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Using a Canon 5DmkII for animation ?

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    pulsar69
    pulsar69  101611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Jul 2010 - 8:13 PM

    Hey all , dont know where to post this question so will try here.

    I have little or no experience in video or animation but my little 6 year old is fascinated with stop motion , so i would like to embark on learning how to create a stop motion animation using the 5d2 video or stills , anyone have experience they can give me ? i want to use simple lego figures to start with and just get them to walk etc ..

    cheers
    Andy

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    stuinperth
    19 Jul 2010 - 8:23 PM

    Hi Andy not tried it but have heard that capture one is good software for tethered shooting which would help in this, also think there is something with supplied disc but not looked at it yet.
    good luck with it, let me know how you get on as find it interesting too.
    stu

    Boyd
    Boyd  1011213 forum posts Wales11 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Jul 2010 - 8:49 PM

    Andrew's your man for this kind of stuff, he works for a little company called Aardman Animations - here's his website.

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    Graywolf
    Graywolf  7964 forum posts United Kingdom
    21 Jul 2010 - 9:54 PM

    I have done loads of this with kids at school recently. You can use any camera. Your bog standard compact will do fine. set it to smallish jpegs, make small, incremental movements and keep snapping.

    Use windows moviemaker. Set the picture duration to 0.125 (under tools/options/advanced) and import the images. You can then immediately save it as a movie to play in media player or add titles, credits etc.

    It is really dead easy and one of the most successful projects I have done with kids in recent times. I've done it in about 4 schools over the last 2 months. They just love it and get totally absorbed, allowing me to sit at the desk and have a kip.

    Advice. Support the camera on a firm tripod, even a compact, then it won't move about, altering the angle of view which tends to make you feel sea sick.

    Small jpegs make importing the images quicker.

    200 images will make a video of roughly 30 seconds

    Have fun!!

    If you want more detailed advice about what I did pm me.

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    ljesmith
    ljesmith  101092 forum posts United Kingdom
    22 Jul 2010 - 1:14 PM

    You can easily use a 5D MkII, use it on the stills setting though. If you want to get into animation properly buy a manual focus Nikon lens and an adaptor to put it on the Canon, this way you can set the aperture manually and not get what we call flicker coming from the variation in aperture you get from an automated lens. A tripod is essential as is a decent stable work space, also make sure to use a stable light source and not daylight so you don't get weird moving shadows. There are quite a few basic animation programmes out there and you can make a movie from stills using quicktime.

    Not to be picky but all animation will be at 24 frames per second meaning that 200 frames will give about 8 seconds of animation, which to be fair is probably long enough to start with.

    Luke
    (Camera technician at Aardman Animations)

    pulsar69
    pulsar69  101611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
    22 Jul 2010 - 4:46 PM


    Quote: I have done loads of this with kids at school recently. You can use any camera. Your bog standard compact will do fine. set it to smallish jpegs, make small, incremental movements and keep snapping.

    Use windows moviemaker. Set the picture duration to 0.125 (under tools/options/advanced) and import the images. You can then immediately save it as a movie to play in media player or add titles, credits etc.

    It is really dead easy and one of the most successful projects I have done with kids in recent times. I've done it in about 4 schools over the last 2 months. They just love it and get totally absorbed, allowing me to sit at the desk and have a kip.

    Advice. Support the camera on a firm tripod, even a compact, then it won't move about, altering the angle of view which tends to make you feel sea sick.

    Small jpegs make importing the images quicker.

    200 images will make a video of roughly 30 seconds

    Have fun!!

    If you want more detailed advice about what I did pm me.

    cheers , thats superb nand exactly the solution i was looking for , just tried it and works a treat to get started with

    pulsar69
    pulsar69  101611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
    22 Jul 2010 - 4:49 PM


    Quote: You can easily use a 5D MkII, use it on the stills setting though. If you want to get into animation properly buy a manual focus Nikon lens and an adaptor to put it on the Canon, this way you can set the aperture manually and not get what we call flicker coming from the variation in aperture you get from an automated lens. A tripod is essential as is a decent stable work space, also make sure to use a stable light source and not daylight so you don't get weird moving shadows. There are quite a few basic animation programmes out there and you can make a movie from stills using quicktime.

    Not to be picky but all animation will be at 24 frames per second meaning that 200 frames will give about 8 seconds of animation, which to be fair is probably long enough to start with.

    Luke
    (Camera technician at Aardman Animations)

    if im setting the photos to play at 0.125 of a second each then its not 24 frames per second ? and it works out at 25 seconds with 200 shots ...

    also when you say variable aperture i will be shooting in stills mode with manual setting so choosing my own aperture and keeping it set , is this still variable ?

    ljesmith
    ljesmith  101092 forum posts United Kingdom
    22 Jul 2010 - 5:00 PM

    If you use a lens with automatic aperture the diaphragm goes from wide open to the set aperture every time you take a shot, with stills lenses this won't be accurate for every frame and will appear as flicker (meaning that each frame will be slightly differently exposed). Using a lens with manual aperture so that it is permanently stopped down solves this issue.
    I assume that when you say 0.125 of a second you're referring to shutter speed, this doesn't change the fact that you still need 24/25 frames of footage for every second of screen time.

    pulsar69
    pulsar69  101611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
    22 Jul 2010 - 7:45 PM

    No, 0.125 is not the shutter speed , it is the length of time in windows move maker that the photo will play for as suggested by graywolf, and to be fair ( and im not being rude , just honest ) youre over complicating the matter its just for a kids slideshow so going to lengths of manual lenses and convertors for such a task would be unnecesary. Its more about getting my child involved with making things with cameras and experimenting at the moment as he loves taking photos and posting videos on youtube etc , but he is only 6 !

