...

Tonychauzer, animation is all about cheating, isn't it? So it's alright. A lot of Pros work that way... ;)

Mike, the Mime Book is very inspiring even though I just started reading (and exercising!). People on Public Transport always wonder what I'm doing with my neck and limbs... :D

StopmoNick said...

Love the shove, nothing wrong with the speed there!

bRYEnd_of_the_schtick said...

(^ hmn.I think I acrually know what this one is ABOUT on a subtext level:
(^ it made a difference in how I felt while watching.

(^maybe skullkin needs to ferret Buster's hat away on him for wasting so much of his time ?

(^ I've felt pushed into lack of fluidity by past reputational interests myself.

(^ like because some know I've had interactions with certain past iconic figures ( Mr.B isn't the only one: I've known a bunch on a too close for comfort status back in the day... and heck my wife was close friends with Subpop Record's creator's wife during high school)

((^...jease what a runnon sentence restructuring..
...speeding up now..^))

(^ I've been commited for being committed to hammering out spinning plates and tossing bats to jugglers from backstage.
(^ it gets tiresome.
(^ sometimes I feel like Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the Rain.

(^ wait that's not it..
(^..?...! got it! more like Dexter!
(^ but mistaken for being Miss Dinsmore!

Singing in the Rain - Filming 'Duelling Cavalier!'

(^ and what's this got to do with mime?
(^ ha. check yer history filings.

bRYEnd_of_the_schtick said...

(^ sigh. sorry. can't leave it at that:
(^THIS goes far beyond the meat in this phisical theatrickledowns

A Misappropriation Of "Singin' In The Rain"

(^ talk about getting around copywritten audio! whah HOO!

Shelley Noble said...

This looks amazing, Mike.

jriggity said...

very cool man!

its definatly a challenge tracking 2 characters and especially 2 interacting ones.

but If pulled off its 2wice as MAGICAL!!

keep these excersizes comin man....thrilling to watch.


Yaz said...

Looking great!! Must be very hard to make such an animation with 2 interacting puppets. It looks totally natural to me.

Yaz said...

Mike, is this the book:
I might order this one. Can you let me know?

Darkmatters said...

Yes, that's the one!!

Darkmatters said...

Prosser... I LOVE the concept of Buster coming back to wreak vengeance on Skulkin for hogging the animation spotlight that he wasn't yet done with!!

Hah... and now he's a lush, getting sopped in bars and bemoaning his lost stardom (hmmm.... fits pretty well with his actual treatment with the coming of sound).

You lost me with the Singing in the Rain stuff though???

The clip you linked to (the one with Miss Dinsmore etc) relates right back to early sound and the need to talk into mikes hidden in flowerpots etc, but aside from that I haven't got a clue.

Yaz said...

Oki! Thanks Mike.

bRYEnd_of_the_schtick said...

(^ the second clip is related in that the audio isn't from singing in the rain.
(^ it's DUBBED IN.
the whole piece has had the sound stripped off and then had bad voice actors lip sync to the footage.
(^ I also left an interview with Reta Moreno on some other thread that relates to all this.. hmnn. oh. off june challenge end.

(^ now go watch Volare Volare.
happy 4th of Independant this mix stir

laticra = latices Latisha Latinate Latina

Emily said...

Awesome to see them in action! And this is as much a sales pitch for the Lumix as any of the threads on SMA - I'm using the Phillips spc900 and can't get near that image quality looking through the viewfinder!

Darkmatters said...

Ah, of course! Now I get it. Hmmm... yes, very intriguing possibilities indeed. I am working toward dialogue, but don't want it to be standard issue... more like sudden utterances into silent spaces, and I want to try to avoid normal cartoonified lipsync if I can.

Also, this has been reverbrating in my head:

"(^ I've been commited for being committed to hammering out spinning plates and tossing bats to jugglers from backstage."

I've heard you say similar things in the past, and I always thought you were referring to studio days, but now I think you're talking about the kNOW(here).

Tossing clues to animation students as we learn, dispensing wisdom like spinning torches for us to juggle or drop.

Anonymous said...

I love how the animation is not perfectly smooth- I think there is a charm in that which would be lost if it was. Very entertaining. I laughed at the shoving.

Darkmatters said...

I agree Don... I mean, I certainly didn't deliberately put in any jerks or jiggles, but I concentrated more on the action than on smoothness.