    Also on the shutter / diaphragm subject , I was aware that the diaphram opened to its widest aperture to focus before taking the shot , but was not aware there was a fluctuation in the actual size or f-stop it hit when it took the shot , thats interesting , whats the variation on this , is it measurable ?

    cheers
    Andrew

    Last Modified By pulsar69 at 22 Jul 2010 - 7:47 PM
    davidbailie
    davidbailie e2 Member 11451 forum postsdavidbailie vcard United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
    22 Jul 2010 - 9:31 PM


    Quote: youre over complicating the matter

    Hardly! - just giving the facts - if one wants to be less than precise that's ok - personally I'd prefer to know the full details and then alter to suit the circumstances - cheers lj

    db

    Graywolf
    Graywolf  7964 forum posts United Kingdom
    22 Jul 2010 - 10:09 PM

    I am not going to argue with a guy from Aardman!!

    The way I described was what I did in school with what was available. That means it has to be done with what is available. That means fairly basic compacts, (piles of books instead of tripods).

    I also took in my 7D, 40D and 450D and two tripods. NOT because my cameras were better but because from bitter experience, nearly 40 years now, I know that you cannot rely on a school having a camera that A has any batteries or B the batteries are charged.

    The compacts I did use worked absolutely fine. The kids were knocked out by what they achieved. It was quick, simple and effective. As I said before in nearly 40 years of teaching it was without doubt one of the best projects I have done and one which I intend to take further next year with storyboarding, planning etc.

    We made sets out of half cardboard boxes to limit the effective working space.

    One thing I should say is that a stable light source is a good idea, but don't worry about it too much, but depth of field can be a problem. However as the subect is relatively static, a long exposure isn't too much of an issue.

    In the first school I tried it in I set up the cameras, marked with pencil on the desk the area they had to work in and keep everything pretty much in focus. Then I gave them one playmobil character.

    Within 10 minutes they were all over the bloody school scavenging blue tack, pipe cleaners, paper, allsorts to add to their 'cast'. It was a joy to watch and I've been doing this job a long time.

    As you have a 5D II and I would imagine , a tripod, you have everything you need. Just get started!!

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    ljesmith
    ljesmith  101092 forum posts United Kingdom
    23 Jul 2010 - 12:09 AM

    I can't help over complicating things, I just don't know anyother waySmile
    If you have a lens already then go for it, I was just suggesting a manual lens as it would be cheaper than buying a new lens. The aperture fluctuation is fairly minimal, for stills photography you'd never notice a thing, but when watching an animation playing back it soon becomes very noticable. For kids use anything you can get your hands on, the important part is to get them interested in it.

    As far as the frame rate goes there seems to be some confusion, you should be playing back at 24/25 fps.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. I have to, but then it's my jobSmile

    Graywolf
    Graywolf  7964 forum posts United Kingdom
    23 Jul 2010 - 6:52 AM


    Quote: I wouldn't worry about it too much. I have to, but then it's my jobSmile

    Hi Luke,

    Your comments have been very useful and now that I have made several movies with kids, I am looking to improve. however as I said before I am always limited by what hardware and software is available, and as far as software goes that generally means free.
    I take your point about the lighting as I have noticed this on several of the films we have made. All of these issues i can use as part of the reflection on the films and in discussions on how we can improve.

    Now I just have to get my head round blue screening.

    As far as frame rate goes, I set it to 0.125 because that's the fastest frame rate available in movie maker.

    brief pause for investigation.

    24 frames/sec works out at about 0.041 and I have just discovered that the relatively new 'windows live movie maker' will support that frame rate, so that's good. Unfortunately this means shorter videos for the amount of effort.
    Generally speaking i will set the image quality to about as low as i can get. It doesn't affect the quality of the film that much and allows you to get far more images on a card without having to swap cards.

    Two girls I worked with took me at my word about only making small incremental movements of the characters and snapped off nearly 2000 images. It produce quite a nice smooth video though.

    ljesmith
    ljesmith  101092 forum posts United Kingdom
    23 Jul 2010 - 9:55 AM

    There seem to be a few options out there for software, I haven't tried any of them as of yet. We use Stop Motion Pro which i don't think is free, but you can download a trial version. This will allow you to experiment with chroma key (blue screen).
    The set up we use includes Canon 1DmkIII, Nikon or Leitz lenses (Mostly re-housed to suit our needs) with adaptors, sturdy supprts and studio lighting. All of this can be obtained fairly easily on a low budget. Obviusly you don't need to use such a high spec camera.
    For standard def TV Jpegs will be fine. TV, even high def, uses fairly small images when compared to stills anyway.

    have you tried Gomotion yet? it's a technique of moving things whilst exposing the image, eg moving the background past a static object during the exposure will give the background motion blur. It's fairly simple but effective and it requires a bit of experimentation so will keep kids occupied for a while.

    Luke

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